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Unfeminine, Unhealthy and Unusual: Women’s Characterizations of Their PCOS Bodies

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Title: Unfeminine, Unhealthy and Unusual: Women’s Characterizations of Their PCOS Bodies
Author: Fabricius, Alexis
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: O'Doherty, Kieran
Abstract: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among reproductive-aged women, with symptoms and associated conditions that often undermine both gendered and biomedical norms and cause women distress. In this study, I illustrate how PCOS has been developed in biomedical literature to represent a state of being both unfeminine and unhealthy. I provide a historical overview of PCOS as a foundation for knowledge of the syndrome while also offering a critical reading of the development of that knowledge. I then conduct a feminist poststructural discourse analysis on interviews with women with PCOS. From women’s talk, I discerned four characterizations of PCOS bodies that yield particular social and material practices for management: Monstrous, Undocile, Disruptive and Impelling Identity Negotiation. I close by considering the conceptual and applied implications of these findings.
Date: 2020-09
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International