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TitleLocating judicial uses of genetic testing in paternity cases
Author(s)Machado, Helena
KeywordsGenetic tests
Gendered uses of science
Issue date24-Oct-2005
Abstract(s)This article examines the courts’ use of DNA profiling in the course of paternity suits by locating the sort of social relationships, cultural repertoires, narratives, interests and values that are reproduced and evoked in this particular context. The main conclusion is that the forensic uses of genetic testing in paternity cases constitutes a complex interrelation between patriarchy, judicial power and science, which reinforces conventional gender distinctions with the aim of adapting individual demeanour to standards of values and behaviour of the dominant social groups. The cultural construction of paternity is linked both to biology and economic support, while maternity is perceived as being moral and emotional. Genetic tests to determine biological paternity are selectively used in cases where there is strong evidence of the child’s mother’s fidelity to the alleged father, which reinforces the social monitoring of women’s sexual and procreative behaviour, along with the construction of unequal access to justice.
DescriptionProva tipográfica (In Press).
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:CECS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Articles in international journals
DS/CICS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais/Articles in International Journals

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