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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Gynecologist double standard

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Author Topic: Gynecologist double standard
froggy_dear
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(Now I'm not sure if this is the best forum, or if this has been brought up before, but I figured that I'd get about 7000 results searching for gynecologist.)

I just made my yearly gynecological appointment and I made it with a woman. But here's why I'm posting. It occured to me that, although I know that men and women are equally competent and professional when it comes to being doctors, I just wouldn't want to go to a male gynecologist.

I have no good reason for this. It's not that I'm afraid a male gyn would sexualize the visit - I know he wouldn't. (Although I acknowledge that by going to a woman that sort of fear might not necesarilly be put to rest.) Intellectually I know that a visit to a man or a woman would be equal. Intellectually, I'd be fine with either a man or a woman as my gyn. But when it comes down to it, I wouldn't go to a man unless I had run out of options. And frankly, I'm not exactly sure why I feel this way.

Do other people struggle with this? And which gender are you more comfortable with as a gyn (if you're female)? And why? I'd be interested in analagous male imput as well, but it's harder to define that.

Thanks.

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I see you shiver with antici......pation


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Heather
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I truly don't care at all, and never have. Maybe there are reasons for that?

1. I'm queer, and I always have been, so I know full well that if someone is going to have any sexual interest, it isn't going to make a difference.

2. By virtue of what I do -- and growing up around doctors and nurses -- I know that that being sexual at all for any doctor is less likely than it is for almost anyone else. And I grew up with so many health issues, I'm pretty used to being poked and prodded all over by any number of people. Heck, a couple years back, I had medical students IN a clinic GYN exam watching mine.

3. Coincidence, certainly, but the better GYNs I have had in my life have actually been male, not female. The very WORST GYN I had was a woman, who gave me ZERO warning for a rectal, even though they knew at the clinic I was a rape survivor with previous trama to that area of my anatomy.

4. I figure people of any gender can have biases. Women might be more likely to internalize or project, men may be likely to be more objective since they can't....or not. Again, crapshoot, and one that may have nothing to do with gender.

Or, the fact that I have no preference may be based in none of those things. Sometimes, we're simply comfortable or uncomfortable with things pretty inexiplicably, and I'd say having a gender pref. in doctors is something you don't have to sweat too much.

I wouldn't. however, dismiss the fact that as women, we are surrounded by a LOT of other women being very vocal about preferring a female doctor.

Interesting post, though, froggy. You often seem to make them. Thanks!


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froggy_dear
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Thanks.

I was just thinking about it, and I don't recall ever having a male doctor. My pediatrician, our family doctor, even the dermatologist I saw one time were all women. Only my dentist is male, and even then the hygenicists that spend most of the time with me are female. Maybe it's just that I'm used to females in the health care profession more than males.

Just sort of thinking this through out loud, as it were.

(edit for spelling error. d'oh.)
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I see you shiver with antici......pation

[This message has been edited by froggy_dear (edited 04-23-2004).]


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Milke
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In a general sense, I don't think the gender of a gynecologist should matter. In a personal sense, I've preferred the male doctors I've seen. I can't say my experiences are universal, because I've only seen a handful of people, which is what happens when you got to a clinic, rather than a doctor's office. But some of what I've seen has left me wondering if some people take the idea that a woman should know what's good for another woman too far, as male doctors have usually been gentler with me.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

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Beppie
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I see a female, because I am more comfortable with that. While I am aware that this is based upon the way society has influenced my thinking, I think it's more important that in this case I go with what makes me more comfortable and relaxed, rather than worrying about what influence society is having on me. Having said that however, if I was in a situation where I was unable to see a female, I would go to see a male doctor instead without too much worry- the thing that would make me least comfortable would be not having my regular pap smear and checkup!
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Gumdrop Girl
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y'know, I was biased about my gynecologist, too. I preferred to have a woman examine me. Then one day, I went to the student health center. This whole place is a big teaching hospital, so the doctor with whom I scheduled an appt. (a woman) asked if it'd be okay if a medical student examined me.

