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Chapter 11-15

PSYC 3480 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11-15: Female Genital Mutilation, Hiv, Anorexia Nervosa

Course Code
PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

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CH 11 – Women & Physical Health 11/18/2015
- Health psychology = an interdisciplinary area in psychology that
focuses on the causes of illness, the treatment of illness, illness prevention,
and health improvement
-Three reasons why health problems are important:
Gender makes a difference in the kinds of health problems that
people experience
oMay need to worry about cancer of the ovaries and uterus but
not about prostate cancer
oFemales have less fluid in body than men
Gender makes a difference in the way a diseases is diagnosed,
viewed, and treated
oHealthcare providers diagnose a disease, they often consider
the disease symptoms that occur in males to be normative or
Illness is an important part of many women’s experience
oChronic health problem = long lasting illness that cannot be
completely cured
Biases Against Women
-women physicians and women patients have been mistreated
Women have often been neglected in medicine and in medical
oMale body = normative
Gender stereotypes are common in medicine
oPopular beliefs in males and females
Medical care provided to women is often inadequate or irresponsible
oReceive too much or too little healthcare
oSome surgical procedures are performed too often (C-

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oLess likely than men to receive diagnostic testing or surgical
Physician-patient communication patterns often make women feel
relatively powerless
oPowerless to speak
Gender Comparisons in Life Expectancy
-why women live longer? Biological, social, and environmental factors
Overall Health
-morbidity = generalized poor health or illness (women @
-less likely than men to have problems such as obesity, anemia, and
respiratory illness
-more likely to experience lifelong illness, headaches, and general
Social Class
-person’s occupation, income, and education
-quality of healthcare – no program is perfect
-women less likely to have insurance
-women of colour to experience second-class health care
-low income
Health Issues in Developing Countries
Lack of access to health care

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oEating, pregnancy
Female genital mutilation = cutting or removing a section of the
female genitals
-Cardiovascular Disease = heart attacks and other disorders of the heart
Major cause of death for women (run the same risk)
Symptoms of breathlessness
-Breast Cancer
Women with removed breasts are seen less of a women
Mammogram = x-ray of the breast – a picture of the breast tissue –
Lumps in breasts
Lumpectomy = surgery that removes the cancerous lump and the
immediate surrounding breast tissue
Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer will cause some fear,
anxiety, grief, depression, and anger
Painful, lonely, exhaustion
Reproductive System Cancer and Hysterectomies
Cervical Cancer = lower portion of uterus
Pap Smear Test = gynecologist takes a sample of cells from the
cervix to see whether they are normal, precancerous, cancerous
Hysterectomy = surgical removal of a woman’s uterus
oSome advisable, some necessary
Cancer of the ovaries = highest rate of death of all gynecological
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