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Lecture 5

HLTHAGE 2G03 Lecture 5: Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health
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8 Pages
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Department
Health, Aging and Society
Course Code
HLTHAGE 2G03
Professor
Mat Savelli

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Description
Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health Monday, February 5, 2018 6:52 PM Mental Health and Society C01 Dr. Mat Savelli Intro -Do women and men express/experience distress in the same way? Some say that the expression and response is different and others say that the underlying causes are the same -Do men and women experience same rates of mental pathology? What's at stake? How could we explain it? Has a lot of bearing of how we understand what mental disorders are (diseases or metaphor) and what might be the cause? Is mental illness naturally occurring or the result of gender dynamics in society? -What is the impact of marginalized gender and sexual identities in mental health? Gender and Sexuality -Gender is something one d oes (what someone does/how someone acts) , sex is something one has (refer to biology) -Hegemonic masculinity Something that's so powerful as a concept that we don't realize we're living within that concept There are some ways of assuming masculinity that are so ingrained we assume them to be natural -Emphasized femininity How we expect women to act - differential, gentile, polite, pleasing -These two ideas are powerful and work together to reinforce one another in our society and create our sense of patriarchy -Multiple masculinities and femininities - dominant forms and subordinate other expressions When people act in ways that contravene the norms, it can be risky E.g. heterosexuality held as superior to "inferior sexualities" -These two ideas are powerful and work together to reinforce one another in our society and create our sense of patriarchy -Multiple masculinities and femininities - dominant forms and subordinate other expressions When people act in ways that contravene the norms, it can be risky E.g. heterosexuality held as superior to "inferior sexualities" -How do these ideas connect to issues of mental health? Sources of Difference -Real differences in wellbeing and psychopathology based on physiological differences PMS and post-partum depression to Anti-Social Personality Disorder Assumptions linked to hormones: Empathy, cooperation, nurturing as products of female sex hormones Competitive behaviour, violence as a result of male sex hormones -Real differences based on social conditions and socialization We might encourage men to think in certain way -s ot dwell on feelings, bury emotions tied to weakness, etc. and in the process, we facilitate people as having narcissist and anti-social personality disorders Men and women tend to occupy different places in society, and depending on those places, they encounter different challenges/sources of distress E.g. women more likely to be in marginalized employment -False differences based on research/diagnostic bias The source of discrepancy comes from the person doing the diagnosis History -Ancient Greece and roaming uterus Strange behaviours and feelings of women were explained through hysteria -Post IR, belief that women inherently more mentally ill than men The female body is inherently flawed, weak "Sickly" reproductive system, "sensitive" nervous system -Hysteria: catc-all diagnosis, symptoms including faintness, sleeplessness, irritability, nervousness, pain, sensory change, etc. Micale: "dramatic medical metaphor for everything that men found mysterious or unmanageable in the opposite sex" Flexible ---> Useful --> utilized/diagnoses Shifting physical symptomology represented the unpredictable nature of women Exaggerated emotionality was simply natural feminine sensibility intensified Hysterical fits were "spasms of hyperfemininit-c hildbirth and female orgasm rolled into one Bedrest and orgasms were treatment- the vibrator was a medical Shifting physical symptomology represented the unpredictable nature of women Exaggerated emotionality was simply natural feminine sensibility intensified Hysterical fits were "spasms of hyperfemininity -c hildbirth and female orgasm rolled into one Bedrest and orgasms were treatment- the vibrator was a medical invention to treat hysteria Uses of Hysteria -Hysteria both "pathologized and protected" by identifying difficult or abnormal behaviour as problematic, but explaining it via medical conditions A way of protecting someone from full accountability of their actions BUT still pathologized them; the behaviour still needs to be corrected This idea can be put onto other mental disorders -Freud: challenging memories and thoughts converted into bodily symptoms. Recognition of society's central role in causing mental disorder How the mind and body are linked and can impact each other Society is why people feel uncomfortable with their thoughts Fibromyalgia can be considered to be a mental illness as it exists through somatization of mental illness/thoughts -
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