I thought about it a minute, but before I could really answer, she drags in this scared-looking guy. In my mind, I figured that one day, I'll be in med school, just as scared as this dude is, so I better start paying my dues now. The students need all the help they can get.

So the medical student performs a pelvic exam on me, with the doctor leaning over his shoulder giving him instructions. That went fine, everything was normal. I even calmed the guy down by making small talk.

So having a guy do the exam isn't so bad. and if any of you are good sports, let a medical student practice on you.

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"Have you ever taken a moment to consider the alternate meaning of the word 'debugger?'" quoth Jack
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AtomicUnum
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I've never been to a gynecologist, but I will be going to one soon. I specifically requested a female. My reason being that I'm the one who is likely to sexualise the visit. What I mean is, just as you do, I know that the gender dosen't really matter as far their sexuality goes. What would bug me is seeing some impossibly hot doc "looking." It's pathetic, but true.
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ShyViolet417
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i've never been to a gynecologist..but when i do go, think i would prefer a female mainly because a male will never go through things like childbirth, menstruation, or other "female" things. i want advice from someone who's been there and has been through all the things i have/ will have gone through. at least, that's my reasoning...
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-Jill
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quote:
Originally posted by ShyViolet417:
i want advice from someone who's been there and has been through all the things i have/ will have gone through.

But not all women have gone through those things. Not all women have or will give birth, not all women will have PCOS, not all women use the same birth control methods, etc. And it's safe to assume that your doctor will be knowledgeable about the pertinent subjects regardless of gender.


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ShyViolet417
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to ookuotoe:
i am well aware that not all women go through the same things...but my point was that while some women may or may not go through such experiences as childbirth or pcos...a male gynecologist NEVER will. i was only saying that knowing that my doctor MIGHT go through some of the same things i will (or not) makes me feel more comfortable. for heaven's sakes..i'm not saying male gynecologists are bad or incompotent or whatnot...i'm just adding my two cents on this topic. and i mean if there's one place you wanna be comfortable...it's at the gynnecologist!!!

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Londongirl
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I woudl also prefer to see a female gynecologist, I personally feel less comfortable with a man examining my private parts. However, I would not allow this preference to get in the way of having treatment if a female doctor was not available.

I also prefer to see women doctors in general - for many kinds of diagnosis it is necessary to undress in some degree and be closely examined, and I am just less comfortable if the doctor is a man. I chose to register with a female general practitioner, however again I have seen a male doctor for emergency appointments or when my GP is away.

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Londongirl
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Blink
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I've never been to the gynecologist, but just last week I was talking to my mother about whether she prefers males or females, and she had some things to say that I thought were interesting.

She likes her male gynecologist better than some of the females she's been to, and she suggested that maybe it was because the men had more reverence for those parts and for childbearing ability because they don't have them. She said that when she was giving birth with a male ob/gyn assisting, he was very comforting, gentle, and supportive, and seemed to reflect her awe after the birth (though he'd probably seen hundreds of others), whereas her experience giving birth with a female ob/gyn was not very good. The woman, she said, was very detached and didn't seem to have any regard for what she was feeling. She did painful things without warning my mom first then said, "Don't scream, you'll hurt the baby," and didn't seem to understand or respect my mom's feelings.

Personally, I don't think the gender of the ob/gyn matters nearly as much as their attitude toward what they do. I think they should be empathetic and should have repect for the trust that each patient gives them to allow them to examine their "private parts". They should be able to support women emotionally through the birthing process and realize that it is not just a physical process for the woman involved. People of both genders can do that, and these are the things I'll be looking for in a gynecologist when I need one. So I guess it won't matter to me.


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GlassTears
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I haven't been to a gynecologist yet but I think I'd be more comfortable with a female gynecologist instead of a male. Either would be fine though.
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