Drugs and discrimination against females

Drugs and discrimination against females

Posted  4,898 Views updated 7 months ago

Defining Gender Disparities

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are two essential gender principles we should aim for:

Gender Equality: This denotes the absence of discrimination based on one's gender in areas such as opportunities, resource allocation, benefits, and service access.

Gender Equity: This emphasizes the fairness in distributing benefits and responsibilities between men and women, acknowledging the distinct needs and power dynamics between genders and working to rectify any imbalances.

The Origins of Gender Biases:

Historically, social norms permitted men to publicly indulge in intoxicating substances, especially during celebrations. Women, on the other hand, faced stringent societal standards and potential ostracism for similar behaviors. This created a cultural dichotomy: men's overindulgence was tolerated, while women's was strictly scrutinized, even as societal roles evolved.

Men traditionally held roles as breadwinners and family heads. Even as civilization progressed, men predominantly remained providers, often exempted from domestic chores. Over time, indulgence in intoxicants became a tacitly accepted "right of passage" or privilege for men.

Conversely, women were generally tasked with household duties, childcare, and community support roles. With the expectation of being perpetually available and accountable, women faced societal condemnation for any perceived lapses in judgment, especially related to intoxication.

The Changing Dynamics for Women:

Modern times have heralded significant changes. With many women contributing to household finances and making strides in traditionally male-dominated fields, outdated taboos are diminishing. Women's roles have evolved, providing them with greater autonomy, including more liberal views on substance use.

However, this societal shift doesn't necessarily translate into a surge in substance use disorders (SUD) among women. Instead, it highlights a growing trend of women seeking assistance for SUD, bolstered by a societal environment less inclined to stigmatize them.

Although digital outreach and awareness campaigns have done much to dispel antiquated gender norms, remnants of these biases persist, often manifesting as self-stigmatization. These internalized biases can sometimes be more potent than external judgments, stemming from ingrained societal beliefs or personal struggles like anxiety and depression.

For women grappling with SUD, recognizing and countering these internal biases is crucial. Therapists can play a vital role, offering guidance, education, and resources to ensure women receive the support they need. It's essential to address these challenges head-on, with an understanding of the historical context and the strides society has made.

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A Word of Caution:

It's important to recognize that while many rally against gender stereotypes, there's potential for misuse. Some might leverage the broader societal move against gender discrimination to deny a genuine substance use disorder. Such behaviors risk muddying the waters of genuine advocacy, making proper diagnosis and intervention crucial.

Note: This article offers general insights for the public. Individual circumstances necessitate consultation with qualified professionals in legal and health sectors.


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