Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
VIVEROS, Mara; GOMEZ, Fredy and OTERO, Eduardo. Social representations of male sterilization. Vasectomy as viewed by professional counselors at the Men's Clinic in Bogotá, Colombia. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1998, vol.14, suppl.1, pp. S97-S103. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1998000500019.
Vasectomy service providers at the Clínica del Hombre (Men's Clinic) in Bogotá, Colombia, construct their representations concerning male sterilization on the basis of biomedical discourse, their interaction with clinic users, and their own life experiences. During provision of such services, the counselors are the health professionals who have the closest contact with these clients of the clinic. Counselors are in charge of exploring their motivations in requesting the service, in addition to providing information allowing them to take a calm, sound decision. They also directly filter demand based on their experience, knowledge, and skills, in permanent negotiation between institutional criteria (number of children and gap between them, client's age, steadiness of couple's relationship, and conviction concerning the decision), and their perception and assessment of the client. An analysis of the counselors' representations of decision-making as pertaining to vasectomy indicates that it is a relatively simple and harmless procedure as well as a liberating option in terms of family planning.
Keywords : Vasectomy; Social Representations; Male Sterelization; Family Planning Services.