Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 7126
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Lindgren , Amy K.,
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Violent Erections and Suffocating Wombs: Gendered Sexual Dysfunctions in Medieval Spain
  • Source: Seeing Gender: Perspectives on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, King's College, London, January 4-6, 2002.. 2002.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Arib Ibn Said, Author- Kitab al-Janin (Book of the Generation of the Fetus) Gender Gynecology Male Sexuality in Literature Medicine Sexuality in Literature
  • Geographic Area: Iberia
  • Century: 10
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  • Abstract: ‘Arib ibn Sa’id, a Muslim intellectual living in tenth-century Spain, wrote Kitâb Khalq al-Janîn (Book of the Generation of the Fetus) at the request of his patron, the caliph al-Hakem II of Cordoba. Along with information about the generation and development of the human fetus, he includes detailed information about the anatomy of the penis and the womb and explains the physiological processes of sexual intercourse for males and females. In his discussion, he devotes significant space to reproductive organ malfunctions, such as weak or violent erections, too much or too little semen at ejaculation, and suffocation of the womb. ‘Arib ibn Sa’id tells his reader how and why these things occur, offering mental and physical explanations, and provides a variety of methods and medicines as remedies. The womb and the penis are essential to the construction of maleness and femaleness and thus the author's descriptions and explanations of sexual dysfunction reveal covert and overt understandings of gender derived from religious and other cultural influences as well as from his sources (primarily Hippocrates, Galen, and Aristotle). The proposed paper will examine in detail ‘Arib ibn Sa’id’s representation of male and female sexual dysfunctions to reveal medieval Spanish Muslim ideas about the fundamental construction of gender. Examining this text will also demonstrate the history of science and medicine’s utility in the study of medieval gender and sexuality. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference Organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of California, Davis
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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