• Hidden, visceral and traumatic: a dramaturgical approach to men talking about their penis after surgery for penile cancer

      Branney, Peter; Witty, K. (Wiley, 2019)
      Drawing upon concepts of expressive equipment and body image, the aim of this study is to explore how men diagnosed and treated for penile cancer construct their penis and its surgical disfigurement (penectomy). Using maximum variation sampling with the intention to acquire the broadest range of experiences of stage of disease and treatment, 27 cisgender men (aged 48-83, x=63) who had surgical treatment consented for their data to be archived for analysis. From a dramaturgical perspective, the constructionist thematic analysis explored direct and indirect talk about the penis after surgery. The analysis showed that through graphic and sequential narratives of dismemberment revealed, participants constructed a post-surgery period in which they both wanted and did-not-want to see their penis. Additionally, participants constructed themselves managing difficult emotions through others and seeing themselves being rejected by a potentially desiring (female) Other. The findings extend research on male genitals by showing how the post-surgery penis can function as something hidden but visceral and traumatic when revealed. Importantly, this paper illustrates body image as expressive equipment where body and identity are formed in the image of manhood, which is an intersubjective (sexual) object between self and other.