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Dr. Linda Ellison Lecturer, Women, Gender & Sexuality

Men, Women, & Medicine in the US SWGS 2010

D R A F T S Y L L A B U S

As the American Heath Care debate dominated newspaper headlines and dinner table conversations for months of the past year, many of us became more aware of just how little we knew about the intricacies of our own health care plans, what they entailed and what would be beneficial for the citizens of our country to be entitled to (if anything). This discussion begs the larger questions of the origin of medicine in the United States, and if there is one silver bullet, so to speak that can take care of everyone’s needs, or if there exist disparities among different populations that need to be addressed differently.

In this course, we will explore how medical care in the US became professionalized, and how professionalization became racalized, classed, and gendered. We will also explore how certain conditions became medicalized; that is, how occurrences like PMS, menstruation, and birthing shifted from the realm of normal or natural to something that must be given professional care. From there we will map how race, class and gender have different effects on health. For instance, more white, elite women in the US are diagnosed with advanced forms of breast cancer every year than low-income, African-American women who have lower rates of breast cancer, which is usually found at an earlier stage. Yet, more low-income, African-American women die from breast cancer every year than elite white women do. Why is that? Another example of disparity is that men who get married in the US have decreased rates of depression, heart disease, and hypertension, and are likely to live up to five years longer than the statistical life capacity for a male in America. They earn more money after marriage, get fewer cavities, and report fewer sleeping problems too. Women who get married in the US, however, earn increasingly less money, often experience an onset or an increased depression and/or anxiety disorders, have medically-diagnosed trouble sleeping, and many report the onset of a chronic condition including chronic fatigue or pain syndrome. Why might these health disparities be reported by couples that otherwise claim to be happy? Central to all our discussions will be an analysis of the interplay among race, ethnicity, class, and gender in shaping health care and its outcomes. 

Assignments: A blog entry “reaction” for use in class discussion will be due by 5pm the night before one or the other class meeting each week. Please alternate your days (i.e. if you blogged for Monday’s class last week, please blog for Wednesday’s class this week.) A total of 6 blog entries, at least a long paragraph in length, written directly into the blog, not attached, and are due over the term weekly. Additionally, there will be an “action” portion of your participation. You will be asked to sign up to present a supplementary portion to our knowledge of a week of class. Let’s say we are discussing women as doctors one week. You could supplement that by making a handout and discussing male nurses for 5-7 minutes in class. There will be a sign-up sheet for this passed out in class on the first day. Attendance and verbal participation in this class are vital. Please come well prepared to discuss and even debate the readings and topics at hand. Your timely written and weekly verbal participation will make up 20% of your grade.

Two exams will be given in class, a mid-term and a final. Both will be short-answer, essay format. The midterm exam will cover material from the first part of the course, and the final will cover material from the second part. The exam dates are July 12th and August 2nd. Each exam will make up 40% of your grade.



Readings:

Week 1: A (Brief) History of the Professionalization of Medicine in America

Meeting One: Monday, June 21


Linda Janet Holmes, "Thank You Jesus to Myself: the Life of a Traditional Black Midwife," The Black Women's Health Book.
Nancy Schrom Dye, “Mary Breckenridge, the Frontier Nursing Service and the Introduction of Nurse Midwifery in the United States,” ed., Leavitt, Women & Health in America.

…………………………………………………………..

Meeting Two: Wednesday, June 23

Ehrenreich and English, For Her Own Good. Chapters 2,3 (This is the book you need to buy. It’s at the Coop.)

P. Starr, “The Social Transformation of American Medicine.” Pp. 486-492 in J. Robinson, R. Berry, K. McDonnell, eds., A Health Law Reader: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Carolina Academic Press, 1999.

“The Business of Being Born” documentary clip on Youtube (see isites for link)



Week 2: The Binary of Male Physician and Female Patient

Meeting Three: Monday, June 28

Ehrenreich and English, For Her Own Good. Ch 1,4,5

…………………………………………………………..

