Josephine M. Rivera '20, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
First Year Seminar
At the beginnings of civilizations around the world, many of these inhabitants worshipped goddesses that connected them to the world and earth. However, invaders from male-dominated civilizations worked diligently to eliminate the faces and ideas of a woman in power. As time progressed, other events like the witch craze continued to minimize the influence of midwives and healers, creating a medical dynamic where only men “knew” the ways of a woman’s body. Thus, the birth of gynecology and American medicine put notions into place that did not allow women to pursue medical careers, further eradicating the possibility for a woman to understand her body and use it for her power. Industrialization during the turn of the twentieth century created a socioeconomic divide that left two different classes of women with different access to medical treatments. Overall, the constant exclusion and dehumanization of women throughout history affected the future of women’s healthcare in society.
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Rivera, Josephine M., "How History Shaped Women's Healthcare" (2016). Student Publications. 466.