The “culture of biomedicine,” or Western medicine, refers to health in terms of biology. Since biomedicine is an institution that is so deeply ingrained in our culture, it is often something that we don’t put much thought into. Whenever we’re feeling sick, we automatically know there is a biological solution to our problem. Since biomedicine is represented in the media and is also an institution in our culture, we assume that it is universal and objective. We think that since it is based on biology, it is simply a reflection of nature. But biomedicine, like all forms of medicine, is not free from prejudice and human influence. An example of this would be the eugenics experiments that occurred in the United States. Biomedicine is culturally constructed and changes over time. We have not always accepted antibiotics or genetics sciences, nor does every culture. Biomedicine is such an important concept because it is not only a science, it is a part of our culture.
I had not thought about dichotomy in our medical system or culture until this lecture. When I was younger, I believed that everything was black and white. I saw many things as either wrong or right in two absolute categories. As I grow older, I can see that many things are not black and white, and there are many different views. People from other cultures see things very differently than people in our culture do. My views are very influenced by the media, my family, and my culture.
The male/female dichotomy is very obvious in our culture. Since birth, boys are encouraged to act “girly” and girls are encouraged to act “girly,” there is no other option. In western culture, gender is defined by genitalia. Many people feel out of place because they feel that they have the wrong genitalia for their body. Since stereotypes have been forced on people, they have been forced to think they have to act a certain way because they have certain genitalia.