By Mark Nichter; Mimi Nichter
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Extra info for Anthropology and international health : Asian case studies
Of the 95 women interviewed, 97% were literate with 52% educated to the 10th standard. Chullawathi found that 65% of these women had used safe period as a primary means of birth control with 44% of the women currently using this practice. Fifty six percent of her sample reported that they had experienced an unexpected pregnancy. Of those in her sample who had specifically used safe period, 31% reported conceiving while using this practice. Of the 42 women currently using safe period, only seven stated that their husbands used condoms in conjunction with this practice.
Similarly, Delaney (1991) notes that women in Turkey provide the soil while men provide the seed. Notably, men’s and women’s contribution to procreation are differentially valued, with the male seed viewed as the sole source that creates a child and its identity. Also employed by āyurvedic practitioners are analogies associating a woman’s menstrual cycle to the movement of the sun and moon. Elsewhere in India, Marglin (1992) has found that a woman’s menstrual cycle is perceived to be analogous to the movement of the earth through the seasons.
A widespread perception was that menstrual blood is utilized in the formation of breastmilk and that indulgence in sex resulted in both a reduction of breastmilk and a resumption of menstruation. 21 Ethnophysiological notions incorporated from āyurvedic humoral ideology could well be underscoring such a chain complex. According to the āyurvedic humoral ideology, food is progressively transformed into a series of body substances from blood, flesh and bone to breastmilk and semen (dhātu). The interpretation of one popular āyurvedic practitioner was that as dhātu reserves in the form of semen become depleted through sexual experience, the body attempts to replenish these reserves.
Anthropology and international health : Asian case studies by Mark Nichter; Mimi Nichter