Drinking during pregnancy has come to be considered a pervasive social problem, despite the uncertainties surrounding the epidemiology and etiology of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Sociologist Elizabeth M. Armstrong traces the evolution of medical knowledge about the effects of alcohol on fetal development from nineteenth-century debates about drinking and heredity to the modern diagnosis of FAS and its kindred syndromes. She argues that issues of race, class, and gender have influenced medical findings about alcohol and reproduction and that these findings have always reflected broader social and moral preoccupations -- in particular, concerns about a woman's role and place in society. Medical beliefs about drinking during pregnancy have often ignored the poverty, chaos, and insufficiency of some women's lives -- factors that may be more responsible than alcohol for adverse outcomes in babies and children. Finalist, C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Category:FASD Series:Addictions Author:ARMSTRONG, ELIZABETH M