Tara Asgarilaleh obtained a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Tehran, Iran in 2014 and graduated from the Research Master Social Sciences (RMSS) at the University of Amsterdam in 2017. For the RMSS, she wrote her thesis on organ transplantation and unrelated kidney donors in Iran, based on ethnographic fieldwork in Tehran. She has worked within the field of sexual and reproductive health at The Royal Tropical Institute at Share-Net, an international knowledge platform on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Tara has joined the Muslim Marriages project as a junior researcher in 2018, studying (in)fertility, assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), gamete donation and sigheh [temporary marriage] in Iran. Focusing on the experiences of involuntarily childless couples, her research investigates the changing meanings of sigheh from a religiously acceptable way of cross-gender (sexual) relationships to a religious solution for treating (in)fertility in the case of gamete donation. Whereas prior to the emergence of ARTs in Iran, sigheh has also been considered as a way to conceive, her study explores the emergence of new forms of sigheh post-ARTs, such as ‘laboratory sigheh’ in which no sexual activity is involved.
She will begin with her PhD project within the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc) at University of Cambridge. With her PhD project she aims to examine how involuntarily childless couples, men in particular, can access and do actually use assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in the socio-cultural, legal, religious and medical context of contemporary Iran. Through her ethnographic study she hopes to bring new insights into (in)fertility and men’s perceptions of fertility and reproductive precarity in the use of ARTs in Iran and how this relates to dominant notions of masculinity.
You can find out more about her on her LinkedIn.