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Sex-Role Stereotypes in Medicine

Mary B. Mahowald
Hypatia
Vol. 2, No. 2 (Summer, 1987), pp. 21-38
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Hypatia, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3810014
Page Count: 18
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Sex-Role Stereotypes in Medicine
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Abstract

I argue for compatibility between feminism and medicine by developing a model of the physician-other relationship which is essentially egalitarian. This entails rejection of (a) a paternalistic model which reinforces sex-role stereotypes, (b) a maternalistic model which exclusively emphasizes patient autonomy, and (c) a model which focuses on the physician's conscience. The model I propose (parentalism) captures the complexity and dynamism of the physician-other relationship, by stressing mutuality in respect for autonomy and regard for each other's interests.

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