Sexism and Psychiatry

This article, Sexism And Psychiatry by Joan Busfield, is fundamentally related to the relationship between sexism and psychiatry, and how this matter has been impacted in the feminist literature. Accordingly, Busfield commenced with several concerns about this paper which primarily focuses on the dichotomy between psychiatry and sexism. Busfield presented Allen, who wrote the Psychiatry and the Feminine, perspective on her concern. She describes that Allen’s research paper tends to provide more sufficient analysis on feminist therapy and politics of psychiatry. Then, she further her concern by highlighting the assumptions about feminist analysis. Busfield believes that Allen’s feminist analysis should be disregarded when she emphasizes,” I think, Allen’s intention, but the structure of her argument, with its emphasis on the shared assumptions of feminist writing about psychiatry…… unsympathetic to a feminist idea” (Busfield 344). Essentially, this paper is composed of two distinct approaches in the feminist literature on psychiatry. The approaches that Busfield outlined are as follows: sociological view on Chesler’s Women and Madness, and sexism within Society– how it generates mental suffering and distress. Notably, the first approach focuses on the definition and treatment of women’s behavior and lists all the biases and injustices of that treatment. Moreover, she concludes the unfavorable comparison between men and women such thing as women are more likely to be given drugs, they are more likely to be sexually exploited by their therapists and they are confined in something that prohibits their rights and privileges. According to the article, it was labeled that sexism inheres more in society than in psychiatry.

Anyhow, Bousfield’s second approaches mainly emphasize the sexism within society as I have already mentioned earlier. She explains how it generates mental suffering and disturbance. Gender and pathology play a vital role in Busfield argument. Within this topic, Busfield labels three different levels of definition. The first one, Official definition, is basically filled with formal definition and classification. The second, the level of typification or Normal cases, is being compared with typifications of mental disorders in which it plays a major role in the identification of disorder. And lastly, the final level, Case identification, involves the view and actions of a variety of people, and the aspects of role performance which are visible in the typification of mental disorders. Overall, this article was founded to confront the idea of two distinct people, Allen and Chesler. Accordingly, Bousfield thinks that Chesler’s claim surely advocates constitutive sexism but not Allens. She mentioned that Allen’s claims are not precisely accurate when comparing to Chesler. To conclude, this article distinguishes the complicated ways in which sexism affect judgment within the mental health field.

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Sexism and psychiatry. (2021, Mar 12). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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