Women's Health, Politics, and Power: Essays on Sex, Gender, Medicine, and Public Health / Edition 1

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Overview

In the 1990s, we are witnessing a resurgence of interest in woman's health as the result of the intersection of two trends of the women's health movement. One is the growing impact of women as health professionals, as elected politicians, and as policy makers. The other is the continuing tradition of feminist grassroots organizing around women's health.

This collection of essays addresses the broadening array of issues on the agenda of the women's health movements of the 1980s and 1990s, just as a previous collection, Women and Health: The Politics of Sex in Medicine , gathered contributions from the earlier wave of the women's health movement in the 1970s. The papers in both volumes are selected from the International Journal of Health Services, edited by Vicente Navarro. The essays in this volume were originally published in the 1980s and early 1990s. Together, they present a framework for understanding the struggles over women's health that have occurred in this time period, and provide specific analyses of women's health in relation to race/ethnicity and class, the work of health care, the health of women workers, international reproductive health, sexuality, AIDS, and public health policy.

The essays in this volume are contributions to a fast-growing literature on women, gender, and health. They represent efforts to analyze women's health issues within a political and social context, rather than simply as technical, biological, or clinical concerns. As such, they form part of an interdisciplinary and collective project that draws upon social history, anthropology, history of science, women's studies, and political economy.

As this burgeoning literature suggests, as the essays in this book argue, and as the more critical segments of the women's health movement urge, the answers to women's health concerns will not be found simply in an expansion of biomedical research along traditional lines. The current demand for more research is necessary, but not sufficient. Activists lobbying for increased funding for women's health research must ask for the appropriation of new money; otherwise, the budgets for other health programs will be raided.

Even more critical, however, is the need to support new kinds of research. The biomedical research enterprise has long worked to unravel the specific mechanisms of disease processes by tracing the biomedical pathways and pathological mechanisms of the body; in addition to this narrowly-focused research effort, we need socially-oriented research that seeks to understand both the social production and construction of health and ill-health. This will require delineating the reasons for differences and similarities in health between women and men and also—and just as important—the reasons for social inequalities in health among women.

Women's Health, Politics, and Power will contribute to an emerging synthesis on the social analysis of gender and health, help frame some of the issues that still need to be addressed, provide useful suggestions for future work, and eventually help lead to more appropriate public health policies.

This book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
As its predecessor, Women and Health: The Politics of Sex in Medicine (Baywood, 1983), this new volume of collected essays from the International Journal of Health Services continues the examination of the politics of health, disease, and medicine in an effort to understand the specific ways in which sexual divisions are reinforced in medical institutions, knowledge, and practice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895031204
  • Publisher: Baywood Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Series: Policy, Politics, Health and Medicine Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
SECTION I: WOMEN AND HEALTH: FRAMEWORKS

Man-Made Medicine and Women's Health: The Biopolitics of Sex/Gender and Race/Ethnicity Nancy Krieger and Elizabeth Fee
Latina and African American Women: Continuing Disparities in Health Marsha Lillie-Blanton, Rose Marie Martinez, Andrea Kidd Taylor, and Betty Garman Robinson

Women, Health, and the Sexual Division of Labor: A Case Study of the Women's Health Movement in Britain Lesley Doyal


SECTION II: WOMEN AND THE WORK OF HEALTH CARE

Gender Hierarchies in the Health Labor Force Irene H. Butter, Eugenia S. Carpenter, Bonnie J. Kay, and Ruth S. Simmons
Community Care Policies and Gender Justice Suzanne E. England, Sharon M. Keigher, Baila Miller, and Nathan L. Linsk


SECTION III: THE HEALTH OF WOMEN WORKERS

Double Exposure: The Combined Impact of the Home and Work Environments on Psychosomatic Strain in Swedish Women and Men Ellen M. Hall

The Interactive Effect of Health Status on Work Patterns among Urban Puerto Rican Women Ruth E. Zambrana and Marsha Hurst
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: Health Effects of the Sexual Division of Labor among Train Cleaners Karen Messing, Ghislaine Doniol-Shaw, and Chantal Haëntjens


SECTION IV: WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: ASIA, AFRICA, AND LATIN AMERICA

The Untold Story: How the Health Care Systems in Developing Countries Contribute to Maternal Mortality T.K. Sundari
Abortion Policy and Women's Health in Developing Countries Ruth Dixon-Mueller


SECTION V: SEXUALITY, WOMEN'S BODIES, AND WOMEN'S HEALTH

Medical Metaphors of Women's Bodies: Menstruation and Menopause Emily Martin
A Critical Historical Analysis of the Medical Construction of Lesbianism Patricia E. Stevens and Joanne M. Hall


SECTION VI: WOMEN AND AIDS

More than Mothers and Whores: Redefining the AIDS Prevention Needs of Women Kathryn Carovano
Women and AIDS in Zimbabwe: The Making of an Epidemic Mary T. Bassett and Marvellous Mhloyi


SECTION VII: GENDER, SOCIAL POLICY, AND WOMEN'S LIVES

The Feminization of Poverty: Myth or Reality? Martha E. Gimenez
Women and Children at Risk: A Feminist Perspective on Child Abuse Evan Stark and Anne H. Flitcraft

Older Women in the Post-Reagan Era Terry Arendell and Carroll L. Estes
Contributors
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