Sex Matters: How Male-Centric Medicine Endangers Women's Health and What We Can Do About It (Hardcover)
Get the right care for your body -- and avoid treatments that can endanger women -- with this important manual from a physician who is a leading expert on sex and gender medicine.
Sex Matters tackles one of the most urgent, yet unspoken issues facing women's health care today: all models of medical research and practice are based on male-centric models that ignore the unique biological and emotional differences between men and women -- an omission that can endanger women's lives.
The facts surrounding how male-centric medicine impacts women's health every day are chilling: in the ER, women are more likely to receive a psychiatric diagnosis with regard to opioid use, while men are more likely to be referred for detoxification; the more vocal women become about their pain, the more likely their providers are to prescribe either inadequate or inappropriate pain relief medication; women often present with nontraditional symptoms of stroke, which causes delays in recognition by both them and their health professionals; and a government accountability study found that 80% of drugs that are withdrawn from the market are due to side effects that happen to women (a result of testing drugs mostly on men).
Leading expert on sex and gender medicine Dr. Alyson McGregor focuses on the key areas where these differences are most potentially harmful, addressing:
- Cardiac and stroke diagnosis and treatment in women
- Prescription and dosing of pharmaceuticals;
- Subjective evaluation of women's symptoms;
- Pain and pain management;
- Hormones and female biochemistry (including prescribed hormones);
- How economic status, race, and gender identity are additional critical factors.
Not only does Dr. McGregor explore these disparities in depth, she shares clear, practical suggestions for what women can do to protect themselves. A work of riveting exposé with revelatory insights and actionable guidance for navigating the medical establishment, Sex Matters is an empowering roadmap for reinventing modern medicine -- and for self-care.
About the Author
Alyson J. McGregor, MD, MA, FACEP, is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and the Co-Founder and Director for the Division of Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine (SGEM) at Brown University's Department of Emergency Medicine. A co-founder of the national organization Sex and Gender Women's Health Collaborative, Dr. McGregor has written or co-written over seventy peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and was also the lead editor for the medical textbook, Sex and Gender in Acute Care Medicine (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
"Enraging and clearly written, this book is a must-read for all women, who have to deal with our biased medical system. A call to arms for those who always suspected that women's pain and symptoms were dismissed and minimized, it also provides practical suggestions for getting better care."—Maia Szalavitz, New York Times bestselling author of Unbroken Brain
"Well-researched, riveting, and insightful, Sex Matters is a triumph for women's health. Dr. McGregor exposes the gender, racial, and economic biases in medicine and puts the spotlight back where it belongs--on the needs of individual patients."—Wendy S. Klein, MD, MACP, Medical Director, Health Brigade and co-founder, VCU Institute for Women's Health
"Artfully relayed through storytelling, Dr. McGregor brings several familiar stories from the emergency department to your living room, showcasing the many ways men and women are different and why each requires tailored medical care. Her personal experiences of a tortuous path of advocacy are the foundation of action steps to help readers to take charge of their own health and change the future of medicine."—Basmah Safdar, MD, FACEP, Associate Professor, Yale University, Sex and Gender Medicine Expert
"From the frontlines of the medical establishment, McGregor offers a bold indictment of a status quo that's failing women. Ultimately hopeful, Sex Matters combines actionable advice for individual patients navigating a health care system built for men with an urgent call for revolutionary collective change."—Maya Dusenbery, author of Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick
"I learned so much from this new book. I am grateful to Dr. McGregor for her insight and wisdom. We need to spread the word: sex differences are about much more than ovaries and testicles!"—Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences
"Sex Matters is highly learned, readable, and inspiring. A call to action--we learn exactly how women are understudied and misdiagnosed. We must all insist that medical schools and funding agencies do better. We must all support research in sex and gender medicine so that ultimately your doctor can do right by you!"—Londa Schiebinger, PhD, professor, Stanford University, and Director of Gendered Innovations
"McGregor is to be commended for showing how medicine has long skewed male and harmed women. Especially spot-in are the chapters on implicit bias, treatment of women of color, and issues affecting trans individuals. The author concludes with to-do lists, questions women can ask their providers, and suggestions for advocacy roles to raise awareness of the issues. Good ammunition for mandating sex- and gender-based differences in health professional education, research, and practice."—Kirkus Reviews
"This book is addictive! You will not be able to put it down until you have read it from cover to cover and then want start all over again. The sheer wealth of information is an eye opener for the intelligent lay person and a great source of up to date information for health care workers."—Marek Glezerman, MD, Immediate Past -President, International Society for Gender Medicine
"Alyson McGregor is a persuasive and intelligent advocate for the unique health care needs of women. The two sexes are significantly different in all the tissues of the body--even to the way the same genes are expressed. An expert in emergency medical care, her deep and informed knowledge of the way disease presents itself in women ensures their prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment. She is a powerful force in gender-specific health care."—Marianne J. Legato, MD, PhD (hon. c.), FACP, Emerita Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University
"Dr. Alyson McGregor sounds the alarm for the state of women's health in this country. Her excellent, evidence-based book reveals that women's health is still in its infancy and needs significant research to ensure that women are receiving the best possible medical care. The fact that most drugs that were approved in this country did not even have enough women included in the studies that got them approved to know if the effects in women were the same as in men is just one of many concerning findings. Her book shows that there is much work to do in this area (much more even more than we thought) and that we can count on this call to action to spur us onward! This book will be appreciated by medical and lay people alike given its excellent readability. I am thrilled that this book is out there to provide benchmarks and goals so that we can ultimately transform women's health."—Judy Regensteiner, MD, Director of the Center for Women's Health Research at the University of Colorado
"Dr. McGregor makes a clear and compelling case that women, particularly women of color, in the United States time after time receive inadequate or even harmful medical care. Dr. McGregor also explains how cultural stereotypes about women are frequently used by physicians to justify a dismissive approach to women's symptoms even when these symptoms herald conditions with potentially dire outcomes. Taking it one step further, Dr. McGregor provides the reader with suggestions on how to cut through a physician's ability to dismiss her symptoms, encouraging her to find another provider if necessary."—Molly Carnes, MD, MS, Virginia Valian Professor, Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Industrial & Systems Engineering, Director, Center for Women's Health Research, Co-director, Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI), University of Wisconsin-Madison
"I have worked with Dr. Alyson McGregor as a national leader in the area of sex and gender in medicine and healthcare--I commend her on this book."—C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, Director, Barbara Streisand Women's Heart Center, Cedars-Sinai