An article published by CNN on Thursday made the case that sexually transmitted diseases have an inherent bias against the female body.
Despite the fact that funding for women’s health initiatives dwarfs the amount spent on men’s health, CNN told its readers that a deep stigma held by biological agents, society, and the minds of women themselves oppresses the female gender through venereal disease.
Simply put, because “STDs are biologically and psycho-socially sexist at all levels,” said Dr. Hunter Handsfield, a professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Washington Center for AIDS and STD who has studied sexually transmitted diseases for 40 years.
“Women bear the largest burden of these diseases,” agreed Dr. Edward Hook, co-director of the Center for Social Medicine and Sexually Transmitted Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The article, which reads like an editorial blog in a feminist art journal, goes on to cite the claim of a medical professor that cervical cancer is a prime example of STD misogyny because men are diagnosed with penile cancer at “about one hundredth the rate that women get cervical cancer from HPV.”
CNN also noted that cervical cancer is the eighth-most common cancer in the world, but neglects to mention that prostate cancer, which exclusively effects men, is the second-most common cancer.
According to ASCO data, approximately 13,170 U.S. women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, compared to an estimated 174,650 men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
CNN went on to opine: “Sometimes, it’s more than the STD that’s sexist.”
Take away the guilt. “I think that most people believe that the only people who get sexually transmitted infections are people who are somehow taking risks and doing wrong things,” Hook said. “And that’s clearly not the case.”
Know your body. “Learn your genitals,” Handsfield said. “Learn what’s normal for you and be aware of any new oddities, and don’t be afraid to check them out.
“Any new or unexplained vaginal discharge or change in the character of vaginal discharge, including odor, requires professional evaluation,” Handsfield said, adding that any unexplained genital sore, lump or swollen gland in the groin, low abdominal or pelvic pain, or change in menstrual pattern are all reasons to visit a doctor.
In unrelated news, CNN is reaching record low numbers of viewers since 2016.