Unethical Female Stereotyping in Reproductive Health

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 109, pp. 255-258, 2010

4 Pages Posted: 6 May 2010 Last revised: 21 May 2010

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Simone A. Cusack

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Stereotypes are generalized preconceptions defining individuals by group categories into which they are placed. Women have become stereotyped as homemakers and mothers, with the negative effect of precluding them from other roles and functions. Legislation and judicial constructions show a history, and often a continuing practice, of confining women to these stereotypical functions. In access to reproductive and sexual health care, for instance, women's requests have been professionally subject to approval of their husbands, fathers or comparable males. Choice of abortion is particularly significant, because it embeds moral values. Women's capacity to act as responsible moral agents is denied by stereotypical attitudes shown by legislators, judges, heads of religious denominations, and healthcare providers who consider women incapable of exercising responsible moral choice. These attitudes violate ethical requirements of treating patients with respect and equal justice. They can also result in violations of human rights laws that prohibit discrimination against women.

Keywords: gender, stereotyping, abortion, non-discrimination, reproductive health, sexual health, healthcare, human rights

JEL Classification: I18, J78

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Cusack, Simone A. and Dickens, Bernard, Unethical Female Stereotyping in Reproductive Health (2010). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 109, pp. 255-258, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1600859

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Simone A. Cusack

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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