Thesis ID: CBB857943117

How Factors like 1800's Gender Expectations, Misconceptions, and Moral Traditions Shaped US Women's Reproductive Medical Care (2019)


Horwitz, Rainey (Author)
Maienschein, Jane A. (Advisor)

Arizona State University
Maienschein, Jane A.
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 89 pp.

In the last 200 years, advancements in science and technology have made understanding female sexual function and the female body more feasible; however, many women throughout the US still lack fundamental understanding of the reproductive system in the twenty-first century. Many factors contribute to the lack of knowledge and misconceptions that women still have. Discussing sexual health tends to make some people uncomfortable and this study aims to investigate what aspects of somewhat recent US history in women's health care may have led to that discomfort. This thesis examines the question: what are some of the factors that shaped women's reproductive medicine in the US from the mid 1800s and throughout the 1900s and what influence could the past have had on how women and their physicians understand female sexuality in medicine and how physicians diagnose their female patients in the twenty-first century. A literature review of primary source medical texts written at the end of the 1800s provides insight about patterns among physicians at the time and their medical practice with female patients. Factors like gendered expectations in medical practice, misconceptions about the female body and behaviors, and issues of morality in sex medicine all contributed to women lacking understanding of sex female reproductive functions. Other factors like a physician's role throughout history and non-medical reproductive health providers and solutions likely also influenced the reproductive medicine women received. Examining the patterns of the past provides some insight into some of the outdated and gendered practices still exhibited in healthcare. Expanding sexual education programs, encouraging discussion about sex and reproductive health, and checking gendered implicit bias in reproductive healthcare could help eliminate echoes of hysteria ideology in the twenty-first century medicine.

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Authors & Contributors
Reagan, Leslie J.
Al-Gailani, Salim
Demaitre, Luke E.
Drucker, Donna J.
Elliot, Rosemary
Ginzberg, Lori D.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
American Quarterly
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Social History of Medicine
University of California Press
Rutgers University Press
Pennsylvania State University
Northeastern University Press
Miami University
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Reproductive medicine
Obstetrics and pregnancy
Women and health
Medicine and law
Channing, Walter
Clark, William
Lewis, Meriwether
Dickinson, Robert Latou
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
20th century, late
14th century
15th century
United States
Great Britain
Boston (Massachusetts, U.S.)

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