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A discussion of greek stereotypes of women

They also highlight cultural differences in perceptionsof reproduction, fertility and menstruation. It is usually characterised by pelvic and abdominal pain, lower back pain, and deep dyspareunia pain on deep penetration during sexual intercourse ; other symptoms, such as urinary and bowel dysfunction, may be present in some women.

From womanhood to endometriosis: findings from focus groups with women from different ethnic groups

The symptoms usually fluctuate in a cyclical manner, but the pain can be constant. Although there are many medical and surgical interventions for endometriosis, there is no definitive cure.

  • However, in more informal meetings or events, Greeks may often show up several minutes late, and it is not taken very seriously;
  • The Greek women also spoke of the pressure on them to have children;
  • Yes, sometimes, daily work is relaxed in terms of your responsibilities, but do not forget that you have to prove you are productive and that you care about your job;
  • This stage was further refined as each member of the team fed in their interpretation of various quotes, and during discussion at team meetings.

There is growing evidence in the research literature about the experience of living with endometriosis. Within this body of work, a picture of many years of pain is consistently catalogued, along with difficulties and delay in getting a diagnosis and treatment, negative effects on work, social relationships and family life, and poor experiences in the healthcare system Cox et al, 2003; Whelan, 2003, 2007; Denny, 2004a; Jones et al, 2004; Huntington and Gilmour, 2005.

However, such important studies are largely confined to women from majority white communities. Little is known about the incidence of endometriosis by ethnicity, or of the specific experiences or needs of minority groups Cramer and Missmer, 2002; Kyama et al, 2004.

  1. All of the groups spoke of religious or cultural taboos relating to menstruating women, based on the idea of the menstruating woman as unclean, or as potentially causing harm to others. On the other hand, we think that you are not the busiest and the most working people.
  2. This led to great limitations on young women's freedom of movement and on their sexuality during their reproductive years, whether they were married or unmarried Keuls 1985.
  3. They even included some Greek elements during her wedding and danced syrtaki. On the not so bright side, the language of many Greeks I know is rough, dirty and jumps easily to extreme conclusions.

Within the study, which was funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research, we also explored the experiences of women with endometriosis from these five minority ethnic groups phase 2and the attitudes and information needs of healthcare providers phase 3.

A paper addressing the second phase of the study and the overall outcomes is in preparation. Background Endometriosis is a condition characterised by a largely hidden stigma Goffman, 1963which affects intimate aspects of female bodies.

The experience of endometriosis is thus gendered, both physiologically and culturally, and concepts surrounding it are bound up with other gendered and culturally variable concepts such as womanhood, menstruation and reproduction.

There are no robust published data on ethnic differences in the prevalence ofendometriosis Shaw et al, 2003or data on how women with endometriosis, who are members of minority ethnic communities, experience healthcare.

We know from many other studies that healthcare systems in many societies do not always respond appropriately to the needs of minority groups, and that minority ethnic patients in developed societies generally evaluate care more negatively than white majority patients Aspinall and Jacobson, 2004; Bhopal, 2007; Mead and Roland, 2009. The experience of both illness and healthcare is multifaceted. Illness behaviour and themedical response to this are clearly mediated by ethnic and cultural difference Denny, 2009.

The experience of endometriosis for all women is bound up with cultural representations of menstruation. Although ideas relating to menstruation are historically and culturally specific, most societies have some taboos or rituals concerned with the menstruating woman. Interestingly, it is cultures other than the dominant white cultures that have most frequently been studied in terms of menstrual taboos.

This, Laws argues, a discussion of greek stereotypes of women complacency about how menstruation is dealt with in the UK, and by extension in other developed, post-industrial countries. Britton 1996 found that, from an early age, women learned negative images of menstruation, associated with bleeding and pain. Yet women are also told that menstruation is a normal and natural event, something that marks one as a mature woman who is capable of reproduction. Seear 2009 argues that the stigmatisation of menstruating women as discreditable is associated with concealment and a consequent reluctance to disclose the symptoms of endometriosis.

Even when women identify that their experience is not normal, obstacles such as criticism and the trivialising of pain by family, employers and others deter them from seeking professional help.

For example, Helman 2007, p. However, Laws 1990 warns against the conflation of these types of taboo and the rules of etiquette, which may be quite minor cultural markers of menstruation, and emphasises diversity of cultural practice.

