Doing Harm: The Truth about How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick
In this shocking, hard-hitting exposé in the tradition of Naomi Klein and Barbara Ehrenreich, the editorial director of Feministing.com, reveals how inadequate, inappropriate, and even dangerous treatment threatens women's lives and well-being.
Editor of the award-winning site Feministing.com, Maya Dusenbery brings together scientific and sociological research, interviews with experts within and outside the medical establishment, and personal stories from women across the country to provide the first comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today.
Dusenbery reveals how conditions that disproportionately affect women, such as autoimmune diseases, chronic pain conditions, and Alzheimer's disease, are neglected and woefully under-researched. "Contested" diseases, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, that are 70 to 80 percent female-dominated are so poorly understood that they have not yet been fully accepted as "real" conditions by the whole of the profession. Meanwhile, despite a wealth of evidence showing the impact of biological difference between the sexes in everything from drug responses to symptoms to risk factors for various diseases--even the symptoms of a heart attack--medicine continues to take a one-size-fits-all approach: that of a 155-pound white man.
In addition, women are negatively impacted by the biases and stereotypes that dismiss them as "chronic complainers," leading to long delays--often years long--to get diagnosed. The consequences are catastrophic. Offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its effects, Doing Harm will change the way we look at health care for women.
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About the Author
Dara Rosenberg is an accomplished voice-over artist who has been recognized nationally for her extensive work in audiobooks and commercials. She has a BFA in drama from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, where she majored in drama and musical theater.
"Well researched, wonderfully truculent...These new 'doctor stories' cut deep, especially in a moment when 'believe women' has become a rallying cry."-- "New York Times"
"The medical establishment has a poor history of taking women's health issues seriously--a history that Feministing editor Dusenbery takes on with full force in her new book."-- "Harpers Bazaar"
"An antidote to the isolation and maddening self-doubt that this all-too-common dismissal can impose."-- "Ms. magazine"
"Explores how biases and sexism in medicine lead to harmful outcomes for women."-- "Popular Science"
"Explores how medicine often leaves women on the periphery of real medical advancement."-- "Marie Claire"
"Maya Dusenbery has added immensely to the literature on women's health."-- "New York Journal of Books"
"Dusenbery peels back the sick layers of America's paternal health-care system...She plays both patient and journalist, seamlessly combining history, research, and interviews into an easily digestible must-read."-- "Bust magazine, rating 5 out of 5 stars"
"Methodically and thoroughly lays out an indictment of the medical systems that still largely discount the experiences of women both individually and collectively."-- "Rewire"
"Through interviews with patients, doctors, and experts as well as a deep cultural analysis, Dusenbery presents a horrifying picture of what it means to be a woman who's dismissed by her doctors."-- "Bitch Media"
"Provides critically relevant information for the public--and for those in medicine, psychology, and the research sciences."-- "Greater Good Science Center"
"Skillfully interweaves history, medical studies, current literature, and hard data....Backed by patient stories that range from hopeful to horrifying."-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"Dusenbery sheds light on autoimmune diseases, especially how they receive little funding, are often misdiagnosed, and predominantly affect women."-- "Library Journal (starred review)"
"An organized, well-balanced combination of scientific and social research and moving personal stories."-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"Doing Harm shows what is left to be done and directs both women and men toward healing."-- "Gloria Steinem, #1 New York Times bestselling author"
"Maya Dusenbery brings new life to one of the most urgent yet under-discussed feminist issues of our time. Anyone who cares about women's health needs to read this book."-- "Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object: A Memoir"
"Maya Dusenbery's exhaustively researched book is equal parts infuriating and energizing. No woman will see the medical establishment, and perhaps even more profound, her own body, the same way after reading it. In a just world, it would be required reading in medical schools from this day forward."-- "Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters"
"Dusenbery challenges a new generation of women and practitioners to fight for medical equity--shining a harsh light on the sex bias that pervades every level of medicine. It's outrageous that such malignant neglect exists more than two decades after the government acknowledged the gaps in knowledge about women's health."-- "Leslie Laurence, coauthor of Outrageous Practices"
"A deeply researched and very readable exploration of the systematic mistreatment of women in our medical system--and how even those with the best intentions perpetuate it. This book is an eye-opener; may it also be a call for real, sustained change."-- "Kate Harding, author of Asking For It"