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Sex, Masturbation and Foetal Death: Filipino Physicians and Medical Mythology in the Late Nineteenth Century

Reyes, Raquel A. G. (2009) 'Sex, Masturbation and Foetal Death: Filipino Physicians and Medical Mythology in the Late Nineteenth Century.' Social History of Medicine, Advanc .

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Abstract

As a case study of the Filipino elite's engagement with western medicine, this article looks at the writings of two brothers who studied in Paris in the 1880s, Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera (1857–1925) and Félix Pardo de Tavera (1859–1932). It focuses first on Trinidad's observations on folk beliefs and popular medicine in the Philippines, and secondly on Félix's doctoral dissertation, in which he examined the causes of foetal death during early pregnancy. Both the Pardo de Tavera brothers found the methods of modern scientific medicine to be greatly superior in diagnosing and treating disease than the diverse practices followed in the Philippines. But in embracing western medicine, I shall argue, they and other young Filipino physicians of their generation simultaneously embraced western moral prejudices and proscriptions that had no basis in science.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
ISSN: 0951631X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1093/shm/hkn095
Depositing User: Raquel Reyes
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2009 10:21
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/7033

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