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Center for Values student fellow Elizabeth Escalante will present on her current research on Over-medicalization of women’s health.

Women’s bodies undergo drastic physiological processes including pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and menopause. Although these physiological processes are not diseases—they are what healthy female bodies do—they can sometimes lead to significant distress, so women typically seek medical assistance. I argue that many of the procedures routinely offered to women are not medically indicated and amount to pathologization of ordinary biological processes.

As technologies are developed and become more available, they eventually become routine. For instance, ultrasounds were first used in pregnancy only when medically indicated, but now they are routinely offered. According to Kathryn Pauly Morgan, pregnant woman feel a “lack of freedom to refuse” the offer of a particular available technology (39). I argue that something similar is happen with the availability of drugs like flibanserin (a problematic drug with minimal effectiveness and significant adverse effects) to treat controversial diagnoses like Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) (now called Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (FSIAD) in the DSM-V).

The Values in Science Research Laboratory is a weekly meeting of faculty and student affiliates of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology and our guests to present and discuss research in progress and readings on shared areas of interest. 

Please contact Matthew J Brown for information on how to join the lab.

Harry W. Bass Jr. School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology
Matthew J. Brown

UTD strives to create inclusive and accessible events in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator (listed above) at least 10 business days prior to the event. If you have any additional questions, please email and the AccessAbility Resource Center at

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