Erectile Dysfunction

The role of medication in western medicine is huge. We medicate for almost every problem or illness that arises. We use medicine to fix virtually any issue we have with our bodies from pains, to aches, to cosmetic, to deathly illnesses. This all leads to the medicalization of our culture and actually makes it difficult to differentiate between something that needs to be treated with medicine and something that is just uncomfortable or cosmetic. This says a lot about our values and ideologies because it shows that although health is very important to us, we also take cosmetic medicine very seriously.

Erectile Dysfunction is highly medicalized in our society. The advertisement that I found is for the medicine Cialis.


The cultural values and ideologies of our system say that sex is extremely important and impotence makes a man, less of a man. Our culture says that this issue that often comes with old age (just as menopause comes for women) needs to be fixed using medication. The social roles that man take in our society plays a huge role in this as well. Men are seen as strong and sexual. Having their sexual organs big enough and work well is something that plays a role in a man’s life from the day they understand what this means.

The presentation of the actual medical information of this medication is listed small and out of the way like many medical advertisements are. What’s more important to the consumer is if it works rather than how it works. Doctor/patient interactions for this medication involve the patient getting prescribed the medicine after consulting with their doctor. This medicine is often prescribed after a patient just claims that they are having impotence issues. Many advertisements for this type of medication strategically use strong, good-looking, older men. They often look like they are enjoying life and often have their good-looking woman enjoying life with them as well. This gives men the impression that they will have this life as well if they start taking this medication.

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  1. Shardae Herriford says:

    Erectile dysfunction is actually a problem for some men. So, we have pills such as Viagra, Penile Enlargement, and Cialis that help fix this problem. Many of the advertisements are often supposed to be funny to show that it is cool to want to have larger gentials. The main audience directly to are middle aged men, that have problems either becoming erect or staying erect during sexual intercourse. Our culture is expressing that sex is very important so they make many adversitement, such as this commercial displays that is a illness that occurs to every man at in some point in their life. Which is not always true because some men still have children well into their 70s and 80s. If someone if experiencing this problem it is because of their diet, lack of excercise and “you use it or lose it”. This can considered an illness because it can be a mental problem that causing a man not to become erect, but it is not a health problem or life threatening. This medicine is geared towards men to take them more attractive to women, not to reproduce. Similar to the Conrad article, which discussed adult ADHD diagnosis being expanded. They talked about if they someone believed the diagnosis or not, the problem that was there was fixed despite of the situation at hand. I think that this article explains my view of erectile dysfunction, rather it becomes a identifiable illness or not, there is still a solution to problem.

    Peter Conrad and Deborah Potter. “From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories.” Social Problems 47 (2000): 559-582, Accessed July 31, 2014.

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