Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Asian Biotechnology and Development Review


Three decades of work in the feminist studies of science and technology have shaped our evolving understandings of the relationships between sex, gender, and biotechnology. Sex, and gender are most often reduced to binary categories, severely limiting our conceptions not only of human diversity, but those of science and technology. Using two case study set in India, transnational surrogacy and the Indian Genome Variation Project, this paper explores how popular positions around biotechnology are reduced to binary positions promoting and opposing biotechnology as the solution for the economic and social development of India. By locating surrogacy and genomics within the larger geopolitical, historical, economic and cultural transformations of postcolonial India, the paper argues that both technologies are far more complex in their impact on women and gender. Why does technology become the major site of hope for the future? Why does genomics become the site for the promises of good health? Why has India become a site for reproductive tourism, and transnational surrogacy in particular? Drawing on the social studies of science, the paper argues that technology and human bodies are never neutral but always prefigured with a gender, race, caste and sexuality. Surrogacy and genomics should be understood within these colonial and postcolonial histories of science and technology.







Special Issue

Special Issue on Women and Biotechnology