Responses to warnings about the impact of eating disorders on fertility: A qualitative study

Holmes, Su ORCID: (2018) Responses to warnings about the impact of eating disorders on fertility: A qualitative study. Sociology of Health & Illness, 40 (4). pp. 670-686. ISSN 0141-9889

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (449kB) | Preview


Eating disorders (EDs) have often been discussed as a risk to reproductive health. But existing research is quantitative in nature, paying no attention to issues of patient experience. In discussing data from 24 semi-structured interviews, this article draws on sociological approaches to medical ‘risk’ and feminist approaches to EDs to explore how women with experience of an ED responded to fertility warnings within treatment contexts. In doing so, it is suggested that responses to fertility warnings offer unique insight into the potentially damaging limitations of biomedical approaches to eating problems and their focus on EDs as individual ‘pathologies’ (rather than culturally embedded expressions of gendered embodiment). At best warnings are seen as making problematic assumptions about the aspirations of female patients, which may curtail feelings of agency and choice. At worst, they may push women further into destructive bodily and eating practices, and silence the distress that may be articulated by an ED.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender,eating disorders,feminism,sdg 5 - gender equality ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/gender_equality
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2017 05:09
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:46
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12676


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item