Globalizing Facts of Life

Globalizing Facts of Life - logical examinations and...

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Unformatted text preview: logical examinations and regfilar visits t'orthe physician, and who'does not have to hide contraception from her partner . . . From this perspective it can be under- stood that the pill has not found a universal aeceptance. I ‘ Interestingly. the dosages for the oral contraceptive pill were also developed on the assumption of a universal, standard female body with the same levels of es- trogen and progesterone regardless of diet, living conditions, genetic background, parity, or age. " - ' ' ‘ ‘ ' ' _ ,. .i. -.:..-, .1..- 13---)..nn STACY LEIGH PIG_G Globalizing the Facts of Life loin ality has beeh'the last domain (trailing even gender) to have'its natural, biologiz'e-d ms called into question—CAROLE utilize " 7‘ ' ' I I Iit'is April r997'and a'week-long refresher. coureefor' youth "peer educators," - ' by a Nepali nongovernmental organization {NCO} with funds aimed at er. Other-parts are harder to identifytindeedfome are organs that these-- "" ntslhave never had occasion to-consider, much less name, either be- it has never been _coneidered important to do .so or because these I_ _ 's_' are not externally visiblee—or both. The blaCk squiggles- on White; ' -' I 961:- paper are drawn from an anatomist’s or gynecologists- angle ofinspection, I and thesepeculiar renderings of the most infirn'ate-regions'of'the body do ‘ not neces's‘arily'match the landscape known tothe embodied self . _‘ When this worksheet was pas'sedtorne, 'I had a sudden flashback to the sex education courses I had sat through in church basements and in school classrooms as a teenager in Suburban Milwaukee; The worksheets whose arcane information wasconfounding the Nepali students might have been taken from-the same sex education textbook from which I-had been taught. _ ' For that teen-aged me, living some twenty-five years earlier injan American midde-class enclave coming to'grips with the so-called' sexual revolution, information about the reproductive organs, hormonal changes in puberty; the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and" fertilization was fundamentally inte- grated into my concepts of “sex,” along with "facts" about masturbation (normal), homosexuality (possibly okay but not normal}, and gendered dif- I ferences desire (girls have to be careful not to load boys on because the latter can’t contrbl themselves). I was awash in medico-rnoral discourses-on sex',buifete'd on one side by the sex-edunatlon classes taught by the gym teacher. and on the other-by my reading of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the bible of the women's health movement (with, furtive peeks at The-Joy of Sex sand: wichedin-between). I _ I ‘ ” " ' . ' 7 _ . - That Aprilin 1997, watching the Nepali students struggle withtheir work- sheets, it struck me that out-side of this training session there were few (if any) other ways that they would encounter this particular configurationof information _'about the body. I realized then just how "deeplymy-own body sense Was inforrned'by the sexual sciences. The facts of "lifeithat seemed obvious andbasic tome and that-shaped the way I handled my sexual rela- tionshipsand my _.reproduetiVe possibilities'Were not the same asthose shared by the rest of the peeple in the room that day. The formats which have encountered this information; the myriad subtle ways. it has always been echoed and reinforced my world, and the uses to which I have . - put it have made it—and the phrase itself is'telling.—"second nature".for me, Would it. become so for these Nepali students? I . Stepping Back: Sex Education ond'Persuasion ~W0rldvvide, health programs dealing-with fertility regulation,_teproduetive = health, andHIv/srn prevention are based on and actively promulgate a ~ particular set of ideas about the sexual and reproductive body; Planned- experts inpublic health and development, set up withinthe context of na tonal governments and donor-govemment-NGO relations, and tied to vi- , sions of seeial reform, these programs eventually take concrete form in the r' often inundahe activities 'ofe'ducatiori and service delivery. Some of these- activities involve concrete alterafions to the body (getting Norplant into arms condoms onto penises,- penicillin into bloodstreams', iron supplements intd gestating Women, etc.),l‘but many others intervene iii—the eocial sphere (e ‘ (,rmcreasing_'the ageof marriage for Lworhen, ‘ehCOuraging spacing of births,'-u'rging husbands and wives to'conimunicate about sexual and re. The 1ntemationaljzafion of sexology and the sexual sciences is not new}- The well-known: sexolog-ists ,of the late-nineteenth and earlthWentieth- entury Anglo-European tradition were widely translated, and contempora- utsidethe West (Dilcotter 1995; Friistiick 2000). The elaboration of these ported and parallel sexual sciences was linked to state projects of modern-- anion and, in some cases, decolonizatlon. And, for the most part it was a ourgeois elite who engaged 'with the new sciences of sex. Clearly, the sexual ‘ names have a history of being. entangled withvisions of social reform Althoughrlower socioeconomic classes and marginalized groups. have long been targeted by technological intervenfi'ons (sterilization, ‘contracep- I The education components ofsexual and repflroductive health pro- ams aim- to improve healthand autonomy by improving the knowledge I se from-which people make their decisions, but there are persistent, trou- 96I en biomedical messages and local knowledge. indeed, there find a way to strike “a balance betWeen respec’dng and ntial biomedical infor- building on what women know and giving them esse ). For instance, women are often urged to use ’ (Cornwall'zooz: 229 (such as the contraceptive pill, subderrnal or inject- able contraceptives, or the intrauterine device} with “no information at all on how the medicines or devices they are using work, or on what they do to their ' 1th workers do attempt to provide some explanation, bodies" (2.19). When hea they find that they are left to their own devi-C'es to search for metaphors that might bridge the gap between the biomedical “facts” and local knowledge. However, because women’s concerns__about the effects of these contracep- 'ndigenous understandings of reproductive tives on their bodies stem from 1 ften do not address their worries. health, even these explanations o cal knowledge into a nondorninating re feat. The educational arm 0 elf mainly to provi dical infermatio'n fails to ask bling gaps betwe is a pressing need to rnation’ invasive contraception Bringing biome'di knowledges is no easy health programs restricts its Yet an instrumental faith-in bioi-ne take on along with a biomedical view of sexuality people in different locales actually do with this info might seek from it and unintentionally derive about the processes through which people i disadvantaged circumstanCes come to have (or no ons that, in turn, medical view of their bodieséquesfi into account the various institutional stakes involved in this s dominant frame for thinking about these. issues T‘facts” with “beliefs,” “science” with '_‘values,” and “b The optimiStic hopes for achieving health via s that, on the one hand, tends to overestimate the i the world and, on the o of “'th‘efacts” to change degree to which the sexual and reproductive sciences are inextricably tangled in social issues. ' - ' hic epiphany in Nepal a r In this essay I extract from my small ethnograp series of questions about the international presenc " glornerate of ideas concerning the sexual and gnette'that opens this essay is moreithan a rhetor'i prompted me to aska series of questions about of sexuality and the history of the sexu ‘ I ' orking outwa abstract issues concerning the conceptualization Of sexuality. ' ‘ lation with local - ding basic scientific literacy. what people and reproduction; what rmation and what they from it} These are questions . r1 diverse and often severely. t to have) stakes in a bio! demand that we take ituation. The persistently iuxtaposes I iology" with “culture.” ex education sustain a- view nher‘ent, self-evident power flier, to underestimate the the relation between theories al sciences. In this study I trace some ' ‘rd from ethnographic Specificity to biological facts; and globalization. Note, however, that although I begin with observations from Nepal my aim is neither to analyze processes taking place in Nepal nor to provide a cultural interpretation of Nepalese sexuality. Rather, my goal is for this study to fimcti'on as a prolegomenon to the kind of inquiry called for sforrnations around sexuality. We livein a time when sexuality by certain tr'an gh international public health projects, is being increasingly biologized throu while, simultaneously, social theory is. prying it away from' with the physical body. Thus there is a need to reexamine the theoretical tools used for thinlng about biology andculture in relation to sexuality. 