History of Medicine #24: Suitable for Parenthood: The Eugenics of Reproductive Health in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain


In this seminar Gayle Davis shifts the conceptual framework from characterizations of pregnant women and motherhood more widely to those of women whose pregnancy aspirations required medical assistance, and the degree to which their desire for children was pathologised by medical professionals in postwar Britain. Offering a remarkable insight into the longevity of eugenic paradigms with regards to selecting donors for artificial insemination procedures, and the social perception thereof, the seminar also critically investigates the Feversham Committee of the 1950s and the context informing the often critical views of practitioners questioning the motives of both the would-be mother and would-be donor father. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 11 December 2012.

Links to resources

Teaching subject area

History, History of Medicine



Date produced


Faculty or department

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of History, Philosophy and Culture

Graduate attributes

Research literacy


copyright Oxford Brookes University, except where indicated in the item description


  • Owner: Thomas Shepherd
  • Collection: OER
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