Sexism In Women's Healthcare

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Sexism runs rampant through the institutions of contemporary life. While politics, marriage, education, and athletics are a few of many institutions plagued by sexism, women’s healthcare is perhaps the most egregious of them all because it is a life or death proposition. Women’s healthcare is often put second to men’s healthcare, as physicians neglect to recognize the biological differences between the sexes. This results in women receiving improper treatment for their symptoms or having their needs entirely neglected. Not only do these issues affect women, but also, being that females are child bearers, the lack of attention paid to female health potentially impacts the wellbeing of future children. A number of changes should be implemented…show more content…
Men and women’s bodies react differently to some of the same external forces, such as a disease and sickness. “With heart disease, many cancers, immunological disorders, and HIV, women present symptoms unlike men’s and respond to different medications and dosages” (Berg 140). Because medical practitioners fail to recognize these differences, many women are improperly diagnosed or receive insufficient treatment. For example, cardiovascular disease has a high mortality rate among both men and women, but the warning signs of a heart attack differ between the two sexes. Men suffer from “chest and arm pain,” whereas women complain about feeling “overwhelmingly tired and dizzy, with occasional shortness of breath” (Berg 139). Educating healthcare providers on the different needs of men and women could potentially save a life. “For too long, women have been treated as ‘little men,’ without an appreciation of the differences in prevalence and symptoms among various conditions and what those differences mean for diagnosis and treatment” (Berg 141). Luckily, since the formation of the Society for Women’s Health Research in 1990, more attention has been paid to biological differences of men and women, allowing for better diagnoses and treatment. To further these advancements, the medical and research establishments must recognize that…show more content…
“For every one thousand live births, nearly fourteen infants will die” as a result of “low socioeconomic status, poor nutrition, and lack of access to prenatal care” (Berg 143). Again, a look at the Bush Administration serves as an example of a time where the government failed to improve upon negative circumstances, which mainly affect women. They did little to lower the rates of infant mortality, which hurt mothers and their children everywhere. “A cut of more than six hundred million dollars compromised WIC’s (Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program) ability to subsidize the diets of low-income pregnant women and nursing mothers” (Berg 143). Programs similar to WIC, such as one that medically cared for women during and after their pregnancies, were cut, as well. Improper nutrition has an obvious negative impact on a pregnancy, for both mother and infant. “Food insecurity is another thread in the rope choking off the lives of American women” (Berg 148). Proper nutrition needs to be made available to women, especially during pregnancy, and infants. Furthermore, programs should be made available so that women can be educated on proper nutrition decisions during pregnancy. Women already face a number of obstacles when seeking suitable and affordable healthcare. Proper nutrition goes beyond the wellbeing of women, and affects
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