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The Global Biopolitics of the IUDHow Science Constructs Contraceptive Users and Women's Bodies$
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Chikako Takeshita

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016582

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016582.001.0001

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“Birth Control for a Nation”: The IUD as Technoscientific Biopower

“Birth Control for a Nation”: The IUD as Technoscientific Biopower

Chapter:
(p.33) 2 “Birth Control for a Nation”: The IUD as Technoscientific Biopower
Source:
The Global Biopolitics of the IUD
Author(s):

Chikako Takeshita

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016582.003.0027

This chapter demonstrates that researchers were focused on improving and measuring the contraceptive efficacy of the device in the early phase of the development. It specifically illustrates how the intrauterine device (IUD) was developed as a technoscientific biopower, or a technological solution to what was widely viewed as a population problem. It reviews the historical links among contraceptive development, population science, and Western imperialism. This chapter shows that the early dissemination efforts of the IUD yielded mixed results. It notes that the IUD was regarded as a contraceptive given to the masses, while user-controlled contraceptive methods were characterized as appropriate only for educated upper- and middle-class Western individuals.

Keywords:   intrauterine device, technoscientific biopower, population science, Western imperialism, contraceptive development

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