Perceptions of Gender Roles, Gender Power Relationships, and Sexuality in Thai Women Following Diagnosis and Treatment for Cervical Cancer

Sureeporn Kritcharoen

Kobkaew Suwan

Sansnee Jirojwong

ONF 2005, 32(3), 682-688. DOI: 10.1188/05.ONF.682-688

Purpose/Objectives: To describe patients' and their partners' perceptions of gender roles, gender power relationships, and sexuality before diagnosis of and after treatment for cervical cancer.

Design: Descriptive.

Setting: Southern Thailand.

Sample: 97 women with cervical cancer who received cancer treatment, including radiotherapy, and their partners.

Methods: Structured interview methods were used to gather information relating to gender roles, gender power relationships, and sexuality.

Main Research Variables: Gender roles, gender power relationships, and sexuality.

Findings: Fifty-two percent of the women (n = 50) were diagnosed with stage II cervical cancer. The percentage of women who undertook various activities specific to gender roles before their diagnoses was higher than the percentage who undertook the same activities after treatment. An increased percentage of partners undertook the women's gender-role-specific activities after the women received cancer treatment compared with the percentage who did so before diagnosis. Little change in gender power relationships was reported. A high percentage of the couples reported changes in various aspects of their sexuality after cancer treatment compared with before diagnosis.

Conclusions: Gender roles, gender power relationships, and sexuality changed for women with cervical cancer and their partners after the women completed cancer treatment.

Implications for Nursing: Open discussions among women with cervical cancer, their partners, and oncology nurses are necessary to identify culturally sensitive and appropriate solutions.

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