According to Basow (2016), Gender stereotyping can limit the development of the natural talents and abilities of girls and boys, women and men, as well as their educational and professional experiences and life opportunities in general. Stereotypes about women both result from and are the cause of, deeply engrained attitudes, values, norms, and prejudices against women. This assignment’s key topic is gender stereotyping and medicalizations have historically had a negative impact on women’s health. This assignment firstly describes different key terms related to the topic. Secondly, this assignment critically analyzes gender stereotyping and medicalization which have a negative impact on the health of women.
Cook (2015) said that a gender stereotype is a generalized view or preconception about attributes or characteristics, or the roles that are or ought to be possessed by, or performed by women and men. A gender stereotype is harmful when it limits women’s and men’s capacity to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers, and make choices about their lives. Harmful stereotypes can be both hostile/negative (e.g., women are irrational) or seemingly benign (e.g., women are nurturing).
For example, the fact that child care responsibilities often fall exclusively on women is based on the latter stereotype. An example of wrongful gender stereotyping is the failure to criminalize marital rape based on societal perception of women as the sexual property of men, and the failure to effectively investigate, prosecute and sentence sexual violence against women based on, e.g., the stereotype that women should protect themselves from sexual violence by dressing and behaving modestly.
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Key terms used in this essay
Gender stereotyping refers to the practice of ascribing to an individual woman or man specific attributes, characteristics, or roles by reason only of her or his membership in the social group of women or men (Connell and Zampas, 2018). Gender stereotyping is wrongful when it results in a violation or violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Gender stereotypes compounded and intersecting with other stereotypes have a disproportionately negative impact on certain groups of women, such as women from minority or indigenous groups, women with disabilities, women from lower caste groups or with lower economic status, migrant women, etc.
Wrongful gender stereotyping is a frequent cause of discrimination against women and a contributing factor in violations of a vast array of rights such as the right to health, adequate standard of living, education, marriage and family relations, work, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, political participation and representation, effective remedy, and freedom from gender-based violence.
Medicalization is a key concept of modernity, ubiquitously used in the social and medical sciences since the 1970s. Sociologist Peter Conrad calls provides the meaning of medicalization: ‘defining a problem in medical terms, usually as an illness or disorder, or using medical intervention to treat it’. Scholars generally agree that medicalization was critical – if not fundamental – the transformation of the 20th century. According to Szasz (2017), medicalization refers to the process in which health conditions and behaviors are labeled and treated as medical issues.
Some of this has been a product of the rapid advancement of science in the last thirty years. For example, while infertility has been a common component of every culture throughout history, the rise of drugs and technological procedures to treat infertility has led to an explosion in infertility diagnoses. Thus, while infertility used to be just a common part of life for some couples, it is now a medical problem that can be treated…………………….