Virtually Virgins : Sexual Strategies and Cervical Cancer in Recife, Brazil


Virtually Virgins : Sexual Strategies and Cervical Cancer in Recife, Brazil

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版/ページ数 232 p.
  • 言語 ENG
  • 商品コード 9780804747561
  • DDC分類 306.70820981

Full Description

This book provides a detailed, intimate portrait of a community of women living in a shantytown (favela) in northeastern Brazil, while exploring the complex interplay between gender, sexuality, power, and disease. It reveals how poor Brasileiras are constrained by dominant cultural constructions of female sexuality as a dangerous force that must be controlled by men; yet these women also manipulate these expectations by using their sexuality as a means to secure economic support from men. The book argues that these constructions affect their interpretations of medical discourse on the prevention of cervical cancer. Since women view sex as both a force they can't control and as a necessary tool for their survival, they choose to de-emphasize medical warnings against risky sexual behavior, with grave consequences for their health. The text is threaded with poignant, humorous, sometimes graphic, and always memorable depictions of the women's lives in the shantytowns, making this serious anthropological study a highly readable one as well.

Table of Contents

        List of Illustrations                      ix
List of Women Interviewed xi
Acknowledgments xvii
Introduction: Culture, Gender, and 1 (13)
The Ilha: Life in a Brazilian Shantytown 14 (13)
``A Woman Has to Stay in the House'': 27 (13)
Gender and Sexuality in the Ilha
Sexuality and Risk: Biomedical 40 (15)
Constructions of Brasileira Sexuality
Sexuality as Survival: Favelada 55 (21)
Constructions of Women's Sexuality
Expedient Boundaries: Security and Agency 76 (13)
in the Ilha
Rearranging Risk: Local Understandings of 89 (8)
the Pap Smear
``I've Eaten so Many Good Men Since You 97 (21)
Left'': Liberdade, Resistance, and
Ambivalence in the Ilha
``You Get it if You Go out Looking for a 118 (17)
Man'': Cervical Cancer and Stigma
Living with Inflammation, Dying from 135 (21)
Cancer, and Curing an Incurable Disease
Some Survivors 156 (4)
Appendix One: Methodology 160 (3)
Appendix Two: Economic Data for the Sample of 163 (2)
Women with Cancer
Appendix Three: Impact of Screening Services on 165 (4)
Cervical Cancer Morbidity and Mortality
Appendix Four: Nonbiomedical Forms of Healing 169 (8)
Notes 177 (16)
Works Cited 193 (12)
Index 205