This session seeks to showcase work exploring intersections among (bio)medicalization, gender and sexuality including historical, contemporary, theoretical and/or empirical dimensions. Contemporary work on medicalization has introduced new lines of inquiry around its shifting contexts and dimensions, including the extent to which commercial and market interests have become central, and the expansion of pharmaceutical culture in the biomedical reconstruction of bodies. Feminist and critical sociological studies of science and medicine have been crucial in unpacking some of the assumptions about sex, gender and bodies that reverberate through contemporary biomedical discourse. A range of issues – including analysis of various ‘disease entities’ and their treatments and the construction of ‘normality’ in sexed and gendered bodies across the life course illustrate what is at stake here. Relevant research might include work exploring biomedical constructions which are explicitly gendered and sexualized – such as ‘menopause’, ‘andropause’, ‘pre-menstrual syndrome,’ ‘early puberty’, ‘female sexual dysfunction’, ‘erectile dysfunction’ , ‘gender identity disorder’ and ‘disorders of sexual development’, as well as that which explores the less explicit gendered and sexual dimensions of other biomedical constructions – such as HPV vaccination, ‘metabolic syndrome’, PCOS, or cancer. We suggest these as examples, not as a definitive list, and encourage potential contributors to suggest others.
This session has been divided into two sub-sessions.
Gender, sexuality, and (bio) medicalization I
Session Codes: GS1-A
Session Chair: Barbara Marshall, Trent University
Gender, sexuality, and (bio) medicalization II
Session Codes: GS1-B
Session Chair: Thea Cacchioni, University of Victoria