Monday, September 27

If women doubt about the vaccine it is because the health industry has not earned their trust | Arwa Mahdawi | Opinion


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Why do women hesitate to receive the coronavirus vaccine?

Mike Pence took his time when it came to routinely wearing a mask in public. However, the vice president was much less hesitant to adopt the coronavirus vaccine. On Friday, just a couple of days after the US reported higher number of new coronavirus cases and the highest death toll since the pandemic began, Pence received the vaccine live on television. It must be nice to be protected from your deadly policy flaws.

Pence is not the only man who has been skeptical of masks – many studies have shown that men are concerned that masks are not masculine. However, it seems that the same fears do not exist about vaccines. Men are more likely than women to say they plan to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to three recent surveys in the US. National Geographic Survey found that 69% of the men surveyed said they were likely or very likely to take the vaccine, compared with 51% of the women. A Pew survey found that 45% of women would “probably not” or “definitely not” take a vaccine, compared to 33% of men. A Gallup poll found that 60% of women would take the vaccine compared to 66% of men.

These data are somewhat surprising: conventional wisdom, backed by many global research, is that women are more likely than men to take the pandemic seriously and comply with public health regulations. So why the hesitation in getting vaccinated?

One theory is that anti-vaxxer movement, which is dominated by women, has infiltrated more conventional feminine spaces. Recent research Researchers at George Washington University found that members of previously “undecided” online communities about vaccines (groups for pet lovers or yoga enthusiasts, for example) are increasingly connecting to anti-vaccines. “It is like the growth of a tumor,” said one researcher.

Online disinformation, which Big Tech has done little to control, is an incredibly serious problem. However, we must be careful to completely blame Facebook et al. One of the reasons women are disproportionately attracted to alternative medicine is because traditional medicine hasn’t exactly done a brilliant job of gaining your trust. Women’s Health Concerns they are often fired– One study found that women with severe stomach pain had to wait 33% longer to be seen by a doctor than men with the same symptoms. Women’s health problems are also very poorly researched: There is five times more research on erectile dysfunction than PMS, for example, despite the former affecting 19% of men and the latter 90% of women. In the US, medical research trials were not supposed to include women until 1993 because women’s bodies were considered too complex and hormonal.

Of course, it’s not just women who have good reason to be wary of the healthcare industry. Considering the history of medical racism against blacks in the United States, it is not exactly surprising that the Pew Survey found that less than half of African American adults say they intend to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, compared to 61 % of whites. It has been experimented with African Americans (one word: Tuskegee) and force sterilized. Black pain has not been taken seriously by the medical system due to enduring racist notions that blacks have thicker skin than whites. Minorities are also underrepresented in clinical trials, which can result in technology and treatments that do not meet your needs. Pulse oximeters, for example, which measure oxygen levels in the blood and are increasingly used due to the pandemic, can give misleading readings in dark-skinned people. A new study has found that misleading results occur three times more often among black people. Probably because the color of the light used in the pulse oximeter can be absorbed by the pigment in the skin. Which would have been something researchers would have grasped right away if they had taken diversity seriously.

There is often a lot of scorn when it comes to mistrusting medicine and science. People who are not enthusiastic about vaccinations are considered uneducated and irrational. However, if we are guided by history, it is perfectly rational for women and minorities to distrust the medical system. To be clear: I’m not saying that there is any reason to doubt the coronavirus vaccine, which has been shown to be safe. I’m saying you don’t change people’s minds by making fun of them or calling them stupid, you do it by earning their trust. And the healthcare industry still has a long way go when it comes to doing that.

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Read this and cry – I certainly did.

Denmark changes the law to recognize that sex without consent is rape

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Week in ‘what the hell is in my grove?’

This year we have had owls in the Christmas trees. We have had koalas in the Christmas trees. Now we have a raccoon on a Christmas tree – check this out funny video of a woman trying to dislodge a sneaky raccoon from its festive hideout. This is also the last newsletter before Christmas, so if you celebrate the holiday, enjoy it! And be sure to check your tree for stowaways.


www.theguardian.com

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