It has to be remembered that, for many societies and for much of history, menstruation was a rare occurrence for women, who were either pregnant, breastfeeding or malnourished for many of their reproductive years, and therefore it may also have been viewed as something out of the ordinary.

Cultural ideas of reproduction and motherhood can also influence how women experience endometriosis, because it is implicated in infertility.

Helman 2007 states that, in societies where the desire for high rates of childbearing is low and where contraception is easily available, sex gradually becomes divorced from fertility, and practices that do not lead to pregnancy are more widely tolerated. Conversely, if large families are highly desirable, then sex and fertility are conceptually intertwined, and sex outside marriage is not tolerated.

  • The empty life of the Greek woman of the upper or middle class, deprived of interest or gratifications, was not even repaid by the knowledge that her relationship with her husband was exclusive;
  • Women were also asked about the experience of menstrual pain, and how this was dealt with within their community.

Whether or not sex is seen as purely for the purpose of procreation, most contemporary societies are pronatalist Letherby, 1999. They display attitudes and policies that are pro-motherhood and encourage reproduction at least in some sections of the population Culley and Hudson, 2009. Infertility, whether voluntary or not, is considered deviant or abnormal, and childlesswomen are seen as not realwomen Letherby, 1999; Culley and Hudson 2009.

Although expectations about childbearing for normative adulthood are dominant in most societies, the intensity of such attitudes and the impact on women and men is culturally diverse. A range of studies of cultural differences in the experience of infertility within low-resource and developed countries van Balen and Inhorn, 2002; Culley et al, 2006 have demonstrated the often devastating consequences for the social and psychological well-being of women in particular.

In their study of infertility in South Asian communities in the UK, Culley and Hudson 2006 found a very intense pronatalist ideology, withmarriage being almost universal and infertility being highly stigmatised. Study design The sensitive nature of the topic and the need to sensitise the research team to the views of the communities in the study meant that a qualitative design was deemed appropriate for this study Green and Thorogood, 2004; Atkin and Chattoo, 2006.

A multiphased approach was adopted in order to obtain the views and experience of a range of stakeholders whose attitudes and behaviours may influence the experience of endometriosis Whelan, 2007.

Phase 1 of the Endocul Project focused on healthy women, who were each invited to take part in one focus group with other members of the minority group to which they belonged see Table 1. The aim was to gain insight into community views, values and practices regarding reproductive issues such as womanhood, reproduction and sexuality which gave a cultural context for the experience of endometriosis among women from minority ethnic groups.

A discussion of greek stereotypes of women groups can serve a useful function by setting data in context during the exploratory phase of a project Culley et al, 2007.

  • Journal of Advanced Nursing 46;
  • Generally, colleagues use first names to address each other on a daily basis.

They can a discussion of greek stereotypes of women allow participants to a discussion of greek stereotypes of women to the fore issues of significance to them Bryman, 2008and offer a reflexive framework for the nature of attitudes and the construction of issues Waterton and Wynne, 1999.

This was particularly appropriate in order to maximise interactions between the participants, and in providing access to a shared culture. In researching sensitive issues such as sexuality and reproduction, a natural group with similar people may encourage more openness than other types of interview situation, and solidarity stemming from shared problems may encourage more free expression of opinions Wilkinson, 1999. The researchers in this study were particularly interested in how the participants discussed the issues raised as members of a social group, rather than as individuals.

The goal was to elicit community perspectives rather than personal views. Thus, as well as showing solidarity, individuals could challenge or refute the views of another as not reflective of the culture Bryman, 2008. Details of focus group participants Ethical approval Ethical approval for the study was obtained from North Staffordshire Local Research Ethics Committee in March 2008. Method Community facilitators were recruited from the target minority ethnic communities to conduct the focus groups.

Their role was to organise, facilitate and transcribe focus group discussions that took place with members of their community group, and to verify the translated participant information sheets. Most of them were experienced in conducting focus groups, and all of them attended a one-day training event designed to familiarise them with the aims of the project and to provide background information on endometriosis. They also played an important role in discussing a draft of the focus group guide drawn up by the research team, and were able to input suggestions relevant to the cultural context of their own communities.

In discussing this guide the team of facilitators were able to develop some conceptual consistency of the instrument across the different culture and languages Culley et al, 2007. As endometriosis is a gendered condition that can potentially affect fertility, the focus group guide included issues for discussion about gender and ethnic identity, menstruation, and reproductive health, as well as endometriosis see Box 1.

