- Women deserve a separate medical categorization only when it is paired with the recognition of a counterpart male category. There are observable differences between male and female physiology to warrant the usage of biological sex as a consistent and useful categorization tool in medicine. The major problem with this approach is not based on the utility of the method, but instead arises when the groups are interpreted as being related to power. Categorization is a simple, proven, and widely-used heuristic that allows for information processing to be performed with less effort in virtually all learning efforts, but the tool can be corrupted by the attachment of biases and stereotypes. One of the most controversial issues regarding the use of a separate category for women’s medicine is the misconception that the group is a lone division in the large population. As a result, the impression can be given that women are considered abnormal or even inferior if the two sexes are not given equal billing in the overall medical category.
- In his 2009 book, Joralemon describes the concept of “self” as an extremely meaningful concept of personal being that can vary from person to person as well as across groups and cultures. For example, one personal may consider their self to be incomplete without a body part, even a tooth, while others may have a concept of self that is completely separate from their physical body. The wide range of possible ideas of self presents ethical problems for biotech and medicine where body parts, beginning of life, and end of life are of prime focus. The best way to deal with this is for each application to consider the views of those directly affected, if possible.
Joralemon, D. Exploring Medical Anthropology. 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2009. Print.