How is gender violence practiced in the field of medicine?

Carmen Valls is a doctor specialized in endocrinology and now directs the “Women, Health and Quality of Life” program at the Analysis Center Y Health Programs (CAPS) in Spain, organization of which she has been a member since 1983 and vice president. A particular interest that Carmen Valls has is make visible women and create a medical field with gender perspective.

In what way can you exercise violence in the medicine? Carmen Valls mentions in interview for El País, that in research works there is seldom a differentiation of data by sex, or women are not included in the works.

This means that the evolution of diseases is studied in the same way in women and men and certain characteristics of the female body are not taken into account;

“Women have the same rights as men, and the right to health implies that they are diagnosed and treated according to their differences” mentions Carmen Valls

Similarly, in bliss interview women are reported to be prescribed more anxiolytics (tranquilizers) than men. Why? Doctors attribute fatigue or pain in some part of the body to anxiety or depression in women, rather than to some other health problem; and no diagnostic process is done to find the causes of your problems.

The macho society and health

Carmen Valls, being a specialist in gender studies, points out that patriarchal society is also a factor that directly affects women: the double shift is a very clear example; women often have to work and take care of the home, which is much more stressful than if they just had to focus on one task.

Gender stereotypes make women feel that they must fulfill all roles perfectly: mother, wife, worker. Therefore, it is not uncommon for women to present, to a greater extent, problems with increased hormones adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol, which can cause tachycardia and hypertension and alter the rhythm of sleep.

Mental health is also an affected pillar: the woman is attacked from the moment of birth, considering her inferior and of little value. And by requiring you to maintain certain standards of beauty, there are cases of anorexia and bulimia since adolescence, or excess cosmetic surgery interventions, a flourishing industry.

The violence obstetric is gender violence

One of the most violent camps in the medicine are the deliveries. Instead of accompanying women in one of the most rewarding moments of life, protagonism and decision are taken away from them. That is why, indisputably, violence obstetric is also gender violence.

“To despise the person being cared for and victimize them is one more form of gender violence”

The Law Against Gender Violence from various countries such as Spain and Mexico, prepared by years of feminist struggles to make visible the violence macho, no longer allows it to be considered a private problem. It is considered a problem of public health, and primary care professionals have received training to care for it, although more information and resources are still lacking to support women and create a medical professional field with gender perspective.

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