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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

A Bias, After All

Author(s): Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi

Vol. 30, No. 4 (2005-10 - 2005-12)

Compliments for Manmeet Kaur and IJCM for providing prime space to the gender issue, with a wider perspective. However, certain assertions need to be reexamined.

First thing first-and that probably covers everything else by proxy. While introducing the topic, the author has opined - "Traditional ideologies of masculinity/feminity often push men and women to unsafe sexual behaviors." Such a sweeping statement betrays a certitude that "modern" ideologies promote safe sexual behaviors, simply by being modern. Such an argument in scientific discourse runs the risk of huge type-1 error.

The ideology of consumption-promoted by today's corporate, which runs a large section of science as well-goaded by cynical use of media can hardly be called traditional. That masculinity and feminity are concepts and constructs which can effectively be controlled by market is not a traditional ideology. That masculinity and feminity are consumable items which can generate huge and hitherto unknown profits, material and invisible, is not an invention of a traditional ideologue. How these potent forces of our times are pushing adolescents and young adults to unsafe sexual behaviors is all there in the open.

Bias for newer/modern things, even if a positive one, is after all a bias, and will remain a bias. Political correctness and intellectual sanitization notwithstanding.

Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi
Professor of Community Medicine
University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi

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