Gender Perspectives on Medicine ? Two Decades? Development of Gender Awareness in Medical Research and Practice
Gender Perspectives on Medicine was written by Anne Hammarström, a Umeå University Professor of Public Health Sciences who focuses on gender research. This is the eighth title in the series on gender perspectives issued by the National Agency of Higher Education and the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research jointly. Its purpose is to provide an introduction to gender perspectives in various disciplines.
The requirement of a gender perspective in education and research often prompts two questions: what is ‘gender´, and what is a ‘gender perspective´? There are no given, unequivocal answer, since gender researchers in various subjects have differing views on how best to define and use these notions.
In Anne Hammarström´s view, gender research — with its reflective, critical attitude and strong roots in schools of scientific theory — can make a major and valuable contribution to medical research. Applying a gender perspective to medicine may, for example, mean asking new questions about how women´s and men´s disparate conditions in society affect their health; analysing gender-related power relationships in encounters between patients and healthcare services; or developing models to explain why women´s symptoms are considered more diffuse than those of men.