Full Text

Women's Health

Diane S. Shinberg


Extract

Women's health encompasses physical, emotional, and social health and well-being associated with female reproductive and sexual development over the life cycle, or any medical condition more common among women. The sociology of women's health includes the study of gendered politics within medicine, medical training, doctor–patient interactions, self-care, illness behavior, and health care utilization. Women's health can be more broadly construed to include the relationships between gender inequality (gender as a social institution) and health, even among men. The pervasiveness of biological essentialism, the ideological emphasis on biology as the explanation for apparent differences between men and women, is one reason women's health is such a broad and dynamic area of sociological study. Gender inequality – the social constraint, devaluation, and oppression of women – historically has been justified on the basis that the female sex status is frail with respect to anatomy, physiology, hormones, development, sex, procreation, and, most recently, genes. The use of biomedical authority in theories regarding the fundamental differences between the sexes supports the pervasive belief in women's biologic vulnerability as “the weaker sex.” Such ideology has had social consequences, for example, as manifest in barring women from pursuing higher education because intellectual activities ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top