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Lecture 6

PSYC 3110 Lecture 6: Topics in Health Psychology

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3110
Kieran O' Doherty

HealthPsychology January 26, 2017 Womens Health Issues: A Feminist Perspective Why?... Women have been excluded from medical studies due to their complicated bodies Womens bodies are more likely to be medicalized because they are seen as weaker or abnormal compared to male bodies Biomedical perspective as reductionist by only focusing on biology and not sociocultural factors, encourages pharmaceutical solutions Biomedical model homogenizes women Portrayals of Menstruation All mainly negative cramps, bloating, uncontrollable eating, crying, PMS (crazy mood swings) Ancient Rome o Philosophers viewed menstruation as polluting and dangerous o Men who had intercourse with a menstruating woman was susceptible to disease or death Medieval Times o Menstrual blood as impure o Women subjected to cleansing ritual before they could enter a church o Womens bodies are viewed as incomplete male bodies th 19 Century o Educating a woman would weaken their reproductive functioning o Susceptible to amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, hysteria, chorea, anemia, abortions, and even sterility th 20 Century o Premenstrual Tension (PMT) Dr. Robert Frank Mental and neurological symptoms due to fluctuations in hormones o Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Physical and psychological changes: fluid retention, acne, craving for sweet or salty foods, aches, pain in joints, fatigue, irritability Diagnosis used in court cases in the 1980s 21 Century o Menstruation is viewed as undesirable o A problem that requires medical management rather than a natural bodily function
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