Women and Health

Published 07 Jul 2017

In the article written by Ellen Goudsmit (1993), stereotypical views of women act as a source of bias in the evaluation of symptoms and the choice of treatments by means of the following: first, the practitioners’ clinical judgment is affected by the view that women are weak, suggestible, emotionally unbalanced, irrational, manipulative, and unable to cope with minor stress (Goudsmit 28); second is that literature has not acknowledged the fact that emotional problems may also be the result—not just the cause—of certain conditions (Goudsmit 28); third is that women’s illnesses are usually assumed as ‘psychosomatic’ until proven otherwise (Goudsmit 29); fourth is the biased view that women are hysterical and irritable, which gives practitioners the tendency to conclude that the illness is actually psychologically-attributed (Goudsmit 29); fifth and last is the fact that being emotional is, for most of the time, being interpreted as “a sign of a more vulnerable, sensitive personality who may be prone to psychosomatic disorders” (Goudsmit 30).
[Number of words: 163 words]

Based on the article of Carole Warshaw (1989), some of the limitations of the medical model in the treatment of abused women can be described as follows: first, the limitation brought by unresponsiveness, lack of attention, or repeated recording (Warshaw 508-509); second, physicians are narrow-minded and do not probe well on the patient’s history (Warshaw 509); third is that, despite clear protocols, psychiatry and social work consults and medications were lacking or inefficient (Warshaw 510), as well as police reports and the use of recorded charts (Warshaw 510); fourth, there is a lack of concord between institutional sectors, as proven by how triage nurses tend to shift problems to another institutional sector, instead of shifting it to another nurse (Warshaw 510); fifth, physicians usually fail to identify the relationship between the victim and the assailant (Warshaw 511); sixth, physicians fail to offer the victim a chance to discuss her feelings and notions; and last, medical teams often focus on the pathophysiological endpoint of the case (Warshaw 513).
[Number of words: 167 words]

Based on the article written by Belle & Doucet (2003), some of the health inequalities faced by Canada’s aboriginal women—including those living in places where poverty, inequality, and discrimination resides—can be depicted as follows: first, higher probability of depression, stress, and posttraumatic stress disorder (Belle&Doucet 101-102); second is family and economic stress brought by hardships and extreme inefficiency (Belle&Doucet 103); third is the tendency to self-medication and ‘palliative’ coping strategies (i.e., harmful drugs, alcohol, overeating), which then affects the victim’s mental health, physical health, and life expectancy (B&D 104); fourth is the tendency to have extreme psychological and physiological consequences (i.e., aggression, pessimism, less trust) due to low income and low social status (B&D 104); fifth is the tendency to negatively affect mortality rates, morbidity rates, and the frequency of severe marital violence within the area (B&D 106); last is tension and depression brought by discrimination of all sorts (e.g., physical, racial, sexist).
[Number of words: 155 words]

Journal article references:

  • Belle, Deborah, and Joanne Doucet. “Poverty, Inequality, and Discrimination As Sources of Depression Among U.S. Women.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 27.2 (2003, June): 101-113.
  • Goudsmit, Ellen. “All In Her Mind! Stereotypic Views and the Psychologization of Women’s Illness.” Health Psychology Update 12 (1993): 28-32.
  • Warshaw, Carole. “Limitations of the Medical Model in the Care of Battered Women.” Gender & Society 3.4 (1989): 506-517.
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