It was important that the main issues raised during discussions were interpreted with relevance, as meanings are often lost in the literal translation of terms Mehta, 2005. Women a discussion of greek stereotypes of women recruited to the focus groups by the community facilitators and through contacts of the research team. The only criterion for selection was a willingness to discuss issues relating to reproductive health with other women from their community.

This ensured a consistent approach, thus increasing reliability Kidd and Parshall, 2000. The researcher and facilitator set ground rules for the conduct of the groups, in terms of keeping the discussion confidential and respecting the views of other members.

The Chinese focus group was conducted solely by the community facilitator in Chinese. The researcher had no understanding of the language, and merely sat through the discussion, although they noted non-verbal cues. This is consistent with the findings of Chiu and Knight 1999who observed an effect on group dynamics when discussion was interrupted by translations.

The focus group discussions lasted between 54 minutes and 2 hours. Analysis Each focus group discussion was transcribed verbatim, and, in the case of the Chinese discussion, translation was carried out by the community facilitator, and verified by one of the Chinese focus group members Mehta, 2005.

All members of the research team familiarised themselves with the transcripts and identified initial themes. The team then discussed these at length and reached a consensus on key themes. Verification occurred through discussion about the analyses, comparison and subsequent consensus Braun and Clarke, 2006. The community facilitators also had an input into this analysis by commenting on and validating the themes identified and providing additional insight into the context, thus enhancing the dependability of the research process Culley et al, 2007.

One member of the team then performed an indepth analysis drawing on the information generated from the preliminary analysis, which was guided by framework analysis Ritchie and Spencer, 1994which categorises data analysis into five key stages, namely familiarisation, identifying a thematic framework, indexing, charting, and mapping and interpretation. The team member who had been present at all but one of the focus groups verified the transcripts, which added to the credibility of the study.

She was involved in the preliminary analysis, and had therefore internalised the data. A framework was developed from the themes previously agreed by the research team. Indexing, charting and coding were aided by qualitative software NVivo version 8. The data were coded in accordance with the thematic framework, again using NVivo version 8.

The final stage of framework analysis, namely mapping and interpretation, was undertaken by sorting the data by theme, identifying patterns in the data and piecing these together to form a story. This stage was further refined as each member of the team fed in their interpretation of various quotes, and during discussion at team meetings. The African Caribbean group described women in their community as leaders, in the forefront of community life.

Joyce Silberstang

They felt themselves to be empowered a discussion of greek stereotypes of women independent. All of them were in paid work and were the main breadwinners for their families. I think especially nowadays men realise our worth and the balance has moved from men being the providers to women. Most black women tend to earn more than black men. Whereas in China most women work outside the home, in the UK they faced language difficulties, expensive childcare and other problems in getting suitable jobs.

Many women within this community were unemployed and stayed at home, or worked in a family business. There was also a perceived lack of integration into theUK, and a stronger identity with the Chinese community than with gender. This group perceived themselves as strong and able to multi-task while maintaining their responsibilities for their home and children as they moved to new roles. The generational differences between Greek women were summed up by a young woman who was born in the UK, as she spoke of older Greek women: Also they worried about what other people thought, you know your house had to be clean if anybody came round, whereas now women are out a lot of hours working, whereas mymumwas at home looking after the children.

It was very different. Being a Gujarati woman meant having close family ties and respecting the older generation. Gujarati women in the UK saw themselves as more liberal and open than their counterparts living in India. They related more to their children. The children born in the UK were exposed to other cultures and tended to question Gujarati ways, and parents therefore needed to be able to deal with this.

The Gujaratiwomen felt that it was important to keep their culture alive within their children. The Pakistani women described women in their community mainly as housewives. However, as the following three extracts demonstrate, the younger generation were educated in the UK and were engaging in paid work. Menstruation The experience of menstruation was viewed negatively by all of the groups. Menstruation was also seen as a marker of not being pregnant, which could be positive or negative, depending on the wishes of the woman at that point in time.

All of the groups spoke of religious or cultural taboos relating to menstruating women, based on the idea of the menstruating woman as unclean, or as potentially causing harm to others. For example, it was reported that Rastafarian men will not eat with their wives while they are menstruating, and the Indian women spoke of not being allowed into the kitchen at that time.