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Hotter men, colder women and the one sex model

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Dr.Carla Hustak

HIS245Y-1Y – Lecture 3 Constructing Medical ‘Truths’ of Women’s Bodies: Hotter Men, Colder Women, and the One-Sex Model -Constructing Gender, Scientific ‘Truth’, and the Practice of Medicine -Epistemology and the Body, Feminist Science Studies and the ‘Real’ 1) Medical ‘Truths’ reinforce gender power relations, the sexed body as constructed 2) Effects of Medical ‘Truths’ on gendered experience of the body 3)Medical Practice and the Female Body, the Social Context of how Medical ‘Truths’ shape historically specific societies I. The Balanced Humoral Economy: Gendering Medicine, Creating the Sexed Body 1) Greek Philosophical Tradition, Hippocrates and Aristotle 2) Galenic Medicine -Men: drier, hotter, effect of heat on sexual physiology, external sexual organs -Women: colder, wetter, effect of lack of heat on sexual physiology, internal sexual organs -Thomas Laqueur and the One-Sex Model Ancient Greek medical texts: -Plato: wandering womb, the Timaeus, sexual physiology explained in terms of marrow, semen, blood, brain, and vital soul -gendered meanings of sexual desire: women tied to reproduction -identification of women with womb, “hystere” - Hippocrates: health as balance, foetus (right side vs. left side) , pangenesis, seed -Hippocrates: female health as focused on menstruation and uterus -medical treatments: purgation, re-positioning uterus, manipulating fluids Galenic Medicine -Greek physician, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) -historian Joan Cadden, eclecticism of ideas -Galen’s On Seed, two seed theory -sexual Anatomy, sexual desire located in liver, brain, testes, vessels -female semen seen as inferior -humoral theory: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, black bile Medieval Christianity and Medicine -Constantine the African, 11 century monk, On Coitus and On Human Nature -sexual Physiology: merging of fluids, sexual desire: kidneys vs. navel Hildegard of Bingen on Physiology and Procreation: -Genesis and the Book of Compound Medicine, Adam and Eve -Man/active, woman/passive (‘vessel’), pregnancy & desire -balance of sexual desires, the sin of lust and illness, the prostitute’s body Medical Views on Managing Humors through Purgation - menstruation as beneficial vs. contamination: Hildegard and Isidore of Seville -gendered purgation: male bodies, pores, fluids, heat, production of hair II. Lovesickness: Gender and Medical Categories -historical specificity of disease categories, medical practice, and the sexed body Diagnosing Lovesickness -Constantine: lovesickness has “serious consequences for the soul, that is, excessive thoughts and worries to find and possess what they desire. Their eyelids are heavy and their color yellowish; this is from the motion of heat which follows upon sleeplessness. Their
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