Desire - Female Viagara, Hartley.docx

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Women's Studies
Women's Studies 2283F/G
Andrea Allen

TAKING A BIOLOGICAL TURN/ PUSH FOR A FEMALE VIAGARA – HARTLEY  Sex is topic of perennial interest for feminists, with ever0changing opportunities for scholarship and activism  Extensive public discussion of women’s sexual experiences could be noteworthy and have many benefits but it seems that the focus is almost entirely on seeing women’s sexual problems as treatable largely biomedical conditions  As second wave feminist scholarship analyzed the multiple determinants of women’s sexuality, recommendations emerged for reform and re-conceptualization  However, in recent years, primarily since the FDA’s approval of Viagara, phase of medicalizing sexuality and sexual problems has gathered speed, with important implications for individuals’ and couples’  The social and cultural contexts for this new phase of medicalization includes shifts in medical research funding, demographic changes THE PROCESS OF MEDICALIZING  Sociologists have identified medicalization as a process that organizes a broad and ever growing range of behaviors and aspects of everyday life into categories of health and illness  And in each instance, feminists have argued that medicalization has both created and misinformation and distracted attention from social and cultural variables, which account for a larger share of women’s experiences and problems  History has shown how new medical and technological diagnostics and treatments can take on lives of their own and obscure social factors that are associated with complaints and conditions  The conferences have had substantial attendance and press coverage, increasing the arc through which the biomedical language and perspective are disseminated  Approaches to sexual problems that would emphasize individual differences, history, politics or sociocultural variables were not included  First line of inquiry into sexual problems should be biomedical in focus  An industry of CME conferences subsidized by pharmaceutical companies is expanding along with the advertising campaigns for sexuopharmaceutical drugs  Sociologists have long considered the development of organizational apparatus as indicating that a field of study is consolidating  Sexual dysfunction is m
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