Sunday, April 24, 2011

More on CFS and sexism

The Office of Research on Women's Health

http://orwh.od.nih.gov/about.html

States: "Purpose: With increasing understanding of the inter-relatedness and complexity of disease, the nature of scientific investigation is shifting to a multi-disciplinary collaborative approach. Advances in women's health can be better achieved by promoting partnerships in cross-disciplinary research."

If I understand this tricky statement correctly, it is sexist and derogatory to women.  I believe they are referring to the 'inter-relatedness' of disease with behavioural/psychological factors.

The 'holistic' approach to treating people with disease has nothing to do with sex or gender; unless the ORWH think disease in women is more likely be 'inter-related' to women's life-style, behaviour and psychology.

Because this statement is made by ORWH it implies that women's health has more to gain than either men's health or everybody's health from 'cross-disciplinary research'.  This sounds like sexual stereotyping.  Where is the evidence to support this?

Women and men with ME/CFS know only too well that 'inter-relatedness' is open to being exploited in order to categorize people with difficult diseases such as ME/CFS as neurotic/phobic.  This obstructs medical research and deprives patients of medical support.  I suggest that the ORWH would do better to spend their resources in exposing and combating this, rather than in promoting sexual stereotyping.

Peter Kemp




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