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A growing body of literature indicates that diseases can affect women and men differently. As sex differences extend far beyond biology, it is crucial to adopt a bicultural approach towards understanding human disease patterns and processes. This book synthesizes modern medical research with paleopathological investigations. Conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia, iron deficiency anaemia, infection and immune reactivity and trauma are explored. Recognizing the relationship between these conditions and aspects of sex and gender in past populations assists in the formulation of models from which modern disease processes can be better understood. Exploring the differences will provide provocative ideas for all those in physical anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, history of medicine and women's studies interested in how sex and gender impacts on disease.
Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: sex, gender and health status in prehistoric and contemporary populations George J. Armelagos; 2. Sex-related patterns of trauma in humans and African apes Robert Jurmain and Lynn Kilgore; 3. Osteoporosis in the bioarchaeology of women David S. Weaver; 4. Iron deficiency anaemia: exploring the difference Patricia Stuart-Macadam; 5. Sex differences in trace elements: status or self-selection? Della Collins Cook and Kevin D. Hunt; 6. Male/female immune reactivity and its implications for interpreting evidence in human skeletal paleopathology Donald J. Ortner; 7. Infectious disease, sex and gender: the complexity of it all Charlotte A. Roberts, Mary E. Lewis and Philip Boocock; 8. Gender differences in health and illness among rural populations in Latin America Thomas L. Leatherman; 9. The mothers and daughters of a patrilineal civilization: the health of females among the Late Classic Maya of Copan, Honduras Rebecca Storey; 10. A history of their own: patterns of death in a nineteenth-century poorhouse Anne L. Grauer, Elizabeth M. McNamara and Diane V. Houdek; 11. Gender, health and activity in foragers and farmers in the American southeast: implications for social organization in the Georgia Bight Clark S. Larsen; Index.
In this groundbreaking book, Grauer and Stuart-Macadam bring together 11 original articles examining various human disease patterns and processes with an eye toward sex and gender differences...Not only is the biocultural approach employed here important for gaining a better perspective on modern disease processes, but the interdisciplinary approach will serve to generate numerous ideas and hypotheses in areas such as physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, the history of medicine, and archaeology. Choice "The book is an important and useful contribution to the study of the interactions of biology and culture in human society, and it lives up to the premise offered in the title. For readers who are not physical anthropologists, the book provides a useful introduction to paleopathology and the contributions of skeletal biology to understanding cultures in the past. Sex and Gender in Paleopathological Perspective offers a wealth of interesting interpretations of the interactions among biology, culture, and disease in human societies...this book clearly demostrates the need to include gender and sex in interpretative models of biology and culture in past human populations." AJA "provides both an informative and interesting addition to the growing publications on gender. The bibliographies following each article are good guides to further sources and the index isz useful for both paleopathologists and non-paleopathologists. Grauer and Struart MacAdam have done a nice job of cross-referencing and this is important in a work like this becuase most readers will be primarily interested in a specific chapter. All chapters are well-written, with numerous, useful sub-headings. Photographs and figures are appropriate." Candian Jrnl of Archaeology 24, 2000