4 Biological facts elaborated through the sexual and reproductive sciences have been at the heartof the development of the concept of sex. A'historical ng of the codeveloprnent of, first, scientific objectivity with re- underStandi ing socio—moral debates concern- spect to the sexual body and, second, chang _‘ ng thatbody further confounds the self-evidence: of the separation betWeen acts and values, and points to how, on-a global scale, albiologized notion of device. Lest we become mired in a negative ex operates as a standardizing critique of science as a Western partiailarism masquerading. as a universal g the these. observations demand a robustly materialistway of envisionin ocial production of facts. . A Scientific View ,of Sexuality e .sexual and procreative body, and why is it ‘ at‘is a scientific view-of th whose headline screams: nt? consider the following news article, 5 “Epidemic Fueled by Sexual Ignorance." It sums up theca'se for I Westport, 'Ct (Reuters- Health) 'May.16'[2.ooI]——‘Sex and sexuality is at .‘ the Core of the-runs pandemicin sub-Saharan Africa and, according to a ea‘ding south Africanhe'alth ofiicial, researchers and politicians must involve the African public in amuch more frank and open discussion of human behavior if they hope to successfully combat the disease. ' '.“S.ex is regarded as a taboo Africa—youdon’t speak openly about it i' said Dr..Ma1e'gapuru William Malcgoba, president of the Medical Research council of SouthAfrica [in an address to the National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland]. “we all know that this is a sexually-transmitted disease and that’s the bottom he said. “we’re :doing everything except focusing on the real major factor that determines whether or not you get the disease." . . . a its association _ ' ., .:.i&mufifl:3§fibzm‘cm~ L6'[ .' period. As for ideas about masculinity and eroticlongings; or about moral . cirmu'n'stancesdwell, these messy factors can be evaluated in terms ofphys- summarizing-Dr. Mal<goba's lecture leaps from a view of sexuality that could foreground'the social (and thelocal) to avie'w of sexuality that emphasizes the biological (and the universal): Makgoba anchors the call for a scien- tific approach to sexual':behavior in biological processes. 'For him, a “frank and open" public consideration of sexuality isone that makes it'an object of .medico-scientiflc knowledge, and this lqiowledge is assumed-to be objective and neutral. I ' ' ' 1 African scientific and g0vemment leaders need to recognize that the AIDS crisis in this region is not just about statistics and treatments, Dr. Makgoba said, but involfves a complex interactionjbetween science, p'oliJ tics and culture; “The challenges facing scienceand its development today ' are no longer predominantly technical but largely social.” ' " _ Research into the particular cultural backgrounds and sexual'practicesr' . of Africans is almost nonexistent; he continued, rvvith no focus being ' placed‘on combating'the sexual mythologies,'taboos, and ignorance that inform the sexual behavior of many African men and women . . . “The ' ' whole subject of human sexuality in Africa is . based on hearsay,” Dr. - Makgoba told Reuters Health. Addressing sexuality scientifically, "will make a lot of difference to people, bothiin the developed and the develop- ._ ing countries.” ' I r ' ' ‘ ‘ ' - ' “Frank and Open" in Nepal: Putting into Practice the Scientific View ofSexuality. ' “Franlme‘ss”, means speaking about in a scientific land serological way. That this is-a tautological imperative in'public health became clear to me in epal during the course of myrrglgj'research on recently established mos revenfion efforts-5- The 'main issue preoccupying the Nepali NGO leaders, ealth educators,_an'd Ains workers was how to tall: about sex in fire Nepali ontext. International donors, program planners, and technical advisers took as a given that discussions about Arias required f'iranlt” discussions of sex; barriers were to be expected but could .be overcome via. some ort of compromise between frankness and. the. socially acceptable middle :-ound. Indeed, I noticedthat AIDS workers were not simply engaging in Theposition'articulatedhere by Dr. Makgoba (himself a: prominent virolo- gist) is a'complex one. It is a plea to confront the Htv'f AIDS crisis as 'a social issue. It is also a declaration that science must Override the ‘ipolitics‘" of the (merely) social disputes over the AIDS: problem. The basis for an adequate public response to AIDS would involve the "frank and open” approach to sexuality made possible by the clarity provided by medico-scientific knowl— ‘- e'dge—a clarity that could trump narrow political interests. With his call for moreresearch on “particular cultural backgrounds and sexual practices.” Dr. M_akgoba_recognizes that interventions require reliable contextual derstandings of behavior. Here the door appears to be 'open for conduct- ing re'searchinto the contingent, complicated, and changing interactions between personhood, gender, kinship-domestic arrangements, economic strategies; and other factors that form patterns of sexual expression and sexual contacts within particularcontexts. ‘ I H 7 I " Yet, in the next breath, Dr. Makgoba introducesa universal bottom line: these “mythologies,” stemming from "ignorance,"- must be combated with facts. The sexual practices that increase the'riskrof HIV transmission can be shown to arisefrom “taboos.” which in the hard light of epidemiological risk _' can be revealed to be shadowy collective delusion_s._ A penis a vagina or anus is an opportunity for the movement of microbes from body tobody—w emehow believed that the job-merely involved managing arrivals and depar- eswhen, infect, it first involved the laying offlie tracks. . _ . ' 7 ' 7 Through [AIDS preVention prbgrains, with their attached emphasis t1 SID preventipn, sex-Wasputon the public health agenda in Nepal in new - ys (cf. Parikh, thisvolume). The early 19905 saw a major infusion of nor funding to launch these programs. Under the rubric of disease pre- tion,_newlfonns of institutional. attention to'the sexual activities and.» nsciousness of Nepalis have-emerged'within a developmentframeivork, maringpublic concern (at least on the part ofthe urban middle‘class) over . e marriages, trafficking women, prostitution, and the moral dissolution duties, coercion, and complicated goals and tra'deoffs; or. about hard life .Séd by mogermzaflon (Which has. blEd into Evil-16,1: mt qfdévelgpmem‘ . . ‘ i - - ated problems):5 - - 7 , _ . . . . . This institutional attention took several'forms. First, because AIDS pre- - lion programs revolve around changing the "ngky” practices of individ- 5, some information about sexual practices is. needed, especially infor-' ' iologicalr harm (disease) and the “pure truth"bf what we know: about the sexual function of the human-body's In a single sentence, the news article mation that is seen to be quantifiable (e.g., the average number of clients entertained per week by a sex worker; the age of first experience of sexual intercourse; the percentage of young adults who have had premarital-sexual. _ relations, etc). Surveys of this type thad'neverbeen- conducted in Nepal: demographic research in support of population control restricted its facus to married couples and asked about fertility is sues rather than sexual practices. With the new interest in AI ns ander prevention, actsbf sexual intercourse —-fr'equenc'ies, practices, and partners—came to‘be of importance informing developmentobje'ctivesf ‘ ' ' a ' 'Second, ers acquired a place on the public health agenda. Previously invisible to national health concerns, sros had been regarded as an individ- ual problem, treated surreptitioust by venereal disease specialists or (more often) on the advice of pharmacy owners. Public health programs had con- ce‘ntrate'd their attention on diarrheal