The Aging Prostate. A Constant torment  

Den åldrande prostatan

Men with prostate problems often complain about urination difficulties, pain, and diffuse symptoms. Blaming the prostate for problems in ‘the lower region’ is a common reaction, both from medical experts and patients. In this programme, we are exploring how the prostate as an associative object is used to explain changes in the male body, sexuality and masculinity, both historically and today.  

This programme explores how the prostate is known, formed and manipulated in different contexts. Some of the projects explore cultural and historical projections of the prostate as a source of pain, discomfort and angst. In these we are using interviews, and archive material. Other projects examine how medical texts create the prostate as an anatomical object, which can be examined and treated, surgically or otherwise. These projects also use observations and interviews, along with medical literature.  

Some work in the programme also explores how the prostate is known and discussed in its absence, after surgical removal. Here we use a post-structural approach, working closely with a sexual counsellor.  

Within the programme, we take an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from medical sociology, medical history, STS (Science, Technology and Society), and feminist science studies.  

Funder: Swedish Research Council 
Project Title: A Constant Torment. Discursive Contours of the Aging Prostate Principal  


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A Cultural Biography of the Prostate

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About the book

We are all suffering an acute case of prostate angst. Men worry about their own prostates and those of others close to them; women worry about the prostates of the men they love. The prostate—a gland located directly under the bladder—lurks on the periphery of many men's health issues, but as an object of anxiety it goes beyond the medical, affecting how we understand masculinity, aging, and sexuality. In A Cultural Biography of the Prostate, Ericka Johnson investigates what we think the prostate is and what we use the prostate to think about, examining it in historical, cultural, social, and medical contexts.

Read more about the book here.

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