Book by anthropology’s Matthew Gutmann wins AAA’s Basker Prize.

Book by anthropology’s Matthew Gutmann wins AAA’s Basker Prize.

:   A book by Professor of Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, and Latin American Studies Matthew Gutmann has been awarded the 2008 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize from the American Anthropological Association. “This prize is awarded to the work judged to be the most courageous, significant, and potentially influential contribution to scholarship in the area of gender and health” from a scholar from any discipline or nation, according to the prize announcement.

Fixing Men: Sex, Birth Control, and AIDS in Mexico (University of California Press, 2007) examines what men in the Mexican state of Oaxaca say and do about contraception, sex, and AIDS. To research the book, Gutmann did extensive ethnographic fieldwork in two vasectomy clinics, a government AIDS clinic, and among indigenous midwives, doctors, and healers. His approach departed from most studies on reproductive practices and rights, which tend to focus on women. Fixing Men reveals how the Oaxacan men make decisions about birth control, how they cope with the plague of AIDS, and the contradictory healing techniques that biomedical and indigenous medical practitioners employ for infertility, impotence, and infidelity. Gutmann talks with men during and after their vasectomies and discovers why some opt for sterilization, while so many others feel “planned out of family planning.”

The award carries a cash prize of $1,000.