diseases, malaria, tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases, and'other major problems. The issue of 'srns was introduced as a national health problem because certain STD infections can increase the risk of HIV-infection. The public health discourse on ers was new to Nepal. and in this respect Nepal's experiencedifi'ers from that of India, Malaysia, and many eastern and southern African countries where colonial authorities, who were concerned the vitality of the male labor force andthe army (and, in some places, low fertility rates), had long viewed ers as a national problem. In these countries discussionsabout AIDS have kid-“Talldflg Together; Integrating {STD/AIDS in a Reproductive Health tended to echo earlier campaigns against venereal diseases, thus buildingori HtEXi-ra Facilitator GUide for the Training of Community Health Work: already established public frameworksln Nepal, however, calls for sexual re- ‘~ ' ” {CEDPA and SC? 199'7).8-This manual was developed to help a wide I straint for the purpose of dis ease prevention took hold-with A 1 n s awareness.7- ' V ‘ Third,sex education and "sexual awarenesa training” became core pro- ‘Manuals,_curricula, and guidelines in use. elsewhere in the world provided odels for questions on. “Knowledge, Attitudes, Behavior, and Practice” ABP) surveys; outlines forum and sex education lessons; messages for IDS awareness posters and pamphlets; and groupexercises to “desensitize” participants and to enable‘them to discuss "myths rand'mismnceptions" but sex; The curricular materials included-roIe-playing exercises to “de- lop assertiveness skills," step-byvstep directions (verbal and graphic) on ow to use a condOm,-’_' and pithy handouts on “steps'to behavior change." ese materials intersperse- medical information about reproduction and sease with exercises that encourage reflexive discussions on attitudes and ues. ' I i ' 7 I I I The international.templatesalways include a statement about adapting aterials 'to-local cultural circumstances. This injunction, however, conveys t’he'neutrality—and hence natural universality—of the frameworks-and the- orniationthey contain by relegating'cultural difference to. a problem of e-t'uning information deliveernderstandin'gs, explanations, objectives, ms, and attitudes that deviate from the established norm of l‘factsf' and onjudgrnental" attitudestovvard sexuality cannot find a place in the curric- in because these are precisely the misconceptions that sex education is ant to .correct.' "Facts" arepaISed from T‘misconceptions" in subtle ways. can best be seen in the lessons found in a highly professional manual activities. For programs aimed at youth, AIDS prevention was mainly interpreted as sex education (usually carried out in schools). AWareness seminars for adults also typically included sex education modules that of- fered information on the reproductive system, the sexual maturation of the human body, er5, and exercises for exploring sexual values and attitudes. - Efforts were made to train health'workers, including those employed in familyplanning programs, to be more direct and sensitive when discusaing sexuality. Planners saw these activitiesas providing the necessary seafiolding for achieving the concrete goals of reducing the transmission of ers and H W and increasing rates of treatment for the former. The guiding view was that more open discussions of sexual issues, together with more fact-based sexual and reproductive knowledge, were essential steps in accomplishing public health. ‘ ' " ' ,health care personnel and to provide‘them With lesson plans appropri- -'e to community education. It is thus part Curriculum package and part X‘tbbok. ' ' -- ' . ' V al," the objective 'of which is to ensure that participants Will be able to sure two of the strongest influenceson behaviour in Nepalesesociety—e rural and gender roles)” (Cream and sea 1997: 2); The firstexercise asks e group to‘ consider-the nature of'men and of'lwo'men, and the'n'name ' ..(“examples like both need water; food, love warmth") and differ; tes ("examples lilce-diildbearing, needing to shave, organs”). Thefa'cilita- 1; is then supposed to‘ieadarefiecn've discus'sionlon why characteristics re attributed to either men or women. The exercise also requires a coda 5ST 'iour‘s‘ (only Women do household work and only-men can with leaders _ . ing about Sex andgender. Indeed,- the c'onceptofa socially determined “gen- ' provided inputinto the'development of themanual. Few-if any of these 1' “l from the facilitator to drive-home the point; “Conclude by saying that the _ only diaracteristics which cannot be changed are the P-Hrsrcar ones; Other ‘ characteristics "like attitudes (men should not be sentimental) and'behayL ' A .1: am a communitylhealth worker, and. . ..-a friend, Ram Maya, came to r v151t me the other day. She looked WorriedsWehad some tea and talked a I M I ' intercourse.- She also said she had a thick and bad smelling dis-. and officialS) are created by Society- These. things can be Changeri by individv ‘ f 'Charge' from hm Vagina-1 She fat embarrasse‘i and Shy to go to the health- uals in the so'ciety" (z). The lesson here myolyes teaching participants to use 7 - I r - I the contrasting concepts of the natural] social to frame their conscious think- : Ipoat about this and it Wasv'ery for her to even tell-me. Ram Maya got this infection from her husband, 'Ieet Bahadur, who , workspas a. driver andttavels out ofthe district almost every month. Ram Maya loves her husband and he brings money for her and their 2 year old daughter so they can-lire; She and her husband are hoping to have an- other child after a year or soethey want to try for a'son. (4r) der" built atop sexual dimorphism is the lesson. In this exercise, local mean: ingsare dealt with by eliciting stereotypes and then by objectifying them as “wltur'al” ideas that may readily be changed through conscious effort. The fifth lesson, which concems basic STD information, suggests begin; ning lessons by asking participants “to. share local names. and stories they have heard about srns“ {37). An earlier Wannsup game. had participants whisper a sentence in'the ear ofth'e next person in line until the last person repeats aloud what she or he heard (thus revealing how information can become distorted) in order to show ‘,‘how easy it [is] to confuse facts." Then," in a smallegroup discussion, participants are to be asked to “come up with local names and myths and rumours related to local beliefs." in juxtaposition to the correct biomedical information about ers,,the handbook offers a_ shaded sidebar listing "some local terms for ers“ and "local beliefs" about transmission, symptoms, and cures. These lists pulltogether a diversity of terms and beliefs culled from the recollections of the health educators who terms are lcnovyn uniformly acros‘s Nepal,- and none correspond in'any‘ sim- ple way to the biomedical category of 511). Health educators who have at-I tempted toteach‘ about sr—nsremain-awareof these local terms precisely because they are not easily cenyertedrinto the biomedical category of srn. Attempts to discuss them in training sessions as “local terms for ers" can create more confusion than clarification. The structure of this particular exercise appears to replace inaccurate beliefs correct biomedi- cal information;.hoxyever, health educators first inculcate the concept of the STD and-then instruct participants to translatelocal terms so that they fit into this-category. Only then can thelesson, as framed, do its intendedlpedag'ogi calwork. V _ Z , ' V 'l 7 ' l- _ I ‘ The merger of "Nepali"; content into the medical frame is. accomplished ; in'yet another way through the manuals sidebar stories, For example, train ers are toldlto tell-the following story to the group; _ I ' 1%:W3M9-‘rama approaches toward Ains education thrust them into activities that required them to be “frank,” informative, nonjudgmental, and culturally appropriate, without providing them with much useful guidance about how_to reconcile - what, in practice, were frequently contradictory edicts. They therefore often felt 1the difference between what they were supposed to say, according to the materials in English from which they drew their own information, and what seemed to make sense in Nepal. . I was told by AIDS workers that they found something odd about the materials, something that didn’t fit into the slot left open in the curriculum ‘ for listing their culture’s values and beliefs about sexuality. What felt strange and