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Psychological Aspects of Human Artificial Insemination

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(2):121-132. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730020023003.
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WITHIN a short time after the solution to the problem of practical artificial insemination of mammals and its application to humans, there arose comment and concern which seemed out of proportion to the importance or incidence of the procedure. This response has continued unabated to the present, with the controversy extending among physicians, lawyers, theologians, and the laity. Because artificial insemination with its research and therapeutic implications has stimulated such an intense emotional response, which seems to transcend national boundaries and cultures, and which has not appreciably changed in almost 200 years, the possibility of an underlying, unconscious motive or theme seemed likely.

Artificial human insemination (AI) is an attempt to fertilize a woman by means other than sexual intercourse. Semen is deposited in the vagina, near the cervix (sometimes in the uterus, although this method is not used now), with the aid of instruments, to


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