Infertility and reproduction human: a study on the social perception of the risks.

by Costa, Tonia

Abstract (Summary)
In this dissertation, quali-quantitative research and monographic method have been used to identify representations, values and beliefs associated to the perception of risk related to human reproductive health in women/couples patients of the Infertility Clinic at the Human Reproduction Division of the Moncorvo Filho Hospital, FederalUniversity of Rio de Janeiro. Although infertility is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) an illness, and therefore a public health problem, it is normally perceived, at least in the beginning, as just a difficulty, an impediment to havingchildren. It starts to configure illness only from the search for treatment, that is, through the educative process that takes place during the interaction doctor-patient. The medicalization of the incapacity of having children becomes evident, andinfertility is considered to be outside the norm of the established cultural standard of the feminine gender. Analysis of the causes of infertility identified through the patients perception of risk demonstrates the maintenance of the risk as biopolitical device and as basic social construction, justifying the blame established by the relationship between infertility and organic causes, and as a consequence of stress,which congregates explanations of different natures, including evil-eye and witchcraft. However, to analyze stress as a consequence of gender culture imputes the blame for infertility once more into women, and further illustrates the immenseload of suffering as a result of infertility itself and of the search for proper solutions. Therefore, other causes of infertility are hardly considered, such as those originated from women/couples living conditions, and even the masculine ones. Thus, the risk notion as biopolitical strategy and as social construction keeps the masculine, patriarcal and bourgeois hegemony of our society.
This document abstract is also available in Portuguese.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Eduardo Navarro Stotz

School:Faculdades Oswaldo Cruz

School Location:Brazil

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:Health Promotion Sex Education Reproductive Medicine Taboo Qualitative Research Cultural Factors


Date of Publication:05/28/2008

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