Gender difference is intimately stitched into the fabric of humanness. At every stage in its long history, medicine has absorbed and enforced socially constructed gender divisions. These divisions have traditionally ascribed power and dominance to men.
How discrimination, collective health problems, and limited access to doctors make LGBTQ communities especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
Maya Dusenbery’s book, "Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick," explains how women’s health issues have historically been dismissed—and what we can do about it now.
Many devices and treatments work less well for them
Female doctors have always dealt with appearance-related confusion and disrespect. That only got worse during the pandemic.
Imagine there was a simple test to see whether you were developing Alzheimer’s disease. You would look at a picture and describe it, software would assess the way you spoke, and based on your answer, tell you whether or not you had early-stage Alzheimer’s. It would be quick, easy, and over 90% accurate—except for you, it doesn’t work.
That might be because you’re from Africa. Or because you’re from India, or China, or Michigan. Imagine most of the world is getting healthier because of some new technology, but you’re getting left behind.
Until the turn of this century, there was little sense in Western medicine that gender mattered. Outside the niche of female reproductive medicine, the male body was the universal model for anatomy studies.
Alongside her feminist history of illness, Elinor Cleghorn makes a plea for better listening.
Medical research and practice have long assumed a narrow definition of the ‘default’ human, badly compromising the care of anyone outside that category. How can this be fixed?
Jesse Brace lives in Lawrence, Kan. Earlier this year, they spoke with reporter Jo Yurcaba about what it's been like trying to get medical care as a trans nonbinary person.
From understanding how they talk about pain to understanding the barriers that society places on them, it's time to take a hard look at why our health care system is failing women.
In order to recognize illness, you have to know what health looks like — what’s normal, and what’s not. Until recently, medical research generally calibrated “normal” on a trim white male. Such a patient, arriving in an emergency room clutching his chest as they do in the movies — and in the textbooks — would be immediately evaluated for a heart attack. But heart disease in women, inconveniently, doesn’t always come with chest pain.
Research suggests that diagnostic errors occur in up to one out of every seven encounters between a doctor and patient, and that most of these mistakes are driven by the physician’s lack of knowledge. Women are more likely to be misdiagnosed than men in a variety of situations.
Why women are 50 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed after a heart attack and 17 percent more likely to die in a car crash.
In "Ask Me About My Uterus," Abby Norman exhaustively chronicles her years-long struggle to make doctors take her pain seriously—something everyone who suffers from endometriosis can sadly relate to.
A study this month found that women are less likely than men to be given CPR – but it is not the only way in which they are given short shrift in an industry where female pain is serially misdiagnosed
In the broad collective movements of #MeToo, #equalpay, #TimesUp, #etc., one particular industry continues to resist our, well, #resistance: women’s healthcare.
The field remains breathtakingly biased and uneven, and preposterously expensive.
In health care, gender disparities are especially pernicious. If you are a woman, studies have shown, you are not only less likely to receive blood clot prophylaxis, but you may also receive less intensive treatment for a heart attack.
Here's a big shift for the National Institutes of Health. The agency now requires biomedical studies to include female animals. This is a first. Leading scientists say research has historically skewed male, and that could mean we know a lot less about what drugs do in the female body
The results of an IQ test can depend on the gender of the person who's conducting the test. Likewise, studies of pain medication can be completely thrown off by the gender of the experimenter. This underappreciated problem is one reason that some scientific findings don't stand the test of time.
The term ‘femtech’, short for female technology, was originally coined in 2016 by Ida Tin1 (co-founder and CEO of menstrual cycle tracking app Clue) and refers to software, diagnostic equipment and products that use technology to improve the health and lives of women.
"Your symptoms are assumed to be all in your head."
Gray's Anatomy is still in print today, in its 41st edition, but if you open the book up and flip through the pages you might notice something. Or really, the dearth of something: women. And it turns out it's not just Gray's Anatomy that has this problem—almost all medical textbooks are heavily biased towards depicting male bodies.
Physicians have long dismissed or downplayed women's sexual- and reproductive-health concerns—but in 2018, stories about "health-care gaslighting" are consistently breaking through to the mainstream.
One thing is clear: Given the inequalities that continue to exist with regard to health care, contraception access -- which, while provided to women, is indisputably applicable to both genders -- is just one part of the overall story.
Improving outcomes from heart disease in women will need a change not only in health professionals’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, but most importantly among women themselves.
The first step for women to lower their risk is to get them to prioritise their own health, by increasing their knowledge of risk factors and symptoms particular to women
Living in societies that are more unequal is associated with negative health outcomes. Preferences for sons can cause neglect of daughters, which can lead to poor health and even death. What role, then, do gender norms play in subtler gender health disparities?
The lack of recognition of sex differences in biology and medicine is a huge issue research has only recently begun to rectify.