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Lost Boys

An Estimate of U.S. Circumcision-Related Infant Deaths

Dan Bollinger

Baby boys can and do succumb as a result of having their foreskin removed. Circumcision-related mortality rates are not known with certainty; this study estimates the scale of this problem. This study finds that approximately 117 neonatal circumcision-related deaths (9.01/100,000) occur annually in the United States, about 1.3% of male neonatal deaths from all causes. Because infant circumcision is elective, all of these deaths are avoidable. This study also identifies reasons why accurate data on these deaths are not available, some of the obstacles to preventing these deaths, and some solutions to overcome them.

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The Penis-Care Information Gap

Preventing Improper Care of Intact Boys

Dan Bollinger

A penis-care information gap exists in North America where most physicians and parents do not know how to care for an intact boy’s penis, especially his foreskin. They lack basic knowledge and personal experience, which would allow them to advise or provide proper care for boys. Unless this gap is filled with reliable information, many boys are at risk for penile problems and perhaps even circumcision—something that the parents and the boy would like to avoid. The causes and problems resulting from this clear case of remediable medical ignorance are discussed, and solutions offered.

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Kathleen Wider

In this paper I examine the role of emotions in the initial development of self-awareness through intersubjective communication between mother and infant. I argue that the empirical evidence suggests that the infant's ability to communicate is initially an ability of the infant to share emotions with the mother. In section one I examine the biological foundations that allow infants from birth to interact with others of their own kind, focusing on the abilities which allow them to engage in emotional relationships with others. These include an infant's ability to express, share, and regulate emotions as well as her brain's ability to imitate the neuronal activity of another. In section two, I explore the fit between Sartre's phenomenologically-based account of intersubjectivity in Being and Nothingness and the accounts from psychology and neuroscience that I've examined in section one, focusing on his phenomenology of the Look and the emotional response he claims it elicits. In section three I examine the explanatory gap objection that Sartre among others could raise to my attempt to understand phenomenological accounts of human reality and scientific ones in light of each other. I don't have any final answer to this objection, but I offer some thoughts on why I think it's less of a problem than it might first appear to be.

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Beata Stawarska

This article discusses experimental studies of facial imitation in infants in the light of Sartre's and Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological theories of embodiment. I argue that both Sartre's account of the gaze of the other and Merleau-Ponty's account of the reversibility of the flesh provide a fertile ground for interpreting the data demonstrating that very young infants can imitate facial expressions of adults. Sartre's and Merleau-Ponty's accounts of embodiment offer, in my view, a desirable alternative to the dominant mentalistic interpretation of facial imitation in terms of the theory of mind.

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The Biologically Vulnerable Boy

Framing Sex Differences in Childhood Infectious Disease Mortality

Heather T. Battles

Demographers have noticed longer adult female life expectancies and higher rates of male infant mortality in Europe as early as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During the Western demographic and epidemiologic transition of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, infant and childhood mortality rates became increasingly male-skewed. I examine the changing awareness and understanding of sex differentials in childhood infectious disease mortality and the discourse surrounding them in the medical and epidemiological literature, with particular focus on discussions surrounding diphtheria. I identify the emergence of the concept of males as the weaker sex (the “biological hypothesis”) and the framing of boys as biologically vulnerable, and argue that these are products of this historical period, linked not only to observed epidemiological patterns but also to changing ideas of children and childhood and the shift in science and medicine toward the laboratory as the source of knowledge.

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Andrée Aeilon Brooks

One wintry day early in 1535, merchant banker Francisco Mendes Benveniste – the George Soros of his day – lay dying in his whitewashed, tile-roofed home near the Royal Palace in Lisbon. It was a pivotal moment for his elegant wife Beatrice, later known as Doña Gracia Nasi, and for their infant daughter, Anna. Not only were they losing a husband and father. The death of Francisco had larger implications that Doña Gracia, still in her twenties, feared almost more than widowhood.

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Yagoub Yousif Al-Kandari

The rate of consanguineous marriage in Kuwait is considered to be high. Several research studies have shown that marriage among relatives is one of the major factors leading to health problems because it increases homozygosis. This article deals with both cultural and physical aspects by examining the health consequences of consanguineous marriages in Kuwait. Variables such as reproductive wastage, health problems in the offspring and infant mortality are included and measured in relation to other socio-cultural variables. Cultural variables such as the respondents' roots (Bedouin and non-Bedouin) and beliefs (Muslim Sunni and Muslim Shi'a) are also examined. The results show that there is no significant association between consanguineous and non-consanguineous marriages in the rate of abortion or the mortality of infants and children up to five years old. Finally, the data reveal significant differences between the genetic and genetic-environmental diseases in consanguineous couples' offspring and those of non-consanguineous couples. Since some of these findings contradict those of other studies, more research is needed.

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Maria Alziro Seixo (ed.) Travel Writing and Cultural Memory. Écriture du voyage et mémoire culturelle Kathryn Jones

Deirdre Coleman (ed.), Maiden Voyages and Infant Colonies: Two Women’s Travel Narratives of the 1790s Vanessa Smith

William Dampier A New Voyage Round the World: The Journal of an English Buccaneer Auguste Duhaut-Cilly A Voyage to California, the Sandwich Islands, & Around the World, in the Years 1826 – 1829 Alan Frost

Tim Edensor Tourists at the Taj: Performance and Meaning at a Symbolic Site Sarah Pink

David Farrell Krell and Donald L. Bates The Good European: Nietzsche’s Work Sites in Word and Image Martin Albrow

Fergus Fleming Barrow’s Boys Carl Thompson

Katie Hickman Daughters of Britannia: The Lives and Times of Diplomatic Wives Anabel Black

Curt McConnell Coast to Coast by Automobile: The Pioneering Trips, 1899–1908 Rudy Koshar

Joan-Pau Rubiés Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes 1250–1625 Inès Zupanov

Richard Wrigley and George Revill (eds) Pathologies of Travel Chris Wilbert

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Back to the Future

Subjectivity and Anamorphosis in Richard I

Vance Adair

Internalising the gaze of the Other, in this case that of Lady Anne, Richard’s acquisition of a looking glass is accompanied by an idealisation of body image that is redolent of the ‘jubilation’ experienced by the subject of Lacan’s mirror stage. Briefly, in the mirror stage the ego is formed in terms of identification with one’s specular image, the infant who has not yet mastered the upright posture upon seeing himself in the mirror will ‘jubilantly assume’ the upright position (Lacan 1977, 2). The apparently ‘orthopaedic’ effect of captation by the mirror image would appear particularly apposite for a character that is frequently disposed to descanting upon on his own deformity. This transition from an uncoordinated body image, the corps morcele, to the Gestalt of bodily wholeness, however, is irreducible to a myth of origins. As Jane Gallop has argued, the mirror stage involves a temporal dialectic at once anticipatory and retroactive which is of paradigmatic significance for Lacan’s understanding of the relationship between subjectivity and the signifying chain