Divergent Discourses: Medical and Cultural Understandings of Latina Reproductive Health in the Era of Gardasil
Bachelor of Arts
Cervical cancer, Gardasil, Latinas, Health disparities
In 2006, the vaccine Gardasil was distributed in the United States. Gardasil was created to block four strains of human papilloma virus (HPV), two of which cause about 70% of cervical cancer, and two others that cause 90% of genital warts. Although the Gardasil vaccine is an advance in the fight against cervical cancer, reports show that Latinas have low vaccination rates of Gardasil, disproportionately higher rates of cervical cancer and that cervical cancer screening rates are much lower for Latinas than women of other ethnicities. I argue that there is a disconnect between the Latina and medical discourses and the lack of integration of these discourses potentially contributes to the disparity of cervical cancer for Latinas. I have identified the groups that have produced the most influential discourses in the debate around Latina reproductive health: medical communities and Latina communities. To test this hypothesis, I collected data related to each of these discourses in the Lorain County area employing surveys and in-depth interviews. My work focuses on what the discourses say about the problem of reproductive health care for Latinas and how each community can enter into communication with each other in order to reduce the number of Latinas whose lives are directly affected by cervical cancer.
Camacho, Cindy, "Divergent Discourses: Medical and Cultural Understandings of Latina Reproductive Health in the Era of Gardasil" (2011). Honors Papers. 401.