Womenpass through many stages before they reach the adult status. Uniquefeatures, such as physical changes, characterize each phase. Besides,they influence cultural expectations of women at each stage.Different communities expect community members to observe specifictaboos in order to conform to their beliefs. The purpose of thispaper is to analyze critical issues regarding women and gender.
Thedifference between maidenhood and adolescence
Wardand Monica (2009, 60) defines maidenhood as the period between thefirst menstruation and marriage or any other socially practice thatmarks an individual’s adult status. In other words, a woman entersthe maiden phase when she is physically capable of bearing apregnancy. A female in the development phase has sexual urges thatassorted societies use unique strategies to suppress. The period isculturally constructed because, therefore, its duration varies fromone civilization to the other. For instance, girls in the westernsociety get married in their late twenties. Consequently, maidenhoodin the community ends in the late twenties. On the contrary,societies that wed teenage girls have their maidenhood set betweenthirteen and nineteen years.
Onthe contrary, adolescence is a physical development process thateveryone experiences (Simpson, 2008). As such, girls that are marriedat earl development stages before their first menstruation do nothave a maiden stage. However, they experience adolescent developmentbecause it is a bodily change that everyone experiences (Ward &Monica, 2009, p. 60).
Birthcontrol techniques are approaches that humans use to restrictreproduction either temporary or permanently. Common motivations touse contraceptive methods include child spacing, poor health status,financial incapability to support children, stillbirths andmiscarriages, as well as the desire to have few children. Theknowledge dates several centuries back. The methods includerefraining or modifying vaginal intercourse, penile withdrawal,natural methods and oral medication among others. Most of the herbsand pharmaceutical contraceptive drugs are classified as emenagogueor abortifacient (Ward & Monica, 2009, p. 65). The primarilydelay periods or prevent implantation. In my view, natural birthcontrol is the most appropriate contractive strategy. The approachrecommends a couple to mate when the woman has not produced an ovumbecause she cannot conceive. One can establish whether he or she isfertile through analyzing the menstrual cycle. Alternative methodssuch as the oral contraceptives or the venous injections some womenare also effective, but they are controversial because they terminateconceived fetuses at early stages (Ward & Monica, 2009, p. 66).Consequently, anti-abortionists consider the family planningtechnique as a form of abortion. On the same note, the oral drugs,herbs, injections and concoctions introduced in the body to preventconception may cause serious adverse effects on the user. Forexample, some medications may cause infertility, hormonal imbalanceand other forms of severe discomfort to a patient. On top of that,family planning drugs are not 100% effective. Conversely, naturalbirth control is reliable and safe because women engage in coitusduring their safe days, and they do not introduce any form of toxicmaterial (Ward & Monica, 2009, p. 67).
Surrogacyand adoption acceptability
Surrogacyis a form of conception where a woman transfers ovum into anotherwoman’s womb. On the other hand, adoption involves acquiring andraising another person’s baby, mostly unrelated by blood or genes,and raising it as if one owns it. In my community, surrogacy is moreacceptable than adoption. Traditional beliefs claim that adoptedchildren are risky because they take similar characteristics withtheir original parents despite their upbringing environment. As such,a child that has been born from by criminal parent or from a familylineage with defective such as inheritable disease will display theparents’ characteristics in the future (Ward & Monica, 2009, p.68). In my community, surrogacy is more acceptable than adoption.First, prospective mothers can choose the women they would prefer tobear them an offspring. Second, advanced technology has made itpossible to acquire ova from the biological mother and then fertilizewith the intended father’s sperm. As a result, the child that willbe born will have similar characteristics to the biological parents,including genes. In fact, the surrogates describe themselves asincubators of some form of vessels since they do not develop theemotional attachment with the offspring (Brettell & Sargent,2013, 390).
Onthe contrary, the intended mothers may develop nausea, gain weightand some even claim to experience spasms despite that they are notphysically carrying the child. The assertions are complemented by theexperiences of surrogates who claim that they crave diets orbehaviors of the targeted mother. For example, if the genes of thechild conceived are for a Chinese mother, and the surrogate is anAmerican, she begins to behave, as the intended mother would do.
However,adoption is widely practiced because it is easy. A potential mothercan take a child from an orphanage or she can acquire the necessarypermissions to raise either her relative or friend’s young one. Incontrast, surrogacy is a tedious process because a mother has to lookfor the proxy mother. In addition, she is supposed to hire medicalassistance to have her ovum extracted from her uterus and thenfertilize with the desired father’s sperm (Brettell & Sargent,2013, 388). The process can be tedious and costly. Several couplesprefer contemporary surrogacy since the substitute mother gestatesthe embryos of the couple the invitro fertilization (IVF). Thetraditional method required the man to interact sexually with thesurrogate so that she could conceive the normal way.
Womenmake better gynecologists than men because they have betterunderstanding of the anatomy and functioning of the women genitalia.Besides, they understand the discomfort that may result from coitus,infection or high temperature from firsthand experience.Consequently, they would understand the patients’ description oftheir problem faster than a man would. Nonetheless, men can make goodmidwives. In fact, some women prefer delivery assistance from maleprofessionals because they can empathize with their situation(Brettell & Sargent, 2013, 362).
Theterm natural “natural birth” is written in quotation because themeaning of the term is controversial. Different people proposeassorted meanings of the word. For instance, some people argue thatnatural birth refers to the regular method of delivery where thefetus passes through the vagina. On the contrary, some people contendthat the process refers to delivery that a woman is does not receivemedication assistance such as painkillers. As such, the quotationrepresents the uncertainty of the diction (Brettell & Sargent,2013, 364).
Menopauseis the stage that women cease to menstruate or fertility. It is aninternal process that is controlled by hormones. As a result, onecannot tell if a woman has reached the development phase by justlooking at her physique (Ward & Monica, 2009, p. 84).
Brettell,C., & Sargent, C. F. (2013).Genderin cross-cultural perspective (6thed).Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Ward,M. C., & Edelstein, M. (2009). Aworld full of women (6thed).Boston: Pearson.
Simpson,R. (2008). Changes in young adulthood. Retrieved fromhttp://hrweb.mit.edu/worklife/youngadult/changes.html#adolescence