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Nursing and Health Sciences. 2018 Mar; 20(1):39-45.In this study, we described and analyzed parents' experiences of teenage parenthood and the provision of support to their teenage children who had recently have become parents. A qualitative method was used. In-depth interviews with 24 participants were conducted, all parents of teenage parents. Data were analyzed using content analysis; four themes and 11 subthemes were identified. The results show that parents' norms and values were strongly influenced by their religious beliefs. The participants had mixed emotions and reactions to their teenage children's parenthood. Also participants were sources of support to the teenage parents and assisted them in their transition to parenthood. However, the participants also expressed the importance that their teenage children continue their education and avoid repeated pregnancies. This study highlights how emotional, instrumental, and informational support provided by parents to their teenagers can assist the latter in their transition to parenthood. In their work with teenage parents, healthcare providers can benefit from teenage parent's own parents involvement and experiences.
International Journal of Human Rights. 2018; 1-17.Any attempt to stop cycles of violence requires an understanding of the cultural meanings of impunity, or freedom from consequences. As Cambodia struggles to combat the tide of violence in daily life, at a time when former Khmer Rouge leaders face the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), this article discusses the cultural underpinnings of impunity in Cambodia. In this ethnographic study, data are gathered from survivors and perpetrators of direct violence (e.g. violence against women and children) and public violence (e.g. land-grabbing). Findings show that some perpetrators ‘remember’ having been victims of violence in a previous incarnation and are reborn as perpetrators, while others, born with particular birthmarks, are prone to impunity. From the Buddhist cultural perspective prevalent in Cambodia, the three ‘unwholesome roots’ – craving, anger, and delusion – poison the perpetrators’ minds and lead them on the ‘road to ruin’, imbuing them with ‘clouded moral vision’ that blinds them and results in a failure of conscience. The study’s findings will add to our understanding of the cultural and psychological footprint of impunity, with implications for the development of culturally responsive strategies to end the cycle of violence. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
An assessment of the role of faith-based organisations in HIV/AIDS mitigation, treatment and care: The case of buddhist compassion relief in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. 2014 Jan; 5(2):345-351.This study investigates the role of faith based organizations in HIV/AIDS mitigation, treatment and care. Using a qualitative methodology and with specific focus on Buddhist Compassion Relief (Tzu Chi Foundation), this study assesses the efficacy of HIV/AIDS intervention programmes run by the Tzu Chi Foundation (TCF) as well as their impact on the socio-economic and health wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It also analyses the challenges of such faith based organisation run public health community intervention programmes. The study finds that such interventions tremendously assist people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) to access home based care in the absence of a well co-ordinated state intervention programme. Through the home based care programmes, PLWHA access more knowledge about how to live positively, safe sex practices to avoid re-infection and strategies of dealing with societal stigmatisation and social exclusion. Furthermore, PLWHA also receive nutritional food, are assisted in adhering to their prescribed ARV therapy and given physiotherapy sessions in an effort to elongate and enhance their quality of life. While there are the foregoing and many other benefits of home based care, the study however finds that such faith based organisation run public health interventions have a number of challenges which include inadequate funding, dubious development paradigm praxis, questionable sustainability thrust as well as organisational structures which do not reflect local population demographics.
International Journal of Nursing Practice. 2013 Apr; 19 Suppl 2:7-14.This study aimed to reveal the process of achieving peace and harmony in life by Thai Buddhists living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Thailand. Data were gathered from 28 Thai Buddhist participants aged 18 years or older, who had lived with HIV/AIDS for 5 years or more. Purposive, snowball and theoretical sampling techniques were used to recruit the participants. Data collection, using in-depth interviews, was carried out over a 7 month period between 2011 and 2012. Grounded theory was used to guide the process of data analysis. Two categories emerged to describe the core category 'Achieving Peace and Harmony in life': (i) understanding and accepting that nothing is permanent and (ii) living life with contentment. Findings are valuable for health professionals in enhancing peace and harmony for their patients. (c) 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Influences of stigma and HIV transmission knowledge on member support for faith-placed HIV initiatives in Chinese immigrant Buddhist and protestant religious institutions in New York City.