foreign to them was the relentless attention AIDS work paid to the act, the behavior, the practice, the precise naming of body parts and desires-win excision of sexuality, as “sex,” from its imbrication in morally saturated ections. This excision was also variously seen as neces- - useful,‘vulgar, pointlessly impersonal, morally danger- I o-subtly not entirely . interpersonal conn sary, emancipatory, ous, erotic, and so on. But always-it was seen .as ever-s \l“Nepali." I Indeed, Aios workers felt that many of the words in the templates had no equivalent in Nepali. Although there are many ways of speaking in Nepali . about coitus, genitals, erotic desire, and the different kinds of relationships - deriving therefrom, there is no Nepali term that groups all of these under the ry of sex. In mainstream international AT D s discourse, however, single catego it is assumed that, although different societies might imbue different aspects . erotic, embarrass bisexuality with various values concerning what is moral, normal, and so forth, these values are superimposed on what rig. People can be asked to about" it or, in training their "values toward” it, or set up a program to provide referred to is the English we refer ing, desirable, is in fact thesarne thi sessions, "reflect" on "education" about it, or gather “baseline data” on it. The “it” domain that in late-twentieth and early-menty-first-century it]; And "it" is assruned to be self-evident. However, for Nepali AIDS to as “se establish the self-evidence of this particular workers, their first task was to domain. “Sex”: A Modern _Westerii Idea Social historians looking at sexuality in Europe and North America have ec‘ise‘ly traced the emergence of the modern concept of sex. They argue that; with industrial capitalism, of family life from work, of co of personal life from p01 pr _. “the separation, 'sumption from production, of leisurefrorn labor, litical life, has completely reorganized the context in which we experience exuality . . {Modem consciousness permits, as earlier systems of thou ht not, the positing of ‘sex’ for perhaps the first time as having an ‘indep-En- ent’ eins'ten'cef’ (Ross and Rap'p 1997: 164). It has been possible since the Ite nineteenth century, to imagine sex as a discrete and demarcated dimen-' sion of human lifewas an'essence of the person: as an arena of social rela- tions, and asan object oflcnowledge-and ii'ivestigatio'n.9 Urbanization altered I the traditional forms through which cominunities regulated sexual behavior and-alliances; migration separated persons from their communities of ori- gin; and growing towns and cities widened the arenas of anonymous public space into which people entered as individuals.” Concomitantly, the domestic sphere became understood as a “home"—a here of personal relations organized around emotional attachment and distinct from the realm of “-work”—-through an oppositional logic that sus- s the notiono‘f the “family” at the core of an ideology of intimate relation- ips-(Collier, Rosaldo; and .Yanagisako 1997: 71)I.'Although_these changes ed in variable, complex, and nuanced'waysiin different places and for '- ’ erent categories of people, over the course of the nineteenth century a ere was a- major shift howl-sexuality was regulated as well as in how xual alliances were. understood. These shifts contributed to"‘the develo' . enter" the con'cept'of personal life, .a sphere'lof individuality and self- veloPment, based on materialprosperity, but focused on the cultivation of ‘ dividuality, which'in its turn was to have important consequences on the 'ecification ofsexuality'” (Weeks 1989 [1981]: 29). I ' ' I r ' These social changes fed public concern over a range of problems associ— ' with what were seen as disruptions to “natural” family forms and 'en-' ‘er roles. Intense-debates 'over divorce legislation, women's rights prosigzit-u- r1, venereal. disease, legal sanctions against homosexuality, falling birth ' es, contraception, eugenics, and miscegenation increasingly articulated Si: re 5‘: O “'3 rd 5 (21" LT‘ n "U 0 LT‘ «‘2 a: S D; .—- I’D 0Q H E a: ' E1”. 0 :5 E. l'f (D H E O a CD ’0’ H O 0" F B [A O ._.1 U] Q t?‘ Pine (documentation of this is especially rich for the period between 1850 d‘IVQSGLJ‘Cuz'nUlatiYEly, the different ways that sex, as personal behavior sseen be at issue in. a range I'ofpublic social "problems" and reformist objectification'rwas 'fiirthered by an increasingly refined scientific tiny of reproduction, sexual deSiIe. and varieties of sexual behavior—a tific prolect thatwas itselfdriven by'the pressing social issues of the day; f‘Yflhlvv—vlc- u-.._. ,.i TOZ. I The sexual body cameunder me ' venereal- disease, inte s-looser sense). is tied up'with reproduction, the aesthetics of pleasure, alities, and the regulation of behavior then becomes a. question for ographic investigation. The-meaning of sexuality itselfwould have to be sugated; what is "sexual" cannot be assumed (Elliston 1995; see also Sexual “pathologies” became the object of description and explanation, and, through the use of scientific typology, sexual “deviance” became criminalizedr dical supervision through the treatment of management of childbirth, treatments-pf perceived aberra- -_ f fertility and sex change. increasingly imagined in There are ethnographic techniques for asking and listening that allow us osely follow local concepts and concerns andto arriveat some under- ding of cultural differences regarding what tire-call sexuality.‘?~_Yet it is. rthnoting that such a study, done well,- wouldlikely be unrecognizable as dy of sexual-behaviors and attitudes—at least in. the eyes of the agencies ce'nted with planning sexual health programs. We might say that al- gh sexuality is everywhere mediatedby meanings and struc- of social organizationit is not everywhere perceived as f,‘s_ex.-" I _ - -y dichssion would end here. but for the fact that sex (in the modern se, rwhich allows it to be reifi'ed) is culturally present nearly everywhere d where it isnit-there are powerfulinstitutions thatact assuming thatit namess the dilemmas of Nepali-arms educators and the lessons the taped “Talking Together.”l Cultures are not hermetically sealed units. Their rbolic systems. are not like the interior of a mirror-lined sphere that infi« tgly reflects back on itself (Fabian 1983); nor, inhistorical time, do cultures v ce Off each other like billiard ballleolf r982)._Sexuality is experienced ‘ cial matrices, through organizing'setsV-of public meanings, and Within a tory. Just as we would notwant to project Western folk theories of the “fly gender, sexuality, and the family ontothis reality (see Ross and Rapp ). neither should we pretend, that reality is an unchanging site of total difference unaffected udderprocesses of historical change. Fur- the historicity of sexuality-outside. Europe does not begin, suddenly, colonialismurbanization. and other changes associated with moder- Ahlberg 1994;”Setel i999)..So-called traditional sexual norrns Were r as stable and unchanging ascurrent AIDS-related discourse portrays. ere exists inmanyplaces a uddeand porous zone where multiple mean- and crosscutting socialprocesses construct s_e_'xuality.lr_1 contrast to this sity, public health interest in sexuality pres ents' itself as a-hard cusp where ’cular of modern, reified, and biologiaed concept of sex pushes st other sexualities. In practice, however, what international health inter- ons produce are frayed and flexible edges where knowledge and practice I ansformed.13 'Essentializing categories, whichr'polarize: l‘Westernf’ and _Westem" frameworks, are too‘ crnde‘to'account for these transforma- .‘ihejNepaliains workerer discussed earlier foundthereified, decontex— - lions of desire, and,- laterr through supervision o operationsBoth individuals and populations were relation to the “norm.” . _. - - __ -- _ . 7 'What we can see quite clearly isthat the-historical and culmral factors diat I rtwine'd in the social fonnationiof modernity» gave rise to a'p'aiticular View of sex and sexuality. “In our society,’.’ Surrunariaes Jeffery Weeks {1989' 7 “sex has become the supreme s'ectet {'the'rnystery of sex’) and the tence. Sinc‘erthe nineteenth century it has-been seen as the cause and ’truth’ of our being. It defines us socially and morally; its release or proper functioning can be a factor in health, energy, activity; its frustration is a cause of ill health, social unorthodoxy, even madness." For sex to be conceptualized in this way, it must, as Weeks points'out, be treated as unified-domainz-"notjust a series of acts, not a' collection of bodies which can 1; lie-eroticized, but a thing in itself, with its. general causations and specifie I effeCts” (ray-This notion of sex is also integrated into ideas about the self. Se 7 f self-expression that is deeply private and persOnal,‘ an "the essence of our individual being [198I]: '12), general substratum of :our exis is seen as an act '0 seituality is seen as Something mat is which asserts itself against the dernands‘ot' culture”,‘(12.}. . _ Questioning Culturolspmfirity- ' . If the ideas about sexuality used to plan_and carry-put most programs health are culturally and historically specific ideas masquerading as: to sexual universals, then do other cultures have other concepts of sexuality? I‘effrey‘ Clark (1997: 195) has pondered this question in'relafion to the Huli,.-a society: in highland'New Guinea: “Clearly "sexuality' as an area of study imposes Western framework of beliefs and analysis, which assumes that‘a category but does notask whether this is also a category for no relate exists ‘out there; Western peopleslike the Huli. experience for the Huli, it seems undeniable that fliere is a Huli discourse . about sexual practices and the body. If ‘sexuality"'is not (justla private affait but .a-set of public beliefs about the practice and-consequences of sexu behavior—and for the Huli these beliefs are based in and not separate from ' ch- equates sociornoral relations with states of heal ' 1 “i s cosmology whi tl'ieHulicould be saidtorha've a concept of sexuality.-’.' How sexuality r-vnn ntvvn-un muy— .- . pun- -.. . <2. STACY LEIGH FIG-G _orter and 199 5: 154) and "at leastin intentionhovvever compromised : . '. .out to apply the rigors of scientific rationality to a highly emotive area'l {ta _way that. Porter and Hall say .‘fprofided:.a radically: new way to .make malice, and remake knowledge? (:77). A language of detadi: ' . came to be applied to‘sexuality and in this way‘obje'cfivity in relation to latrialIntranets: acquired a plausibility. Yet stance has been (and I ues .tobe) equivocal, for it has been (and is)‘ used not just to observe- e- but also to justify actionsan‘d policies on the" basis of claimslabout C‘ture.‘ Eor'instance, .atthe turnof the tyyentieth century prominent serolow Lets campaigned for therepeal of lajvvs against sodomy, arguing that male osexuals. were nannalsexiaal variantsilt' I ‘ I ' ' clentific research opensfup nevv' ways to manipulate nature, and these a are quickly-linkedto debates '_about the sodal'jgood, The eugenics and I. control movements the first ofthetvvenfieth century are promi- - entrexamples (see Clarke ‘1998: Mort aooo [19871;glPorter'and liaJl 1995; eks 198.9 [1981]). Wifli-respecttolvenereal disease in the United States” 7 Baring World: I, forinstarice, newly discovered therapeutics (the wasser- It reaction, ar'sephenamine, and chemical prophylaxis) made itpossib1e¥ 7 edismay of morally-oriented social reformersa—for'the to control ereal disease among the: troopsjtluough'preyenfionl and treatment pro- olssDisease, rather than the immoralityof extramarital relations ' r‘sebecametlie' problem, and “the demands -.of scienceoutsnipped the I vestiges _of the; moral arginnent" through. technocratic manage- e’ntin the-name of efficiency (Brandt 1987:[r'985]:_r2r).By the r9355 doc- s- and public health oflicials actively. sought to “reduce the moral stigma __ched to'tliese infections, in order to make it possible for physicians to deal thth'em more dispassiOnately’firgy); I ‘ " A A I j - ' .I ‘ L ' I Mlle social uses of detachment veers not solely controlled by professionals. e first and second decades of the twentiethcentury birth control activ- Margaret Sanger -(in the United States) Marie I'Stopes'lin England) tualized, and ostensibly amoral discourse on sex distincfly odd—but they did ' not find it completely incomprehensible. Images of a monolithic process of 7 d global Cultural homogenization Westernization inexorably rolling towar “difference” as multiple sites of obscure too much complexity; images of resistance to universalism obscure too many connections. I Rather than trying to rescue animage of a-purely indigenous sexuality, . distinct and untainted by "outside" Western influence, it is more-useful to ask'what kinds of interactions, connections, and conflicts emerge in the aforementioned porous zones. What sorts of claims to universality become plausible, and what kinds of stakes do various actors develop? Wat-struc- tures support and impel the wider circulation of the modern concept of sex, ‘ and what projects does this concept enable? Who takes it up, in what con- teXtS,_ and why? How are other ways of knowing and engagingseicuality '1 altered, refocused, or reinforced in the process? These sorts of Questions . begin to challengethe tend'ency'to interpret events in terms of blanket con- cepts such as Westernization, modernization, andglobalization. . A reified concept of sexuality can be said to have emerged within the context of an unfolding European modernity. 1n present-day Nepal, however, it arrives. from elsewhere as 'a fully formed truthtacitly embedded in the, programmatic assumptions of international health. Here the authority of science merges with 'a compelling techno-ratiOnal potenfial to control biolog-' ical processes for desired ends (e.g., fertility. regulation, diseaseprevention,‘ the elimination of social discrimination); I I ' Z02 . Scientific Detachmentas Social Engagement: Ths Question." qu'alucs ' ' ' ' While many people-working internationally in development, activist move- ments, and progressive causes recognize the "Westerness" of certain values _ attached to. sexuality, this is not necesSarily the title" and “biological” aspects of these assumptions; Indeed, these “truths’ are usually the ground for action and, as such, claim universality._ Unpacldn the socially specific dimension oftl1ese. truths-can seem dangerous becaus a much is at stake and much is invested in the certainty of their universality. This claim to universality serVes a political. function by (ostensibly, at least I taking some aspects of sexuality out of the realm of moral debate. This may also has ahist'ory. I I - .— I - . The sexual sciences that developed in late nineteenth century "e deavor‘ed to escape-or avoid assodafionzvvith pathology, individual or social" 1: ' n m a: FD 51 6‘ H ('0 cm fi 9.. .4- O a tn .0 fl 5 tight to make fertility regulation directly available tolordinary women so 't they would not have to rely onlldoctors. (Sanger, who was also a supporter ‘ eugenics, later changed her-strategy,‘makiiig alliances vvith research scien« ts that eventually-led‘to the development of hormonalcontraceptives, an __ ovation that increased the medical control of fertility, {Clarke 1993].} In llglandyat a“ time when "booksellers required letters certifying legitimate 'entific orprofessional qualifications from customers seeking to purchase 'dico-sexolog'ical books on sexuality and reproduction, Marie Stopes’s ge-manual, Marrkdipvséchétllenged ffconspiracy of silence, in P‘YfluAYY-I'y\vfi FI‘VVF-Ihn-v-o- ‘—--—— _.. EOZ. . ects; and the more other projects, there'are whose stability depends on this fact, the harder it is for a dissenter' to question it (Latour 1987). '- - are, rather, at the mundane end of_furthe'ring_tl1eapplication of that Which is. already wéu established. Explanations of the mechanics of reproductive :' physiology, of contraceptive technologies, 0f "normal" sexual functioning, of a bundle that passes as “a scientific approach-to sex."-15 entr'enched strategies ofdis'ciplinarynexPansion.‘5 B'y' tiller-92:65 and order-t0 enlightenthe public“. (Porter and r995: 2.18). This widely circuf_' Iated book brought medical and scientific information-about sexual function arid- fertility into bedrobms through idealiiing'marital sexuality as a form r of self—expression leading togreater intimacy; Stopes promoted informed, frank talk between: couples; the avalanche of letters shereceived from 'grate—' fol readersse'elcing further enlightenment demonstrates that people Were embracing-the “facts” in order to rescue relafionships.