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 New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

Im Focus: Cost-effective and individualized advanced electronic packaging in small batches now available

Fraunhofer IZM is joining the EUROPRACTICE IC Service platform. Together, the partners are making fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) for electronic devices available and affordable even in small batches – and thus of interest to research institutes, universities, and SMEs. Costs can be significantly reduced by up to ten customers implementing individual fan-out wafer level packaging for their ICs or other components on a multi-project wafer. The target group includes any organization that does not produce in large quantities, but requires prototypes.

Research always means trying things out and daring to do new things. Research institutes, universities, and SMEs do not produce in large batches, but rather...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Concert of magnetic moments

14.06.2019 | Information Technology

Materials informatics reveals new class of super-hard alloys

14.06.2019 | Materials Sciences

New imaging modality targets cholesterol in arterial plaque

14.06.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>