A Feminist Qualitative Study of Female Self-Mutilation
Ellis, Rosemary Lynn
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This study is an exploration of the ways that female self-mutilation has been medicalized in Western society and the consequences of this medicalization. The goal of this study is to provide an alternative approach to the way female self-mutilation is understoodâ one that views self-mutilation not as a symptom of individual psychopathology, but as an extreme response to a set of deeply embedded social expectations. Using the feminist constructionist model, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five women who have participated in various forms of self-injurious behavior. Findings indicate that this behavior does indeed occur within a social contextâ one rooted in patriarchal ideologies. These ideologies also seemed to influence whether the women in this study, who had been medically treated for this behavior, perceived this form of intervention as a positive or negative experience.
- Masters Theses