Claude Aron

Sexuality II Publication date : March 1, 2003

In this book, Claude Aron pursues the task of popularising the growing body of scientific knowledge about basic sexual mechanisms, which he had begun in his earlier work on sexual desire. His concern here is with reproduction — and its absence.
All living creatures are endowed with a fundamental, primitive goal: the conservation and reproduction of the species, in which ovulation plays a central role.
Yet the notion of a contraceptive pill was not seriously discussed until the early 1950s. Although the “Pill” was commercialised in 1957 and significant improvements have been made since then, the abortion rate remains high, even in developed countries.
Aron describes our changing ideas about the role played by ovarian hormones and ovulation in the reproductive process. He recounts the birth of the “Pill” and reviews the highly topical question: Does the sex act itself set off ovulation? If such were the case, the day-after pill could become the most radical method of controlling reproduction.
During the past forty years, certain types of sterility have been successfully overcome, thanks to increased scientific and technical knowledge about reproduction which has resulted in the development of in vitro fertilisation and other forms of medically assisted reproduction.
From the pioneers of contraception to today’s disturbing demiurges, this book covers nearly half a century of the history of “sexual freedom”.

Claude Aron, a specialist in reproductive physiology, is an honorary professor at Louis-Pasteur University, in Strasbourg. He is most notably the author of La Bisexualité et l’ordre de la nature and La Sexualité: phéromones et désir.