Etic and Emic Categories in Male Sexual Health: A Case Study from Orissa

Martine Collumbien, Nabesh Bohidar, Ram Das, Braj Das and Pertti Pelto

in Categories and Contexts

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270576
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600883 | DOI:

Series: International Studies in Demography

Etic and Emic Categories in Male Sexual Health: A Case Study from Orissa

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  • History of Economic Thought


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Presents a case study from intervention research on male sexual health in eastern India. Focused ethnographic research shows that men's concerns about sexual health comprise a complex array of symptoms. Many of these are not directly related to sexual transmission but reflect psycho‐sexual concerns about semen loss. The understanding of this local perspective, with its emic categories, challenges the public health paradigms currently adopted in HIV interventions, based on the biomedical model of sexual health and associated etic categories. To be effective, sexual health services need to go beyond the biomedical diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Keywords: emic and etic categories; HIV interventions; India; male sexual health; public health; semen anxiety; semen loss; sexually transmitted infections

Chapter.  10463 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Economic Thought

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