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Viver a sexualidade com o corpo ferido: representações de mulheres e homens [Living the sexuality with the body wounded: women’s and men’s representations]

CARVALHO, E. S. S. Viver a sexualidade com o corpo ferido: representações de mulheres e homens [Living the sexuality with the body wounded: women’s and men’s representations]. 256 p. Doctoral Thesis – UFBA. Salvador (BA). 2010.

Available on: https://repositorio.ufba.br/ri/bitstream/ri/12921/1/9%C2%AA%20dep.%20de%20Tese%20-%20Evanilda%20Souza%20-%2009-06-10%20%281%29.pdf

Qualitative and quantitative study, grounded in the Representation Theory, which aimed at comprehending the social representations of men and women concerning their wounded bodies as well as their affective-sexual life; and analyzing men’s and women’s experiences with their bodies wounded. Carried out during 2008 and 2009, in a laboratory specialized in assisting wounded people from a public hospital in Salvador/Bahia/Brazil, the study involved 51 adults from both sexes. The data were collected by applying two projecting techniques on free word association and the Thematic Drawing-and-Story Procedure and a discursive technique on a detailed interview. The empirical material was submitted to theme-based content and enunciation analysis, and the free word association submitted to content and correspondence factor analysis through the use of the software Tri deux mots. The narratives led to three sexual trajectories: the lonely sexual trajectory found among the youngest, where the affective-sexual relation does not exist; fragmented sexual trajectory, characterized by several attempts to a relationship followed by ruptures and frustrations; and the linear or continued sexual trajectory, present in those whose bonds and sexual relationships were already present before the lesions appeared. The wounded body was represented as a stranger that brings suffering; a constantly observed, rejected, isolated and dependent body; a body vulnerable to violence; a body that demands special care and a mourning body. Regarding sex, it was represented as something good and is healthy; something that may worsen the health; something forbidden to wounded people; something impossible due to intense pains; something rare because of rejection, physical change and the desires; something experienced as a marital obligation and as a rare event in the lives of the chronically wounded. While wounded women represent their bodies as disgusting and not really attractive, that must be hidden to avoid repulse and curious eyes, wounded men represent their bodies as fragile, incapable for work, confronted to the image of a strong, aggressive and virile man. The representation forms elaborated by women and men are distinct in the private sector and in the public sector: in the private sector, light short clothes showing the body are permitted while in the public sector, the clothing covers a body represented as incomplete before the social world. The comprehended representations highlight that the experience of the wounded body implies social life limitations, diet taboos, physical pain, difficulty for self caring, self-esteem alterations, shyness, self-prejudice, isolation, stigma and social rejection. The representations about the wounded body influence the way ill men and women present their bodies, the way they feel before other people, and the behavior due to wound-related changes. What stands out in a society like the Brazilian, that favors the efficient, perfect and pretty body, losing the cutaneous integrity means losing the status of normal and healthy to integrate a different and stigmatized group, and experiencing a body that turns out strange to oneself.

Walter Trinca Copyright 2001 – All rights reserved.

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