Cross-Cultural Reproductive and Sexual Suppression of Women: Understanding the Systematic Denial of Access to Adequate Healthcare and Medical Knowledge of the Female Body

Eliza Duncan Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Jeanna Jorgensen Butler University
This paper examines, and seeks to create a dialogue around, the centuries-old precedent of pseudoscience and mysticism surrounding the female form. Specifically, how the intentional dissemination of misinformation regarding women's health and sexuality has been, and continues to be, used as a method of sociological and psychological control of women around the globe. Long considered unworthy of scientific study, the sheer lack of knowledge surrounding women's bodies continues, leaving a public health crisis in its wake. Modern medical trials for drugs developed for specifically women are tested on male subjects, effectively marking women as biologically inferior and decreasing knowledge of the human body as a whole. As for female sexuality, neglecting to educate women about their reproductive and sexual rights has led to generations of unwitting and unwilling mothers, and leaves those who choose motherhood of their own volition ill prepared and uninformed. Is it coincidence that the lack of access to education about contraception and family planning is to remain a near universal despite globalization and the current technological revolution? From the antiquated theory of female hysteria to the contemporary Himalayan shame virtue of sharm, both medical and societal expectations, and understandings, are used to mold women into the role of dutiful wife and mother. Thus, those who breaking the norm as unfit and deviant. The aforementioned limitations placed upon women will be further discussed, as will the future, overarching societal implications of improvements in sexual an health-related education.
Anthropology
Oral Presentation

When & Where

10:45 AM
Jordan Hall 242