Diane Tober, PhD
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Institute for Health and Aging
Dr. Tober is a cultural and medical anthropologist with a focus on gender and sexuality, the commodification of the body, science and technology studies, bioethics, and social and reproductive justice. She has been conducting research exploring egg donors’ decisions and experiences within the global market for human eggs since 2013. With funding from theNational Science Foundation, she is comparing egg donation in the United States and Spain. With a recent award from the UCSF National Center of Excellence for Research on Women, offered through The Bixby Center, she is launching a new study to compare the decisions and experiences of egg donors and egg freezers. She has conducted field research in Iran, Spain, and the United States.
Her first book, Romancing the Sperm: Shifting Biopolitics and the Making of Modern Families (2018), explores the intersections between the sperm banking industry, the men who provide sperm, and the single women and lesbian couples who use donor sperm to conceive a child. Tracing the changes in use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies from the 1990s to today, Romancing the Sperm investigates the role technology plays in the changing meanings of family.
In addition to her research, she is also producer/director of the documentary film, The Perfect Donor, currently in post production. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, The Social Science Research Council, The University of California, San Francisco, and American Institute for Iranian Studies, among others.
Areas of interest:
- Assisted reproductive technologies
- Reproductive health and decision-making
- Social and reproductive justice
- PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and UCSF joint program
In the news:
- Student debt is driving more Americans to donate their eggs—and some suffer lasting complications (op-ed) | Salon
- California shouldn't expand the market for women's eggs (op-ed) | San Francisco Chronicle
- Desperately seeking kin: Genetic longing in the donor gamete context (essay) | Los Angeles Review of Books
- What to think about when considering donating your eggs (op-ed) | Rewire News
- Inside the quietly lucrative business of donating human eggs | WIRED
- Are fertility drugs safe? The industry says yes; critics worry they're overprescribed | Washington Post