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DST 500 Chapter Notes -Michael King, Food Security, Cestoda

Disability Studies
Course Code
DST 500
Jijian Voronka

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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 .
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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