The body and the stigma. Defloration as an act of building femininity Cover Image

Ciało i piętno. Defloracja jako wytwarzanie kobiecości
The body and the stigma. Defloration as an act of building femininity

Author(s): Anna Zawadzka
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Psychology, Personality Psychology
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: virginity; penetration; stigma; body; blood; the social construct of gender; social control; sociology of the body; sociology of medicine; sociology of sexuality

Summary/Abstract: The paper offers an analysis of the cultural meanings of the bodily attributes and practices related to virginity and defloration; the most important are “bloodstains” (a sign of the loss of virginity) and “penetration” (regarded as the only “true” form of sexual intercourse). The obligation to present the defloration and the shame that accompanies it are the vantage point to the analysis of the forms of stigmatizing femininity. A deconstruction of the meanings acquired by penetration led me to a conclusion that the cause-effect relation between gender and culturally defined sexual practices (including sexual orientation) is not only inseparable, but also different than it has usually been thought. It is not the gender that determines an individual’s sexuality, but the culturally imposed sexual practices build the gender.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 472-527
  • Page Count: 56
  • Language: Polish