The female problem: how male bias in medical trials ruined women’s health

Centuries of female exclusion has meant womens diseases are often missed, misdiagnosed or remain a total mystery From the earliest days of medicine, women have been considered inferior versions of men. In On the Generation of Animals, the Greek philosopher Aristotle characterised a female as a mutilated male, and this belief has persisted in western medical culture. For much of documented history, women have been excluded from medical and science knowledge production, so essentially weve ended up with a healthcare system, among other things in society, that has been made by men for men, Dr Kate Young, a public health researcher at Monash University in Australia, tells me. Youngs research has uncovered how doctors fill knowledge gaps with hysteria narratives. …

Just not sporty: how to embrace exercise as an adult if you disliked it as a child

Bad memories of PE can give people the lifelong impression theyre not cut out for sport. But plenty of adults have left behind sedentary lifestyles you just have to find the right approach When Sarah Overall was a child, a PE teacher held the entire class back because Overall would not do the high jump. She was tiny as an adult, she is under 5ft (1.5m) tall and was scared of hurting herself on the metal bar. I was too short to get over it, she says. I remember the whole class watching. Netball was pure hell. She enjoyed hockey, which suited her body better, but she felt written off by her PE teacher. I was like: Do you not …

Fragrance sensitivity: why perfumed products can cause profound health problems

An intolerance to manufactured scents can lead to migraines, respiratory issues and long-term sick leave. So should they be banned in public spaces? If you flew abroad this summer, you probably passed through an airports duty-free perfume section. Perhaps you paused to spritz yourself with an expensive scent you had no intention of buying, before making the obligatory trip to WH Smith for overpriced crisps and bottles of water. For most people, the wafting odours of perfume counters are not a problem. But, for some, the trip through duty free is a choking, cloying experience. Helsinki, Copenhagen among those offering perfume-free routes for passengers with fragrance sensitivities. Legislators are also responding to the need for fragrance-free public spaces: most hospitals …

‘I had to adjust to life with a different penis’ the pain and positives of an elective circumcision

After a diagnosis of phimosis, I quickly had the operation. The experience was demeaning, comical and extremely painful but Im happy that I did it My doctor was explaining, with some awkwardness, the procedure I was soon to undergo. The skin around your well … when I was at school we would have said bell-end. I was in my mid-20s, and about to have an elective adult circumcision. After experiencing some problems with bleeding and tearing, I had been diagnosed with phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin retracts with difficulty or not at all. It had taken me a while to get to the GP about something that felt somehow shameful but, after diagnosis, everything progressed quite quickly. Before …

Snowflake or tough cookie, youre just hiding from pain | Oliver Burkeman

A life in which nothing could hurt would be one in which nothing could matter We live, or so were constantly informed, in the era of the Sensitive Snowflake, the twentysomething university student who cant hear a vaguely challenging opinion without melting into a puddle of panic. I know Im supposed to dismiss this notion as a rightwing invention, but my reading of the evidence for example, in the recent book Of A Fragile Life and in an episode of the podcast This Is Not A Pipe Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

How to make a friend of your anger

There is no quick fix to anger issues, but working through them can be a journey that sheds light on who we are and how we perceive the world Its easy to feel hijacked by our anger. After all, anger was one of the primary evolutionary feelings: it was designed for survival. It knows only on and off. But this means that once the trigger is pressed, often by a trivial event, we end up in noise and miss out on the detail and complexity of our humanity. Our capacity for empathy is reduced and we want only to survive, hide, hurt, blame or punish. Many people come to me expecting a quick fix or a solution to their anger. …