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University of Waterloo
Women's Studies
WS 102
Tina Davidson

WS 102 WOMEN’S HEALTH & WELLNESS FEB 25 IDEAS ABOUT WOMEN’S HEALTH/WELLNESS DOMINATED BY MEDIA IMAGES, WHICH ARE REINFORCED BY THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY - Media/medical attention to “obesity epidemic” although there is little consensus what obesity is - BMI makes little distinction between body types, metabolism, bone structure etc - Perceptions of female athletes as healthy, yet are often anorexia/bulimic or are much bigger than the images of “healthy women” we see in fitness magazines - The ideal body type of women strongly influences what the medical industry presents as healthy - Medical industry endorses thin images as healthy - Life expectancy has steadily increased MORBIDITY AND WOMEN - Death rates, known as mortality rates, while morbidity refers to ill health, disease, disability - Morbidity is influenced by ethnicity and class - Factors that influence morbidity rates  Women are higher percentage of those who experience ill health, but are more likely to visit a doctor and attend to illness  Women live longer than men  “women get sicker, but men die quicker”  Women have higher rates of morbidity because they live longer - Women more likely to consult alternative health professionals, ex. Acupuncturists - Men more likely to die from treatable illnesses because they delay going to doctors GENDER BIAS IN MEDICAL RESEARCH - Women tend to be excluded from health studies because  Child care responsibilities limit availability  Not enough women in work to be seen as worth noting  Fertility might be damaged  May become pregnant at some point during trial, fetus could be infected  Menstrual cycle might “skew” results - Women are diagnosed/treated according to symptoms obtained from research projections even though no women were tested in the study - Female dominated jobs not tested because less physical risk GIVING CARE - Women are majority (74%) of paid health care workers (nurses, doctors) - Majority of unpaid health care workers in society  Extra health care for children, seniors, disabled relatives - Majority of users of the health care system - Overall not satisfied with treatment they received  Doctors attitude, discounting women’s report and understanding of their health and their children WOMEN AND HIV - AIDS was widely known as a Western disease transmitted between homosexual men - Most of world’s HIV positive people live in Sub-Saharan Africa, 60% are women  Women in Africa have less ability to resist sex, insist on safe sex, low access to health care, rates of HIV infected women reduced in areas where they have more rights WOMEN AND DISABILITY - Disability covers a broad range, includes those who experience chronic, serious, and permanent restrictions, also those with a mildly limiting condition, a temporary disab
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