‘ (Stopes's view of informed marital séxuality appears to be .a model for the current wave) of international sex education.) As all Of these examples Show, clinical detach- ment and scientific objectivity toward sexuality did not really lead away from ' Social concerns but, rather, opened upnew ways of dealing with sexuality as a social concern. Medical and scientific-howledge' enables new forms of so I r I I The influence of the decades of research'conducted under Ciality (Foucault 1978; 'Haraway_1997: Rabinow r996), r I I I l ‘ proachQ—‘not only-the distoveries thatresulted but also the modes ofjusfifi 'on thatdevelop'ed—rernains." ' " " a 'I I ' '. 7 1- ' On the other social'consh'uctivist approaches to study of ééxL ali'ty offer 'a'ir'enchant critique of biological essentialisrri and introduce autio‘ns against making inappropriate assumptions about the transcultural ‘ transhistoncal character ofcatego'ries used in comparative analysis. This nce fosters an awareness that-international sexual health programs con- Biologiadtion and Globdiization‘ I I The scientific research that we now applyto sexuality pursued many-separate '_ but overlapping paths, including investigations into reproductive physiology, hormones, genetic inheritance, sexual functioning, orientation of desire " and the range and variety of sexual behaviors (Hall 2000). In an era of x increasing professional specialization, the problems _of sexhality fell under the purview of many emergent domains of lcriowledgegincluding social ences (psychology, sociology, and anthropology), medicine (yenereology, j, gynecology, psychiatry, public health), biological sciences (reproductive physiology, _enddcrinolo'gy. genetics). Although not a unified field, cumul'a- ‘7 tively. this work has‘so‘lidified into a: conglomerate ofi‘dea‘s about the-nature of ‘5' the sexual and reproductive body. As with all science, influential theories and important-discoveries became-the foundations on which further research and innovation was based.‘ An‘ undisputed fact is-assirnilated into. other pro) .ough' “the facts? Yet if.ltl'1e history sociology of scien'ce has" shown nything, it is that‘th'edividin'g line between What counts as belief and what unts as knowledge moves over timeand changes in relation to the perspec. was from whichit'is V'Viewed. 'And these changes are not easily explained as e'automa'tic result of scientific progress. A social constructionist approach sexualitytends', ultimately, merely to push to a firrtherhoriZon the dues! . International sexualhealth programs are not cutting-edge science; they gender roleand sexualorientat‘ion, andsO on can be'wrapped into a bundle , ctionist argurn ent. How could a Nepali AIDS worker disfingfish between. ' ‘ ' facts and the folk beliefs that are melded within international approaches sexual health? Encounters difi‘erent conceptions offlie body, it's-possi- ties and its functions'jar us into recognizing how many'of our conivic. In the sexual sciences, claims “just” to‘ consider nature'zbecarne fimfly :5 I” s‘racvtrrcu PYICG _r;1n_hl..r77s\rr"r‘u=1:anwur hnv‘rrv- .-._ T702 "- becomepossible as arresult? Itions come to be seen'as . being brought into line with biomedical reasoning; ' knowledge (Yoder r997). There is a_ colonial politics of knowledge at work ' pertinent here: “conforming, adhering to, or constituting a usual or typical coupling we need a robust sense ofthe social processes through which ate'constituted so 'as to appear as transcendent truths lying outside y' particular s'ocial arena. Here, sotrteibasic premises from science studies rovide. better leverage than cultinalist explanations for about the lobalization of-biologized notions of-sex'.‘ First; recognising that the --eans offinding and describingnature is‘_ itself highly mediated, we. can tions are grounded in a knowledge of the semialsciences; Folk physiological theories surrounding conception and fetal development do not sirnply look quaint to us modems: they look patentlyuntrue.19 Relafivist principles van- ish when scientifically established maths seem so critically important to ' health and well-being that it, would appear to be morally wrong not to edu-‘ ' 7 cate people about them. Although's'uch educational efforts may have numer- Gus positive effects; they nonetheless relegate one setrof action-generating lmdwledges about the body to the status of *‘merezbelieffi’ Thus certain ac- ‘r‘illogical,’-' "superstitious," or, at best, in'need o'f‘_ underlying. nature that was simply waiting to be found correctly ascribed; "Facticity'.’ is a quality that “gradually'em'ergesi “To be indisputable A distinctlonlbetween facts; about biology-and beliefs about thebo'dy is used persistently—and'pemiciously—in international health,'and although it - may occasionally have strategic rhetorical value its main effect is to consis- tently position "culture" as a barrier to the solutions proposed by an expert 'Aésinnins'tLatOUI 19995397)- . s' __ ~ . _ Second, we need to conceptualise’rather than assume—nhow'the si‘on- of ideas and technologies oc'CUrs.'Numerous"det’ailed empirical case are taken up by-ofliersenotjust fellow scientists who judge the findings to ,be sound but people for whom-the insight solvesa problem, bolsters a case. 'here—one that plays itself out not only 'betweéanWesterners" and their or fiii‘thers an‘aim. The finding becomes indispensable to the extent that it is "others" but also across. divides of class—and this politics of knowledge determines whose views and voices will register. It has practical implications with regard to how officials, planners, educators, researchers-and activists have long made a similar argument bribe-cultural and pragmatic embed- jdedness ofbeliefs.) ' " . - 7 . - l , ' Third, weneed to be able to imagine‘the spatiality of claims in order address distributed diversity and inequality. If‘Tacts" acquire their “stick- imagine the purposes of their work. _ What is going onin international sex education involves more than “facts” replacing “misconceptions” and more than cultures filtering lcnowl- edgeabout the body. A biologized notion of set: makes other ways oflcnowing and having a sexual body merely local, only The sexual sciences define. the baseline of nonnality. The several meanings of “normal” are _ lunger,more‘extensive, more stable; and even.irreversible(Callon i991).1‘To extent'thati'certain premises and standards already hold sway {i.e., they pattern," “fiancfioning or occurring in a natural way,’f “the usual or expected - l statte2° These ideas about normality are at'work-in international arenas in powerful and uriderexam‘ined ways. implicit in the sexual sciences is a call to ‘ enter into a specific international modality of engagement. The question then becomes: How are these normative and normalizing possibilities taken up, put to use, modified, or contested by various actors? What kinds of action froje'cts than that of others. Proof, an event in one part of the world, can be a ' onevent in'anoth'er.22 As feminist scholars have-noted,_the processes of _ tabilizatio‘n'rnove across a landscape made uneven by the poorer relations ‘ . at organize difference (Star'rggr'; Haraway r997). “ , is why it is not very convincing to that the modern biologized latour (r999: 304') has quipped. is-f‘alivays an accusation leveled at others.”4 The ability to privilegedraiiOnalaccess to If‘reality"-Ig'accrues tothose most'firmly connected within the longest most. stable "network These. hold in the world because the semis 11914; and, the names and Conclusion: Remvisioning the M ateriality the Fact I Discussions of seicual and reproductive health seem always 'to'come to rest, ultimately, On a distinction between facts and’beliefsi-a distinction that codes 1 social positions within ahie'rarchy of lmowledge-and' povver. To work against '- F'nfin,-yI—u~-.~ _--_.