Displacing desire: Sex and sickness in North Bali

Jennaway, Megan (2003) Displacing desire: Sex and sickness in North Bali. Culture Health and Sexuality, 5 3: 185-201. doi:10.1080/136910501172985

Author Jennaway, Megan
Title Displacing desire: Sex and sickness in North Bali
Journal name Culture Health and Sexuality   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1464-5351
Publication date 2003-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/136910501172985
Open Access Status
Volume 5
Issue 3
Start page 185
End page 201
Total pages 17
Editor P. Aggleton
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Abstract This paper examines the gendered nature of desire in a North Balinese rural village adjacent to a tourist resort. It poses the theoretical question of what happens when a culture's dominant belief systems fail to accommodate desire. Observing that male promiscuity is indulged and naturalized in this community, the paper argues that women's desire is channelled narrowly into achieving and retaining a spouse. Women who admit of desire outside these cultural constraints may be subject to episodes of 'hysteria'. Hysterical illness is read herein as a displacement of desire onto the body such that the body becomes 'the place'-as a site of illness-where desire may reside. Although the resort to hysteria may provide temporary emotional release for women's frustrated affect, it does not fundamentally transform the gendered relations of desire. Curiously, neither does it appear to exacerbate the inequalities they sustain, implying that in North Bali (hysterical) illness may serve as a legitimate avenue for the expression of desires that are otherwise culturally-proscribed.
Keyword North Bali
Hysterical disorders
Balinese women
Balinese belief systems
Sexual insecurity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Thu, 03 Jan 2008, 19:51:16 EST by Thelma Whitbourne on behalf of School of Public Health