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On the biomedicalisation of the penis: the commodification of function and aesthetics

Flowers, Paul; Langdridge, Darren; Gough, Brendan and Holliday, Ruth (2013). On the biomedicalisation of the penis: the commodification of function and aesthetics. International Journal of Men's Health, 12(2) pp. 121–137.

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This paper explores contemporary understandings and representations of the penis. It presents an overview of recent trends which re-frame long-standing penile anxieties within a new hybrid world of health and aesthetics. It explores these apparent changes through the lens of biomedicalisation. By focusing on constructions of masculinities in crisis, changes in the representability of the penis and the effects of Viagra, it suggests that contemporary penile pathologies and anxieties are being constructed and commodified. In the past medical discourse has focused primarily upon the ‘traditional’ functionality of the penis, more recently it has focussed upon pharmaceutical innovations such as Viagra. However, we suggest that now there appears to be the emergence of a new penile discourse, a penile aesthetic that focuses upon penile appearance as much as function. This shift has been facilitated by the Internet, the deregulation of pornography and changes in sexual mores.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Men's Studies Press
ISSN: 1933-0278
Keywords: penis; aesthetics; pathology; masculinities; biomedicalisation
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 36362
Depositing User: Darren Langdridge
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 11:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 16:41
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