Behind Closed Doors: Gender, Sexuality, and Touch in the Doctor/Patient Relationship

By Angelica Redleaf; Susan A. Baird | Go to book overview

communication skills.

Ironically, the weaker doctor role that has been forced upon female practitioners turns out to be more effective both for treating patients and for pleasing them than the traditional posture of distant authority. We all can learn from this. Indeed, we must, for as our society becomes more equitable, the differences in men's and women's socialization are melting away.

Meanwhile, the key to minimizing the adverse effects of gender on the doctor/patient relationship lies in carefully sifting through what is real, what is personal, and what is culturally influenced. The first step is to gain a greater awareness of our own gender tendencies and biases. With such awareness, we will be far less likely to be caught in the web of gender discrimination.


NOTES
1.
Tomson Highway, "It's Never O.K.: A Personal Viewpoint," plenary address presented at It's Never O.K., The Third International Conference on Sexual Exploitation by Health Professionals, Psychotherapists and Clergy, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Oct. 15, 1994.
2.
Bruce Handy, "Deconstructing Leo: What the Men Don't Get, the Teen Girls Understand," Time, March 20, 1998, 53.
3.
Patricia Aburdene and John Naisbitt, Megatrends for Women ( New York: Villard Books, 1992), 2.
4.
Margaret Mead, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies ( New York: William Morrow and Company, 1935), 56, 213.

The Tchambuli people whom Mead studied in Samoa are only one of several known societies in which female aggression is the norm. Another is described by Victoria Katherine Burbank in Fighting Women: Anger and Aggression in Aboriginal Australia ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

5.
Lionel Tiger, Men in Groups ( New York: Random House, 1969), 44.
6.
The phrase "the naked ape," like the field of evolutionary biology, was popularized by Desmond Morris, in his book The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967).
7.
Sigmund Freud used this phrase in his 1912 work On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love, Section III.
8.
Barbara Rudolph, "Why Can't a Woman Manage More Like . . . a Woman?" Time, Special Issue, Women: The Road Ahead. 136( 1990), 53.
9.
The Sphinx of Grecian mythology, a semi-divine creature, perched on a rock outside of Thebes and asked the same riddle of each passer-by: "What is it that goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at midday, and three in the evening, and has but a single voice." One person after another, unable to find the correct answer, forfeited his or her life to the Sphinx. Then came Oedipus, who correctly answered: "Man," because people crawl in their infancy, walk in their middle years, and in their old age, may hobble upon a cane. On hearing his answer, the Sphinx hurled herself to her death--immediately making Thebes a much more popular travel destination.
10.
Gail Sheehy, New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across Time ( New York: Random House, 1995), 148.

-29-

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Behind Closed Doors: Gender, Sexuality, and Touch in the Doctor/Patient Relationship
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • PART I Gender, Sexuality, and Touch 1
  • 1: Gender 3
  • Notes 29
  • 2: Sexuality 33
  • 3: Touch 43
  • 4: Explorations and Applications 53
  • PART II Sexual Misconduct 61
  • 5: What Is Misconduct? 63
  • 6: HOW Misconduct Occurs 71
  • 7: Caring for the Abused Patient 87
  • 8: Boundaries and Consent 91
  • 9: The Doctor Role 97
  • 10: What Is the Solution? 105
  • PART III Patient Protection Protocol 109
  • 12: Safe Practice Strategies 115
  • 13: Safe Practice Analysis 127
  • 14: Making Changes 161
  • 15: Defusing Sexual Attractions 169
  • PART IV Review 175
  • --16-- Six Factors for Safe Practice 177
  • 17: The New Patnership 183
  • Bibliography 185
  • Recommended Reading 191
  • Recommended Viewing 195
  • Index 199
  • About the Authors 213
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