Identity and social challenges for persons with bleeding disorders: a gender and sex comparative approach

Plata S. Diesen, Lisbet Grut
2015 Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research  
Bleeding disorders are genetic conditions which involve impaired blood clotting. This may lead to disability. The predominant symptoms usually differ depending on biological sex, which implicates that the disabling mechanisms of bleeding disorders are gendered. Here we review sexspecific symptoms from bleeding disorders and how they can disable gender identities. We found that men's masculinity can be compromized by sickliness, economic dependency and reduced ability to participate in sports
more » ... cipate in sports and other risk-taking activities. Women's femininity, on the other hand, can be compromized by challenges related to their fertility and cultural misconceptions concerning menstrual hygiene. Both men and women with bleeding disorders experience a general lack of understanding in society at large regarding their unique problems. Women in particular are subject to late diagnosis and disbelief, due to a common misperception that bleeding disorders exclusively affect men. Theories on hegemonic masculinity and femininity provide a framework for understanding the sex-specific consequences of bleeding disorders in a disability perspective, and suggest that lack of hegemonic masculine or feminine properties may advantageously be compensated for in life areas that remain unaffected by the bleeding disorder. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/15017419.2015.1091034 fatcat:awfkq5a34bhdvkdn7ew7cm47ym