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  • 1.
    Christianson, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS).
    Eriksson, Carola
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    A Girl Thing: Perceptions Concerning the Word "Hymen" Among Young Swedish Women and Men2011Ingår i: Journal of midwifery & women's health, ISSN 1526-9523, E-ISSN 1542-2011, Vol. 56, nr 2, s. 167-172Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Methods: Students answered an open-ended question: What do you think about when you hear the word hymen? The answers were analyzed by using content analysis.

    Results: In total, 198 students, aged 17 to 18 years, answered the question. The theme "a fragile biological structure in the female body" described how the vast majority of the girls and 57% of the boys associated the hymen with a thin membrane that breaks during first vaginal intercourse. The theme "a symbol and manifestation of feminine virginity" described the symbolic meanings of having or not having a hymen. The theme "questioning the existence of the hymen" revealed the doubts that some had about its existence.

    Discussion: Most of the students associated the hymen with a breakable membrane. This is problematic. It may lead to misunderstandings about virginity or about bleeding during sexual intercourse. Changing these views about the hymen is important to correct such misunderstanding but may be a significant challenge. In modern medical discourse, in health care, and in popular speech, there are few discussions about the hymen as a social construct, indicating that more gender research concerning hymen-related issues is needed.

  • 2.
    Christianson, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Eriksson, Carola
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Acts of violence: virginity control and hymen (re)construction2014Ingår i: British journal of midwifery, ISSN 0969-4900, E-ISSN 2052-4307, Vol. 22, nr 5, s. 344-352Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Globally, midwives are often at the forefront of promoting and improving women’s sexual and reproductive health. It is important to develop a gender perspective in midwifery education, one that addresses the fact that virginity control and hymen (re)constructions are unscientific and may cause great harm to women worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the experience and attitudes of an international group of midwives regarding virginity control and hymen (re)constructions. An online questionnaire was emailed to midwives who attended the International Confederation of Midwifery (ICM) Congress in Glasgow. The respondents (n=480) represented five continents. Ten percent of the midwives reported professional experience of requests concerning virginity examinations and hymen (re)constructions. The majority stated that these practices are unjustifiable, and amount to acts of violence against women, whereas a minority responded that these practices can be acceptable. Almost two-thirds stated that it is the responsibility of midwives to work against these practices.

  • 3.
    Christianson, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Eriksson, Carola
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Myths and misconceptions: Midwives´ perception of the vaginal opening or hymen and virginity2013Ingår i: British journal of midwifery, ISSN 0969-4900, E-ISSN 2052-4307, Vol. 21, nr 2, s. 108-115Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Ideas and misconceptions about the vaginal opening, hymen and virginity are widely held in many societies. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of the vaginal opening, the hymen and its connection with bleeding, sexual intercourse, physical activity and virginity verification among an international group of midwives. An online questionnaire about the topic was emailed to midwives who attended the International Confederation of Midwives' (ICM) Congress in Glasgow. The respondents (n=480) represented five continents with European delegates dominating the attendees. Two thirds (66%) of the respondents believed that girls are born with a covering membrane that breaks during the first vaginal intercourse and 52% thought that the membrane breaks during physical activities. Fifteen percent connected bleeding with the first vaginal intercourse and 21% stated that virginity can be verified by a gynecological examination. Midwives play a significant role in improving the sexual and reproductive health of women, thus in order to challenge long-held biomedical 'truths', midwives must become conscious and knowledgeable about how the myths surrounding the hymen contribute to gender inequalities and health disparities in women. A first step is to implement gender perspectives in midwifery education.

  • 4.
    Christianson, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Eriksson, Carola
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Promoting women's human rights: A qualitative analysis of midwives' perceptions about virginity control and hymen 'reconstruction'2015Ingår i: European journal of contraception & reproductive health care, ISSN 1362-5187, E-ISSN 1473-0782, Vol. 20, nr 3, s. 181-192Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives To explore midwives' perceptions regarding virginity control and hymen 'reconstructions', and how these practices can be debated from a gender perspective. Methods An international group of 266 midwives answered an open-ended question in a Web survey. The great majority came from the Western world, among them, the majority were from Europe. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results Three themes emerged: misogynistic practices that cement the gender order, which revealed how the respondents viewed virginity control and hymen 'reconstructions'; raising public awareness and combatting practices that demean women, which were suggested as strategies by which to combat these practices; and promoting agency in women and providing culturally sensitive care, which were considered to improve health care encounters. Conclusions Virginity control and hymen 'reconstructions' are elements of patriarchy, whereby violence and control are employed to subordinate women. To counter these practices, macro and micro-level activities are needed to expand women's human rights in the private and the public spheres. Political activism, international debates, collaboration between sectors such as health care and law-makers may lead to increased gender equality. A women-centred approach whereby women are empowered with agency will make women more capable of combatting virginity control and hymen 'reconstruction'.

