Health and illness social and biological constructs

Medical sociologists use social constructionist theory to interpret the social experience of illness. Social constructionism holds that individuals and groups produce their own conceptions of reality, and that knowledge itself is the product of social dynamics.

Health and illness social and biological constructs

Many scholars invested in various fields, including queer theory, medicine and psychiatry, have investigated the concept of medicalized gender transgression in modern societies. Namaste routinely points out, queer theorists rarely take into account the people whose lives they are placing under scrutiny.

In other words, theory is often inaccessible to the very people to whom it pertains. The lived experiences of many other transgenders, while obviously exhibiting individual differences, follow similar, specific stages, all of which have been incorporated and regulated by the field of medicine.

These professionals themselves often exhibit highly judgmental perspectives regarding transgenders. One primary purpose for the medicalized treatment of intersexual infants is precisely to cover up the very existence of intersexuals.

The Medicalization of Intersexed Infants

The erasure of sexual ambiguity attempts to create a social space free of any individuals whose corporeal existences challenge the expected binary system of sex and gender. Estimates regarding the frequency of intersexuality reflect the disparate attempts to define intersexuality.

Health and illness social and biological constructs

The standard protocol for doctors who negotiate the bodies of intersexed infants has been highly influenced by the work of Dr. As Suzanne Kessler notes: Following the precedence established by Money, many medical personnel manipulate language and terminology in order to normalize intersexuality for the parents of intersexual children 4.

They then construct genitals appropriate to the assigned gender, and introduce hormones accordingly. This ideology is not a product of medical advances; rather the technological and medical advances are the products of this ideology.

Anne Fausto-Sterling provides insight into the medicalized institutional regime which she suggests is extremely invested in the ideologies perpetuating the myth of the existence of only two sexes. The patriarchal values imbedded in the complex web of social institutions of modern Western societies encourage the medicalized control over intersexed individuals.

Activist groups involved in transgender rights often include the rights of intersexed infants in their agendas. Social reform activists such as Cheryl Chase have criticized Western feminist ideology for the impetuous denunciations of genital mutilation in non-Western countries, while seeming to be oblivious to similar practices in their own societies 7.

However many transsexuals choose, at some point in their lives, to invite medicalized alterations to their physical bodies for the purposes of recognizing their inner gender identity.

Some, but not all, transsexuals desire access to hormones which would presumably alter their physical bodies.

Health and illness social and biological constructs

Transsexuals often employ methods such as testosterone and estrogen injections or ingestions to achieve their desired corporeal modification 8. Other non-surgical options available to transsexuals who wish to renegotiate their sexed bodies include electrolysis and speech therapy.

Hormone distribution is conservatively guarded by medical personnel, and options such as electrolysis and speech therapy are only available from licensed members of the medical community, provided the desired end result is of high quality.

A wide variety of surgical operations are available to transsexuals in modern Western societies. Technological advancements have allowed modern Western societies the capabilities to perform complex operations regarding sex reassignment, however, cultural attitudes have not evolved at the same pace as technological and medical developments.

Conservative social sentiments are illustrated by comments made by Danish psychiatrist Dr. Georg Sturup referring to the typical American attitude toward sex re-assignment surgery: While many transsexuals have been found to manipulate different areas of the medical community in order to circumvent some of these regulations, most transsexuals must adhere to the criteria set forth by the medical institutions governing their transition.

Femininity As women do not have cultural power, there is no version of hegemonic femininity to rival hegemonic masculinity.
Well-Being Concepts | HRQOL | CDC Overall and domain specific life satisfaction. Top of Page What are some findings from these studies?
The Social Construction of Illness - RWJF Wednesday, April 28, Social Construction of the Definitions of Health and Illness Over the next two days we are going to look at two specific types of illness, mental illness and terminal illness, to see what different types of affects they have on the family.
Social Science History Bibliography The statement highlights issues of concern related to the empirical basis of categories, or lack thereof, social and political implications of disorders, cultural considerations, and the secretive process by which the revision was undertaken.

If they fail to comply, they risk losing any financial assistance in their transition, and very few people would be able to afford the extremely high costs of sex re-assignment surgery without aid.Mar 04,  · Best Answer: There are many forms of mental illness that are indeed linked to biological phenomena.

For example, schizophrenia is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

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Just as diabetics don't produce enough insulin because of dysfunction in the pancreas, schizophrenics don't produce enough Resolved. Social factors play a significant role in developing health and illness. Studies of epidemiology show that autonomy and control in the workplace are vital factors in the etiology of heart disease.

One cause is an effort-reward imbalance. A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode.

Many disorders have been described, with signs and symptoms that vary widely between specific disorders. Define both health and illness as social and biological constructs.

Examine the ways in which both constructs differ in your answer make reference to health patterns in two contrasting cultures The everyday absence of disease or illness is known as our health (Bilton et al ).

Health is simply a. The benefit of Sociological model is that it takes into account the factors outside of the physiological changes in the body such as psychological, political, social, economic, biological, culture and environment when viewing health and illness. Mental Illness: Depression - Depression is a mental health condition which is widely recognised as one of the most common conditions for which people seek and receive care.

Is mental illness a social construct or biological fact? | Yahoo Answers