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Giving Birth: Debating Surrogate Motherhood in Sweden, A Question of Equality
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study has been to identify, analyze and interpret the framing and meaning of the surrogacy debate in Sweden. The study is built on a textual analysis of statements produced within the political sphere on the topic (2001-2012), as well as within other public contexts by actors such as interest groups, different debaters and newspaper editorials (2010-2014).

Core conflicts revolve around equality, and the tension between women’s and children’s rights, high priorities in the Swedish context, and the emergence of new family constellations, including gay couples. The other central issue regards human value and women’s right to bodily integrity or autonomy, as well as questions relating to private and public spheres: what can be – or ought not to be – given or sold.

Different frameworks have been dominant in the discussion to state a particular opinion. Those in favor of surrogacy often emphasize the importance of being open and modern, and pragmatic rather than ideological. In contrast, Feminist and Christian frames emphasize the risk of exploitation, as do those who from an inequality-perspective point to the act’s connection to – apart from gender – class and ethnicity.

Overall, the child’s perspective has been important and there has been a strong stance against commercial surrogacy, spanning different frameworks. Giving birth, rather than selling, is thus generally seen as the ethically correct alternative, if surrogacy is to be allowed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
surrogate motherhood, public debate, social problems, national context, women's rights, children's rights, equality, human value, family, separate spheres and hostile worlds
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-104709OAI: diva2:725287
Available from: 2014-06-18 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2014-06-18Bibliographically approved

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