  • 5.
    Christianson, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Teiler, Åsa
    Eriksson, Carola
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    A woman’s honor tumbles down on all of us in the family, but a man’s honor is only his”: young women’s experiences of patriarchal chastity norms2021Ingår i: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 16, artikel-id 1862480Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: In this qualitative study we explored how young women living in Sweden with ethnic and cultural roots in the Middle East and East Africa comply with or resist so-called honour norms and how they perceive that these norms affect their living conditions.

    Method: In depth interviews were performed with 14 young women. The majority were between 21 and 32 years of age with a mean age of 24. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and a grounded theory approach was used. To reflect the diversity in women’s experiences, the grounded theory approach was conducted from a feminist perspective to transform women’s personal narratives to a larger social context.

    Results: We analysed the core category “Honorable women in becoming” as the central emerging phenomenon related to categories about structural and individual control of women, the women’s adjustment and resistance, and the continuum of severe consequences and violence that they experienced in their struggle for autonomy.

    Conclusion: Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist theory about women as “the other” was an inspiration and gave us valuable input to highlight women’s experiences and situations from a perspective of gender, power, and oppression.

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  • 6.
    Eriksson, Carola
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Jansson, Lilian
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Women's experiences of intense fear related to childbirth investigated in a Swedish qualitative study.2006Ingår i: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 22, nr 3, s. 240-248Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 7.
    Eriksson, Carola
    et al.
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Larsson, Margareta
    Skoog Svanberg, Agneta
    Tydén, Tanja
    Reflections on fertility and postponed parenthood-interviews with highly educated women and men without children in Sweden2013Ingår i: Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, ISSN 0300-9734, E-ISSN 2000-1967, Vol. 118, nr 2, s. 122-129Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Different reasons influence the current low birth-rate and the postponement of the birth of the first child throughout Europe. The aim of this study was to explore how highly educated women and men in Sweden reflect on fertility and postponed parenthood.

    METHODS: We interviewed women (n = 22) and men (n = 18) who had started their professional careers and still had no children. Data were analysed with qualitative content analysis.

    RESULTS: Fertility was perceived as an unconsidered capacity, sometimes unpredictable, and different for women and men, but nevertheless taken for granted. The participants were of the opinion that fertility could be restored by assisted reproductive technologies or replaced by alternatives to a biological child. Postponed parenthood was described as an adaptation to societal changes and current discourses about parenthood as well as a consequence of a contemporary lifestyle with many competing priorities.

    CONCLUSION: Highly educated young women and men in contemporary Sweden have competing priorities when planning and setting goals for their lives, and having children is one of them. They describe fertility as an imperceptible and retrievable capacity and postponed parenthood as a rational adaptation to changes in society. These findings suggest that increased information about the limitations of human reproduction is needed, but also that societal support for younger parents is of utmost importance.

  • 8.
    Eriksson, Carola
    et al.
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University.
    Larsson, Margareta
    Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University.
    Tydén, Tanja
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University.
    Reflections on having children in the future: interviews with highly educated women and men without children2012Ingår i: Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, ISSN 0300-9734, E-ISSN 2000-1967, Vol. 117, nr 3, s. 328-335Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: There is a trend to delay birth of the first child until the age at which female reproductive capacity has started to decrease. The aim of the present study was to explore how highly educated women and men reflected on future parenthood.

    METHODS: Twenty-two women and 18 men, who had started their professional career, were subjected to individual qualitative semi-structured interviews with qualitative content analysis guiding the analysis.

    RESULTS: All informants, except for three women, planned to have children when some important prerequisites were fulfilled. Women and men reflected in much the same way, and prerequisites for parenthood were being of reasonable age and having a partner in the same phase of life. A reasonable age was considered in relation to reproductive capacity, and both women and men expressed awareness of the natural decline in fertility at higher ages. Good living conditions with stable finances were also important. Parenthood was perceived as a challenge and a sacrifice but also as enriching life. Reasons for having children included being part of the future and settling down to build their own family. Many concluded that there would never be a perfect time for having children.

    CONCLUSION: Highly educated women and men reflect on various factors when considering family planning. Being of reasonable age and having good living conditions, in particular a sound personal economy, were important. Given their goals, it is not surprising that many postpone parenthood until ages when female reproductive capacity is decreased.

