I choose to analyze the illness of erectile dysfunction in our culture and why it is a biomedical approached is considered to be necessary to treat it. In our culture, the inability to get an erection is seen to lessen the masculinity of a man and as a result people are desperate to prevent this. The social effects from this illness could be devastating and make one the subject of ridicule or quite possibly hurt their station in the workplace. On a political level, erectile dysfunction is not really considered to be a pressing issue; however the drug companies who make money from ED medication do have a political influence and seek support in their endeavors to keep ED as a medical condition. This has a large economic impact as there is a lot of money to be made from selling this medication and men in our culture are willing to pay quite a bit to be rid of this condition. This diagnosis of ED as an illness influences the sufferers to seek treatment, which is usually pharmaceutical, and alters their perception of the condition. It also puts more stress on the patient since they now have another issue that can lead to potential problems if not treated.
Like many people in our culture, when I think of erectile dysfunction I immediately remember a Viagra commercial. The commercial itself uses the metaphor of things getting in the way of two peoples relationship and likens erectile dysfunction as one of those. The people then choose to throw all of these things, such as the television remote and magazines out the window before starting to dance. While listing the warnings and side effects it shows the two people going into a room and shutting the door with an obvious allusion to sex. This plays on our cultures ideas about sex and that every man should be able to have sex as the situation arises. The social roles shown are an older man still being able to have fun and enjoy life (successful), if he can still have sex. It presents medial information in the sense that it tell the side effects and warning in while it builds up the commercial. This commercial portrays doctor patient interactions by suggesting you consult a doctor to see if Viagra is a viable way to treat your erectile dysfunction.