Selling Sex: Erectile Dysfunction Treatments, Consumption, and Culture

John A. Carranza // In January 2020, Governor Gary Herbert of Utah suspended an HIV prevention campaign that used state-related sexual innuendo on condom packages to promote safer sex. For example, “Don’t Go Bare” was written over a bear’s backside. The issue, at least for Governor Herbert, was the use of taxpayer money that utilized…

Listening to patients: learning from sobreparto

Emilie Egger // Imagine calling to check up on a friend who has recently given birth. Five weeks postpartum, she tells you she barely has the energy to get out of bed to take care of her baby. Because her family had moved to a new city for work—away from her support system—her partner couldn’t…

“Young people never are what they were in somebody else’s day.”: Sex Education, Margaret Mead, and History

John A. Carranza // On October 29, 2019, the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved a new sex education curriculum that will teach students about gender identity and same-sex relationships, consent and interpersonal relationships, as  well as abstinence-plus (abstinence is the best way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, but still conveys…

Review: Cesarean Sections & Risk: Ongoing Evolution of a Procedure

John A. Carranza // On September 19, 2019, the website Motherly posted an article entitled “These Birth Photos Prove How Beautiful Clear Drape C-Sections Can Be.” Heather Marcoux, the author,  explained what “gentle cesarean sections” are and how they have come to transform the cesarean section procedure in contemporary medicine. Previously, the operation included physicians…

Bentham’s Auto-Icon

Lesley Thulin // Jeremy Bentham, one of the founders of modern utilitarianism, has an old saw about pushpin. In The Rationale of Reward (1825), a treatise on the legislation of discipline, Bentham invokes the nineteenth-century tavern game to weigh the relative virtues of recreational activities and art. Framing the issue in the terms of his…

Natural Birth: An Introduction

Jennifer Edwell // Recently, there have been a number of articles by health journalists and bioethicists critiqing the concept of “natural birth.” In these projects, writers investigate where the term natural birth comes from and how it affects the way people understand and regard birth experiences (see Martucci, 2018; Tucker, 2018). For example, in May…

Medicine in the Archive: Exploring Feminism and Nursing

John A. Carranza // Being a historian comes with no better rite of passage than to enter the archive. Regardless of the time period or topic chosen by the researcher, sorting through the documents is exciting for me because I am able to engage in an imaginative and interpretative exercise where I consider why a…

Sewing the Tapestry of the History of Psychiatry: Anne Harrington’s ‘Mind Fixers’

David Robertson // Over the last twenty years, considerable scholarly contributions have been made to the history of psychiatry. We have had historical analyses of the concept of “nerves” and “neurasthenia,” of “trauma” and the emergence of diagnoses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.[1] Historians have examined the material settings of neuropsychiatric efforts to localize brain…