  • 9.
    Eriksson, Carola
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Salander, Pär
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialt arbete. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för strålningsvetenskaper, Onkologi.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS).
    Men's experiences of intense fear related to childbirth investigated in a Swedish qualitative study2007Ingår i: Journal of Men's health and gender, Vol. 4, s. 409-418Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 10.
    Eriksson, Carola
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Westman, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Content of childbirth-related fear in Swedish women and men: analysis of an open-ended question2006Ingår i: Journal of midwifery & women's health, ISSN 1526-9523, E-ISSN 1542-2011, Vol. 51, nr 2, s. 112-118Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The content of childbirth-related fear as described by 308 women and 194 men was analyzed and compared in relation to intensity of fear. The content of fear was similarly described by women and men and concerned the following main categories: the labor and delivery process, the health and life of the baby, the health and life of the woman, own capabilities and reactions, the partner's capabilities and reactions, and the professionals' competence and behavior. Among women, the labor and delivery process was the most frequently reported among the 6 categories of fears, whereas the health and life of the baby was the most frequent among the men. Fears related to own capabilities and reactions were described significantly more often by women with intense fear than by women with mild to moderate fear. The greatest difference between men with intense versus mild to moderate fear was a more frequent expression of concern for the health and life of the woman. Both women and men had fears related to not being treated with respect and not receiving sufficient medical care. This finding suggests that part of the problem with childbirth-related fear is located within the health care system itself.

  • 11.
    Eriksson, Carola
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Westman, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Experiential factors associated with childbirth-related fear in Swedish women and men: a population based study.2005Ingår i: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ISSN 0167-482X, E-ISSN 1743-8942, Vol. 26, nr 1, s. 63-72Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 12.
    Hammarström, Anne
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Johansson, Klara
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Annandale, Ellen
    Ahlgren, Christina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Sjukgymnastik.
    Aléx, Lena
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Christianson, Monica
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Elwer, Sofia
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Eriksson, Carola
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Fjellman-Wiklund, Anncristine
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Sjukgymnastik.
    Gilenstam, Kajsa
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för kirurgisk och perioperativ vetenskap, Idrottsmedicin.
    Gustafsson, Per E.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Harryson, Lisa
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen.
    Lehti, Arja
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Professionell utveckling.
    Stenberg, Gunilla
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Sjukgymnastik.
    Verdonk, Petra
    Central gender theoretical concepts in health research: the state of the art2014Ingår i: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, ISSN 0143-005X, E-ISSN 1470-2738, Vol. 68, nr 2, s. 185-190Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite increasing awareness of the importance of gender perspectives in health science, there is conceptual confusion regarding the meaning and the use of central gender theoretical concepts. We argue that it is essential to clarify how central concepts are used within gender theory and how to apply them to health research. We identify six gender theoretical concepts as central and interlinked-but problematic and ambiguous in health science: sex, gender, intersectionality, embodiment, gender equity and gender equality. Our recommendations are that: the concepts sex and gender can benefit from a gender relational theoretical approach (ie, a focus on social processes and structures) but with additional attention to the interrelations between sex and gender; intersectionality should go beyond additive analyses to study complex intersections between the major factors which potentially influence health and ensure that gendered power relations and social context are included; we need to be aware of the various meanings given to embodiment, which achieve an integration of gender and health and attend to different levels of analyses to varying degrees; and appreciate that gender equality concerns absence of discrimination between women and men while gender equity focuses on women's and men's health needs, whether similar or different. We conclude that there is a constant need to justify and clarify our use of these concepts in order to advance gender theoretical development. Our analysis is an invitation for dialogue but also a call to make more effective use of the knowledge base which has already developed among gender theorists in health sciences in the manner proposed in this paper.

  • 13. Karlström, Annika
    et al.
    Rådestad, Ingela
    Eriksson, Carola
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Rubertsson, Christine
    Nystedt, Astrid
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Hildingsson, Ingegerd
    Cesarean section without medical reason, 1997 to 2006: a Swedish register study2010Ingår i: Birth, ISSN 0730-7659, E-ISSN 1523-536X, Vol. 37, nr 1, s. 11-20Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Cesarean section performed in the absence of medical indication is of concern in many countries, but studies focusing on its prevalence are inconclusive. The objective of this study was, first, to describe the prevalence of cesarean section without medical reason in terms of the diagnostic code listed in the Swedish Medical Birth Register, and to assess its contribution to the general increase in the number of cesarean sections; and second, to study regional differences and differences in the maternal characteristics of women having a cesarean birth with this diagnostic code. Methods: Birth records of 6,796 full-term cesarean sections in two Swedish regions with the diagnostic code O828 were collected from the Swedish Medical Birth Register. Descriptive data, t test, and logistic regression analysis were used to analyze data. Results: The rate of cesarean sections without medical indication increased threefold during the 10-year period, but this finding represents a minor contribution to the general increase in the number of cesarean sections. The diagnostic code O828 was more common in the capital area (p < 0.001). Secondary diagnoses were found, the most frequent of which were previous cesarean section and childbirth-related fear. Regional differences existed concerning prevalence, classification, maternal sociodemographic, obstetric, and health variables. Conclusions: The rate of cesarean sections without medical reasons in terms of the diagnostic code O828 increased during the period. The prevalence and maternal characteristics differed between the regions. Medical code classification is not explicit when it comes to defining cesarean sections without medical reasons and secondary diagnoses are common. (BIRTH 37:1 March 2010).

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