Sexuality and Culture

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 30–58 | Cite as

“I don’t want to be an artificial man”: Narrative reconstruction of sexuality among prostate cancer survivors

  • Michael Irvin Arrington


After interviewing prostate cancer support group members, I use narrative analysis to examine survivors’ post-illness stories of changes in sexual activity and identity. The main events in the narratives were the choice of a treatment option and the post-treatment changes in survivors’ sex lives, whether described as the end of the sex life or the beginning of a modified one. Survivors characterized their wives as uninterested in sex and seldom described support group peers as helpful sources of sex-related information. The value of health took precedence over the desire for sex among men who experienced erectile dysfunction. My observations suggest implications related to (a) masculine identity, (b) sex among the elderly, (c) the social construction of sexuality, (d) defining and redefining sexuality, (e) physician-patient interaction, (f) sex talk among social support group members, and (g) the apparent clash between the values of sex and health.


Prostate Cancer Erectile Dysfunction Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Sexual Identity Watchful Waiting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Irvin Arrington
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Interpersonal CommunicationOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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