AIDS Education and Prevention. 2013 Oct; 25(5):445-56.Ethnic religious institutions in the United States are uniquely positioned to influence HIV programming within Asian immigrant communities at large. This article examines how knowledge of HIV transmission and stigma potentially influenced attendees' support for their institutions' involvement in HIV programs. Quantitative questionnaires were individually administered to 400 Chinese attendees of Protestant churches and 402 attendees of Buddhist temples in New York City. Mediational analyses indicated that HIV stigma significantly mediated the direct effects of HIV transmission knowledge on attendees' support of their institution's involvement in HIV education (bias corrected and accelerated [BCa] 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.004 to 0.051), HIV care (BCa 95% CI, 0.019 to 0.078), and stigma reduction initiatives (BCa 95% CI, 0.013 to 0.070), while controlling for religious affiliation, age, gender, and education. To mobilize Chinese churches and temples to engage in HIV programming, it remains important to support educational programs on HIV transmission that specifically help to mitigate stigma toward persons living with HIV.
Suffering and hope, the lived experiences of Thai HIV positive pregnant women: a phenomenological approach.
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2009 Dec; 92 Suppl 7:S59-67.OBJECTIVE: To understand the meaning and interpret descriptions about the lived experiences of Thai pregnant women with HIV positive and to discover essential themes in the context of Thai socio-economic and health care service system. MATERIAL AND METHOD: A phenomenological approach was used. Sixteen HIV positive pregnant women volunteered to participate from June 2005 to June 2006. Data were collected through unstructured multiple in-depth individual interviews, observation, field-note, tape recorded and transcribed, and analyzed thematically. RESULTS: Two patterns emerged: first was a pattern of suffering, secondly, was a pattern of hope. Suffering was caused by fear of condemnation from their spouses, and by fear of disappointing their larger families. Moreover; the suffering was exacerbated by feelings of uncertainty for the sickness in the future, worry about the discrimination and stigmatization of their children, self-blaming and a feeling desperation. Within the pattern of hope, these women hoped for their unborn babies to be healthy and free from HIV infection. Furthermore, they hoped to live as long as possible in order to care for their children, and they hoped that someday they would be accepted by the community and be able to live in harmony. CONCLUSION: This study formed 2 patterns of the lived experiences among Thai HIV positive pregnant women. Interventions through health promotion programs to encourage the development of skills for positive coping and therapeutic self-care to help them endure suffering and support women's hopes to live longer for their children by changing to healthy patterns of behavior.
Spirituality within the family and the prevention of health risk behavior among adolescents in Bangkok, Thailand.
Social Science and Medicine. 2010 Nov; 71(10):1855-1863.This study investigates the influences of a family's spiritual beliefs and practices on substance use and sexual risk behaviors among young adolescents 13-14 years old in Bangkok, Thailand. Independent predictor variables are the parents' and teens' spiritual beliefs and practices in Buddhism and parental monitoring behaviors. The study uses data from the 2007 Baseline Survey of the Thai Family Matters Project, which adapted a U.S.-based family prevention program for Thai culture. A representative sample of 420 pairs of parents and teens from the Bangkok metropolitan area was recruited to participate in the study. Structural equation models indicate that positive direct and indirect associations of the spirituality of parents and teens within a family and the prevention of adolescent risk behaviors are significant and consistent.
Chinese Medical Journal. 2010 Apr 20; 123(8):1011-6.BACKGROUND: The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Chinese ethnic minorities is an important component of China's AIDS issues. In this study, we launched an intervention programme in Yunnan Province of China, where the Dai people live, to carry out the community-based HIV/AIDS health education and behavioral interventions on ordinary Dai farmers. The Dai people believe in Theravada Buddhism. METHODS: Four rural communities were randomly divided into two groups. In one group (Buddhist group), HIV/AIDS health education and behavioral intervention were carried out by monks. The other group (women group) was instructed by women volunteers. The intervention continued for one year and the data were collected before and after the intervention project. RESULTS: In the Buddhist group, the villagers' AIDS related knowledge score was boosted from 3.11 to 3.65 (P < 0.001), and some indices of the villagers' behavior using condoms improved after the intervention. But this improvement was poorer than that in the women group. In the Buddhist group, the villager's attitude score towards the people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) also increased significantly from 1.51 to 2.16 (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The results suggested that the Buddhist organization has limited success in promoting the use of condoms, but plays an important role in eliminating HIV/AIDS related discrimination.
