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The Womens Health Movement

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Movement reflected women's dissatisfaction with: ... In 1990s, attention turned to inequities in research on women's health and illness ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Womens Health Movement


1
The Womens Health Movement
  • began with rise of feminism in late 1960s early
    1970s
  • Movement reflected womens dissatisfaction with
  • quality of healthcare paternalistic doctor /
    patient relationships
  • unnecessary surgeries
  • lack of options / information (e.g. breast cancer
    treatments, contraception)
  • Natural processes being turned into medical
    problems (e.g. childbirth)
  • demeaning treatment, especially of minority women

2
Early Womens Health Movement
  • formed local grass roots health collectives
  • educate women re their anatomy, physiology
  • improve doctor/patient relationships
  • share health experiences
  • provide advocacy services
  • National Womens Health Network
    (http//www.womenshealthnetwork.org/ )
  • demystified female body empowered women
  • Significant progress in many areas!
  • Film Taking Back our Bodies (1974)

3
Womens Health Movement
  • In 1990s, attention turned to inequities in
    research on womens health and illness
  • Example of problem lack of info on heart disease
    in women (MR. FIT study)

4
Reasons cited for exclusion of women from
clinical research studies
  • concerns about liability for effects on
    conception, reproduction and fetal development
  • confounding variables (e.g. cyclic hormonal
    variation)
  • low disease prevalence
  • difficulty with subject recruitment
  • study cost
  • lack of regulatory authority or granting agency
    requirements for inclusion of women

5
Womens Health Movement
  • NIH created Office of Research on Womens Health
    (ORWH) in 1990
  • Worked with NIH to strengthen and revitalize its
    guidelines for including women in medical
    research
  • To ensure implementation, Congress passed NIH
    Revitalization Act of 1993
  • Mandated that women and minorities be included in
    all NIH clinical research studies in adequate
    numbers

6
Womens Health Initiative
  • ORWH implemented Womens Health Initiative (WHI)
    in 1992
  • 14 year study funded annually by Congress
  • objective reduce prevalence of three major
    causes of death and disability in middle-aged and
    elderly women
  • major foci cardiovascular disease, cancer, and
    osteoporosis

7
WHI Studies
  • impact of diet, lifestyle, hormone replacement
    therapy (HRT), obesity on risk examined
  • efficacy of clinical interventions also examined
  • examples of ongoing studies
  • effects of HRT on colon cancer, breast cancer
  • influence of Ca and vitamin D intake on risk of
    osteoporosis and colon cancer

8
Other ORWH activities
  • identifying opportunites for research on womens
    health (WHI)
  • promoting participation of women in clinical
    trials by identifying and overcoming barriers to
    participation
  • increasing the number of professional women in
    biomedical research

9
Women Scientists
  • Phenomenon of the leaky pipeline
  • Fewer women with Ph.D.s in biology than men
  • Many with Ph.D.s hold nontenure-track positions
  • NIH awards 20 of grant money to women
    investigators
  • Fewer female mentors in the field

10
Lowered Expectations for Women?
  • Findings of Sadker and Sadker (1994)
  • Boys get more eye contact, attention from math
    and science teachers
  • Females rewarded for being quiet, cooperative
  • Boys more likely to receive probing follow-up
    questions
  • No data to support idea that females are inferior
    to males re analytical skills
  • By high school, only 28 of females have taken 3
    years of math and science (compared to 40 of
    males)

11
Lowered Expectations, contd.
  • Female professional scientists continue to face
    sexism
  • Reviews of research papers
  • Applications for teaching positions at
    universities
  • Student assessments of professor performances

12
The Culture of Science
  • Evolved when most scientists were male (single or
    with stay-at-home wives)
  • More often, women have to choose between family,
    career
  • Result higher loss of women from science at
    upper echelons
  • Two-body problem
  • Lack of mentors

13
Women Physicians
  • For recent statistics re women in medical field,
    refer to http//www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/
    171.html
  • 24.6 of total practicing physicians are women
    (2001)
  • Female representation at level of medical school
  • 48 of applications
  • 46 of enrolled students
  • 44 of graduates

14
Women Physicians
  • Representation within medical school faculty
    (2000)
  • Full professor 10
  • Associate professor 19
  • Assistant professor 50

15
Other feminist issues within medical field.
  • Medicalization of natural processes
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Menstruation
  • Negative terminology
  • Hysterectomy (root hysteria)
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