Social Repercussions of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Analyzing Gender Roles and Societal Perceptions
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic illness that affects approximately 6 to 12 percent of people of reproductive age (PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes, n.d.). Common symptoms of this condition include production of excess male hormones, cysts in the ovaries, excess hair growth (referred to as hirsutism), irregular periods, and infertility (PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes, n.d.). Many of these symptoms contradict beauty standards and social roles set in place for women and those assigned female at birth. However, the social effects of this disorder, shame and stigma from not conforming to feminine social standards, are seldom discussed in PCOS scholarship, but pose very real consequences to the wellness of those with PCOS. In this paper, I will be analyzing two articles, “Young Women’s Experiences Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome” by Theresa R. Weiss and Sandra Minor Bulmer and “‘Less Than A Wife’: A Study of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Content in Teen and Women’s Digital Magazines” by Ninive Sanchez and Hillary Jones, to properly characterize the social effects of PCOS stigma. I conclude that the article “Young Women’s Experiences Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome” presents a more efficient analysis of the social effects of PCOS compared to “‘Less Than A Wife’: A Study of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Content in Teen and Women’s Digital Magazines”, as the former consults with people with PCOS through interviews, while the latter simply looks at media largely produced by those who do not live with the condition.
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