Women?s Studies 103: Readings for Exam 2 Images of Women as a Mental and Physical Health Issue Hazards of Hearth and Home (Classic): Domestic work involves low status, lack of economic power, and extensive social and emotional responsibilities. Problems include domestic accidents, hazardous chemicals, etc. Women are forced to care not only for people but also about people and often receive little in return ? caring tricycle. Theory of Women Smoking and How Societies Benefit: Often women use cigarettes as a way to meditate, meaning that it is an escape for them yet they can still remain in control and care for children, husbands, and the home. If smoking suppresses the stress or anxiety of a woman she is seen in society as being less troublesome. The Picture of Health: Health is most often portrayed as young attractive individuals being active. Being slim is automatically seen as ?healthy? despite the fact that many people do unhealthy things to achieve this. Few ads show people with disabilities and people of color are never portrayed on health magazine colors. A healthy person is ultimately young, slim, white, physically-abled, physically active, and financially well off. Women and Mental Health: (Classic) Women?s ill health, most commonly depression is clearly related to the fact that women find themselves in depressing situations as they live in a world in which girls and women are supposed to be submissive, dependent, easily influenced, and not competitive. Cosmetic Surgery Coopts Feminism: Cosmetic surgery has become more acceptable and it is almost expected for women with imperfections to undergo the knife. The media is largely responsible for the growth in cosmetic surgery popularity : the media utilizes women?s insecurities to promote cosmetic surgery. Pressures of Perfectionism: Many young women including the author feel the pressures of society to be perfect so despite the statistics and dangers of plastic surgery, many women continue to have procedures such as breast implants despite the negative long term effects. The Medicalization and Marketing of Women?s Health Manufacturing Knowledge: Pharmaceutical companies influence almost every piece of information available to doctors and consumers. Also, in the US companies are allowed to run direct-to consumer ads and these ads often encourage patients to talk to their doctors about products that they often do not know anything about. Overdosed America: Drug companies dominate advertising and research funding. They manipulate results so that they come out on top and encourage the puplic through their advertising. Even doctors are persuaded by these companies and these companies are usually believed. AMSA?s PharmFree Campaign: Pharmaceutical companies claim to need more funds for research; however, they spend more on advertising than they do on research. Also the idea of ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? describes the fact that doctors often accept ?bribes?, a free meal or gifts from the pharmaceutical companies and as a result they prescribe more. Prescription Drug Ads It is important to know what to look for in a prescription ad and also important to realize what is missing. We are often not told a product?s effectiveness and many key elements are left out, for example of a pill reduces heart attack risk by 50%, we must ask 50% of what. How to Read a Drug Ad: Most drug ads sell the fear of the disease, for example suggesting that all women over the age of 50 could be at risk for osteoporosis. This fear targets a wide range of people many of which are at no risk at all. Ads also sell tests, such as to be tested for a particular disease. It is important to realize that most drugs are only right for a very small number of people and new drugs are not always better than the old because after all, they are still new. Health Info on the Web: It is important to beware of drug ads because this could mean that the information is most likely biased or maybe even false because it will be sponsored by the drug company. Even if advertisements are not present the site could still be sponsored by a drug company. Other things to watch out for include paying attention to the purpose of the article, being aware of any inaccuracies, and know where the information is coming from. Six Steps Toward a Better Future: It is important to change the use of prescriptions and research because some medical practice is determined under the influence of industry not evidence. One key step in this process is to eliminate drug company money from medical education. Politics of Women?s Health: Hormone Replacement Therapy is symbolic of a recurring pattern on untested, unneeded products being marketed to healthy women for pharmaceutical company-inspired ?medical conditions.? Both the media and medical professionals spoke of the dangers of HRT as shocking and unpredictable but no one should have been surprised to learn that it did not prevent heart disease and produced health risks. Issues Related to Menstruation Don?t Just go with the Flow: There are many more menstrual products available to women than what most of us know. Organic products or reusable ones such as a menstrual cup or a cloth pad are not only better for our bodies but also the environment. The Selling of PMS (Classic): When the idea of progesterone prescriptions developed women all over rushed to their doctors to receive this cure for PMS, despite the fact that it wasn?t FDA approved. It is important to understand the negative effects including that it has not been properly tested to be deemed safe for women to use and eventually we might learn more about it in ways we never wanted to before. To Bleed or Not to Bleed: While suppressing menstruation can be a beneficial health benefit many women jump at this opportunity for pure convenience. We still do not know the long term effects of suppressing periods and so unless it is for severe health reasons it is important to evaluate the value of this unknown treatment. The Endocrine System, Sex Hormones, and the Menstrual Cycle Male & Female Hormones: It is important to know that both men and women are born with and continue to have both estrogen and androgens. The common but false idea that one hormone is associated with one particular sex is dangerous in that it leads to biological limitations such as anger seen in both men and women and what is considered acceptable in society. Female Adolescence: It is interesting to note that weight is directly related to menarche. After much research on menarche and growth spurts and weight, we can conclude that menarche begins around the time when girls are about 103 lbs and that age is more or less irrelevant. The Menstrual Cycle Demystified Hormones & Monthly Cycles (Sloane p. 82-88): See blue handout from class. Demystifying the Science of Pregnancy, Lactation, and Childbirth: Informed Decision Making vs. Medicalization Mother?s Milk Project (Rights, Ch.7): Cultural Warping of Childbirth (Classic): The United States has one of the highest levels on infant mortality rate in the world and this result can be linked to many limitations and restrictions placed on the mother during child birth. To name a few, elective induction of labor, shaving the birth area, chemical stimulation of labor, and offering water and formula to the breast-fed infant are some of the many ways women are limited. Midwifery Care: Many women feel that they receive little personalized health care, yet American women have few opportunities to use the services of midwives and to have those services covered by insurance. Some problems associated with midwifery in the US include physician opposition, limited access to liability insurance, economic woes (midwives are paid thousands of dollars less than physicians), and lack of midwife education programs. Maternity Care: Midwives are accepted as the safest birth attendants for most women in research because their presence leads to fewer mortality rates and fewer invasive interventions. The United States has the highest per capita spending on health care in the world yet we still have an extremely high infant mortality rate and many unnatural births. Ideals vs. Reality in US Births: WHO recommendations are closely related to the CIMS suggestions yet the actual statistics are far off. Women are often given medications to speed up and induce labor and the use of midwives is little resulting in more unnatural births.
Want to see the other 4 page(s) in Exam 2 Readings?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!