Freezing time? The sociology of egg freezing

Kit C. Myers, Lauren Jade Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In the past decade, social scientists and bioethicists have produced a significant body of work tracking the technical, legal, ethical, and sociocultural development and implications of human egg freezing. What began as a treatment to “preserve” the fertility of cancer patients has transformed into a technology enabling delayed childbearing. We provide an overview of four research areas that have received the most attention in the sociological and anthropological literature of egg freezing: medicalization, gender, temporality and risk, and markets. What emerges from much of the research is the sense that egg freezing has become entangled with cultural imperatives to take future-oriented responsibility for one's own health, financial, social, and reproductive needs through self-management, risk reduction, calculation, and optimization. Throughout, we consider the implications of this novel reproductive technology within national and transnational “reproflows” that stratify reproduction along raced and classed lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12850
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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