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Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 426–443 | Cite as

Torture Born: Representing Pregnancy and Abortion in Contemporary Survival-Horror

  • Steve JonesEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

In proportion to the increased emphasis placed on abortion in partisan political debate since the early 2000s, there has been a noticeable upsurge in cultural representations of abortion. This article charts ways in which that increase manifests in contemporary survival-horror. This article contends that numerous contemporary survival-horror films foreground pregnancy. These representations of pregnancy reify the pressures that moralistic, partisan political campaigning places on individuals who consider terminating a pregnancy. These films contribute to public discourse by engaging with abortion as an individual, emotional matter, rather than treating abortion as a matter of political principle or a political “means to an end.” This article not only charts a relationship between popular culture and its surrounding political context, but also posits that survival-horror—a genre that has been disparaged by critics and largely ignored by scholars—makes an important contribution to sexual-political discourse. These films use horror to articulate the things we cannot say about abortion.

Keywords

Abortion Pregnancy Horror Film Popular culture Politics 

Notes

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Room SQ306e, Department of Media and Communication DesignNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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