Coming to Understand: Orgasm and the Epistemology of Ignorance
Article first published online: 9 JAN 2009
2004 by Hypatia, Inc.
Special Issue: Feminist Science Studies
Volume 19, Issue 1, pages 194–232, February 2004
How to Cite
TUANA, N. (2004), Coming to Understand: Orgasm and the Epistemology of Ignorance. Hypatia, 19: 194–232. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2004.tb01275.x
- Issue published online: 9 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 9 JAN 2009
Lay understanding and scientific accounts of female sexuality and orgasm provide a fertile site for demonstrating the importance of including epistemologies of ignorance within feminist epistemologies. Ignorance is not a simple lack. It is often constructed, maintained, and disseminated and is linked to issues of cognitive authority, doubt, trust, silencing, and uncertainty. Studying both feminist and nonfeminist understandings of female orgasm reveals practices that suppress or erase bodies of knowledge concerning women's sexual pleasures.