Day_9_102516_PHI+015+Presentation

Day_9_102516_PHI+015+Presentation - Dr Rulli PHI 015...

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October 25, 2016 Dr. Rulli PHI 015: Introduction to Bioethics 1
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Imagine . . . 2
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What does the prototypical human look like? 3
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4
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5 “The orthodoxy of sameness and the orthodoxy of the mean, which has dominated much of thinking in medical science . . . Often impaired our attitude toward clinical research in those days—we tended to want to reduce the human to that 60 kilogram white male, 35 years of age, and make that the normative standard —and have everything extrapolated from that tidy, neat mean, “the average American male.” --Dr. Bernadine Healy, former director of the NIH From S. Epstein, Inclusion, 2007
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Today’s Agenda Women in Research; Feminist Bioethics Vulnerable Populations 6
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Feminism What is it? It is a critique of a system in which male- associated norms are dominant (“patriarchy”) Key point: feminism is not a critique of men Men can be feminists; women can be guilty of perpetuating male-dominant norms 7
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Many Strains of Feminism It cannot all be lumped together Different feminist theorists disagree with each other What they share in common is a commitment to rethinking ethics in order to correct forms of bias toward male- associated norms 8
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Disclaimer “Male norms,” “Female norms,” etc. We mean norms typically associated with gender Not that there are essentially male or female traits There may or may not be The point is: discussion of these traits is not attribution of them. It’s recognizing how they are traditionally associated Quick lesson: Sex vs. Gender 9
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Disclaimer Discussion of oppression can be off-putting, shocking, or uncomfortable Most of us don’t intend to offend or oppress and so we feel defensive about accusations “feminist analysis is concerned less with conscious motivations than with discerning underlying assumptions and patterns of thinking and practices, of which people may be quite unaware”* Explicit sexism is not common for many of us; so it’s easy to think it doesn’t exist. But it still has pervasive, systemic effects *Crosthwaite, Ch. 4, p. 39 10
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Why Does a Feminist Critique Matter for Bioethics? For one, because androcentric reasoning and norms have greatly impacted the way we conceive of human health This has had real effects that have disproportionately disadvantaged women Men and children are also harmed by androcentric reasoning 11
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Little’s Article Two different ways in which feminist insight illuminates issues in bioethics 1. Androcentrism 2. Gendered Concepts Our moral theory is male-normed; we should revise our moral theories to better accommodate traditionally female norms, including the role of emotion and relationships of care 12
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Little’s Article: Androcentrism “male-centered” The male body is treated as the paradigm or norm for humans “man” is the generic representation of human “woman” is considered a gendered version of human 13
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Little’s Article: Androcentrism Men and women are different (Keep in mind descriptive vs.
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