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A Denaturalized Woman: Gender, Sexualities and Nation Building in Nicaraguan Abortion Discourses

Isaxon, Kerstin LU (2014) UTVK03 20141
Sociology
Abstract
In 2006, Nicaragua installed a complete ban on abortion, which spurred much debate in Nicaraguan civil society and had a strongly negative effect on women’s rights and lives. Previous research has dealt with the abortion discourses and found that much of it makes out a conflict between protecting the life of the fetus or that of the woman. However, there have also been found arguments relating to gender, sexualities and the nation. This area has although not been thoroughly investigated. This bachelor thesis discusses how notions of gender and sexualities are constructed in relation to Nicaraguan abortion discourses, and how this can be seen as part of a nation-building project. By applying discourse analysis on seventeen semi-structured... (More)
In 2006, Nicaragua installed a complete ban on abortion, which spurred much debate in Nicaraguan civil society and had a strongly negative effect on women’s rights and lives. Previous research has dealt with the abortion discourses and found that much of it makes out a conflict between protecting the life of the fetus or that of the woman. However, there have also been found arguments relating to gender, sexualities and the nation. This area has although not been thoroughly investigated. This bachelor thesis discusses how notions of gender and sexualities are constructed in relation to Nicaraguan abortion discourses, and how this can be seen as part of a nation-building project. By applying discourse analysis on seventeen semi-structured interviews conducted with representatives of civil society organizations that are engaged in the abortion debate, for and against abortion rights. The theoretical framework is based on gender and nation building, femininity/masculinity and naturalized motherhood.
The conclusions drawn suggest that the anti-abortion discourse highly emphasizes the role of the Mother as the primary responsibility for women, both for the national collective and for how they should live out their gender and sexualities; i.e. within the borders of reproduction. A contrasting gender role is also presented, that is a feminist, unfeminine woman with a promiscuous and libertine sexuality. Abortion is seen as being un-Nicaraguan and connected to international influence, homosexuality and illicit sexual behaviors that are outside of national culture and values and abortion is thereby a threat to the nation.
The pro-choice discourse attempts to deconstruct deterministic presentations of women and their sexualities and frame abortion as an important women’s right, and claim that abortion rights could allow for also breaking with traditional gender roles and notions of women’s sexualities. (Less)
Popular Abstract
In 2006, Nicaragua installed a complete ban on abortion, which spurred much debate in Nicaraguan civil society and had a strongly negative effect on women’s rights and lives. Previous research has dealt with the abortion discourses and found that much of it makes out a conflict between protecting the life of the fetus or that of the woman. However, there have also been found arguments relating to gender, sexualities and the nation. This area has although not been thoroughly investigated. This bachelor thesis discusses how notions of gender and sexualities are constructed in relation to Nicaraguan abortion discourses, and how this can be seen as part of a nation-building project. By applying discourse analysis on seventeen semi-structured... (More)
In 2006, Nicaragua installed a complete ban on abortion, which spurred much debate in Nicaraguan civil society and had a strongly negative effect on women’s rights and lives. Previous research has dealt with the abortion discourses and found that much of it makes out a conflict between protecting the life of the fetus or that of the woman. However, there have also been found arguments relating to gender, sexualities and the nation. This area has although not been thoroughly investigated. This bachelor thesis discusses how notions of gender and sexualities are constructed in relation to Nicaraguan abortion discourses, and how this can be seen as part of a nation-building project. By applying discourse analysis on seventeen semi-structured interviews conducted with representatives of civil society organizations that are engaged in the abortion debate, for and against abortion rights. The theoretical framework is based on gender and nation building, femininity/masculinity and naturalized motherhood.
The conclusions drawn suggest that the anti-abortion discourse highly emphasizes the role of the Mother as the primary responsibility for women, both for the national collective and for how they should live out their gender and sexualities; i.e. within the borders of reproduction. A contrasting gender role is also presented, that is a feminist, unfeminine woman with a promiscuous and libertine sexuality. Abortion is seen as being un-Nicaraguan and connected to international influence, homosexuality and illicit sexual behaviors that are outside of national culture and values and abortion is thereby a threat to the nation.
The pro-choice discourse attempts to deconstruct deterministic presentations of women and their sexualities and frame abortion as an important women’s right, and claim that abortion rights could allow for also breaking with traditional gender roles and notions of women’s sexualities. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Isaxon, Kerstin LU
supervisor
organization
course
UTVK03 20141
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
discourse, nation building, sexualities, gender, abortion, Nicaragua
language
English
id
4618226
date added to LUP
2014-10-17 11:10:50
date last changed
2014-10-17 11:10:50
@misc{4618226,
  abstract     = {In 2006, Nicaragua installed a complete ban on abortion, which spurred much debate in Nicaraguan civil society and had a strongly negative effect on women’s rights and lives. Previous research has dealt with the abortion discourses and found that much of it makes out a conflict between protecting the life of the fetus or that of the woman. However, there have also been found arguments relating to gender, sexualities and the nation. This area has although not been thoroughly investigated. This bachelor thesis discusses how notions of gender and sexualities are constructed in relation to Nicaraguan abortion discourses, and how this can be seen as part of a nation-building project. By applying discourse analysis on seventeen semi-structured interviews conducted with representatives of civil society organizations that are engaged in the abortion debate, for and against abortion rights. The theoretical framework is based on gender and nation building, femininity/masculinity and naturalized motherhood. 
	The conclusions drawn suggest that the anti-abortion discourse highly emphasizes the role of the Mother as the primary responsibility for women, both for the national collective and for how they should live out their gender and sexualities; i.e. within the borders of reproduction. A contrasting gender role is also presented, that is a feminist, unfeminine woman with a promiscuous and libertine sexuality. Abortion is seen as being un-Nicaraguan and connected to international influence, homosexuality and illicit sexual behaviors that are outside of national culture and values and abortion is thereby a threat to the nation. 
	The pro-choice discourse attempts to deconstruct deterministic presentations of women and their sexualities and frame abortion as an important women’s right, and claim that abortion rights could allow for also breaking with traditional gender roles and notions of women’s sexualities.},
  author       = {Isaxon, Kerstin},
  keyword      = {discourse,nation building,sexualities,gender,abortion,Nicaragua},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Denaturalized Woman: Gender, Sexualities and Nation Building in Nicaraguan Abortion Discourses},
  year         = {2014},
}