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The Body Inside Out

Menstrual Management and Gynecological Practice in Brazil

Emilia Sanabria

Keywords: abjection; bodily boundaries; Brazil; dys-appearance; gynecological examination; menstruation; plastic surgery

Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic work on menstruation and gynecological examinations and surgeries in Salvador, Brazil, this article explores the way that bodily boundaries are constituted through medical practices. Focusing on the re-enactment of the boundary between the inside and the outside of bodies, it analyzes that which is detached from bodies and, by falling away from them, contributes to their constitution. It then considers how the gynecological examination and vaginal plastic surgery can be used to speak of the problematic and contingent act of delimiting bodies from the inside out.

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