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Fixing Men

Sex, Birth Control, and AIDS in Mexico

Matthew C. Gutmann (Author)


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Most studies on reproductive rights make women their focus, but in Fixing Men, Matthew Gutmann illuminates what men in the Mexican state of Oaxaca say and do about contraception, sex, and AIDS. Based on extensive fieldwork, this breakthrough study by a preeminent anthropologist of men and masculinities reveals how these men and the women in their lives make decisions about birth control, how they cope with the plague of AIDS, and the contradictory healing techniques biomedical and indigenous medical practitioners employ for infertility, impotence, and infidelity. Gutmann talks with men during and after their vasectomies and discovers why some opt for sterilization while so many others feel "planned out of family planning."
List of Illustrations

1. Taming Men’s Natural Desires in Oaxaca
2. The Missing Gamete: Eight Common Mistakes about Men’s Sexuality
3. New Labyrinths of Solitude: Lonesome Men and AIDS
4. Frisky and Risky Men: AIDS Care in Oaxaca
5. Planning Men Out of Family Planning
6. Scoring Men: Vasectomies and the Totemic Illusion of Male Sexuality
7. Traditional Sexual Healing of Men
8. From Boardrooms to Bedrooms

Matthew Gutmann is Professor of Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, and Latin American Studies at Brown University and is the author of The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City (Tenth Anniversary edition, 2006) and The Romance of Democracy: Compliant Defiance in Contemporary Mexico (2002), both from UC Press.
"Fixing Men is terrific; sharp observation, tough-minded analysis, beautiful writing."—Raewyn Connell, author of Masculinities

"By bringing together a focus on men's sexuality in relation to key sexual health issues such as HIV/AIDS, family planning and contraception, vasectomies, and traditional healing for sexual ailments such as impotence and infertility, Fixing Men makes a major contribution that should help to define the field for some time to come."—Richard Parker, author of Beneath the Equator: Cultures of Desire, Male Homosexuality, and Emerging Gay Communities in Brazil

"This ethnographic study of male sexuality, reproductive health and health behavior makes new and needed contribution to several scholarly debates and literatures. It is certain to attract interest from medical anthropologists, along with researchers on gender, sexuality, Mexican studies, and reproductive health."—Carole Browner, University of California, Los Angeles

"In this consistently engaging study of male reproductive health, Matt Gutmann has produced an original contribution to Latin American ethnography, the study of masculinity, and medical anthropology. Gutmann listens carefully to the life stories of men in Oaxaca and discovers among them a rich range of emotions, opinions, and behavior. As with his previous influential work, Fixing Men presents a serious challenge to stereotypical portraits of what it means to be a man in Mexico. Once you start reading this riveting volume, you will not be able to put it down."—Stanley Brandes, University of California, Berkeley

"Matthew Gutmann draws on his magisterial understanding of Mexican masculinities in demonstrating how taking male subjectivities and migration seriously can illuminate the dynamics of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. In Fixing Men, a conspiracy of silence recedes in the face of his dialogues with Oaxacan men, whose words, labor, and bodies challenge the cultural, sexual, and neoliberal logics that have enabled scholars and public health practitioners alike to avoid these complex questions."—Charles Briggs, author of Stories in the Time of Cholera

"Fixing Men is a path-breaking study of men's reproductive health in Latin America. In a scholarly field where the focus is almost entirely on women, Fixing Men shows us that men are important reproductive actors, whose problems, needs, and desires must be addressed in the fields of family planning, sex education, and HIV/AIDS. This book represents an important contribution to the anthropology of reproduction, the new masculinity studies, and to Oaxacan ethnography. Global health practitioners would also benefit from Gutmann's insights about the need to address men directly in reproductive healthcare delivery."—Marcia C. Inhorn, author of Local Babies, Global Science

Eileen Basker Memorial Prize, Society for Medical Anthropology

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