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Women's Health
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Women's Health
Psychological and Social Perspectives



June 1998 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
`Women's Health has a great deal to offer students, academics and practitioners in health and clinical psychology, as well as people working in women's studies, sociology and social work. It is a thought-provoking text which left me feeling invigorated about carrying out research in this field' - Journal of Health Psychology

`This will be a useful source book for health psychology students and those in health professions who are interested in a social and feminist approach to health' - British Journal of Health Psychology

`Women's Health: Psychological and Social Perspectives has a great deal to offer students, academics and practitioners in health and clinical psychology, as well as people working in women's studies, sociology, and social work. It is a thought-provoking text which left me feeling invigorated about carrying out research in this field. Furthermore, it demonstrates how valuable feminist, social constructionist approaches are in identifying those social and cultural factors that influence women's lives, women's health, and more broadly, research into these topics.' - Journal of Health Psychology

What is `women's health', and what are the issues of women's health beyond the obstetric and the gynaecological? This wide-ranging book - the first volume in the new Behaviour and Health series - surveys the social and cultural influences on women, focusing on the ways these impact on their health. It looks at the social construction of gender and, from a psychological point of view, the unique aspects of women's health which are affected by social roles, and not just biology.

Women's Health is organized around restrictive social myths about women: women at the mercy of their hormones; the myth of the maternal instinct; the assumption that it is `natural' for women to carry out the majority of unpaid domestic labour and family care; and women as stereotypes conforming to images of youth, beauty and sexual availability to men. Drawing on research from a wide range of countries, non-western perspectives are included wherever possible. Each chapter includes a review of the psychological literature and relates it to feminist perspectives.

 
The Social Context of Women's Health
 
PART ONE: IT'S YOUR HORMONES, DEAR
 
Premenstrual Syndrome
Is Anatomy Destiny After All?  
 
Postpartum Depression
The Sorrows of Motherhood  
 
Menopause
`What Can You Expect, At Your Age?'  
 
PART TWO: EVERY WOMAN'S DESTINY
 
Childlessness by Chance or Choice
Personal Tragedy or Social Deviance  
 
Fertility Control
 
Choosing Motherhood
`I'm Just a Mum'  
 
PART THREE: WOMEN AND WORK: A WOMAN'S WORK IS NEVER DONE
 
Paid Work and Domestic Labour
The Double Shift  
 
Family Caregiving
Angel in the House  
 
PART FOUR: PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW: WOMEN AS OBJECTS IN A MALE LANDSCAPE
 
Unsightly Fat
Eating, Weight and Beauty  
 
Something To Look Forward To
Women and Ageing  
 
Lesbian Women
Resistance and Redefinition  
 
PART FIVE
 
Making a Difference
Feminist Approaches to Research in the Psychology of Women's Health  

`Women's Health has a great deal to offer students, academics and practitioners in health and clinical psychology, as well as people working in women's studies, sociology and social work. It is a thought-provoking text which left me feeling invigorated about carrying out research in this field' - Journal of Health Psychology

`This will be a useful source book for health psychology students and those in health professions who are interested in a social and feminist approach to health' - British Journal of Health Psychology

`Women's Health: Psychological and Social Perspectives has a great deal to offer students, academics and practitioners in health and clinical psychology, as well as people working in women's studies, sociology, and social work. It is a thought-provoking text which left me feeling invigorated about carrying out research in this field. Furthermore, it demonstrates how valuable feminist, social constructionist approaches are in identifying those social and cultural factors that influence women's lives, women's health, and more broadly, research into these topics.' - Journal of Health Psychology

`This book will be a very useful resource for undergraduate and postgraduate health science students. It is very well written and structured making it easily accessible' - Journal of Infant and Reproductive Psychology


This is a fascinating and awareness enhancing exploration of women's health. It would be useful to all our students however due to a full curriculum it is text that will be recommended for those with a particular interest in these social and psychological perspectives. I will incorporate its messages into my teaching.

Mr Helen Meehan
School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of East Anglia
January 22, 2015

Excellent introduction to women's health issues from a critical psychological perspective.

Dr Kirsty Budds
School of Psychology, Keele University
January 7, 2015

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ISBN: 9780761957294
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