-. _._. . . ‘ e3 c-rar'v 17:11:“ Brat: We W" ' onceptualize' factswithout- assuming- that scientific research merely reveals 7 the endpoint”'of matters of fact-not, as the empiric-fist tradition-holds, the , ftudiES of scientific innovations shows that scientific claims stick when-they ,7 ' 'elded with a wide. range ofinterests and- actions; (Indeed, anthropologists » power" through their ongoinginstitutional and teChnological use, then got allx'facts acquire the same reach of facticityJSomenetyvorksilbecome define. the very starting points- of engagement),rfacticit_y, as an effect of the ' ding capacity of wide networks, a'closer reach of'some people’s e'for sexuality, onthe lonej-handfanddifl'erent cultural frames'for sex- ‘ g ' 'ty. on the other,‘ constitute parallel belief systems,” Beliefi; as - “e "W ‘ m‘ gt ,l - ;: - .1 3 soc ‘ I f‘elcist” witth_collectivit-ies; they correlate with the workings of a "real world’l’ ' then we can see arenas of applied science-activity- in international health as ' invitations to new sets of humans to'become entangled in these'new'collec- _we theorize'seiniality, describe .seitualities, or agitate for certain projects of p , s'ocialreform, we are part of this-infrastructure; as are of the people who ' are called into forms ofcollectivit'yaround notion of sex. " the acquisition ofinformafion'alone does not change alpers‘on's sexual be- - promotion of sexual and reproductive health; there is a strong argument that, I : 'tive endeavor. A transformation of serial relations and. of shared meaning ' would, in this View precede modifications inindividual behavior: 'Seiteduc I tidn efi'ort‘s are'eften'envisioned public health and-health activisma Pekson; Rivldn—Fish). The facts of are sometimes. linked to project i ‘Gn ,crrarvrctcw nmr. notjust because a politically dominant group says they-should but because of the particular and'dense ways. in Which nonhuman actors (e.'g., _syntl1eiic ‘ estrogen, HIV} latex Condoms) are tied into fliem.. Facts are: indeed abbut processes, entities, and relations that exist outside'the human mindrBut they that has been brought into its current state through the entanglements magie - possible by the articulation _of the “fact” itself}? If we of science as a I_ ' _ I I. I r isof science reminds us, science and society aremutually produced.“ means hy which nonhumans' are. actively socialized into new collecti‘y’ifiES} I 4 I ‘ Rethinldng'the notionof fi‘the_fad"'_and thelrole 'ofscience in social change r evokes. a' set of Questions. about 'edu‘cation_tl1at_ looks quite different am the more commonly heard set. of questions about the acconnnodafion .2 difl'erences and the hamifiilness-ofmisconceptions ..-What are the tivities. Here, quesfions of science and society turn into Questions about globalization. r ' ., _ ._ _ _ (zoom-330) suggests that-“we can investigate'globalifi projects and " dreams without-assuming that'they remake the world just as theyiwant.’f2.5 The sexual sciences have been enlisted in an assemblage-of globalisit proj- ects, including-population control, struggles against gender-discrimination; ares prevention, and activism for the rights of sexual minorities: These projects bind the biologiZation of Sex to. overarching claimsgto and universality: The notion of sex has to acquire, its transcendence over What then comes to be positiOned as "Iotal‘belief and'practice.” Its global circula- tion requires what Tsing. calls a "material and institutional infrastructureof movem'ent’l’ i338). When-as intellectuals, researchers: planners, 'or activists _' ds‘ of ,invesnnents in which Soci'alrelafiOns shift, and for whom? What it e vvhat institutions; I'technologi'es', discourses, economies are people 'rkedto'join themselvesbygaccepfing these facts, and on-what'_scale do these tween entities? Latour has obs'erVed,-r."but multiplies the paths-that allow e to move from standpoint tostandp'oint’."- (1999: 310); g e ' - we'seem to be than eta; uncannilv resembling-the earl}? twentietheen- - ,inwhich the domainof'the'sexual is the foreground-of social struggle dintemational'engagernel'lt1_'Ihe hater-nationally salient notions of-sexual I V _ I _ 7 sto today's'movements ca‘nbe seen to have forinarded'pe‘rspectives asso- It 'i's‘vvell knan in both family planning and AI D s prevention circlesthat. ted‘mfll both flags Privilege 'and rad-Sm; then-this invites a humble: View havicir. (orfleven ideas about sexuality). . In public health discuSs'ions' about the- itelagajhst béfi‘é‘fs cofiéemS'Ifilé-O for: ii is'eemsr to wbflc t5 deméan ange of complicatedteacdonsm a :callio join in the este'nsive networks bothHIv prevention and fertility control should he enfisibnéd- as'a coll'ec- : , t around biologiZed notions of sex; If we payattention to the myriad ways which-locatedpeople utilize how science reconfigures nature, then a crit- understanding of the‘pohtics of the biologiZafion of isex‘ might emerge: " part of an'effoi't to shift eollective understandings: (see, in this volume, P This essayibenefited from many consttuctive discussions with :Leslie and Vin,- anne Adams. as‘ well as helpful exchanges. vvith Sanjay S'rivastava and-'Kalpana intents; together with those of 'the"anony1nous reviewers and Joanne'Richardson, cularisrn itself. .Yet this-escape'from social investments is never really ac-' ornplished;,thesodal investments are displaced because, as the sociallanal- ansfonnafions thatoccur-when {‘the facts" aboutssex are taken up? What - a def person invvhat kinds of social relations are people invited tobecOme? '- Itvvork's Operate? “Insisfing unrelau'visrn does not weaken the, connections , ' ' '1' and sexual rights caribeavehicle for certain struggles, 'and theseirual ences might indeed ‘be-useful allies. However, if iii-retrospect the precur— ' 'rn. Russ Westhaver Kate Gilbert kindly read earlier versions, and their 'coma ' ' me whenI‘ needed-a pushsl to field‘s-it Committee on South‘s. . ' mlwaaaweruefitfhm‘mfiueaia *' 1-; 903 I 2 '3 4 5 6. 7 8 ' participant-observation research‘w'ith Noos, including attendance at the workshop ' ' form. All quotations here are from theEnglish-language original.' 7 10. ‘ Under industrial capitalism the family was displaced from its role as the main _ emnoniic independence and, has. poss'bilities for early sexual autonomy. ' Asia of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned I Societies (with funds provided from the National Endowment for the Humanities ‘ and the Ford'Foundation) For making it possible for me to conduct research in Nepal. in 1997, The Social Sciencesand Humanities Research Council small'grants pro- gram at Simon Fraser University supported background research on publicrepre- senta'tions ofarns. "' I ' ‘ ' _ ' ' ' ‘ .1 thank Kalpana Ram and Sanjay Snvastava for insisting on this point. ' For instance, see'Pigg and Pike 2.001; Ram 19983, 1998b. _ - In the field of sexual and "reproductive health, thereis much practical reflection on both the gap between knowledge and actual behavioral change and the community and social contexts that foster individual change. Althoughthese discussions are, extremely important. my questions here differ from them in that they attempt to address the conceptual framework itself—a framework grounded in biology, inedi- , cine,‘and science. ‘ '_ _ 7 From www.mutersheirlthrom, accessed '19 July 2001. More detailed diScussions of AI us prevention efforts in Nepal can-be found in Pigg aoor, 2001b, and 2.002.. - ' I '_ ' _ ' ‘ The role of disease in bringing sexuality to public consciousness in late—Menfieth- century Nepal is similar to the effect of the venereal diseasecampaigns in the United States during World War I (Brandt 71937 {1985]}._ ' _ ' I Public health information about er5 is nearly always encapsulated within informa- tionrabout HIV/Mos, creating‘the impression among many Nepalis that STD is the ' I. Changes in the usage English oftl1e_word' "sex" mark the consolidation of a reified- domain of "sea" in modern thought; The predominant collotjuial usage of the word 'fsex" has gn'dually drifted some focus ‘on qualities and differences a ; maleness and feinaleness toward increasingly precise specifications of the "sexu ” as “relative to the intercourse betw'een'the sexes of 'the'gratification of \ sexual appetites” {Oagfbrd‘fingiish Dictionary Iona], Second Edition,'1989). It was only in I975, that the on: defined the word in terms of “pertaining to sexual in- stincts, desires, 'or their manifestations” (as quoted in Caplan 1987: I). To speak of coitus-as"‘having.sex" or just “sex” is a recent usage. A scan of the 0159’s usage examples shows phrases such as 'fsex‘drive," “sex ofi‘en‘ce,",“seir fiendg" "sex educa- - A tion',"-“"s_e’x partner,” and the like as dating no earlier than the late nineteenth'cen- tury; Phrases like feel: feelingg' f‘seit- consciousness,'_-" and,“Sex experiencle in use in ‘ the 1920s, soundslightly stilted to the earlyptwenty-first—century ear but reflect the newly distinctiveconceptof "sex," 'by then had become cultural common sense. Even“ though the notion of sex has remained tied to gender and to procreaJ tion, over the course of the twentieth century it has intreasing'ly come to be thought L of as at least partly detachable from these conCepts. _' I' ' ' V _ ' The term "sexuality" would have to'be understood as a kind of shorthand for a more complex task of exegesis and representation. at the outer limits of which even the possibility for a universal language of social theorydissolves (see Sperber 1985)... __ _ , ‘ The internationalization of gay identityis another instance, outsidepublic health, of homologous process (see Rofel Ig'ggbiAlunan 1'9 97). ' u ' firststage ofams.