Problematic women: psychology, gender, and health in North America
Taking its cue from the medical field, psychology has long been curious about the relationship between biological sex and illness just as societies have long been interested in regulating women’s bodies. From 19th Century gender differences scholarship through 20th century activism this article introduces the gendered history of psychology and health. Offering a general overview of the past and more recent feminist present within a North American framework. Taking as its base foundation the intellectual shifts away from an exclusively individualistic lens towards one that now emphasizes systems and society; referred to as the difference between a “women-as-problem” and a “women-in-context” approach. Topics addressed include early gender differences scholarship, mental health costs and gendered violence; dual impact of the paradigms of masculinity, perversity in medicating and treating a woman’s psychological condition which result from living in a patriarchal societies; constructs of female sexual dysfunction, and more. We encourage South American scholars to take up the call to more thoroughly explore and expand on the histories of gendered health and psychology within regional and historical time sensitive contexts.
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