By Elizabeth Ettorre

Tranquillisers are prescribed to nearly two times as many girls as males, but little or no gender-based study has been conducted at the social context in their use. Gendered Moods deals the 1st feminist research of the gendered personality of psychotropic drug use, in response to reports of long term psychotropic drug clients and the content material of drug ads. The authors argue that gender transformations in psychotropic drug use are manifestations of the gendered development of society as a complete, and that, for that reason, ladies are relatively at risk of being channelled right into a kingdom of dependency on pharmaceuticals. Exploring present social medical debates on the subject of drug clients and services, Gendered Moods additionally presents a serious evaluation of prior study. it's a a lot wanted creation to a overlooked region of analysis.

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Parry 1968; Pflanz et al. 1977). g. Bakka et al. 1974; Jartsell and Nordegren Social scientific perspectives 41 1976; Cafferata and Kasper 1983; Riska and Klaukka 1984; Isacson and Haglund 1988; Ashton and Golding 1989). Most of these studies have noted simply the prevalence of use. Their authors have omitted placing key social characteristics such as income or socio-economic status in a theoretical framework which would help to explain variations. The emergent social characteristics appear to represent a shared structural position, defining an individual’s access to material and social resources in society.

Studies which have used a feminist framework also fall within this genre. Feminists have pointed to male dominance within the medical profession; the inherent sexism in medical practice; and the gendering of drug prescribing as an explanation of women’s over-representation among users (Fisher 1986; Ettorre 1992). Other studies have shown that women are provided with psychotropics controlling for symptoms more often than men. A study based on an analysis of data from the 1985 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey in the United States (Hohmann 1989) showed that, in comparison to men, women presenting the same complaints, psychiatric diagnoses, symptom diagnoses, interactive states as well as demographic and health services characteristics were significantly more likely than men to receive prescriptions for tranquillisers and antidepressants, but not hypnotics, barbiturates or neuroleptics.

This hypothesis became in itself an explanation for gender differences in use rather than an hypothesis to be tested. Applying sex-role theory to explain gender differences in psychotropic drug use has resulted in a number of conceptual problems. First, and most strikingly, although sex-role theory provides an adequate description of gender differences in psychotropic drug use, it takes gender roles as given categories, including the specific attitudes and problems attached to these categories.

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