Medical practice, research, and funding that focuses solely on the female breasts and reproductive system.
Today, we speak with a leader in the field of women’s health and when you hear that term, you could be forgiven if you thought reproductive health. Some people even called it bikini medicine because, for so long, the focus of research and medical practice seemed to be almost exclusively on the areas of the body you’d cover with a bikini.
—Michel Martin, “Women’s Health: More Than ‘Bikini Medicine’,” NPR, March 25, 2013
Scientists and doctors have just begun to study women’s health outside of the typical reproduction studies. There are decades of “bikini medicine,” the practice of studying only the reproductive health of women, that need to be redirected.
—Lauren Hendriksen, “Speaker: Women’s health about more than reproduction,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, June 14, 2012
Nancy Loving, a heart attack survivor and the executive director of the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, says the emphasis on what she calls “bikini medicine” is to blame for the lack of awareness about women‘s heart disease risks.
“It’s all breast cancer or the reproductive organs,” she says. “The definition of women’s health needs to be re-thought, especially with the aging of the baby boomers.”
—Peggy O’Farrell, “Heart disease,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, February 15, 2002
Medical research that concentrates only on the areas of a woman's body normally covered by a certain two-piece swimsuit has also been disparaged as bikini science:
WHRG’s research reflects the slow evolution of women’s health science beyond a reproductive focus.
—Jackie Powder, “Beyond Bikini Science,” Johns Hopkins Public Health, October 4, 2013