Women's attitudes toward gynecologic practices

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Abstract

Seventy-five female students and faculty members at a community college completed a questionnaire exploring their attitudes toward gynecologic procedures, their physicians, and the discussion of sexual concerns. Eighty-five percent reported negative feelings toward the pelvic examination (anxiety, vulnerability-humiliation, and dehumanization). Forty-one percent expressed negative feelings toward their physician's behavior, while 43% reported positive feelings. Seventy-two percent would not discuss sexual concerns with their physicians. A larger percentage of recommendations (87%) addressed themselves to the doctor-patient relationship rather than to procedural matters (29%). These findings recommend serious self-scrutiny and behavior change on the part of physicians. Specific recommendations to alleviate the current situation are provided by the authors, and suggestions are made for incorporating the findings into educational environments.

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