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Women's Health: Contemporary International Perspectives

Jane M. Ussher (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-85433-308-7
532 pages
April 2000, Wiley-Blackwell
Women
Covering the lifespan of women from puberty to old age, this comprehensive collection provides ground-breaking research and theory that challenges current conceptions of women's health and illustrates the diversity of approaches in this burgeoning field. The interdisciplinary angle of the book will appeal to a wide-ranging readership and includes detailed commentaries on key topics such as anorexia nervosa, depression, women and cancer, sexual abuse, disability, exercise, body image, pregnancy, sexual violence and drug use.
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List of contributors x

Preface xx

Acknowledgements xx

Introduction

Women’s health: Contemporary concerns 1
Jane M. Ussher

Section One: An Overview of Critical Issues in Women’s Health

1 Psychology of women’s health: A critique 26
Christina Lee

2 Qualitative methods and women’s health research 40
Michael Murray and Kerry Chamberlain

3 Choosing a life span developmental orientation 50
Sheila Greene

Section Two: Young Women’s Health

4 Young Asian women and self-harm 59
Harriette Marshall and Anjum Yazdani

5 Girls on “E”: Social problem or social panic? 69
Maria Pini

6 Women and substance abuse: Problems of visibility and empowerment 76
Helen Keane

7 Young lesbians and mental health: The closet is a depressing place to be 83
Julie Mooney-Somers and Jane Ussher

8 Femininity as a barrier to positive sexual health for adolescent girls 93
Deborah L. Tolman

Section Three: Sexuality and Sexual Health

9 ‘I couldn’t imagine having sex with anyone else’ Young women’s experience of trustworthiness in heterosexual relationships 105
Niamh Stephenson, Susan Kippax and June Crawford

10 Reclaiming women’s sexual agency 114
Lynne Segal

11 The social construction of women’s sexuality: The dangers of pharmaceutical industry interest 124
Leonore Tiefer

12 Rape: Cultural definitions and health outcomes 129
Nancy Felipe Russo, Mary P. Koss and Luciana Ramos Lira

13 Sexual assault and domestic violence: Implications for health workers 143
Sue Lees

14 Naming abuse and constructing identities 154
Rosaleen Croghan and Dorothy Miell

15 Sexual harassment and stress: How women cope with unwanted sexual attention 160
Alison Thomas

16 Women’s sexual health: An overview 172
Sylvia Smith

17 Contraception choice: A biopsychosocial perspective 180
Beth Alder

18 Menopause and sexuality 190
Lorraine Dennerstein

19 Living on the edge: Women with learning disabilities 196
Jan Burns

Section Four: Physical Health and Illness

20 Women living with HIV in Britain 204
Corinne Squire

21 Gynaecological cancer 218
Marian Pitts and Eleanor Bradley

22 Cervical screening 224
Julie Fish and Sue Wilkinson

23 Breast cancer: A feminist perspective 230
Sue Wilkinson

24 Partner support for women with breast cancer: A process analysis approach 237
Nancy Pistrang

25 Chronic pelvic pain 244
Marian Pitts, Linda McGowan and David Clark Carter

26 Women and somatic distress 249
Annemarie Kolk

Section Five: Reproductive Health

27 ‘PMS research: Balancing the personal with the political’ 255
Jacqueline Reilly

28 What does systems theory have to do with premenstrual complaints? 266
Wendy Vanselow

29 Menstrual cycle and eating behavior 271
Louise Dye

30 Hormones and behavior: Cognition, menstruation and menopause 278
John T. E. Richardson

31 Sex hormones as biocultural actors: Rethinking biology, sexual difference and health 283
Celia Roberts

32 Reproduction: A critical analysis 290
Carol A. Morse

33 Pregnancy: A healthy state? 296
Harriet Gross

34 Screening: A critique 302
Maeve Ennis

35 Childbirth 307
Jane J. Weaver

36 Motherhood and mothering 312
Anne Woollett and Harriette Marshall

37 Competing explanations of postpartum depression: What are the benefits to women? 320
Paula Nicolson

38 Deconstructing ‘Hysterectomized Women’: A materio-discursive approach 329
Pippa Dell

39 The experience of abortion: A contextualist view 339
Mary Boyle

Section Six: Bodies and Body Image

40 Body image 356
Sarah Grogan

41 Anorexia nervosa 363
Helen Malson

42 Looking good and feeling good: Why do fewer women than men exercise? 372
Precilla Y. L. Choi

43 Gender, culture and eating disorders 379
Mervat Nasser

44 Women with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) 387
Celia Kitzinger

45 Transgender issues 394
Louise K. Newman

Section Seven: Mental Health

46 Understanding depression in women: Limitations of mainstream approaches and a material-discursive alternative 405
Janet M. Stoppard

47 Women’s narratives of recovery from disabling mental health problems: A bicultural project from Aotearoa/New Zealand 415
Hilary Lapsley, Linda Waimarie Nikora and Rosanne Black

48 Women, stress and work: Exploring the boundaries 423
Rebecca Lawthom

49 The socio-political context of abortion and its relationship to women’s mental health 431
Jean Denious and Nancy Felipe Russo

50 Women and psychosis 440
Emmanuelle Peters

51 Women and dementia: From Stigma towards celebrations 447
Kate Allen

52 The experience of childhood sexual abuse: A psychological perspective of adult female survivors in terms of their personal accounts, therapy, and growth 455
Christine D. Baker

53 Psychodynamic psychotherapy 461
Janet Sayers

54 Self-psychology 465
Anna Gibbs

Section Eight: The Health of Older Women

55 Representations of menopause and women at midlife 470
Antonia C. Lyons and Christine Griffin

56 Psychological well-being in aging women 476
Linda Gannon

57 The paradox of older women’s health 485
Rosemary Leonard and Ailsa Burns

58 Working with older women: Developments in clinical psychology 489
Frances J. Baty

Index 497

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The editor, Jane Ussher is Associate Professor at the Centre for Critical Psychology at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and has published widely in the field of the Psychology of Women. She was a member of the group that founded the Psychology of Women Section of The British Psychological Society, acting as its honorary secretary from 1988-1991, and chair from 1991-1992. She is also editor of the Routledge Women and Psychology series. Her previous publications include The Psychology of the Female Body (Routledge, 1989), Women's Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991) and Fantasies of Femininity: Reframing the Boundaries of Sex (Penguin, 1997).
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  • Covering the lifespan of women from puberty to old age, this comprehensive collection provides ground-breaking research and theory that challenges current conceptions of women's health.

  • The interdisciplinary angle of the book will appeal to a wide-ranging readership and includes detailed commentaries on key topics such as anorexia nervosa, depression, women and cancer, sexual abuse, disability, exercise, body image, pregnancy, sexual violence and drug use.

  • Drawing on contributions from the UK, USA, Australia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Eire and Canada, Women's Health aims to be a source book for information, to provoke debate and to assert the importance of 'the woman question' in considerations of health.
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'Brillant! This exciting collection should be on the bookshelf and reading list of everyone concerned with women's health issues. It can only be hoped that the ground-breaking work presented here will be as widely read and taught as it richly deserves to be.'

Professor Valerie Walkerdine, Centre for Critical Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia.

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'This volume provides a comprehensive and confident treatment of this vast and vital topic ... In this book the psychology of women's health has come of age.'

Dr Wendy Hollway, School of Psychology, University of Leeds

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