Tag: gender

Blog Posts (10)

February 17, 2015

Men's reproductive health: Neglected in policy and practice

<div style="font-size: 11.1999998092651px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">In recognizing the health-related and financial benefits of preventive reproductive health services, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has included them (namely contraception and preconception care) as part of standard care and without co-payment. While the inclusion of women’s reproductive health care in the ACA is a milestone for women’s health, children’s health, and reproductive health overall, it is troubling that the ACA does not seem to make any mention of men’s reproductive health</div> <div style="font-size: 11.1999998092651px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><br /></div> <div style="font-size: 11.1999998092651px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">Men's reproductive health is not only missing from policy, also from everyday practice. Whereas women know to see a gynecologist for their reproductive health and can easily do, men are often unsure of where to turn for the reproductive health needs. Most men have never heard of the field of andrology, which is devoted to men's reproductive health, and this field is so small and fragmented that it may be difficult for a man to find a nearby andrologist. Some men seek out urologists for their reproductive health, but many urologists are not trained in all areas of men's reproductive health. Men may also talk to their primary care physician about their reproductive health needs, but many of these physicians are not very familiar with men's reproductive health since it is barely covered in medical school. Family planning centers tend to focus on treating women and some family planning providers have even been known to be hostile toward men. The lack of healthcare providers trained to treat in men’s sexual and reproductive health contributed to American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology recent statement that condoned OBGYNs treating certain areas of men’s sexual and reproductive health.</div> <p><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="color: #000099; text-decoration: underline;" href="http://www.amc.edu/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong><span style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"> </span></p>
October 22, 2014

The Ethics of Sperm Freezing for Teenage Boys

<p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">A few weeks ago, I attended the </span><a style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;" href="http://oncofertility.northwestern.edu/2014-Conference">annual Oncofertility Consortium conference</a><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"> where Dr. Angel Petropanagos and I presented our poster “Teen Boys and Fertility Preservation: An Ethical Analysis.”</span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">  </span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The vast majority of discussions about fertility preservation (FP), particularly FP for “social” (aka nonmedical) reasons, are focused on women in part because FP for women raises more ethical issues.</span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">  </span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">For instance, egg freezing carries more health risks and is generally less effective than sperm freezing. Furthermore, whereas sperm freezing has been an established method of FP for decades, it was only two years ago that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the experimental label from egg freezing.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">Yet, even established technologies can raise ethical concerns when used in vulnerable groups, such as children. Our research project examines the ethical issues FP raises when used by teenage boys.</span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">  </span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">In order to undergo sperm freezing, males must produce a sperm sample and this is usually done through masturbation. However, discussions about masturbation can be embarrassing and difficult for adolescent males (as well as for healthcare providers), particularly if they have never masturbated or never masturbated and achieved an ejaculation. Some parents and healthcare providers place a high value on preserving patients’ future option of genetic reproduction, but FP discussions with teen males can be especially challenging due to the sensitive and private nature of sexuality and reproduction. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><strong style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px; color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
August 18, 2014

Viagra Versus the Pill

<p>Given the continuing controversy surrounding insurance coverage for female contraceptives, I want to point out another drug that also targets sexuality and reproduction yet does not generate the nearly same degree of controversy. In fact, insurance companies began covering it immediately upon approval by the FDA with no fanfare. I’m referring to erectile dysfunction drugs. The public’s different responses to female contraceptives and male sexuality medications have been discussed in academic circles as well as in the media. Here I want to present some feminist perspectives on this topic. </p> <p>Some feminists argue that part of the reason we understand and treat pregnancy and impotence differently is because we have different standards for women's and men's health, which result from the traditional gender norms at play in our society. We (as a society) expect women to adhere to norms of chastity (e.g. fall on the “virgin” side of the virgin/whore dichotomy by not having sex until marriage) and one way we do this is by limiting their access to sexual and reproductive health care. In contrast, because our notions of masculinity are tied into sexual prowess, we are more receptive to providing health care for men who are not able to maintain an erection. </p> <p><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong><span style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20.399999618530273px;"> </span></p>
June 15, 2012

AJOB's July Issue Online Now with Free Content!

We are happy to share that AJOB’s July issue (a few weeks ahead of schedule) is now available online on bioethics.net and here.…

December 8, 2010

How Far We Have Come (and Have Not): Children, Sex, and Gender

In 1965, two twin boys were born, Brian and Bruce. At six months, one of them began to have trouble with urination and had a circumcision which was unfortunately incorrectly performed, leaving his genitalia non-functional.…

August 12, 2010

Do We Harm Our Children By Naming Them "Pop"?

Sometimes parents can over-think things. Then sometimes parents are just crazy. Then sometimes parents name their child “Pop”.

According to the University of Oxford Practical Ethics Blog, a Swedish couple has decided to keep the sex of their toddler a secret as to avoid the pressures placed upon children from having to grow up as one gender or another.…

September 11, 2009

Let Semenya Run

Some people are simply just born to run, to compete, and to excel in athletics. We never quite understand why–and until recent years when Olympic-level athletics has become in large part overrun by science and technology and highly sophisticated physical training and dietetics, we did not understand why the Michael Phelps of the world could perform almost super-human feats.…

June 16, 2009

Cultural Sex Selection: No Harm, No Foul?

Emily Willingham asks an important question as to whether the apparent cultural preference toward having a male child in the family among Asian-Americans represents a harm–either to Asian-American girls, or simply to women generally.…

January 20, 2009

Tony the Tiger, Count Chocula, and the Cereal Gender Gap

And for the academic research one ought never have had funded: “You are what your mother eats: evidence for maternal preconception diet influencing foetal sex in humans”.…

October 7, 2008

Female Med Students On Edge? Leave Them Alone

It turns out that female doctors-to-be don’t just feel more nervous than their male counterparts but they actually appear more nervous to their patients, says an Indiana University School of Medicine Study.…

Published Articles (1)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 6 Issue 2 - Mar 2006

Bioethics' Gender

News (2)

July 2, 2012 3:32 pm

The IOC's superwoman complex: how flawed sex-testing discriminates (The Guardian)

This is not science. It is a gender witchhunt, and it is foul play. This is why experts in sports, gender, and bioethics – and those battling discrimination against female and LGBT athletes – have been mobilizing against this policy ever since its basic shape was announced last year.  What’s really driving these policies is suspicion of women perceived as gender “deviant”. We see this all too often in women’s sports when women athletes monitor and denigrate their peers who “play like men” or look too masculine.

May 1, 2012 11:08 am

Medicine’s deadly gender gap (Macleans)

A lot of recent research exposes how little we know about the XX body. A report in the February 2010Annals of Internal Medicine found that women with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are more likely than men to develop complications. The reason? Testing was done primarily on men, who tend to be physically larger. Stephanie Brister, a surgeon at Toronto’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, would like to see women-only randomized clinical trials for ICDs, though she’s not optimistic. “It’s not cost-effective,” she says. “More likely we’ll try to increase the number of women, then hopefully we’ll have a substantial representation with real information.”