Editor's Highlights: Reconsidering "Medical" and "Natural" through a Gender and Power Lens
Social science research has been lax in the use of terms medical and natural, using the words without problematizing them. Yet a cursory glance at the way research regards men’s health and women’s health reveals a striking pattern. While men are empowered by the medicalization of their bodies, women are disempowered by the same process. Sarah Jane Brubaker and Heather E. Dillaway’s January 2009 article in the Gender section of Sociology Compass offers a revealing look at childbirth. They review existing literature on the medicalization and naturalization of childbirth practices and expose holes in the existing sociological knowledge. In seeking to gain a deeper understanding of women’s experiences of childbirth, Brubaker and Dillaway offer a critical consideration of gender, power, technology, nature, health, and the body.