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Is women's destiny rooted in their biology? Since the end of the eighteenth century the science of gynaecology has legitimised the view that women are 'naturally' fitted for activities in the private sphere of the family. This book argues that the definition of femininity as propounded by gynaecological science is a cultural product of a wider, more political context.Read more
- First book on the social history of gynaecology
- A highly successful study on a hitherto unexplored subject, now out in paperback
- Multidisciplinary interest - history of medicine, sociology, women's studies
Reviews & endorsements
'Moscucci has highlighted some critical debates concerning women's bodies and medical practice. She … draws on a wide range of material and disciplines to give a focused and coherent argument which provides a stimulating and valuable discussion for anyone interested in gender, the history of medicine and cultural attitudes.' Gender and HistorySee more reviews
'[This] temperate but powerful study is a model instance of the successful integration of medical and women's history.' Roy Porter, Medical History
'The Science of Woman deserves to be read by anyone interested in the history of professionalization and the emergence of specialisms as well as of sexuality and gender.' Michael Bevan, Social History of Medicine
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- Date Published: July 1993
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521447959
- length: 292 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.417kg
- contains: 7 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. The Problem of Femininity:
1. Woman's sexuality and population concerns
2. Woman's place in nature
3. Nature and the environment
4. A theory of femininity
5. Physiology and social roles
Part II. Men-Midwives and Medicine: The Origins of a Profession:
6. Midwives and accoucheurs
7. The 'obstetric revolution' and eighteenth-century medical politics
8. The nineteenth century: obstetrics, gynaecology and general practice
9. Educated accoucheurs
Part III. The Rise of the Women's Hospitals:
10. Hospitals, specialists and nineteenth-century medicine
11. The first women's hospital
12. A moral institution
13. The Chelsea Hospital for Women
Part IV. Woman and her diseases:
14. The pathology of femininity
15. Surgical analysis
16. Penetrating private parts: the 'speculum question'
17. Precept and practice
Part V. The 'Unsexing' of Women:
18. Early controversies
19. A question of values
20. Pathological pregnancies
21. The triumph of ovariotomy
22. The Imlach affair
Part VI. From the British Gynaecological Society to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:
23. The 'handcuffed obstetrician'
24. The Meadows incident
25. A British gynaecological society
26. A college of obstetricians and gynaecologists
27. Restructuring the profession
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