Obstetric violence and deshumanization

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


I would like to address a very particular type of violence directed towards the vulnerable group of women in childbirth, what is known as obstetric violence.
Violence against women is not new; and the historical traces of violence and negligence towards women at the moment of giving birth can also be seen in the way medical knowledge, for religious and political reasons, has displaced the midwife sages who attended to births and cared for reproductive health.
Women, until then holders of knowledge about the female body, of power over life and death, were marginalized in the western world, left aside.
With acceptance and access to hospitals, childbirths go from being events lived at home, to medical acts in which the voices of women in labor are silenced, minimized, or even certain situations ridiculed. Knowledge of the feminine body shifts location, being displaced to the medical professional, with the matrilineal transmission of such wisdom being relegated to the background. During hospital births, the ingestion of water or food tends to be regulated, physiological positions are prevented in order to give birth, women receive mockery, shouts, and pain is a punishment they have to suffer for having enjoyed; sterilizations and other procedures may take place without consent, all this forms of violence are recognized now as obstetric violence.
Discussing this form of systematic annulment of the subjectivity and humanity of women in labor is necessary to understand and confront the phenomena of disregard, neglect, and violence that manifest in the medical and gender power relations in Mexico.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAssociation for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society 2019 Annual Conference: Displacement: Precarity & Community - Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center, New Brunswick, United States
Duration: 25 Oct 201927 Oct 2019


ConferenceAssociation for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society 2019 Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleAPCS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Brunswick
Internet address

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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