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Medical Gaslighting and Women's Advocacy

We are interested in the social, cultural, political, and historical foundations of women’s health, with a particular focus on medical gaslighting. The concept of gaslighting has recently gained considerable attention in both popular media, and within the intimate partner violence (IPV) literature. Within IPV, gaslighting is a form of emotional or psychological abuse wherein perpetrators (often intimate partners) manipulate or distort a person’s everyday self-concepts, reality, or interpersonal environment in an attempt to gain control. We argue that gaslighting is a broad phenomenon that should be understood as embedded within any power-laden relationship, which can extend beyond intimate partnerships, and include relationships with medical personnel, and providers. We are also exploring links between women’s health, and intimate partner violence (IPV), and the potential link between PCOS and IPV.

 

We are continuing to explore the important precursors and implications of gaslighting in health care using both qualitative (narrative) and quantitative approaches. Our plans are to build a comprehensive understanding of what medical gaslighting is, what it does, why it happens, and how to fight back against it through self-advocacy, cultural humility and feminist praxis, and health care reform to promote health equity.