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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Toba Bryant

2012-01-09 HLTC02H3 S: Women and Health, Past and Present Lecture 1  What do you think health is? o Holistic concept o Being able to function everyday w/o difficulties o Well-being of body (physically, mentally, and emotionally) o Availability of resources o Not just the absence of disease o Not just about the germ theory o Enjoyment of life; stress-free o Subjective interpretation o Social supports  What determines whether women are healthy or sick? o Family structures and households (eg. Single parent households) o Stress o Media--- body image (women are stigmatized commercially) o Culture/social influences o Social status in the family o Whether women are able to access healthcare resources o Lifestyle behaviours o Social constructions of health o Social-determinants of health o Gender determinants (masculinity and femininity) o Equal opportunities in society and its influence on SES o Biology o Having a political position as well  What should women do to support their health o Advocate contraception policies o Go visit doctors often o Seek out other alternatives than biomedical approaches o Raising awareness of women’s health issues such as:  Breast Cancer/cancers  Osteoporosis  Health awareness throughout life span  Heart disease (affected by SES which affects lifestyle behavior and therefore heart disease)  Health during menopause  Eating disorders  Mental health issues including stress  Abuse  STIs  Economic status  Cultural influences  Lifestyles behaviours  General accessibility to healthcare o The emphasis is placed on genetic predisposition but it is the social factors (environmental) that influence health outcomes like cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis o What are the social factors and institutions that affect women’s health?  What should governments do to maintain the health of Canadians in general, and Canadian women in particular? o Emphasis based on individual choices o Assumes that health is a personal responsibility o Access to resources and reduced inequality in terms of SES have healthier populations  What is health? o View of health that is adopted w/in a jurisdiction or by an agency will strongly influence the organization & delivery of health care services & the manner in which health policy is defined and implemented o Dominant views of health and women’s health?  Medical (traditional)- absence of illness o How do media, government, and in other domains define women’s health?  Geared towards illness and disease rather than social and environment factors  Prevention is always dependent on individual choices o Medical definition: normal physical state (the state of being whole and free from physical and mental disease or pain, so that the parts of the body can carry on their proper function. (Biomedicine) hierarchical; top-down process  Health concept: biomedical, absence of disease and/or disability  Defined in terms of disease categories and physiological risk factors  Don’t look at broader environmental factors  Principal strategies: surgical interventions, drug and other therapies  Target : high risk individua
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