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Horizontes Antropológicos

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MANICA, Daniela Tonelli. A desnaturalização da menstruação: hormônios contraceptivos e tecnociência. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.35, pp.197-226. ISSN 0104-7183.

With the development of hormonal contraception in the 1950s, it became possible not only to intervene over the reproductive potential of feminine fertile cycles, but also to produce an alteration in bleeding patterns. Initially considered an "undesired" collateral effect, menstruation suppression began to be re-presented in the 1990s: new configurations of hormonal contraceptives proposed the suspension of bleedings for long periods of time. In this article, I discuss the arguments presented by one of the greatest enthusiastic of these methods: Elsimar Coutinho, a medical doctor from Salvador, Bahia, the author of Menstruation, a useless bleeding. His arguments focus on references to nonhuman primates' fertility and sexuality, on the disarticulation between menstruation and nature, and on an analogy with the disbelieved method of therapeutic bleedings. I propose to question Coutinho's use of the distinctions between nature and culture, intending to reveal some of the articulations of body, gender and hormones that this debate allows us to access.

Keywords : hormonal contraception; menstruation; nature versus culture; technoscience.

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