The hygiene hypothesis offers an explanation for the correlation, well-established in the industrialized nations of North and West, between increased hygiene and sanitation, and increased rates of asthma and allergies. Recent studies have added to the scope of the hypothesis, showing a link between decreased exposure to certain bacteria and parasitic worms, and increased rates of depression and intestinal auto-immune disorders, respectively. What remains less often discussed in the research on these links is that women have higher rates than men of asthma and allergies, as well as many auto-immune disorders, and also depression. The current paper introduces a feminist understanding of gender socialization to the epidemiological and immunological picture.
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Gender and Germs
How does feminist philosophy of science make a (muddy) splash?
Shari Clough adds gender insight to the germ hypothesis, and shares the word with an interview on npr.org. Snappy reasoning!
Photo by katiew.