Saturday, November 10, 2012


    As a woman living in the USA, I have many advantages.  I experience more freedom, power, agency, and equity than women in many non Western countries.  I have greater privilege than my American ancestors from as little as 50 to 100 years ago.  Yet as far as women have come, it is not perfect.
   Women's education, work and political experiences are inferior to men's and this difference is more pronounced for women of color.  But it is the sexual disparity that I focus on today.
   It starts with the terms that we use.  For women we refer to reproductive health and for men, sexual healthPrimary care for women is meant to address fertility, maternal health, and to prevent cancer of the reproductive organs (breast, cervix, uterus, etc).  For men, primary care is more than fertility and cancer prevention.  One of the goals if not the main goal is the ability to engage in sex.  To have fun. 
   Long after a man is expected to procreate, it is important for him to have sex.  Why is that?  Why is it important for the MAN particularly.
  I am not one, but with few exceptions (e.g., pain with ejaculation) I expect that having sex = enjoyment for men.
  A fantastic post by Dr. Jane Brody was published in the NY Times blog on August 6th.  I want you to read it (man or woman).  She brings attention to the problem of painful intercourse for a growing number of women.  The discomfort is associated with a lack of estrogen which occurs for many reasons that are explained in the article.  Women can "have sex" without experiencing pleasure. In fact, some medical conditions make sex extremely unpleasant.
   As Dr. Brody explains, this leads many women to become asbstinant (to avoid sex) and it has a negative effect on relationships and mental health.
   But there are NOT any commercials about this. If this were a man problem, we would be forced to watch ads about a pill that would fix it.
   I doubt insurance covers estrogen creams.  That is NOT ok.  Read the blog.  Talk to your doctor. You can even print the post and bring it with you to an appointment!  

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