‘ .The-séar . , , _ , - _ . . . t -- I D I I _ ”_ ; p _ . . _ I guments WEIQ'ted' to emerging sc1entlfic understandin s of hormones, at Produced inNepali as ‘Aapasx Kuraakaani. Expatriate and Nepali health education t‘least‘ifi the case-ofMa- as Hits-J Eel-d in G - ahY (gauge 1: cited in. F3 5 D_. experts worked for a 'year to. produce the English-language original, while only a,- month was allocated to translate it into Nepali (Deepak Kolrala, personal communi- cation, 1997). Although. my discussion of dais manual is largely textual, _l chose thesethre'e examples becauselthe topics j‘ frameworks Were persistent rough spots in the training sessions. I observed. My discussion of these examples is informed by my Sterling 2000: 151). Havelo'ck Ellis; in England was. making a different kind of _ gum‘ent for the natural basis of homoseimal-orientafion. ' “It beargued that with respect to a socially mugged-subject like sex not all of 7 these ‘ffactsf' merit the label.f‘scienfific.’f In_reflecting'on the-claimsto universal Lutruth that are contained bundle ofideas.rit is tempting to to Separate . eshard' science from the soft, the good science from the bad, and in- doing so to airnto be able to separate; “real” facts grounded in nature from ideas tainted with V as suinptions,h'thus arriving ata real universality rather than at a mere claim universality. A critique of ideological claims embedded inscie‘nce-based asser- .no_ns has important useszut somesociologists of seierice; argue that it also has limits; namely, that the-idealof Separating "nature" from “society‘.‘ is itself a‘cultural yahie that lob-scores connectionsl'between nature culture . (Latour 1995). It is ossible, as an alternative; to see‘ “the scientific andthe social as‘part of an inextrica- lesyster'n of ideas:de practicese—Isiinultaneously'l'sddal andsdenfificlt (Fausto; 'ling.2ooo:148). ' " ' ' _ l ' ' ereproductive-sciences and serology are tre'atedéas‘ separate arenasin thehistor- cal studies of science; a compartrnentalization that itself reflects the cultural w'ork ' volved in formulating-the modern concept of sex. . 7 I ' V ' I n institutional contestsover the f‘biological side" the sidelf of , problems of were portrayed as separate, and research on the former came 0 predominate ensuring that basic triological research (mostly on at which themanual waslaunched as well as a conversation with Despair Koirala, whose job‘it was to convert the expatriate technical advisor's drafts into a "Nepali:l Social historians-have shown that this is a distinctively modern concept that arose gradually out of a series of shiftsfin social organization associated industriali'z'a tion and urbanization. My'account here drawsf'rOrn D’Emilio 1997; Ross and Rapp, 1997: and Weeks 1939 [1981]. ' I ' ' productive unit, changing the structures of -.interdependence between men women and parents and children; with implications for patterns of courtship, mall riage, fertility, and inheritanca. The meaning of "family" (as well as the structures 0 , actual families) changed over the course of'the nineteenth century. The'narure 0 these changes varied by class, region, and race, and their impactwas-experience differently by men and by women. For some, wage labor opened new avenues f0 arr-flu iwvr-ve net-r- ' ' ' lazy ‘18 . I nonhuman organisms} would illuminate the most firndameritalaspects of sexuality-1 . and that it would do so.through a rnore rigorous experimentaldesign. These just-iii; I - cations also helped to bolster the legitimacy of research on sexuality and .rep'roduc- ‘- I9 I paternity (see Franklin 1997: 17-72). It is not coincidental that Malinbwski asked: _2§.‘o 2.1 - sio‘n’t as, an'a'spect'ofpostmodernity‘in-h'er critique of David Harvey’s (1989) think- 'j ' ing‘labou't globalization; -' ‘l _ , “ ‘ "I _ i - 7 ' i -- ‘ 'Iatour (1987: root-says Ithatwe should be_'re1afivists"when Controversies erupt and . disputes are i31_fiill'swing.' but thatvve "should shift to re'alismrwhen no one else is 22. ‘ health programs reveals that Intour‘ is too.lqi.i.ick'to assurriea homogeneous world. 23‘ I i "belief" in a vvay that leaves no doubt as ,tovvho has the superior- mind_'(see Good -- 24 . ing of. networkschallenge's the notion that an encompassing network: expands avg: 25, I‘Vance (1991: 880); for'instance, has insisted that “a social constructionist approach. I. to sexuality must also problemafize and question Euro-Arnerican folk and Scientific : _ beliefs about sexuality; rather than PTQiéCt therri onto other groups . . . Thus, state- ' ments about the universally compelling force of the sexual impulSe, the importance - .of sexuality human life,.the universally private status of seicual behavior. or‘its" ‘ has been criticized for its tendency to idealize the expansion of neuvorks. Further,-it .- 'Haravvay-‘1997); there is a _consta.ut folding of the nonhuman , into the human, crossovers hemeen purposes-tandpotentialities iii-the world. What science and technology produces are _.ete_r more intimate 'fithbrqglios". hetvveen hurriansanduonliurnans;l'lfhese'entanglements_'a.re:inuttiallyfiansforrning: just as I social lifeiis :chan‘gejdihy'new ways-lofl‘chovvirig, training} and events in '. the niateiialvvorld, so nonhuman elements broughtinto nevv'relations.._1f vve feelgthat we know-“nick? novvihania hundred yearsa'gogjt is because of the increasing sesame tompiexityofthe' entangleinents' that'bind social institutions to nanhmnaiié- Brunei-am: "(1999: willie! inserts: Evita-s 1.1.910 ‘iifiagfilé' our- selves f‘societies’i that havef‘af-relationito-“nature”We observe‘or igs'é'bet rather segmenting gauges-m "of humans and segments formed ' 'fliough‘the proCess f‘hv unease cosrnos' c'oll'ectedzinto— one livable" whole." 'I a '6 tierel’Isiii-gis diallenginganthropologvtq 'm'ov'e beyond flté'svveeping claims about tion in the face of the continued‘stigmafizafi'on of researchers in these fields (Clarke 7 1998.)! qtfintessentially reproductive nature needto be presented as hypotheses, note priori assurhpfions.” ' . I 'i 7 -' ' ' ' 7 ‘ .. These questions haven longand venerable tradition'zin-naodem'anthropologu- Con- sider,_ for example, Malinowski’s discussion of Trohriand concepts of conception and'_ globaliaafibe as albistvsiclal esteem WW? P¥9CE'SS.:.'a¥i€1¢°teh§zfilg slime- this question at a time when the reproductive sciences were consolidating their most important breakthroughs and when this kind of information was being popu-_ -~ larized through marriage manuals. Margaret Mead’sl researdi in Samoa‘was also- carriedoutudthinthiscontext. - - j ,. r ‘ a "7 i From the-American Heritage Dictionary, New College Edition. _ -_ Although actor network theory holds that networks can dissolve as Welles berbuilt,‘ it 7 I. overlooks the problematic aspects of the standardization that a- long, stablenetwork accomplishes for those who live=outside it {Haraway i997; Star r991). Feminist geographer Doreen Massey (I994)_add.resses:the concept“tirne-space compresi' denying the-evidente: " ' e do not try to undermine the solidin of the accepted-parts of science."‘My example of the int'emdtibnalizafidn‘ of knowledge through sexual Unfortunately, the alternative to this-cognitive relativism pits “lmowledgel’. against 71994).-r it . '. _ _ .. Berg and _Tir_'nrriermans'{;ooo: 4.5} discuss thisrelationship between universaliza tion and what lies outsideit in a connected but slightly different vvay; Forms engaged in ordering; they argue', «Produce the very {units of disorders they attempt {opera cate.""Thisrway of understanding tlie'standardization occurs fitéllengthen an already existingbut disordered, heterogeneousfield," such that “there is nothing outside this unique yet-all-encompassing space except that-which hasheen erased subsumed’! (33). '— ' ' . :3 . .' ,‘_ .' ‘.' " Science is one means flirough which entities that are {'in theibeginning foreign t social life '. -._. are slovvly socialized into: our niidst’f: (iatour'r'gglgz' 2'59: See-ale ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2009 for the course ANT 126B taught by Professor Jenniferaengst during the Summer '09 term at UC Davis.

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Globalizing Facts of Life - logical examinations and...

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