The forms of medicalization of women’s health include the control of childbearing, the control of menstruation and the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. On the way to adulthood, and then to aging, a woman continues to meet with the medicalization of her health: menopause is also kept under control. Control over childbearing consists in recognizing pregnancy, first of all, as a disease, and not as a specific state of the female body. Common cesarean sections make her an object in the hands of doctors, and it turns out that they are the ones who give birth to the child. Control over menstruation consists in limiting physical activity and special recommendations during this time. These recommendations include exemption from studies, long sleep and specific food; menstruation is also regarded as a disease. Premenstrual syndrome is considered a special mental illness, consisting of irritability and anger. Pharmaceutical companies foist sedatives on women to treat premenstrual syndrome. Menopause is also interpreted as a disease, withering of the female body. The presence of menstruation is interpreted negatively, as an ailment, and, at the same time, the absence of menstruation, menopause, is considered an ailment.
The medicalization of women’s health in such forms is institutional sexism. Women are forced to visit a doctor more often than men, and they experience anxiety for their health. The responsibility for contraception, the health of the child and the process of childbearing falls on their shoulders, despite the fact that caesarean section attempts to reduce this responsibility. However, the medicalization of women’s health turns a woman into an object.
The interactionist view explains the sociology of health in the best way, as it postulates the idea that many diseases are social constructs. This point of view focuses on the perception of certain diseases by society and the reaction of people to ailments (Griffiths, 2015). Diseases and their treatments in society are subject to institutions, which leads to the construction of a certain system of relations to different states of health and the human body.
Griffiths, H., Keirns, N. J., Strayer, E., Cody-Rydzewski, S., Scaramuzzo, G., Sadler, T., Vyain, S. (2015). Introduction to sociology 2e. Houston, Texas: OpenStax College, Rice University.