Seeing the bigger picture: what is gynaecology for?

King, Helen Seeing the bigger picture: what is gynaecology for? Ágora. Estudos Clássicos em Debate, 23(1) pp. 29–46.

Abstract

This paper situates Rodrigo de Castro Lusitano’s De uniuersa mulierum medicina (1603), within the longer history of gynaecology and of the questions raised by having a separate branch of medicine dedicated to women. I argue that the focus of ‘gynaecology’ has historically been on difference: on women’s bodies being seen as fundamentally different from those of men. I argue that one danger of the recent resurrection of a focus on difference is that it could lead to negative changes to women’s roles in society.

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