Hysterectomies and gender identity among Serbian women

dc.contributorSharf, Barbara, F.
dc.creatorSukovic, Masa
dc.description.abstractIn this qualitative study, I explore the impact of national culture on the gender identity of Serbian women with hysterectomies, with special emphasis on traditional motherhood discourse and its implications for women who cannot bear children. More specifically, I investigate how women who have undergone hysterectomy (surgical removal of part or all of the uterus) perceive themselves after the surgery and how that perception influences their sense of self, gender identity, and sexuality. Finally, I examine how these women communicate their gender identity to the people surrounding them, especially current and potential romantic partners, and how communication with their relational partners and others in their respective communities can help improve or diminish their emotional status after hysterectomy. In this report, I identify and analyze the following themes which emerged from the data gathered through my in-depth interviews: Serbian culture of imperative motherhood; the role of relational partners; Serbian women?s health beliefs and practices; spirituality and religion in relation to hysterectomy experience; the role of social networking in the lives of Serbian women, and stigmatization and stigma potential. These six prominent themes are all embedded in the fabric of Serbian culture and represent the summary of most common reactions, fears, anxieties, problems, ivattitudes, and beliefs Serbian women with hysterectomies may experience before or following the hysterectomy procedure. This study identifies ethnicity and nationality related issues influencing women?s hysterectomy experience and the experience of their partners, i.e., takes important cultural factors into account, analyzes them, and identifies social, historical, and cultural reasons for their existence. Furthermore, the current study identifies and provides explanation about the role of the social community, especially the roles other females play in influencing the attitudes of women with the lived experience of hysterectomy and the impact other women?s attitudes may have on their gender identity. Finally, the current study recognizes the necessity for improvement of health services offered to Serbian women with hysterectomy experience and especially the importance of establishing support and self-help groups to help women deal with hysterectomy related issues, such as fears, anxieties, insecurities, communication problems, and impaired gender identity and gender identity shifts.
dc.titleHysterectomies and gender identity among Serbian women