Gender and Development. 2006 Nov; 14(3):385-397.This paper discusses the recent emergence of a movement in Thailand that aims to critique and transform patriarchal values supported by the Theravada Buddhist tradition by introducing female ordination (bhikkhuni ordination). The paper argues that there is a relationship between the low status of women in Thai Buddhism and the inferior status of women in Thai society. The introduction of female leadership roles in Thai Buddhism could play a role in balancing the gender hierarchies within the tradition as well as in society more broadly. (author's)
Journal of Holistic Nursing. 2007; 25(4):236-237.This study is helpful in promoting cultural competence among nurses. It provides an in-depth view of young women in Thailand successfully coping with the demands of being a new mother, despite receiving an HIV positive diagnosis. Learning more about another culture not only enables the nurse to provide more culturally appropriate care but also expands the nurse's horizons and enriches his or her life. One aspect of culture is religion and gaining knowledge about major world religions helps the nurse better understand patients' spiritual practices and worldview. This article introduces the nurse to some basic Buddhist teachings and practices. This exposure is not only useful in caring for clients from Asian countries who grew up in Buddhist families and communities, but also useful in caring for the growing number of people born in America who engage in some form of Buddhist practice. (excerpt)
Journal of Holistic Nursing. 2007 Dec; 25(4):228-235.This study examines the Buddhist beliefs and practices of Thai HIV-positive postpartum women as ways to live with their infection. Seven HIV-positive postpartum, Buddhist, Thai women were interviewed. Principles of hermeneutic phenomenology guided the study. All women in the study practiced spiritual activities based on their understanding of three central Buddhist beliefs: karma, the Five Precepts, and the Four Noble Truths. These beliefs played a major role in helping them to deal with their infection. Meditating, praying, and doing good deeds are examples of spiritual activities they practiced. All participants maintained that their beliefs and practices allowed them to feel peaceful and that their ultimate goal in life is to find peace (Kwam Sa-ngob Jai). Understanding patients' spiritual beliefs and practices can help nurses to positively promote better nurse-patient relationships. Nurses should encourage patients' spiritual practices as being grounded in their belief system. (author's)
Lancet. 2007 Oct 27; 370(9597):1465-1467.Burma's "Saffron Revolution", and the brutal military crackdown which followed it, brought the world's attention to this closed and troubled country. The Buddhist monks and nuns who led the movement have called for dialogue, democracy, and human rights. But they also called on the junta to address the initial spark of the uprising: the five-fold increase in the cost of gas, the doubling of diesel prices, and the two-thirds increases in petrol costs imposed by the junta on Aug 19, 2007. Burma's people were already in desperate straights before these price hikes. In 2000, Burma's health-care system was ranked 190th out of 191 nations by WHO. UNICEF estimates that close to a third of children nationwide were malnourished in 2006, real wages were being devoured by inflation, and HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and a range of other health threats were taking terrible tolls on ordinary Burmese. UNICEF reported that Government spending on health care in Burma amounted to US$0.40 per citizen per year in 2005, compared with $61 in neighbouring Thailand. (excerpt)
Journal of the History of Sexuality. 2007 Jan; 16(1):14-39.Putting together (1) the belief that sexual characteristics can change, (2) the focus on male superiority, (3) the emphasis on women being reborn as men, and (4) the popular wish to be reborn in one of a number of heavens, some of which excluded women, leads to the conclusion that there was an implicit strand of Buddhism that not only negates the spiritual potential of women but appears determined to exterminate womanhood and to add to the stock of manhood. It is a Buddhism that reveals its collaboration with patriarchal and misogynistic traditions and the insecurities for men that those traditions engendered. This understanding can shed new light on Uppalavannas legend. (excerpt)
Old Testament Essays. 2006; 19(2):486-499.The face of Aids is conspicuous in poverty-ridden continents such as Africa. Patriarchally-oriented contexts only perpetuate the spread of HIV with dire consequences for African female bodies. The sacred texts of various religious traditions and their interpretations, have not provided a solution to the problem either. In fact, they have become part of the problem. It is argued that while Aids is mostly killing African female bodies, religion is burying them! This article seeks to show the crisis of African female bodies trapped between HIV/Aids and religious texts. (author's)
Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. 2007 Spring; 23(1):95-116.In this article, Ohnuma examines maternal love and maternal grief in premodern South Asian Buddhist texts and discusses the manner in which patriarchal religious traditions negotiate both symbols. Inasmuch as South Asian Buddhism constitutes a dominant, patriarchal tradition, Ohnuma shows how it ambivalently accommodates the particularity of a mother's love for her own children. On the one hand, canonical Buddhist texts exalt mother-love as a paradigmatic symbol for the universal love and compassion of Buddhas and bodhisattvas. On the other hand, mother-love is also condemned as a manifestation of selfish attachment, as exemplified in the suffering of the grieving mother, who is disparaged in Buddhist texts as antithetical to the spiritual goals of dispassion, detachment, and overcoming suffering. Thus, while mother-love as a symbol is exalted, mother-love as an actual entity is ultimately devalued and undermined. Ohnuma concludes the article by focusing on the Buddhist goddess Hariti and suggeststhat this tradition might represent Buddhism's attempt to incorporate lower-level folk traditions that were perhaps more compatible with mother-love. (author's)
Qualitative Health Research. 2006 Nov; 16(9):1286-1301.The authors of this article discuss the effects of shame and stigma on female caregivers of people living with AIDS in southern Thailand. They conducted a longitudinal ethnographic case study over 8 months and collected data using interviews, observations, field notes, and journaling. The authors performed qualitative content analysis and narrative analysis. Public judgment was created in a moral climate, framed by Buddhist precepts of correct and honorable behavior, with different levels of tolerance and stigmatization between men and women. Women caregivers engaged in concealing practices, deception, and withdrawal from social relationships to manage the effects of shame and stigma. (author's)
Psychosocial needs of women with cancer of the reproductive system: A comparison between Buddhist and Muslim patients in Thailand.
Mental Health, Religion and Culture. 2006 Sep; 9(4):379-388.The aims of this study were (1) to compare the differences in psychosocial needs and needs-met between Buddhist and Muslim patients with cancer of the female reproductive system; and (2) to identify factors associated with those needs, and the perception of responses to their needs. The subjects were 45 Thai Buddhist and Thai Muslim patients, with cancer of the reproductive system, who were admitted to a gynecological ward of a university hospital in southern Thailand. A structured interview questionnaire concerning demographic and disease characteristics, and eight categories of psychosocial needs and needs-met (hope, more information, moral support, acceptance, relief of anxiety, economic support, discussion about death, and privacy) was given to the patients an average of six days after admission. Both Buddhist and Muslim patients had overall high psychosocial needs that were not fully met. Muslims had significantly higher needs for acceptance, relief of anxiety, economic support, discussion of issues related to death, and privacy than had Buddhists. The needs scores were higher than the needs-met scores for all categories in both Buddhist and Muslim patients. Being Muslim was the only factor related with the change in the overall needs score. The type and stage of cancers were significantly associated with change in the needs-met scores. Ovarian cancer patients had higher needs-met scores than cervical cancer patients, and patients in the higher stages of illness had lower needs-met scores than those in stage 1. The study revealed a high level of psychosocial needs in female cancer patients. In future planning for the provision of nursing care for these patients, the particular needs of different ethnic groups and patients in different types and stages of cancers should be considered. (author's)
Studies of Tribes and Tribals. 2005; 3(1):1-13.In most parts of India, Multiple therapy systems and a diversity of health behaviour patterns co-exist and Ladakh is no exception. The status, growth and evaluation of co-existing therapy systems have been influenced by cultural ideology, ecology, political patronage, changing social institutions, disenchantment with and romanticization of values represented by therapy systems (or their supporters). In the present paper an attempt has been made to describe the ways in which a common Ladakhi thinks about medicine and how these perceptions effect the utilization of alternative therapy systems. This paper examines the alternative resources and treatments utilized by various population groups in Ladakh. The study reveals a multiple therapy systems. The multiple dimensions of health care are described in terms of medical behaviour of health sector and the practioners, and health care strategies employed by the patient. Medical pluralism may be defined as the synchronic existence in a society of more than one medicine system grounded in different principles or based on different world views. In the Indian context the important components of medical pluralism are allopathy, ayurvada, homeopathy, and unani. In the Ladakhi context components of medical pluralism are allopathy or bio-medicine, shamanism (Locally known as Lhawaism), lamaism, and scholarly amchi medicine. Among Ladakhis, choice of therapy depends on illness specific patterns of resort. (author's)
A critique of the early Buddhist texts: the doctrine of woman's incapability of becoming an enlightened one.
