Gender Discrimination & its Implications in Medical Research

The male body is taken as the epitome of anatomy; when it comes to medical research. Not more than 30 years ago, female anatomy was even banned in the UK for research purposes, because it was thought that that would “pollute the medical data due to hormonal fluctuations”.

Not something new, where males are taken as an ideal for everything, is it?

But human anatomy is a matter of life and death.

Condescending Doctors and How to Deal With Them - Medical Bag

The underlying reasons for the cause of pain; in men and women are completely different. Due to this fundamental difference in anatomy, when the medical community studies pain; only in the male anatomy, they take a biased approach towards the medical assessments as well as interpretation of pains. Women complain of pains and yet their pains are belittled. If they say they are experiencing pains in the abdominal cavity, in light of the female body, it could mean something extremely different; and even severe, than in the case of males. This fundamental difference is the reason for the rising number of medical scandals, where a large group of women end up suing a lab for malpractices and causing serious health complications; due to wrong prescriptions of dosages or medicine.

Why Is It More Painful to Be a Woman? | Psychology Today

In many cases, women and men’s bodies have different dosage needs for medicine, and women are more prone to getting seriously mistreated at hands of a health practitioner; due to unconscious bias____ as a result of decades of medical research; undertaken only on the male body.

As recently as 2013, the FDA had to reduce the doses of the sleeping pill Ambien for women by half, after a class-action lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Sanofi by Ambien users who complained of sleep-driving while under the drug’s influence.

After the FDA launched an investigation, it was found that women were, in fact, more susceptible to being impaired; because they eliminate the drug from their bodies more slowly than men.

Ambien Lawsuit - The Eichholz Law Firm

“Medically unexplained” symptoms is no excuse for any doctor, to fit the female anatomy into the box of the stereotypical male anatomy, and judge it on comparison. “Gender-informed” research is extremely necessary, in order to stop misdiagnosis and mistreatment of women.

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