A Feminist Neuroethics of Mental Health


From The Neuroethics Blog: When populations are divided into two genders, women show roughly double the incidence of depression, anxiety, and stress-related mental health concerns. Feminist neurobiology rejects simplistic, innate biological explanations for this trend and instead acknowledges the impact of social factors such as sexism and gender-based violence.

“…a feminist neuroethics incorporates social causality and responsibility into biobehavioral health. Its guiding principle is a sustained attention to the problems of power, violence, and inequality that are so readily buried in reductionist research models. This view adds to mental health research by asking: 1) what interventions curb the staggeringly gendered experience of sexual and intimate partner violence or the exposure to stress and deprivation that contribute to both social stratification and mental illness?, and 2) what are the neurobiological effects of, and remedies for, marginalization and interpersonal violence? A feminist neuroethics invokes biology as an enquiry into a dynamic world, embraces ambiguity, and promises a more nuanced and valuable knowledge of human health.”

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