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Overview of Women’s Health and the Women’s Health Movement

by: Valentina Herrera

Overview of Women’s Health and the Women’s Health Movement WST3323

Marketplace > University of Florida > Women and Gender studies > WST3323 > Overview of Women s Health and the Women s Health Movement
Valentina Herrera

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About this Document

This is from the second week of class.
Gender, Bodies, & Health
Dr. Alyssa Zucker
Class Notes
25 ?




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Popular in Women and Gender studies

This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Valentina Herrera on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to WST3323 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Alyssa Zucker in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Gender, Bodies, & Health in Women and Gender studies at University of Florida.


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Date Created: 10/14/16
Overview of Women’s Health and the  Women’s Health Movement 8/29/16 Preview: What is sexism? Sexism defined: ● A way in which girls or women are treated as a lower status than boys or men, or oppressed on the basis of their gender ● “Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a  person's sex or gender.” Examples of sexism: ● 97% of news anchors over the age of 40 are men ● Institutionalized sexism in the workplace (sometimes legalized) ● Preference of “male” sports (football) over “female” sports (volleyball) ● Emphasis of beauty and appearance in female athletes ● Female anchors (especially sports anchors) needing to justify what they say ● The “opinionated” woman vs. the man with opinions ● Bossy women vs. assertive men ● Parents (baby boomers) not knowing what modern feminism is Frameworks for understanding women’s health Biomedical perspective ● Focus on basic biology, ignorance of mental health ● Biology as destiny ○ Women will be mothers because they have the biology to do so ○ Old idea that male body was the “norm” and women’s bodies  deviated from that norm ● Biology as “fact,” absent context ○ Environmental factors are often ignored Biopsychosocial model ● Biology is important, but so are other things ● Integration and interplay of biology, psychology, and social context Feminist perspective ● Biopsychosocial plus critical emphasis on structural elements ● Can be feminist and align with other perspective Male­bodies­as­norm ● Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging didn’t include women for the first 20 years ● The definition of AIDS didn’t include symptoms women experienced until 1991 ○ Women would experience pelvic symptoms but not diagnosed as  AIDS ● Major study of coronary heart disease studied 15,000 men and no women ○ Mid 1980s ● This often can lead to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis, and even more deaths  (AIDS and heart attacks) ● Women get sicker, but men die quicker ○ Men typically die at a younger age than women because men  aren’t as open or willing to go the doctor. This leads to not being diagnosed and  allowing diseases to worsen. Article: “Labs Are Told to Start Including a Neglected Variable: Females” ­  May 14, 2014 ● A female rat’s menstrual cycle is 4 days, so researchers didn’t want to study  them because it was hard to know when the rat was ovulating and were worried it would  affect the drug test’s results. The Women’s Health Movement in the Context of  Second Wave Feminism ● Second wave feminism is characterized by reproductive rights, workplace rights,  alignment with the Anti­war movement (protesting the Vietnam war), and other civil rights movements ○ Major success and outcome of this is Title IX, which outlawed all  aspects of gender disparity in education funding but there is an emphasis on  sports. Brief History of the Women’s Health Movement ● The main way that information was shared before the internet included talking to  other women (formally called consciousness raising) ○ Sometimes women would just talk about their experiences ○ Eventually included communal examinations (instead of going to  the doctor) ■ Women would use a speculum and mirror to look at their vulvas ○ The Boston Women’s Health Collective shared information about  women’s health ■ Printed pamphlet called “Our Bodies, Our Selves: A Course By and For Women” ● Individual women were assigned  “sections” to research that would then come together to be  published as the pamphlet ● Multiple versions of the pamphlet  were published, each containing more information than the last ● Later expanded to be a book: Our  Bodies, Ourselves ○ National Black Women’s Health Project ■ Now called the Black Women’s Health Imperative ■ Began on the UF campus from friends talking to  each other ■ Recently moved its HQ to Washington, DC


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