I believe the “culture of biomedicine” to be the western world’s view of health in terms of biology. Biomedicine emphasizes the importance of anatomical, physiological, mental, and emotional health. It is used to treat disease and maintain “normal” health. Today, biomedicine is used to enhance the body in order to make it the best that it can physically be in functionality, appearance and health. Biomedicine is the most popular system of ethnomedicine in the west. People in the western world think that biomedicine operates on facts that are independent from cultural and human influences. Personally, I do not think this is the case. The “facts” of biomedicine are constantly changing as a result of changes in technology, media, societal influences and production. By completing this weeks activity post I have come to the realization that culture and human influences greatly influence biomedicine today. For example, women wouldn’t get breast augmentations if they did not think having larger breasts would benefit them socially or culturally. Therefore, I think that biomedicine and culture go hand in hand. The “culture of biomedicine” is so important in today’s society because it determines how patients are treated and how diseases are classified. In a sense, the “culture of biomedicine” itself determines how you look and feel both physically and mentally.
Biomedicine is also made up of a series of dichotomies: life and death, healthy and sick, nature and culture. I think that dichotomies are unrealistic. I believe that almost every dichotomy is outdated and unreasonable. There are always exceptions and counter arguments. Not much in today’s world is definite. One dichotomy I find particularly interesting is that of the male and female. If male and female are in fact a dichotomy this would mean that there is a natural division between the two. As discussed in lecture, the sex of a person is thought to be genetically fixed, but their gender is not. Gender is a role that one plays in society. I think their role is typically determined by their reproductive organs and society’s view of what people with those sex organs should act like. Even sex, which is thought to be genetically fixed, is not straightforward. People can have a variety of genetic variations that blur the lines of male and female. I think that this specific dichotomy is accepted as natural and true in our society because that is what we are raised to believe and think.