• Tue, Mar 5 2013

Is Your Male Gynecologist Secretly Ogling Your Naked Body? (Next On Sick Sad World!)

speculum

If you ever feel like your male doctor is bored with your vagina, think again. His expression of clinical detachment is but a smokescreen for all the disgusting things he is thinking as he gives you what is probably an unnecessary pelvic exam. Disgusting sex things.

At least, according to one icky blog comment that my friend Marie Calloway (whose Facebook feed really should be a monetized blog of its own) has un-earthed from the loamy bowels of the internet. In it, we hear from a man purporting to be a doctor, who not only ogles patients himself, but believes this to be a commonplace practice which causes countless women to be given unnecessary pelvic exams each year!

He begins:

I am a doctor myself, in a smallish town in the midwest. I’m in a specialty where we do not do pelvic exams, but of course I was trained in how to do them while in medical school. It has always bothered me, for a couple of reasons, but the male/female thing has been the main thing originally. I always got a small, secret thrill out of doing a pelvic exam (or a breast exam, for that matter) on an attractive woman. Because we were told that “it’s not sexual,” “it’s just a medical procedure, nothing sexual about it, no reason to have sexual thoughts,” I though I was weird. I didn’t worry that much because I knew I wasn’t going into an area where I would do exams, but…

It would be easy enough to write this guy’s “small, secret thrill” off as something that is solely his problem. But he says he’s not the only one:

Then, during residency, I worked with a lot of doctors in the community, and discovered that, for most of them, it WAS at least partly sexual: they would sit around in the lounges and such and sometimes discuss the anatomy of beautiful women who’d been in, and on two occasions discussed, in front me and everyone else, the sexual anatomy attributes of women who worked in the hospital, nurses and such that were mutual acquaintances. I was horrified! I have to say, too, that many doctors, when I asked (because it bothered me), talked about it like, “Oh, it’s just another test to have to do, kind of boring, really.”

Fact: all male doctors get a thrill out of touching you down there, he’s just the only one who is honest about it. He continues:

Still, the inescapable fact is that a guy likes to look at a naked woman. Period. Doctors are no different. They like to look at naked women, too. So, if they get PAID to look–I mean, really LOOK–at a woman’s sexual organs, and even better, they get to touch them, well… So much the better! I’m not saying that doctors do exams just to get a sexual thrill, because the circumstances really don’t allow a full-out sexual experience, but given a choice between doing a lung exam on an 80-year-old guy or a pelvic exam on an attractive 30-year-old woman, I’d say most docs would MUCH rather do the latter. They’re only human. They would flatly deny having any such thoughts (in most cases), but deep down, they ARE men, after all.

And how does this rampant secret ogling affect the quality of the care we are given?

So, I think sometimes part of what prompts docs to urge women to have more testing is, that secretly they kind of like doing it. The money doesn’t hurt (i.e., they get paid to do it). In terms of pap smears being unnecessary for post-hysterectomy women, they also probably often just don’t know–there are several things in my specialty which GPs do wrong, all the time, even though they should know better. The ACOG recommends that even without doing pap smears, women have pelvic exams regularly, to screen for various cancers that are of very little risk. I’m sure part of that is just the “hyperscreening” that we’ve gotten sucked into, part of it is the money, and part is the male domination of women (gives you a great chance to stand there, fully clothed, with a woman who is naked and in a vulnerable position), and the chance to look at and touch naked women.

The thought that my doctor is holding my birth control pills hostage to get me to pay for unnecessary pap smears is annoying enough without thinking he or she (I like to play the field) is also getting his or her rocks off. But is any of this true? Because I hang out exclusively with degenerates, I don’t know any doctors besides the ones I go to, and I would feel supes awkward asking them, so feel free to chime in if you “are” someone with experience in this matter.

Of course, we have no way of verifying that this person is even a doctor (or a man), and I have half a mind it was left on the original blogcritics.com post by the site “for women’s eyes only” for the sheer purpose of using it in their crusade against the tyranny of women’s health exams. But just in case, I think I might stick to female doctors from now on. It’s enough that they are violating my wallet without violating my human dignity, too.

(Via Marie Calloway/blogcritics.org)

Photo: Wikipedia

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  • Tania

    I find that thought incredibly upsetting.

    But, luckily, when I want to refill my birth control script I go to a walk-in clinic, the doctor asks me what kind, I say, and there we go. I would be extremely upset if I ever had a doctor refuse my prescription unless I had an exam. Maybe they don’t do that in Canada because they aren’t charging by the procedure.

  • Katie

    So, I’m a current medical student right now, and have had lots of experience interacting with doctors in the past. So hopefully I can help you out a bit. Obviously I’m a woman, but learning how to give a pelvic exam was mostly bizarre for almost every single student. Now, fellow students were definitely relieved when we got to do a pelvic exam on the 24 year old patient vs. the 300 lb 40 yr old woman. However, that’s not about being sexually excited, it’s more about the general less-grossiness of it? I feel like for the most part, doctors are people too, and I’ve spoken to a lot of doctors that discuss their patients in kind of inappropriate ways, but it’s mostly as a way to blow off steam. For instance, I shadowed my own Ob/Gyn before getting into school. He sees around 20 vaginas a day, he doesn’t care about your vagina in a sexual way at all. He just doesn’t. Let me see if I can give an example for comparison?

    I want to do orthopedic surgery. Now, as a person, I’m probably going to enjoy meeting with and interacting with the hot 25 year old baseball player that just tore his rotator cuff than I am with the 80 yr old man who tore his suprascapular ligament when he fell off the toilet. Because who doesn’t want to interact with a 25 yr old hot baseball player? As a doctor, I’m going to give both people the same level of care, but it’s more likely I would go to the Dr.’s lounge and talk about my hot patient than the elderly man. Hope that wasn’t too blunt.

