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Chapter 11&14

Pysc of Women Chapters 11 & 14 (7th Edition)

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Psyc of Women (Test 3 Text Notes) Chapter 11: Women and Physical Health  Health Psychology: area of psychology that focuses on the causes of illness, the treatment of illness, illness prevention, and health improvement.  Three (3) major reasons why these health problems are important (1) Gender makes a difference in the health problems people experience, an example is how women worry about ovarian cancer but not prostate. Women also have less fluid and more fat, making alcohol more noticeable in their blood. (2) Gender makes a difference in the way a disease is diagnosed, viewed, and treated; women’s disease symptoms are often considered different from the norm. Osteoporosis a primarily women’s disease is now receiving more attention then before. (3) Illness is an important part of many women’s experiences, chronic health problems: long-lasting illness that cannot be completely cured (70% of deaths each year).  Two central issues, how does gender influence people’s physical health, and how does women’s physical health influence their lives? THE HEALTH CARE AND HEALTH STATUS OF WOMEN  Biases that make women patience become second-class citizens (1) Women have often been neglected in medicine and in medical research, the male’s body has been considered normative, women’s body has previously been looked at as identical to men’s just smaller. (i.e. women were given aspirin to reduce heart attack because it showed affective in men, but this was not the case for women). Now women are studied in the medical field as well, and ethnic minorities. (2) Gender stereotypes are common in medicine, physicians still believe women’s complaints are not as important then men’s and that women are more emotional. (3) Medical care provided to women is often inadequate or irresponsible: “too little” or “too much” health care, i.e. hysterectomies and caesarian sections being performed too often, men often receive more attention in coronary heart disease while many women receive too little even thought the disease affects them equally. (4) Physician-patient communication patterns often make women feel relatively powerless, women often feel male physicians are not listening to them, and they feel interrupted  Women live longer than men do on average 5 years longer, some reasons are that the extra X chromosome protect them from health problems, another reason is that men take part in more dangerous jobs and are more likely to commit suicide, homicide, and be in vehicle accidents. Women also visit the doctor more frequently, and are more sensitive to internal signals about health.  Morbidity: generalized poor health or illness. Women are more prone to this and are more likely to have obesity, anemia, and respiratory illness. Women are also more likely to become ill after being raped, or to report pain from a disease such as arthritis.  Those who are richer tend to live longer, this is usually due to accessibility to health care, in the states richer people have privatized health care insurance, which accounts for longer lives. Women of colour are more likely to receive second-class health care, and often- aboriginal women have low life expectancies. Low-income housing is often in toxic crowded areas that contribute to illness  In developing countries women receive little or no health care compared to men, and often sons will be treated but not daughters, only wealthy families will receive equal medical care amongst family members. Women are likely to receive less food an twice as likely to die during childbirth.  Female Genital Mutilation: cutting or removing a section of the female’s genitals, usually part or the entire clitoris. This is to prevent women from being sexually active; sometimes the labia majora (vagina walls) are stitched together only leaving a small hole for urination and menstruation. Usually performed on girls between 4 and puberty. The procedure is done by an older female and is to reduce sexual urges outside of marriage, and also is looked at as making the vagina cleaner. A razor blade, piece of glass, or rock is usually used in the procedure.  Cardiovascular Disease: includes heart attacks and other disorders of the heart, also clots and other disorders of the blood vessels. This disease is deadlier than all cancers combined (23% of women’s deaths). Men are more likely to have the disease earlier but at 75 the risk is equal; black women are more likely to have it then white.  Breast Cancer: cancer in the breast associated as a women’s disease, white women are more likely to have it but black women are more likely to die from it. Mammogram: an X- ray of the breast, picture of breast tissue. Breast cancer at all early age is most commonly treated by lumpectomy: surgery that removes the cancerous lump and the immediate surrounding breast tissue. Cervical Cancer: affects lower portion of the uterus, a test in which detects the disease is a Pap smear test: the gynecologist takes a sample of cells from the cervix to see whether they are normal, precancerous, or cancerous.  Osteoporosis: the bones become dense and more fragile with age; 4 times more likely in women, prevention is to exercise including jogging and weight lifting. WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES  Disability: refers to physical or mental impairment that limits a person’s ability to perform a major life activity in a “normal manner.” Ableism: refers to discrimination on the basis of disability (i.e. treating disabled like children). People use disabilities to label people “the girl in the wheelchair” Women are more likely to be discriminated against when having a disability, and also less likely to continue education after high school. Women with disability have less romantic partners. AIDS AND OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES  Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS): viral disease spread by infected semen, vaginal secretions, or blood; destroys bodies’ immune system. This is caused by Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): which has potential to destroy parts of the immune system. Women are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted disease then men are. The symptoms of AIDS includes fatigue, rashes, unexplained fever, unintentional weight loss, and diarrhea. These individuals are highly contagious. Medicines are used to prolong the disease and women are more likely to use this medicine.  HIV can damage the nervous system producing psychological problems including memory loss, and cognitive problems. Many countries are raising AIDS awareness and the important precautions needed in order to reduce the spread of aids. Disease Description (for women) Consequences (for women) HPV (Genital Warts) Caused by various strains of Can lead to cervical cancer, human papilloma virus; which may lead to death.
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