Talk:Sex differences in medicine

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Yes, Sexism[edit]

It comes as no surprise to me that this article is deeply flawed, due to the boring yet irritatingly predictable sexism against men in western society. "Histrionic personality disorder" is noted as due to sexist "attitudes", "anti-social behavior" as given no such appendage. Considering that the lists sole purpose is to list the differences, it manages to miss out that, if you go by the WHO, cancer affects more men than women. It also fails to mention cardiovascular disease. Or tuberculosis, both of which affect men more than women. Females are generally less vulnerable than males to chronic illnesses. Thats quoting Wikipedia. "Overall, men are more likely to suffer from cancer, with much of this driven by lung cancer." But, subject as one author here might say, to "deeply ingrained social attitudes".....

Mensrights 24/1/2011 (talk) 12:59, 24 January 2011 (UTC)


it is a rather well known fact - the reference:

It is a disputed fact. Read the text of Histrionic personality disorder (from the US National Library of Medicine), or do a little research on the social causes of medical diagnosis. Wikipedia does not exist in order to provide free web hosting for weirdo distortions of reality. Tannin

I looked at the linked source and didn't se any statistics at all on sex-specificity. I also agree with Tannin that a web-page is not an authoritative "reference." But I want to add another observation: the article mixes up two different kinds of so-called sex-specific illnesses. It seems pretty obvious that only males will get testicular cancer, and only females will get cervical cancer. This is VERY different from illnesses like heart attacks, suicide, or BPD. In these cases, epidemiologists at best provide probabilities and tendencies. But even if 90% of all BPD patients were female and 10% were male (and we are assuming too that males and females seek treatment and are diagnosed equally, which is far from certain), one can hardly call BPD a "sex-specific illness." Slrubenstein

the bpd is qoted as 3 times more frequent - there is paragraph in the middle. frequency of histrionics is disputed by some, but there are more diagnosed females. the frequencies for eating disorder are also supported on that web page.

Sorry I missed that. In any event, it is still by no means "sex-specific." To list it as such in this article, especially without going into the methodological issues, would be misleading. If you are especially interested in (and knowledgeable about) the issues concerning sex and the prevelance of various disorders (BPD, Bulemia) I wouldn't want to discourage you from contributing to an article. BUT it should not be called "sex-specific illnesses," it should be something like The relationship between one's sex and illness -- and it really would have to go into greater detail about likely sociological/cultural causes, as well as methodological issue like bias in reporting and diagnosis. Slrubenstein

i agree article could have a better title. it discusses illnesses which are not exclusively specific to a sex, but which occur with different frequencies -abcdef

this is link to gender specific medicine. the term seems not to be exclusive.

abcdef - I fixed the title. I created the link carelessly - not properly considering the exact meaning of the phrase. Martin

Article title[edit]

Surely it would be clearer if this page were called "Gender and illness", since it's nothing to do with sex? ··gracefool | 04:53, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That would be exactly backwards! "Sex" is biological, "Gender" is sociological. Medical statistics are compiled with regard to sex, not gender. "Sex" is a euphemism for "sexual intercourse", not a synonym. Which is not to say the article couldn't be better titled or better written... - Nunh-huh 05:00, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree, the current Title is terrible. It is implying illness caused by sex. Since we have Gender-biased diagnosing, would Gender-biased Illnesses be any better? Exit2DOS CtrlAltDel 23:38, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
The thing is, like Nunh-huh said, Wikipedia currently defines Sex as a biological/anatomical classification, and Gender as a sociological/psychological classification. It is because of these definitions that Gender does not have direct biological impacts on illness. Thus, to use the word "Gender" instead of "Sex" would go against the biological aim of the article and the category it's in. Changing the title would also most likely be either inconsistent with the category its in, inaccurate, or in-concise. DialecticArguments (talk) 23:35, 12 March 2016 (UTC)


Endometriosis has, very rarely, been found in men undergoing estrogen treatment for prostate cancer. Although this is rare, it is significant for understanding endometriosis as a disease. It casts severe doubt on the main suggested cause of endometriosis, retrograde menstruation. I will amend the page (which currently says it only occurs in women) to this effect.


I've noticed an inconsistency within the article. The article states that "Sex differences in medicine should not be confused with gender differences. The Institute of Medicine recognizes sex differences as biological at the chromosomal level, whereas gender differences are based on self-representation and other factors including biology, environment and experience." However, it goes on to say that Sex-related illnesses have "social causes that relate to the gender role expected of that sex in a particular society" and "different levels of prevention, reporting, diagnosis or treatment in each gender." These two parts of the article directly contradict each other. My only question is, what should be the intent of this article? To note illnesses that are more common in one sex than the other with a physiological explanation, or to also list diseases with behavioral, societal, and psychological causes that are preventable in a gender neutral society? DialecticArguments (talk) 00:03, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Unsupported, Over-generalized "Scientific" Claims[edit]

Making claims such as "occurs exclusively in men" or "occur only in women" is not ethical and completely incorrect when reporting or reiterating research results. To claim that men or women cannot develop a specific disease ignores the other genders and sexes who most definitely can even though legally they are classified as the sex male or female or socially identify as a man or woman. For example: in the wiki article of Klinefelter syndrome these people (whether one would like to classify them as males/men or females/women or other), it states that those with Klinefelter syndrome can develop "certain health problems that typically affect females." The percentage about women verses men who are diagnosed with breast cancer can be somewhat misleading because males can still die from breast cancer, due to the fact that it is so rare that it takes a long period of time to convince doctors to attempt to diagnose until much later stages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SWillow (talkcontribs) 02:00, 24 March 2017 (UTC)