In her meticulously researched history, Cheryl Krasnick Warsh challenges readers to rethink the norms of women's health and treatment in Canada and the United States since 1800. Prescribed Norms details a disturbing socio-medical history that limits and discounts women's own knowledge of their bodies and their health. By comparing ritual practices of various cultures, Prescribed Norms demonstrates how looking at women's health through a masculine lens has distorted current medical understandings of menstruation, menopause, and childbirth, and has often led to faulty medical conclusions. Warsh also illuminates how the shift from informal to more formal, institutionalized treatment impacts both women's health care and women's roles as health practitioners. Always accessible and occasionally irreverent, Warsh's narrative provides readers with multiple foundations for reconsidering women's health and women's health care.
Cheryl Krasnick Warsh is Professor of History at Vancouver Island University and Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History / Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine.