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Gender

  • By: Kimberly N. Kline
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Gender as a health issue gained recognition in the early 1960s as feminist activism associated with the Women's Health Movement challenged the appropriation of women's health issues by the emergent medical profession. As Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English detailed in their book, For Her Own Good: 150 Years of Expert's Advice to Women, the introduction of scientific medicine, profusion of technological breakthroughs, and establishment of formal training in medical schools created a verdant environment for the ascendance of medical experts. Particularly troubling (at least for feminist activists), though, was that consistent with the patriarchal norms infusing society at that time, both science and medicine were male dominated professions and, therefore, reflected the patriarchal agendas of the day.

Even as women activists were challenging the medical establishment, ...

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