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 2002 Sep 30; 8(3): p..The aim of this article is to analyze and critique the doctrine of women's incapability of becoming an enlightened one (DWI), as it appears in the early Buddhist texts (the Pali Nikayas). The authenticity of the doctrine is problematic because it contradicts other passages supportive of women pursuing the Buddhist goal of nibbana. It is also problematic because it does not agree with other doctrines of Buddhism. The first part of this article presents DWI as it appeared in the texts as an approach that is predominantly misogynist, androcentric, and patriarchal. The second part of this article presents seven reasons why DWI is problematic and argues that it is anti-Buddhist in nature. (author's)
On gender discourse and the maintenance of boundaries: a feminist analysis of the Bhikkhuni order in India Buddhism.
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 1998 Sep 30; 4(3): p..By analyzing the creation, manifestation, and decline of the bhikkhuni (nun) order in Indian Buddhism, this paper attempts to assess the precarious position of the alms woman in ancient Indian society. This study asserts that the peripheral and often nonexistent role of the bhikkhuni in Buddhism's textual and historical development is a product of both masculinist biases in the composition, redaction and codification of Buddhist texts, as well as androcentric and patriarchal biases within the Buddhist sangha and larger Indian community. Underlying this feminist analysis is the notion that the roles and contributions of renunciant women in Buddhism's development were by no means marginal, trivial, or benign. This paper examines the following: the creation of the first Buddhist nuns' order, the consequences of the Eight Special Rules imposed upon nuns, the significance of female renunciation in ancient India, the threat of androgyny posed by nuns and monks, speculations as to why the bhikkhuni order suffered virtual extinction, and finally, the theoretical implications of the sex/gender prerequisites for a bhikkhuni initiate as set forth in the Vinaya (The Book of the Discipline). Using the case of the first Buddhist nuns as a model for feminist inquiry, this study demonstrates that permitting women to enter a traditionally male sphere without altering the basic structure and ideologies of the phallocentric institution, does not guarantee women's freedom from sex/gender oppression. (author's)
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 1998 Mar 31; 4(1): p..In South Asia, women's hairstyles project cultural values and can be external reflections of internal subjectivities. Despite recent political and social changes in Kathmandu, Nepal, people continue to "read" messages of morality and identity into women's hairstyles. At certain points in their lives, and as members of different castes and classes, women are able to change their hairstyles to reflect or signal a change in their identities (cultural, social, national, religious). For example, Buddhist nuns shave their heads and eyebrows to announce their renunciation to the world; young unmarried women in Kathmandu wear westernized hairstyles identifying them with more global gender images, but as their marriages approach they grow out their hair to conform to more traditional cultural ideals; national and cultural identities are revealed when Nepali women leave their heads uncovered after marriage in contrast to some Indian women who cover their hair; and radical politics emerge when an unmarried woman shaves her hair like a man in order to perform the funeral rituals for her mother, normally the eldest son's role. Based on over two and a half years of anthropological fieldwork in Kathmandu, this paper asks: What messages are women inscribing on their bodies through the wearing of particular hairstyles? How do women use their hair to signify certain practices, beliefs, and identities? And, how does the wearing of different hairstyles tie these women into a wider global community? The beauty salon is one site where these complex, and sometimes fragmented, identities are emerging. (author's)
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 1997 Dec 31; 3(4): p..This study establishes an enlightening dialogue between Buddhism and feminism with the goal of creating a Buddhist feminist discourse. Specifically, it aims to provide a new feminist perspective on identity, sex, gender, and liberation through the feminist appropriation and critique of Mahayana sex-change sutras. Mahayana sex-change sutras, in which a female bodhisattva engages (or refuses to engage) in sexual transformation in order to attain Buddhahood, are analyzed within their original, androcentric context and underlying Buddhist doctrines are highlighted. The sex-change sutras are then juxtaposed with contemporary poststructuralist feminist theory and evaluated as models for a new Buddhist feminism. In the course of this analysis, basic Buddhist concepts are introduced, the problem of androcentrism with respect to Buddhism's institutionalization and textual preservation is discussed, and points of conjunction between Buddhism and feminism are emphasized. The creation of a Buddhist feminist discourse breaks its long chain of androcentrism; challenges foundationalist and essentialist thinking; and presents feminists with new avenues for theorizing identity, women, sex, gender, and liberation. (author's)
Thai genders and the limits of Western gender theory. Review essay [of] Materializing Thailand [by] Penny Van Esterick.
Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context. 2004 Aug; (10): p..The central issues that Penny Van Esterik investigates in Materializing Thailand are 'how Thai women have come to bear the burden of signifying Thainess both within the country and globally and ...the response of the Thai women's movement to the position and condition of Thai women. In answering these questions she provides an excellent political history of contemporary Thai culture, detailing the gendered nationalism of a state which in the twentieth century used 'the display of women as icons that express Thai national identity and confirm Thai masculinity. Van Esterik also has a broader theoretical agenda, arguing that a detailed understanding of 'the Thai sex-gender system has much to contribute to counter Euro-American biases in theorising gender, sexuality and prostitution. This vision of Thai Area Studies critically engaging the Eurocentric biases of the Western academy is arguably the book's most important contribution. (excerpt)
Journal of Asian Studies. 1998 May; 57(2):379-396.This essay will explore various possible explanations for the rapid rise of this group, for its differential appeal to women, and for its emphasis on charity. In some ways, as we discuss below, Ciji does indeed respond to many of the same pressures and opportunities that some American and European women experienced over a century ago. New wealth has freed them from many earlier responsibilities for housework and child care, yet a limited job market and a morality of feminine propriety restrain their options outside the home. At the same time recent urbanization and the dominance of market transactions have led to a feeling that community values have been lost to individual self-interest, and that many husbands are being lost to a new world of business and bars. Both cases brought the independent discovery o similar solutions to modernity's crisis of values for newly urban, middle-class women. Yet just as Taiwan has not simply reproduced Western market development, its women's charitable movement is also not a clone of an earlier North America or Western Europe. The cultural world system has changed as much in the last century as the economic one. Ciji, for example, can borrow to some extent directly from current Western models of social welfare that simply did not exist in the nineteenth century. Perhaps more importantly, Ciji also rests firmly on Taiwanese and Budhist cultural foundations. Its long-term implications for Taiwan are thus quite different from the comparable Western organizations, which are often seen as precursors of the women's rights movement. Such a movement already exists in Taiwan. As we will discuss, Ciji's significance will more likely lie in its reanimation of Taiwanese Buddhism and its pioneering role in forging a new public sphere in Taiwan's transition from authoritarian rule. (excerpt)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan, Population Studies Center, 1998 Jul.  p. (Research Report No. 98-417)The present study examines the contrast between Muslim reproductive attitudes and behavior in Thailand and those of Buddhists, especially in the southern region. Results are based primarily on a large regional survey directed towards this topic and supplemental focus group discussions among Muslims in Southern Thailand. We interpret Muslim reproductive patterns from the perspectives of the major hypotheses that have been invoked in the social demographic literature to explain links between religion and fertility. These hypotheses go part way in helping understand what appears to be a complex and context specific relationship. Nevertheless, the linkages between religion, ethnic and cultural identity, and political setting that appear to operating are more complex than can be fully accounted for by even a combination of the existing hypotheses. (author's)