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Subjetividad y procesos cognitivos

On-line version ISSN 1852-7310


GIAMI, Alain. The production of sperm in the laboratory: a difficult subjective experience for men. Subj. procesos cogn. [online]. 2010, vol.14, n.1, pp.79-102. ISSN 1852-7310.

Sperm collection in the context of an infertility treatment seems like a trivial and uncomplicated practice according to the recommendations and rules issued by the medical institution. However, it is based on the practice of masturbation, a sexual practice (and a fortiori a stigmatized sexual practice). Therefore, it seemed important to us to question the medical-scientific procedure of the program and the silences surrounding it to better understand the subjective experience of the men confronting this situation. A qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews clearly showed the dimensions of the discomfort caused by the confusion between the sexual dimension of masturbation and the framework in which it must take place on medical prescription. Besides, this discomfort is increased by the infertile nature of the sperm produced in this situation. The eventual participation of women in this experience, which isn't encouraged by the medical establishment, arouses halfhearted reactions in these men and maintains the confusion and oscillations between the erotic and the medical meanings of masturbation.

Keywords : Infertility treatment for men; Sperm collection; Subjective experience; Medicalisation; Masturbation.

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