Reading - The Job Nobody Wanted – Maines.docx

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Dalhousie University
Soc & Social Anthropology
SOSA 2503
Emma Whelan

The Job Nobody Wanted – Maines 3 Themes: 1. Androcentric definitions of sexuality and the construction of ideal female sexuality to fit them 2. The reduction of female sexual behavior outside the androcentric standard to disease paradigms requiring treatment 3. The means by which physicians legitimated and justified the clinical production of orgasm in women as a treatment for these disorders 2 Sources of Demand for Treatment: - Proscription on female masturbation as unchaste and possibly unheatly - Failure of androcentrically defined sexuality to produce orgasm regularly in women Relieving symptoms of female arousal fell to medical treatment “hysterical paroxysm” - Docs tried “capital-labour substitution” whenever possible - Was a lucrative market, patients received ongoing treatment, risk of harm extremely low Androcentric Definitions 3 essential steps in Sex: 1. Preparation for Penetration (foreplay) 2. Penetration 3. Male Orgasm th -17 century argument by Sydenhams that hysteria was “the most common of all diseases except fevers” - Marital sex unsatisfying since emphasis was on male orgasm, masturbation discouraged or forbidden, symptoms of hysteroneurasthenic disorders became an outlet - Women who did not reach orgasm were flawed
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