Sexuality and the female national subject: Contraception and abortion policy in Israel*

Delila Amir, Orb Benjamin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Until recently the issue of abortion has generally been dealt with from two main points of view. First, abortion was analysed as an issue of conflict between women and the political establishment (Lovenduski and Outshoorn 1986). Second, it was examined as an issue that triggers the exertion of social control on women in order to prevent the violation of the hegemonic moral order (Petchesky 1984). These two scholarly discussions have provided a framework for understanding sexual and reproductive behaviour in terms of its connections with the normative order around gender and the symbolic world of any collective. One question may be raised on the basis of the suggested link between sexual and reproductive behaviour and the collective’s moral and gender order: what is the relevance of such behaviour to processes related to the constitution of the national subject in terms of its gendered affiliation? Furthermore, if we accept that women’s sexual and reproductive behaviour consists of primary components of the moral order, a second question may be raised: to what extent is the constitution of women’s affiliation to the national collective conditioned by their following the imperatives of the moral order? In this chapter we explore these questions within the Israeli context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics of sexuality
Subtitle of host publicationIdentity, gender, citizenship
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781134701162
ISBN (Print)9780415169530
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1998 Terrell Carver and Veronique Mottier, selection and editorial matter; individual chapters, the contributors.


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