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American cultural constructions of the gynecological experience

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Date Issued:
2006
Summary:
This thesis research asks why many American women feel uncomfortable going to the gynecologist. In order to investigate this phenomenon, thirty-one women were interviewed regarding their experiences at the gynecologist and their perceptions of their genitals. Using a medical anthropology framework to determine what factors facilitate negative feelings associated with gynecological examinations, the participants' responses were analyzed with regards to cultural influences. It was found that a paradox exists between American cultural constructions of women's genitals and the biomedical structure of a gynecological examination. Since American women are culturally ingrained with a notion of privacy and sexuality regarding their genitals, revealing them to a stranger within a medical setting can become a highly-charged emotional situation. Ultimately, this paradox is never fully resolved, perpetuating the cultural construction of a gynecological examination as an inherently negative and problematic experience.
Title: American cultural constructions of the gynecological experience.
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Name(s): Provenzano, Julie L.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Harris, Michael S., Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2006
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 124 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This thesis research asks why many American women feel uncomfortable going to the gynecologist. In order to investigate this phenomenon, thirty-one women were interviewed regarding their experiences at the gynecologist and their perceptions of their genitals. Using a medical anthropology framework to determine what factors facilitate negative feelings associated with gynecological examinations, the participants' responses were analyzed with regards to cultural influences. It was found that a paradox exists between American cultural constructions of women's genitals and the biomedical structure of a gynecological examination. Since American women are culturally ingrained with a notion of privacy and sexuality regarding their genitals, revealing them to a stranger within a medical setting can become a highly-charged emotional situation. Ultimately, this paradox is never fully resolved, perpetuating the cultural construction of a gynecological examination as an inherently negative and problematic experience.
Identifier: 9780542859762 (isbn), 13401 (digitool), FADT13401 (IID), fau:10251 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2006.
Subject(s): Gynecological examination--Psychological aspects
Anxiety--Prevention
Generative organs, Female--Examination
Physical diagnosis--Psychological aspects
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/13401
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.