Nowadays, if you stroll around cosmopolitan cities in China, you will not fail to notice the glaring advertisements for nanke (men’s medicine) along streets and at public transits. Unlike the clinical flyers for sexually transmitted diseases, which appear in the marginal areas of the urban space, these advertisements display a formal and professional image. The growing publicization of men’s medicine may arouse your curiosity to ask further questions: Does it imply the spread of impotence epidemic among the population? Is it a consequence of sexual liberation since the country’s opening up? How do these patients define and describe their problem, and how are they perceived by their family and in the social surroundings? What kinds of medical treatment are available for these patients? To what extent does the professionalization of men’s medicine contribute to the treatment, and how well are...
The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China
Yujing Zhu received her doctorate in 2011 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is now assistant professor at the Institute of Anthropology, East China Normal University (Shanghai). Her PhD research concerned the political transformation of the post-Mao state. Her current research focuses on anthropology of morality, family relationship and household financing, and production of desire.
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Yujing Zhu; The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 September 2018; 12 (3): 341–344. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-4201195
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