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Women’s gout and men’s impotence. Gendered illness experience and active involvement in the search for relief in 17th and early 18th century Spain

AuthorsSchmitz, Carolin
Issue Date2016
CitationESSHC (2016)
AbstractIn the last 30 years, the history of the patient has become an established research field in the European social history of medicine. Nonetheless, in the Spanish early modern historiography, the patient as a historic category only recently and in few exceptions starts to be taken into consideration. As a contribution to fill this gap, the author's current research project seeks to reconstruct the perceptions and behaviors of the sick in 17th and early 18th century Castile. Embedded in this broader project, the present paper aims to shed light on the specific gendered experience of illness. By drawing on diverse archival sources - testimonies of patients from inquisitorial trials and criminal law proceedings as well as patient letters - it explores distinct patterns of conduct of women and men when falling ill, either themselves or another person closely related to them. Particular interest will be set on therapeutic choices made by women leading to inner family conflicts; on the active collaboration of female and male members of the household in curing and caring tasks; and, on communicative strategies applied by men to overcome a highly gendered disease such as impotence.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado a la 11th European Social Science History Conference, celebrada en Valencia (España) del 30 de marzo al 2 de abril de 2016.
Appears in Collections:(INGENIO) Comunicaciones congresos
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