Eggs on Ice: Imaginaries of Eggs and Cryopreservation in Denmark

Janne Rothmar Herrmann, Charlotte Kroløkke

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


While Denmark is widely known as a global exporter of cryopreserved sperm, Danish women’s eggs face a very different fate. This paper combines legal and rhetorical analyses with the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries. In establishing the genealogy of the sociotechnical imaginaries that shaped Danish regulation of the cryopreservation of eggs, we analyse the relevant Acts, Bills, preparatory work, and readings in Parliament, along with the concurrent public and ethical debates that over time relaxed the legal limit for the cryopreservation of eggs to the current five years and today continue to ignite discussions on elective egg freezing. We rely on welfare-state perspectives to discuss why reproduction, in the Danish context, is seen as a legitimate and appropriate sphere to regulate, and we turn to feminist theorizing to discuss the gendered implications captured in the sociotechnical imaginaries of the “Moral State”, “technologies to be tamed”, “the nuclear family”, and “technology as equality and hope”. We end by discussing how an interdisciplinary approach enriches our understanding of the legal, cultural, and political entanglements related to putting eggs on ice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)19-35
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Cryopreservation
  • Danish law
  • egg freezing
  • reproduction
  • sociotechnical imaginaries


Dive into the research topics of 'Eggs on Ice: Imaginaries of Eggs and Cryopreservation in Denmark'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this