Les médecins et la « nature féminine » au temps du Code civil - article ; n°4 ; vol.31, pg 824-845

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Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations - Année 1976 - Volume 31 - Numéro 4 - Pages 824-845
At the time of the Enlightenment, the physicians taking their cue from the anthropologists, considered men - and women - as subjects for scientific study and no longer as creatures different from all others. One of them, Roussel (in 1775) tried to define the specificity of woman's nature : for him, the organic difference which distinguishes women from men, gives rise to all the physical and moral characteristics of woman's being. He established a stereotype which enclosed woman in her sexual body, in a biological destiny, but without depreciating it. Following him, the physicians who were the contemporaries of Napoleon I, proved the inferiority of woman as compared to man : her physical weakness, her excessive sensibility, her fragile and unstable intelligence, her constant predisposition to hysteria condamn her to sweet bondage at the service of the male and the children. At the same time - women being excluded from the universities - obstetrics and gynecology became male sciences. Kept away from public life, women were also kept in ignorance of all that concerned their own bodies, again in the name of medical science.
22 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.
Publié le : jeudi 1 janvier 1976
Lecture(s) : 138
Nombre de pages : 23
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Yvonne Knibiehler
Les médecins et la « nature féminine » au temps du Code civil In: Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations. 31e année, N. 4, 1976. pp. 824-845.
Abstract At the time of the Enlightenment, the physicians taking their cue from the anthropologists, considered men - and women - as subjects for scientific study and no longer as creatures different from all others. One of them, Roussel (in 1775) tried to define the specificity of woman's "nature" : for him, the organic difference which distinguishes women from men, gives rise to all the physical and moral characteristics of woman's being. He established a stereotype which enclosed woman in her sexual body, in a biological destiny, but without depreciating it. Following him, the physicians who were the contemporaries of Napoleon I, proved the inferiority of woman as compared to man : her physical weakness, her excessive sensibility, her fragile and unstable intelligence, her constant predisposition to hysteria condamn her to "sweet bondage" at the service of the male and the children. At the same time - women being excluded from the universities - obstetrics and gynecology became male sciences. Kept away from public life, women were also kept in ignorance of all that concerned their own bodies, again in the name of medical science.
Citer ce document / Cite this document : Knibiehler Yvonne. Les médecins et la « nature féminine » au temps du Code civil. In: Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations. 31e année, N. 4, 1976. pp. 824-845. doi : 10.3406/ahess.1976.293751 http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home p pt/article/ahess_ _ _ _ _ _ / rescri 0395-2649 1976 num 31 4 293751
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