After publishing my thoughts on the female healthcare sector last month, I was so glad to hear that it had provoked so many further (and necessary!) conversations on the topic.
The article I published is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the complexities of female healthcare. So, to supplement further conversations on the topic, I’ve decided to pull together a list of resources that inspired me to write the research piece in the first place.
Please note: as you’ll all be aware, I am not a scientist and I cannot guarantee that everything written in these books is substantiated by solid medical research. This is primarily because the data gap between male and female medical research is incredibly real — but I think these are the best quality sources of information that I found in the realm of non-scientific publications. I hope that sharing these will help to continue sparking the debate, and most importantly, keep this important conversation alive.
As ever — please do let me know if you’ve got any more suggestions for reading on the topic: I’d love to build this reading list out. And — as you may assume from reading my writing on the topic! — we’re actively looking to speak to companies in the female healthcare space. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org — cold intros welcome!
INVISIBLE WOMEN: EXPOSING DATA BIAS IN A WORLD DESIGNED FOR MEN — CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ
Invisible Women is a must-read for both women and men. It explains how essentially every sector has been shaped in accordance with the male body and its behaviours. Everything from how urban planning is structured, to clinical research, from disaster relief to the design of a stove, fail to take into account a woman’s body and her behaviours, because women were originally excluded from the idea stage altogether.
While some might think this can be attributed to straight-up gender discrimination, the majority of these issues exist because men just don’t — or at least, didn’t — think about it. Why would they? The world works perfectly for them and is tailored to their thought processes, journeys, and bodies. Women need to push for better representation, but men should read this book in order to understand the extent of how the world has been built specifically for them and their anatomies.
IN THE FLO — ALISA VITTI
This is one of the best books on the topic I’ve read so far. Following on from the thread above, this book explains the commonly-known thesis on how everyone’s bodies are based on the circadian day and night rhythm. You wake up, your energy is high, and it progressively decreases until you go to bed and re-energise for the following day. You wake up again and the 24-hour cycle repeats itself until we die.
But — hold on! This works perfectly for the men’s body. Indeed, their testosterone levels are high in the morning and decrease gradually as the day goes on. We’re forgetting, though, that women adhere to another rhythm in addition to the circadian one — the c.28 days menstrual cycle which Alisa Vitti defines as infradian rhythm. It has 4 phases, each corresponding to different levels of hormones and energy. Why is that not accounted for?