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Talking About Sexuality: Desire, Virility, and Intimacy in the Context of Prostate Cancer Associations
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1588-135X
2008 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The number of middle-aged men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer has increased in recent decades. The aim of this study was therefore to explore how some of these middle-aged men experienced and talked about their sexuality. Four focus group discussions were performed in the context of associations for prostate cancer. Using qualitative content analysis, it was identified how the diagnosis was a threat to their male identity; the men‟s vulnerability as a group in society was made explicit. Their sexuality was diminished by their illness experiences, which was also connected with silence and sorrow. Their contact with health care services was precarious and as patients they often played a passive role when or if discussing issues of sexuality. The possibility of voluntarily joining a cancer association was probably highly beneficial for these men. During the sessions, several men expressed the opinion that it is always great to talk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
Keyword [en]
Sexuality, prostate cancer, masculinity, qualitative content analysis
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72338OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-72338DiVA: diva2:459213
Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2013-09-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sexuality in the aftermath of breast and prostate cancer: Gendered experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sexuality in the aftermath of breast and prostate cancer: Gendered experiences
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sexuality is a sensitive topic in health care and is often interpreted through a natural scientific lens as just corresponding to sexual dysfunction and fertility problems. The purpose of this thesis was to describe sexuality and its outcomes in two cancer populations. Women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer in all stages were invited to participate. In this thesis, these two populations are restricted to age groups between 45 and 65 years, since there are reasons to believe that younger people are more vulnerable to sexuality changes. Lifeworld, gender, and sexuality are three concepts of importance in this thesis and they are used from the viewpoint of nursing care.

Phenomenological interviews (I, III) and focus group interviews (II, IV) were carried out with a total number of 46 informants. The EPP-method (Empirical Phenomenological Psychological) was used (I, III) in order to grasp the lived experience, and qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the seven focus groups (II, IV).

The lifeworld experiences of those women and men were comparable. The changes brought by the cancer and its treatment were a threat to their very existence, their existential base of knowledge had gone and alienation occurred (I, III). For the women, this was illustrated through the metaphor of a bird which is pinioned and unable to fly anymore. For the men it was expressed in the essential meaning “to lose the elixir of life”. Both women and men suffered, sexuality changed from one day to another and they handled it individually. Changed body appearance, and feeling old and unattractive were, for the women, the dominating features, whilst for the men changed desire and erection problems were their main concerns. The findings from the group discussions (II, IV) elucidate the gendered differences in these two contexts. The aim of the women was to look healthy and attractive and for the men the ability to have an erection was important. Neither of these two groups of people was able to meet their aims. On the other hand, being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease they were not in a position to claim preserved sexuality. This opens up existential questions that need to be confirmed in health care. To succeed in this, a change of perspective is required in health care. It should be possible to use human science to the same extent as natural science in health care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 71 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1263
Keyword
Breast cancer, prostate cancer sexuality, gender, lifeworld, psycho social oncology
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72339 (URN)978-91-7393-064-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-16, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2013-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Klaeson, KickiSandell, KerstinBerterö, Carina

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