City Research Online

‘A loose nerve’: Culture(s), Time and Governmentality in the biomedical treatment of Premature Ejaculation in Bangladeshi Muslim men

Steggall, M.J. (2009). ‘A loose nerve’: Culture(s), Time and Governmentality in the biomedical treatment of Premature Ejaculation in Bangladeshi Muslim men. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Introduction: premature ejaculation (PE) is a common sexual dysfunction. Current explanations of PE are homogenised and culture-free. These explanations do not resonate with the local Bangladeshi Muslim male population, who over-represent attendees in the local clinic. Research question: What are the factors that form Bangladeshi Muslim men’s knowledge(s) of premature ejaculation? Design: this is a first level exploratory research project using thematic analysis of semi-structured responses gained during a randomised trial comparing two biomedical interventions followed by a modified behavioural therapy. Foucault’s concept of governmentality was the theoretical foundation of the research. Results: three themes were dominant in explaining PE both in the participant narratives and the published literature. These themes were biomedical, psychological and cultural. Medicine, through disciplinary practices, positions patients in certain spaces through the use of surveillance and panopticism. Participants in the trial both occupied and rebelled against this positioning, creating tensions and contradictions between meanings of PE and clinical practice that are in marked contrast to the recommendations of biomedical literature. Motivation for seeking treatment was changes in ejaculatory recovery, and the main motivator was the man’s partner. There was little or no intimacy in Bangladeshi Muslim men that exacerbated PE. Conclusions: biomedical discourses seek to reduce sexual activity into a time-focussed goal rather than a mutually enjoyable activity. Participants in the research also reduced sexual activity to a time goal, but separated mind from body, possibly due to sexual inexperience and possibly due to cultural pressures. Sex education was minimal or absent, which explains pressures to perform, disengagement from behavioural therapy and demands for pharmacological therapies. This research has discovered new knowledge that leads to an increased understanding of PE in Bangladeshi Muslim men.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: R Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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