Seminar arranged by the Science, Techology & Society research cluster, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield:
THINKING ‘GENDER-SPECIFIC’ IN HEALTHCARE: WHY AND WITH WHAT CONSEQUENCES?
Ellen Annandale, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of York
Date: Thursday, 19 March 2015; Time: 4-5pm; Where: Room 109, Elmfield Building, University of Sheffield
The rapidly expanding field of ‘gender-specific medicine’ (GSM) heralds a new biopolitics of health. By dividing and stratifying and seeking out ever more ‘specific’ parts of the sex-differentiated body GSM advocates are fashioning a new ‘gender-specific ethos’ for medical practice. In this paper I will trace the development of this ethos and explore some of the consequences for healthcare of its fragmented and reductivist approach to the body. It will be suggested that GSM draws the long, intertwined and problematic history of gender and the medicalization of health together in new ways through the pharmaceuticalisation and commercialisation of the body. I will also speculate on the contradictions facing GSM. On first glance the ascendancy of the socially atomised molecular vision of life exemplified by the present rush towards personalised or precision medicine seems to support and advance the biologically reductivist ‘gender-specific’ ethos’. Yet, equally, it raises the question of whether, with personalised medicine, diagnosis and treatment could be so individualised that the ‘specificity’ of ‘gender’ (read binary sex difference) as an independent risk factor is rendered redundant and, if so, how GSM may respond.
If you would like to attend, please follow the link and complete the registration form – Registration form <http://goo.gl/forms/1cLckG7DnY>.