  • Eileen

    At my recent non-Pap pelvic I know they were checking for STIs, too – the CDC recommends that all women under 25 or 30 (forget) get screened for chlamydia, at least, every year. Which is a worthwhile thing, I think. I’m not worried about cervical cancer because I’ve had normal Paps, don’t smoke, don’t have HPV, and have an IUD, but STIs can be tricky. I do have a straight female doctor (although there are male doctors in her practice), so maybe it’s different, but she clearly can do a lot of the stuff that involves feeling without even looking – while looking at my face and having a conversation. Also, I’m sorry, how attractive can a Pap test be? As much as I appreciate the beautiful cervix project, I don’t know anyone who has sexual feelings about looking at a woman’s cervix.

    But I also kind of agree with Katie. My OBGYN thinks I’m funny. I like her, too. She’s entertaining to chat with. We’re not friends, but the fact that I like her makes me glad to schedule an appointment. I like my dental practice a lot, too, and have been going to the same one for 17 years. It’s two dentists, and at my last appointment, the one who wasn’t examining me rushed over to say hi and ask about my siblings/parents. No matter what you’re doing, I’m sure it’s fun to talk to/hang out with a patient you find likable. And for many men, I’m sure that being a young, attractive woman makes you more likable.

  • Robyn

    When I was about 17, I was having a pelvic exam done by a male doctor and heard him say under his breath, “it’s not doing it for you?” I was a bit in shock for the rest of the appointment. So yes, i have been ogled. So mortifying. I have requested a female doctor every time since.

  • Amanda

    I’m almost 20 now, but I went to a pediatric doctor up until I was about 15. I switched doctors because I had an older male doctor that regularly gave me physical exams that I had to be completely undressed for (I’m not sure if this is common, but many of my friends had told me they never had to get undressed for their physicals), and one day after one of those physicals, he had the nerve to tell my father that I was (in his exact words) ‘extremely sultry’. He also used to peek into my underwear during visits, which I did not know wasn’t normal for that age. He was definitely a creep.

    • Breezy

      I’m glad to hear he didn’t take it any further than that, although what you are saying sounds super inappropriate. Please tell me he is retired.

    • SW

      Not just a creep — that crosses a line into abuse of his profession. You shouldn’t have to get COMPLETELY undressed for physicals (he should at least give you a hospital gown to wear). I hope you or your parents reported him.

    • J

      You in Calgary by chance Amanda?

  • Cassie

    I think the implication that “all male doctors get a thrill out of touching you down there, he’s just the only one who is honest about it.” is absolutely ridiculous.

    Women become gynecologists too, so must there be some people who respect and enjoy their profession in a completely non-sexual way? Yes, yes there must.

    I have been to male and female gynecologists, and frankly, I prefer men. The male gynecologists I have been to have been the paragon of respect and professionalism. Implying a male gynecologist is untrustworthy simply because of his gender is sexist and a poor judgement.

    However, because ladies fear this foolish idea (that gynecologists are just trying to peek at your taco instead of trying to protect your health), I can get an appointment with my male gynecologist next week instead of waiting a month to see a woman at the same practice. So fear and judge all you like.

    P.S. I would also like to point out to you that there are, indeed, lesbian gynecologists. Better stop going to the gynecologist altogether, lest a medical professional find you attractive.

  • Amanda

    I forgot to mention – I see a female gynecologist, and I feel that I am always uncomfortably pressured into an STI screening. I am in a completely monogamous, committed relationship of almost 5 years and when I tell the doctor this, she always responds that boys often lie and suggests I may have been cheated on. It’s very frustrating – I trust my boyfriend completely, and it just annoys me that she tries to suggest that he is unfaithful.
    It’s dumb, I know, but it pisses me off.

    • Katie

      Although you are telling the truth, a lot of patients aren’t. When we learn how to take patient histories and write up exam notes, everything the patient tells us goes into the ‘subjective’ column. It’s not that it’s not medically relevant or that we don’t believe you, it’s that we can’t prove the things you tell us, so they can’t be considered objective facts. Even when patients come in with difficulty breathing, we write this down as ‘dyspnea’ which is defined as a subjective term. In the case of STI screenings, a lot of patients are uncomfortable telling their doctors the truth. (FYI, please tell us the truth, we aren’t judging anything you say at all). STI checks are normally required because they are important for the health of the general population, you don’t want one person going around with an especially virile strain of chlamydia infecting lots of other people with it. I’m not sure this makes you any happier, but your doctor is doing it because STI screenings are ‘recommended’ for certain populations regardless of who the person is.

      And in the case of ‘recommendations’, in medicine it more translates to, if you are practicing this type of medicine, you need to do this or you will be liable (sue-able), if you don’t.

  • http://twitter.com/patientmodesty Patient Modesty

    This is exactly why women should avoid male gynecologists.

  • http://twitter.com/patientmodesty Patient Modesty

    This is exactly why women should avoid male gynecologists.

  • Lisa

    Well, I’m female, but I am a doctor. While you’re going to find a creep or two in any profession, the vast majority of doctors, male or female, are not interested in your anatomy in any non-medical way. When we are examining a patient, it’s a completely different part of the mind — it’s like a problem we are trying to solve. I have NEVER heard any doctor, male or female, talk about a patient being physically attractive.

  • husband

    i think its wrong for men to be either obstetrician or gynecologist, sure don’t want my wife to see one, it was a very traumatic event for me when she was examined by one ill never forget it