Biomedicine was intended to be founded on objectivity and
universality.  However anthropologists
have determined that biomedical knowledge has been culturally constructed and
amended over time. The acceptance of germ theory, the mass production of antibiotics
and genetics, all have been influenced by culture. Culture has also reorganized
medical education in the U.S., as stated in lecture. The creation of local and
national medical societies is another example of the alteration of biomedicine.
The concept of culture influencing biomedicine is so important because, it
determines how we view and treat disease and interpret health as a whole. The
culture of biomedicine is what our health system has developed into and
continues to evolve in result of. Essentially, social factors, a large aspect
of culture, have a large effect on biomedicine.

I believe that certain dichotomies are essential in our
society. However, there are cases in which dichotomies have been used
incorrectly and unnecessarily. Valid dichotomies allow us to establish a norm
and have allowed us as a society to compare many aspects of life. Determining
things such as life and death are an essential use of dichotomies. My views on
dichotomies have come primarily from my environment. My family and education
are the main sources.

The dichotomy of male and female is an example of
dichotomies being correct while having numerous gray areas. Biologically
speaking, the dichotomy of male and female on the surface seems pretty clear
cut. Males have specific anatomical characteristics that are usually very
distinct from females. Hormonally, males and females differ greatly as well. In
the past, we have used the male and female dichotomy to assign gender roles. In
my opinion, this was an incorrect use of the dichotomy and many of these gender
roles have evolved greatly over time.  Physically, the dichotomy made sense with the
male gender being dominant in terms of strength, but where it fell short was in
mental ability. Females and males have the same ability, in terms of intelligence.
This has become apparent and realized more recently than some would care to

2 thoughts on “Male/Female

  1. I think it is important for clinicians to understand this dichotomy because gender and sex aren’t always clear-cut. It’s not always as simple as being simply male or female. There are other sexes out there such as individuals born with both sex organs. There are individuals who have an extra Y or an extra X chromosome. Before, the parents had to choose at birth which sex they wanted their child to be. This can cause problems down the road because on the outside they may be a certain gender but on the inside they feel very differently.

    An alternative way to conceptualize this dichotomy is to allow the child to eventually decide what gender they want to side with, if any. This is something that is becoming more and more popular these days. Like I said before, doctors and parents were the ones making the choices but now they are leaving the decisions up to the children when they are old enough. The benefit of this would be that the child would get to make their own decision and be able to feel comfortable in their own skin. This will avoid a lot of problems down the road compared to if their parents chose at birth what gender they wanted their child to be. A drawback of this is how often we have to label ourselves. The individual should be able to label themselves however they feel. They should also have the choice if they don’t want to label themselves.

  2. think that it is very important for clinicians to understand the Male/Female dichotomy in today’s world more than ever. Now we can test genetic factors that might change how we view a person’s sex. Also it easier than ever to physically change ones sex with surgery. With these new ways of looking at a person’s sex it is important for doctors to be knowledgeable about one’s genetic or mental issues that might cause a person to be viewed as a certain sex or for how person may view their own sex. This is imperative for doctors to understand and treat conditions based on a patient’s sex and also to be sensitive to how a person views their sex if it differs from how they physically appear to the world. If taken for granted some people may never know of chromosomal conditions and other conditions that may arise because of the unknown true sex. Also some individuals would not have the chance to change their sex to the way they feel on the inside.
    Alternative to this dichotomy is to have more options than being just male or female or not even have the two we have now and just treat all the sexes the same. The benefits to this is everyone could feel comfortable being who they are and not worrying about having to be put in a situation of picking either or. But one drawback is there does need to be some way to define sexes for medical reasons and treatment that are based on sex and the needs of a particular sex.

Leave a Reply