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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.

“Rather than acknowledge the limitations of medical knowledge, medicine expected women to take control (with their minds) of their disease (in their body) by accepting their illness, making ‘lifestyle’ changes and conforming to their gendered social roles of wife and mother. Moralising discourses surround those who rebel; they are represented as irrational and irresponsible, the safety net for medicine when it cannot fulfil its claim to control the body.”

Not only have doctors, scientists and researchers mostly been men, but most of the cells, animals and humans studied in medical science have also been male: most of the advances we have seen in medicine have come from the study of male biology.