Madness, sex, and risk : A poststructural analysis

Journal article


Evans, Alicia M., Holmes, Dave and Quinn, Chris. (2020). Madness, sex, and risk : A poststructural analysis. Nursing Inquiry. 27(4), pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/nin.12359
AuthorsEvans, Alicia M., Holmes, Dave and Quinn, Chris
Abstract

The body of the one deemed mad often remains a sexual body with sexual needs. Mental health services respond to these demands of the body in various ways, including constructing rules around physical movement. In this context, we were interested in how mental health clinicians problematized the sexual needs and practices of residents of a long-stay mental health rehabilitation facility and how solutions were constructed in relation to the residents’ sexual desires. This paper reports findings from mental health clinicians, as part of a case study where we addressed this question. Mental health clinicians responded to residents’ sexuality from a discourse of risk. The notion of the engagement with each resident as a sexual subject was subordinated to the paternalistic notion of protecting the patient from risk. The resident became an object to be monitored and protected rather than a subject with sexual desire and agency. This paternalism also showed itself in relation to a ‘no-sex on-site’ rule that allowed for a shift of risk from the organization to the resident. Residents, rather than having a relatively safe place to have sexual relations, were required to find a place elsewhere, potentially unsafe, outside the facility.

KeywordsFoucault; governmentality; madness; mental health; poststructuralism; risk; sex
Year2020
JournalNursing Inquiry
Journal citation27 (4), pp. 1-8
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN1320-7881
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/nin.12359
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85086092265
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-8
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Jun 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted05 May 2020
Deposited08 Jul 2021
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