Call For Papers | Critical social approaches to obstetric violence. A Latin American category for a global problem

Call for Papers • Volume 7 • Issue 34 • October-December 2022 Critical social approaches to obstetric violence. A Latin American category for a global problem


Guest Editor: 

PhD. Belén Castrillo. Universidad Nacional de La Plata – Argentina.

Fecha límite de envío: October 15, 2022

Editorial guidelines: instructions and templates 

Submission method: Consult the checklist

APC: Consult policies and waivers

Accepted languages: Spanish, English, or Portuguese



Critical social approaches to obstetric violence. A Latin American category for a global problem

Born in Latin America (Simonovic, 2019), "obstetric violence" (OV) is a category and episteme (Sesia, 2020) that names the systematic violation of human, sexual and reproductive rights in the medical care of pregnancy, childbirth, and abortion processes. Present in public, private, and home settings, it affects women and pregnant women of different socioeconomic strata, educational levels, geographic locations, ages, and ethnic backgrounds. It is expressed not only in the epidemic of cesarean sections and the increase in obstetric interventionism that considers most births as risky and pathologizes their care but also in the crystallization of a medical definition of the perinatal event, the origins of which are less than a century and a half old. This individual and collective internalization of the biomedical interventionist view of what it is like to gestate, give birth, give birth and abort, allows the (re)production of the conditions of possibility of OV. The critical perspective of social studies allows us to deconstruct and problematize these crystallizations in order to generate strategies for their prevention and eradication.

Thus, from a socio-anthropological perspective, it has been established that this type of violence is the result of the intersection between unequal gender systems and institutional violence in health care (Magnone Aleman, 2010); that it is based on mechanisms of disempowerment of women and their knowledge at the time of care of their seasonal process (Sadler, 2003); that it can be thought of in its physical and psychological dimensions; that it is the expression of basic violence in health care (Camacaro Cuevas, 2000); or, more clearly, the institutionalization of gender violence (Canevari, 2011). In general terms, from a sociological approach, which proposes a gender perspective in health and human rights, OV is understood as a violation of rights, resulting from the power structure of the medical field and the authoritarian medical habitus it generates (Castro, 2014).

The current state of studies of the field shows a productive explosion that, in some cases, tends to generate new naturalization of the field by defining it in extreme cases (malpractice, perinatal death, incapacity) or by reducing it to issues of maltreatment or inequalities in access to the health system, without questioning the medicalization of the process, which is the basis of its (re)production. In other words, the biomedical conception and approach to birth (asexual, physiological, cultural, and historically developed into a medical event) continue to be privileged.

Within this framework, the proposal of this dossier is to deepen critical views on obstetric violence, models of respected childbirth, and obstetric care in general, presenting situated debates and analysis of experiences, regulations, advances and research results.

Special topics of interest

For the following proposed topics (which do not exclude other related topics), papers are expected to make critical reflections and problematizations of both empirical experiences (health care and regulations) and theoretical and conceptual advances in the area: obstetric violence, respected childbirth, post-abortion violence, medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth, medical interventions and medical-obstetric training.


Camacaro Cuevas, M. (2000). Experiencia del parto. Proceso de la mujer o acto médico. Universidad de Carabobo.

Canevari Bledel, C. (2011). Cuerpos enajenados: experiencias de mujeres en una maternidad pública. Barco Edita.

Castro, R. (2014). Génesis y practica del habitus medico autoritario en México. Revista Mexicana de Sociología, 76(2), 167-197.

Magnone Aleman, N. (2010). Derechos y poderes en el parto: una mirada desde la perspectiva de Humanización. (Tesis de la Maestría). Universidad de la Republica. Uruguay.

Sadler, M. (2003). Así me nacieron mi hija. Aportes antropológicos para el análisis de la atención biomédica del parto hospitalario. (Tesis de Maestría) Universidad de Chile.

Sesia, P. (2020). Violencia obstétrica en México: La consolidación disputada de un nuevo paradigma. En P. Quatrocchi y N. Magnone. Violencia obstétrica en América Latina: conceptualización, experiencias, medición y estrategias. (pp. 3-30). Editorial EDUNLa.

Simonovic, D. (2019). Enfoque basado en los derechos humanos del maltrato y la violencia contra la mujer en los servicios de salud reproductiva, con especial hincapié en la atención del parto y la violencia obstétrica. Informe ONU.