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 Health  Vol.8 No.12 , September 2016
In Bangla There Is No Word for Vagina
—Reflections on Language, Sexual Health, and Women’s Access to Healthcare in Resource-Limited Countries
Abstract: Language plays a central role in how gender and sexuality are described. In Bangla or Bengali, physicians, when educating and counseling women patients, do not have a socially acceptable word for “vagina”. If language is missing for female genitalia or important female sexual functions, could this absence reflect on the position of women in society, reproductive rights, and access to healthcare? Is there a relationship between language and the high rates of the gender-based cervical and breast cancers in some low and middle-income countries? This commentary examines scholarship on the topic of language, the female body, gender-based violence, disparities of healthcare for women, and the consequences of language on sexual attitudes and health.
Cite this paper: Goodman, A. , Faruque, M. and Clark, R. (2016) In Bangla There Is No Word for Vagina
—Reflections on Language, Sexual Health, and Women’s Access to Healthcare in Resource-Limited Countries. Health, 8, 1244-1257. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.812127.
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