Biological approach

In my opinion the biological approach would be the most useful in studying health. This is due to the fact that it is probably the most logical and seemingly simple of all the approaches. It takes into account what I think are  the three biggest determining  factors of the human world, the ideology of “nature vs. nurture,” while also factoring in the obvious fact that humans have the free will to do as they please and can more or less determine their own fates.

Disease and illness, although seemingly identical, are 2 distinctly separate things. Although both seem to be subjective, influenced by the factors around them, disease is more so “man-made” and brought about by the environment while illness is more natural and a common factor of human life. These definitions helped to distinguish the difference between these two, something that was not apparent to me before.

While reading the Miner article I started to realize that a lot of the cultural ideals and rituals he was describing, although very barbaric, seemed very familiar as well. When I got to the part about the “holy-mouth-man” it began to settle in that he was actually talking about our gradually modernizing culture. I especially found the last quote very very interesting. In short, it was saying that we find these rituals so barbaric yet we would not be where we are today if we had not started at some point with such things, and that we continue to build on them each day.

Two of the rituals/ideologies I found very interesting in the Miner article were their secrecy and protection of the naked body and acts of excretion, and also how much they valued the breast shape of women. The first represents the idea that the body is sacred and must remain for one’s own self only. The second I found rather funny because it represented a similar ideology that we have in our society today, praising and paying women for their ideally “perfect” bodies and striving to be just like them.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. saarine3 says:

    I have to agree with you about how their society is satirical to ours in that all the practices we seem necessary no matter how much pain or grief they cause us. We will still go through with them because that’s what we a thought to do.
    The first example us selected was the point about how their bodies were sacred and must remain for one’s own self only. I think at the time this article was written our society was probably a much more conservative place. Meaning people were less open about sex and nudity than they are today. Today’s society is much more liberal than 50 years ago. For example every year it seems like there is more sex on TV and overly sexualized models both male and female whom are dressed half naked to depict the ideal body image. Now I think people now view their bodies as less sacred and more embarrassed. In that they want to have a perfect body and if they don’t they keep it to themselves. This brings me into your next example about women showing of their breasts. This is obviously still very relevant into today’s society for all the same reason I just said. Strippers, models, and thespians are all paid to show off their bodies. All and all I would say you selected some great examples that work well for the activity.

  2. Taylor Smith says:

    I agree that the biological approach is very important and one of the most clear-cut for someone who plans to study health. I initially thought this was the most useful for me but upon further analysis, I chose the ethnomedical because it included more of the culture aspect, which I think is extremely important. However, your statement about “nature vs. nurture” is something that I did not consider when thinking about the biological approach, and it makes me realize that there is still quite a bit of culture associated with this method.
    I think that our modern culture is contradictory. When this article was written 50 years ago, our society was a bit more conservative. There is still much emphasis on privacy and protection of the human body and acts of excretion. We see these ideologies daily in examples such as private bathrooms, dressing rooms, and more conservative beaches than those of other cultures, among many others. However, we idolize the naked human body and praise those who have the ideal shape and form. Plastic surgery and other forms of body altering and improving have become such a large part of our culture. It has become almost the norm for women to have breast implants in order to achieve that “perfect” breast shape. It seems at times, that the body is no longer sacred and private, when we are faced with so much nudity and sex in the media.

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