At a time when many women choose fewer medical interventions at birth and claim less sex preference before birth, why do so many choose to use technology to determine the sex of their babies weeks before they are born? The popularity of accessing ultrasound imaging to ‘‘determine'' fetal sex resonates with a contemporary gender liberalism that affirms binary sex, gender equality, and (limited) gender variation within the logic of consumer choice. Prenatal ultrasound technology is a central and current means of disciplining women into a normative maternal identity and authenticating the sex and gender identities of both mother and child. The ultrasound exam naturalizes the binary sex system upon which maternal and filial identities hinge, through the technological construction of the image of a normatively sexed body. By insisting upon the primacy of naturally sexed bodies even while deflecting attention from bodies onto images, commodities, and discursive behaviours, the popular discourse surrounding ultrasound imaging of fetal sex and the sharing of images of fetal genitals uniquely authenticates the binary sex system as the ‘‘biological'' limit of gender and sexual variation. Pregnant women are not erased by the hypervisibility of their fetuses. Rather, as they correctly access the medical technologies and goods of middle-class motherhood, they become visible as the properly gendered mothers of properly gendered children.Update: Readers if any may have noticed a certain lack of posting around this putrid bog, and that the posts that do make it up are even dumber than usual. I'm busy, but posting should get back to "normal" (more frequent, still dumb) in the near furture.
Update II: "Haggard deems himself 'heterosexual, but with issues.'"