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Mythological roots of medical theories of gender differentiation

https://doi.org/10.17749/2313-7347.2019.13.2.174-180

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Abstract

Aim: to study the interrelation between the myths and the scientific understanding of sex differentiation of the fetus.

Materials and methods. The study is based on the materials published in the XIX – early XX century in Russia; among them, reports by medical professionals, ethnographers, and mystics stored in the Russian State Library, including a number of handwritten texts in the Manuscripts Department.

Results. In this review, the method of comparative historical analysis was used to reveal the predominance of the religious and mystical views in the popular understanding of sex differentiation. Among them are ideas about the right and left sides of a woman’s body, about the moral behavior of a man, about the role of the menstrual cycle in the mystical context, about the couple behavior during the intercourse, and more. Methods for predicting the sex of the future child were also reviewed, as well as the signs related to the child sex planning.

Conclusion. In the XIX – early XX century Russia, the views and understandings of obstetricians about the fetal sex differentiation were rather irrational and had no academic credibility.

About the Author

S. D. Koldman
N.I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Health Ministry of Russian Federation
Russian Federation

Severina D. Koldman – PhD (History), Associate Professor, Department of History of Medicine, Social and Human Sciences

Scopus Author ID: 57195310221.

Researcher ID: E-8035-2015.

РИНЦ: 808360



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For citation:


Koldman S.D. Mythological roots of medical theories of gender differentiation. Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproduction. 2019;13(2):174-180. https://doi.org/10.17749/2313-7347.2019.13.2.174-180

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