Sexuality and reproduction: discussing gender and integral care in Primary Health Care

Thiago Félix Pinheiro Márcia Thereza Couto About the authors

The notion of integral care, established as a principle for actions and policies in the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS), has guided various discussions in the field of Collective Health. Following the direction of the debate on comprehensiveness-gender, this paper explores the (dis)articulation between sexuality and reproduction in the assistance provided to women and men in facilities of Primary Health Care (PHC). To that end, it makes a double appropriation of the idea of relationship, regarding men-women and sexuality-reproduction as inherently relational. This study is part of a multicentered qualitative survey conducted to investigate the relationship between men and PHC facilities. It uses data from ethnographic observation of four Family Health Units, located in the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Norte and Pernambuco. The results point to disarticulations in the organizational structure of the facilities, which compromise the effectuation of an integral health care for men and women. Accordingly, the discourses and practices of health professionals (re)produce fragmentations in the assistance, especially on the basis of the association men-sexuality and women-reproduction. Taking the comprehensiveness as a horizon, it points to the need for a (re)articulation between sexuality and reproduction that, instead of subordinating one to another, allows the recognition of the various expressions of those spheres in concrete experiences of men and women, as well as the dialogue between different interventions related to sexual health and reproductive health starting from the possible points of convergence.

comprehensive health care; reproductive health; sexuality; primary health care; gender


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