Meeting Four: Wednesday, June 30

“For Her Own Good,” Ch 6,7,8


 B. Mavis, et al., “Female Patients’ Preferences Related to Interpersonal Communications, Clinical Competence, and Gender When Selecting a Physician,” Academic Medicine, 80 (12), 2005: 1159-1165.

Week 3 The Medicalization of “Women’s Conditions”

Monday July 5: No Class (Independence Day Holiday)

………………………………………………………….

Meeting Five: Wednesday, July 7

Elaine Showalter, The Female Malady: Women, Madness and English Culture, 1830-1980. 1987, Chapters 5, 6.

Joan Jacobs Brumberg "The Appetite as Voice," Fasting Girls.

Lumbeck, Elizabeth. “Hysteria” in The Psychiatric Persuasion:  Knowledge, Gender and Power in America.
Martin, Emily.  Chapters two and three in The Woman and the Body, Boston, Beacon Press, 1987.

Week 4: In-Class Midterm

Monday, July 12th (Meeting 6)

(Info only up through last meeting)
…………………………………………………………

Meeting Seven: (Wednesday) July 14
Women as Physicians

Regina Markell Morantz-Sanchez, “Sympathy & Science: Women Physicians in American Medicine.”

Morantz-Sanchez, Regina. “The Gendering of Empathetic Experience: How Women Physicians Became More Empathic than Men.”

D.A. Newton, et al., “The Variable Influence of Lifestyle and Income on Medical Students’ Career Specialty Choices: Data from Two US Medical Schools, 1998-2004,” Academic Medicine, 80 (9), 2005: 809-814.

T.D. Stratton, et al., “Does Students’ Exposure to Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in Medical School Affect Specialty Choice and Residency Program Selection?” Academic Medicine, 80 (4), 2005: 400-408.

Week 5

How the Health of Men and Women Differ

Meeting Eight (Monday) July 19

Lori Heise with Jacqueline Pitanguy and Adrienne Germain, “Violence Against Women: the Hidden Health Burden,” World Bank Discussion Paper 255
2.

J.L. Rhudy, A.E. Williams, “Gender Differences in Pain: Do Emotions Play a Role?” Gender Medicine, 2 (4), 2005: 208-226.

S. Kashubeck-West, et al., “Separating the Effects of Gender and Weight-Loss Desire on Body Satisfaction and Disordered Eating Behavior,” Sex Roles, 53 (7/8), 2005: 505-518.

………………………………………………………………………

Meeting 9 (Wednesday) July 21

Carol Levine, Always on Call: When Illness Turns Families Into Caregivers (United Hospital Fund, 2000). Chapters 2, 6, and 7

Bancroft J, Loftus J, Long JS. “Distress about sex: a national survey of women in

heterosexual relationships.” Arch Sex Behav 2003;32(3):193-208.



Week 6 Effects of Race and Class on the Health of Men and Women

Meeting 10 (Monday) July 26
Moss NE. “Gender equity and socioeconomic inequality: a framework for the patterning of women’s health.” Soc Sci Med 2002;54:649-61.
J. G. Read, B. K. Gorman, “Gender Inequalities in US Adult Health: the Interplay of Race and Ethnicity,” Social Science & Medicine, 62, 2006: 1045-1065.
Krieger N. “Does racism harm health?” Am J Public Health 2003;93:194-99.
……………………………………………………

Meeting 11 (Wednesday) July 28
Aida L. Giachello, "Cultural Diversity and Institutional Inequality," in Health Issues for Women of Color.
Angela Davis, "Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: the Politics of Black Women's Health"
Ruth E. Zambrana and Britt K. Ellis, "Contemporary Research Issues in Hispanic/Latino Women's Health," from Health Issues for Women of Color

………………………………………………………


Week 7 Final Exam in Class

Meeting 12 (Monday)

Monday August 2nd, Final Exam in class



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