Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Women and cigarettes, the causes for consumption

08.02.2008
A study carried out at the Department of Anthropologyof the University of Granada has examined, both at a quantitative and a qualitative level, the reasons for the increase in the use of cigarettes among women experienced in Spanish society during the last 50 years.

One of the main conclusions of this study is that the use of cigarettes has become very important for women in order to face up to stress and anxiety, control appetite and body weight, and facilitate interaction in social relations.

In that sense, they are used as a tool to get closer to men and to get in touch with them in sexual and amorous interactions. It has also been proved that women use tobacco as a sexual metaphor. Apart from this, the use of cigarettes is symbolic of power and strength when facing unbalanced situations between sexes and male dominance.

This research was conducted by María Luisa Jiménez Rodrigo, who is currently working at the University of Seville, and was led by lecturer Juan Francisco Gamella Mora. A qualitative fieldwork had to be performed in order to carry out this study. This fieldwork was performed by in-depth individual interviews, organization of discussion groups, structured interviews, participant observation, and analysis of the tobacco advertising. This study reveals that the use of cigarettes has attained new and specific meanings in women’s daily life. Therefore, smoking has a series of relative advantages for women, organized into several dimensions: emotional, corporal, social, symbolic and as an expression of power and strength.

A normal act
Both surveys and indicators show how the number of women smokers is increasingly high. However, “a qualitative dimension has been observed in this phenomenon, so that the adoption of the use of cigarettes among women can not be properly understood without it”, according to the author of this research. During the last 50 years the symbolic and cultural elements that shape the social depiction of the practice of smoking and the image of women smokers have changed. Jiménez Rodrigo states that the use of cigarettes is no longer considered to be a privilege enjoyed by men, and condemned by society when a woman did so, but now it is a normal and acceptable act, and fits in well with the common conception of femininity.

Jiménez Rodrigo explains that women started to use tobacco with a specific product - the industrially produced cigarette made from Virginia tobacco. Unlike pipes, cigars and dark tobacco, this product is believed to be compatible with femininity at pharmacological and social levels. Tobacco companies have played a decisive role in this process.

Compatible with the requirements of femininity
“Smoking has become compatible with the social demands imposed upon women. Cigarettes are used by women in order to relax, to avoid gaining weight, and to appear attractive, mature and feminine. It even helps them to pick up men”, emphasizes the author.

In spite of this, stress and anxiety are strongly linked to the use of cigarettes among women. They have to face potentially stressful situations every day as a result of working days with no breaks, family and work role conflicts, unstable and discriminatory situations, or violence and social isolation. Jiménez Rodrigo states that “on a whole, smoking is one of their safety valves to face up to stress. In addition, it is considered to act as a unique relaxant because of its effects, its availability and its accessibility”.

Apart from this, smoking in order to achieve weight control has become increasingly popular among women, particularly among young women. The use of cigarettes to regulate appetite is related to the promotion of thinness as the ideal female form in Western industrialised nations. Jiménez Rodrigo stresses that the use of cigarettes has a great social and collective importance to women since it is present in both their daily lives and other different contexts in which they are participating en masse, particularly education, work and leisure. Moreover, it plays an important social role as it facilitates social relations by increasing their self-confidence and the number of chances to establish social relations and to integrate into a certain group.

Another significant reason has to do with sexual attraction and seduction, although these reasons are more important during adolescence and youth. Smoking is an easy way of coming into contact with men and showing them an attractive “image”. Therefore, cigarettes are used as means of drawing male attention to female sexuality, which fits in with the cultural parameters that emphasize the value of love and sexual achievement as the main elements of female success.

Some of the results of this research were presented at the Ninth Spanish Conference on Sociology and have been published in the Liberaddictus journal.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:
http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/research/verNota/prensa.php?nota=502

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>