In terms of the “culture of biomedicine” it means that Western society has created the thoughts on biomedicine. It is a culture-inflicted topic which we have conformed to our own ideas and beliefs. Biomedicine goes hand in hand with cultural civilizations. There are other cultures of biomedicine that may even be inferior to our own. It is important because we must stay open minded to new ideas and views on biomedicine outside of our own. I learned this week from the documentary “Pill Poppers” how much Western civilization has promoted the idea of medicine and pills as the cure for everything. There is literally a pill for everything you can think of, and it is becoming more the social norm.One man described that he believed he is “being kept alive artificially” by taking all these drugs.




I view the dichotomy of male/female based on a person’s biological anatomy. I believe the reproduction parts that an individual possesses determines their  sex. Although I try to stay open minded in terms of gender roles defining males or female, they still come into play. I often find myself viewing a woman who is more butch dressed as a man, to be a man. There are certain gender roles males and females are thought to live up to by society. I try not to agree with society in these terms, but we will always resort back to them in a sense. I believe these ideas developed growing up in a society where men are exposed in the media as being tuff and women are thought to be softer and sensual.


I believe this dichotomy is accepted as logical because people like to simplify things. Society believes things should be black or white, and one or the other, not both. People do not like to entertain the idea of a completed person, such as a transgender. Western society continues to accept this definition of males and females to being simplified as one or the other, but I believe they are beginning to entertain the idea of transgender/ people who define themselves differently. It all comes down to educating society on these new ways to define men and women in Western culture. Once people are more educated they will feel more comfortable defining themselves and others in that way.

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  1. Ellen Howard says:

    I think it is important for clinicians to understand the Man/Woman dichotomy because everyone alive can relate to the either category or a grey category in between. Although I too would determine a person’s sex by biological anatomy, who am I to determine their gender they play in society. Everyone is an individual and should be allowed to determine their social role, even though biologically their sex is determined. If not taken into consideration the grey areas, people will get offended and also feel they do not have certain freedoms to express. As you also stated, I believe education is the key to accepting.
    An alternative way to conceptualize this dichotomy of Man/Woman could be to not contrast the two categories as intense as we do. People should view others as people and let them choose what category they choose to define themselves and if they prefer not to choose then let them be their worries, not yours. I had choosen Life/Death to talk about in my reflection. I thought that when it comes time that it has to be determined what is life or death for someone, that it should be more on an individual basis. Family should be included as well as medical staff to help determine what the state of the individual is, if the individual is not able to determine for themselves.

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