Biomedicine has a culture component that is influenced by humans and their cultural beliefs. Also, biomedicine serves social and political groups in power. The language of biomedical facts is based on social values and ideologies. The lecture described how clinicians and patients lives are investigated to learn about the rituals and customs of biomedicine in clinics. In order for a person to understand and evaluate biomedical language, western culture must be considered; therefore biology cannot be the only determining factor of biomedicine. I believe dichotomies were created to distinguish and characterize two groups that are opposite. Moreover, I believe that cultural beliefs and social norms played an important role in creating dichotomies. Dichotomies are very controversial, especially in the United States because there are several different cultures that have their own explanations for dichotomies.

The distinction of males and females is extremely controversial. In our society, the distinction between males and females is based on reproduction organs, which is considered biological. Our society accepts the distinction of male and female because the dichotomy is based on science, which is what our society view as factual. The distinction between males and females is important in many cultural beliefs, which may be the reason why society accepts this dichotomy. In addition, genetics can interfere with the distinction of male and females based on biological factors. If a person has a mutation in their genes they can be born with male and female reproduction organs. A person can have normal reproduction organs, but abnormal amounts of estrogen and testosterone can affect their gender roles. Gender is used to distinguish males and females, but it is based on the roles that males and females play in society. Gender roles are determined by cultural beliefs and the behaviors that are associated with males and females.

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  1. Amy Sweetapple says:

    It is very important for clinicians to understand this particular dichotomy because in our society, our western culture bases our knowledge off of biological, scientific facts. We categorize male/female in which different chromosomes and reproductive organs the different sexes have. However, certain mutations or hormone levels may be altered, thus affecting the “clear distinction” between male or female. Gender roles play a major role in our society because an individual may act a certain gender, but biologically be a different sex, not aligning with their gender role in our society. So it is crucial that clinicians consider all factors of their patient’s sex and gender, and provide to them an appropriate treatment.
    An alternative way to conceptualizing this dichotomy is by considering our western medicine beliefs of male/female, our society’s gender roles belief, and the vast amount of situations that are can cause discrepancies between the two. This would benefit doctor/patient relationship by having an open relationship and patients unafraid of their gender role in society but other biological determinants. This also could bring in more patients dealing with certain medical conditions and broaden the horizon of medical treatment. Drawbacks of alternative approaches in medicine could be incorrectly treating the patients or negatively impacting the patient’s doctor experiences.

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