erectile dysfunction

Medications over the last 20 years or so have been playing a major role in American society. We as American citizens are gradually becoming more medicated for more and more things that were unheard of ten to fifteen years ago. The increased amount of medications also seems to play a role in making people think that they are sick because they do not perform as well in certain areas as others or do not have large talents in certain major societal niches that become a recognized standard. I think this is due to increased commercialization of pharmaceuticals and advertisements of these drugs designed to increase demand by facilitating the idea of inadequacy in individuals. I think this goes to say that wellbeing and health can be viewed as directly proportional to success in our society. If an individual is seen as under performing in school they may have something like adhd an illness and they can be medicated to fix it. It is very similar to the treatment vs. enhancement concept from lecture, where the lines of treatment are drawn around the performance of an individual.

This advertisement for cialis, a drug to help those suffering from erectile dysfunction depicts cultural values such as monogamy and a healthy sex-life with your partner. Also, it shows the social role for men as needing to be ready at a moments notice for when your spouse is prepared for sexual activity, placing some pressure on men to perform. The medical information is mostly about risks and seeking out more information in a face to face interaction with your physician to determine whether you are healthy enough for the drug. Also it, showcases the symptoms of erectile dysfunction to place the idea of these symptoms in the consumers mind so that if they feel they are experiencing them they will consider the drug. The most important advertising strategy in my opinion is that of advertising a healthy relationship with your partner, not a drug to help with the issue at hand. As they promise it will help keep things healthy between a person you care about it is much easier to sell than selling medication.

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  1. Laceey Ruble says:

    From the Conrad article, medicalization is defined as “the expansion of medical jurisdiction or the expansion of medical boundaries.” I believe there are many factors that have influenced the medicalization of erectile dysfunction. For one, selling pills like Viagra and Cialis is highly profitable today. However, it may not have been as profitable in the past. We are in a time where people are living longer than they ever have. And let’s be honest here, older men are much more likely to have erection problems than younger men. I think that the expanding population of elderly people has influenced the medicalization of erectile dysfunction because the interest group/ those affected increased. Therefore, the demand for a drug to help with the sexual satisfaction of this older generation also increased. Further, we are living in a culture that is obsessed with the appearance of youth. Being able to hold and maintain an erection is a significant symbol of youth and vitality in our culture. The advertisement above is a prime example of this. The men and women in the add are happy, youthful, and they do not have a care in the world. According to the ad, you have an illness if your body is not ready for sex 100% of the time. That is the image that our culture pushes us to look like, and to achieve that ideal we have to pay a fee and then pop some magical pills. Apparently, it is that simple.

    References
    Conrad, Peter, and Deborah Potter. “From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories.” Social Problems 47, no. 4 (November 2000): 559-82.

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