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Wk. 2 - Readings - Notes+Qns.doc

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Disability Studies
DST 500
Jijian Voronka

DST 500 - Wk. 2 – Questions and notes from reading Jan. 21, 2013 Berrions, G (2006). Madness from the Womb. History of Psychiatry, 17(2): 223-235. Notes: - Nymphomania shows a symptom-profile similar to the current notion of ‘sexual addiction’ - Caused by the abundance of “seed” 1. What does the creation of the term ‘nymphomania’ tell us about how behaviours become constructed as diseases? a. Widows and virgins are particularly susceptible to “madness from the womb” because they aren’t getting it regularly. Widows and virgins aren’t married, and aren’t under the rule of man, so your sexuality is not being regulated – dangerous b. Sort of seemed like propaganda c. Form of social control to ensure that women stay under the rule of patriarchy, also a way to keep balance 2. Nymphomania is a term used to explain womens’ behaviours. How are the proposed cures, as discussed in the text, related to patriarchy and heteronormativity? - Patriarchy = rule of the father, until they were married, then they were under the rule of the husband – since all property etc. were signed to men, if you weren’t attached to a man, you were pretty much screwed - Cures: a. Removal of blood to the point where women will not have periods b. Purgation c. Cooling of the womb through baths d. Injections of tapeworms into the womb, cooling ointment to the loins e. “Marry her to a lusty young man” – dominant cure - None of these take into account homosexuality - Read the commentary before the article Raimundo Oda, A. M. G. et al (2005). Some Origins of Cross-cultural Psychiatry. History of Psychiatry, 16(2): 155-169. Notes: - Argued in favor of the idea that there was an intimate relation between civilization and mental illness and that mental illness was actually rare among the so-called primitive people - Could just be a bias since asylums were located in large cities - Griesinger (1876/1964) stated that there was an increase in mental illness among civilized populations because of factors like abandonment of simply customs and religious values, exaggerated physical and mental pleasures leading to unhinged passions, liberal education and increased numbers of illegitimate children - But there was a lack of statistical support - Krafft-Ebing – stated problem was overpopulation and unhealthy working conditions. Also said that in societies “without culture” and “without ethics”, man would hardly differ from animals – lack of expectations inherent in civilized life would supposedly protect them from madness - Insanity among ‘primitive people’: o Between 1840 and 1850, important scientific periodicals appeared in France, England, and the USA, helping psychiatry to establish itself as a legitimate medical discipline o According to Moreau, insanity among Mediterranean people was a phenomenon intimately related to unhappiness to love and to the
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