TangledWebs UK

A group challenging donor-conception practices in the UK and internationally

Euphemistic language in "fertility" "treatment"

"Fertility" "treatment"

Fertility treatment is a euphemism when applied to "donor"-conception. Nobody becomes more fertile as a result of being inseminated with a stranger's sperm. A perfectly fertile woman is still fertile. If there is an infertile male partner, he's still infertile. As such "donor"-conception cannot be described as a "treatment". It is merely a technological intervention to facilitate conception without sexual intercourse between two people who are generally strangers.

"Sperm" "donor"

As noted elsewhere on this site "sperm"-"donor" really means biological father.

"Sperm" "donors" do not "donate" sperm. They "donate" semen. The sperm cell may be the most important part of their "donation", but nonetheless, what they donate is semen. Blood donation is not called "erythrocyte donation", despite the red blood cell (erythrocyte) being the most important part of the donation.

In English, the word "donor" has positive connotations, often of somebody who gives blood, money, or organs, as a philanthropic act, with nothing expected in return. But "sperm" "donors" are generally paid for their semen, often very large sums of money. It is also rather presumptuous to ascribe philanthropic intentions to a segment of the population which remains in the shadows, largely unwilling to discuss its motivations in public.

The majority of "sperm" "donors" are simply men who have chosen to allow a stranger to conceive with them, generally without ever considering playing a role in the resulting human being's life.

Suggestions of accurate language