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Cringe Worthy Health Info

Encyclopedia of Family Health
Marshall Cavendish

Submitter: While I understand that terms like retardation and invalids are medical terms, I cringe in horror to think of the outdated, insensitive, and flat out incorrect information a student at this high school could quote. Some of my best/least favorite examples:

-Dwarfism p. 425 ” The most celebrated short people are found in circuses…”

-Homosexuality p. 712 “Family upbringing may also have an effect by failing to produce a strong sense of being male in the growing boy.”

-Invalids p. 873 “Many remain in institutions for life, but more often they are cared for in the community and aids and help are brought to the home.”

-Retardation p. 1870-1871 “Most children, however retarded, have their own potential for development.” “Many parents tend to spoil a retarded child in the mistaken belief that they are somehow compensating for the handicap.”

Holly: Good grief. A twenty-year-old health book is not helping anyone. The dwarfism and homosexuality entries are particularly brutal. I sincerely hope they scrapped both entries and started over in the newer editions of this encyclopedia.

More Bad Health:

Cancer Cookbook

Having a Little Work Done?

Diabetes and Pregnancy

Now This Won’t Hurt a Bit

Above: (Sorry for the image quality on this one! It was submitted really small. You get the idea, though.)

8 Responses to Cringe Worthy Health Info

  • The date says 1993, but the pictures say earlier.

    • Yes, and so does the information. This must have been reissued from an earlier date with few changes.

  • I was a teenager in the 90s. I know this was published 20 years ago, but I still think of 1993 as recent. This is shocking.

    • Me too. There’s no way this was written in the 90s – the information was horribly out of date even twenty years ago. It reads more like it was written in the 60s.

  • The quotes make it sound like the kind of book that would attribute a birthmark to the mother having been startled during pregnancy.

  • The letter about the boy being molested by another boy is horrific. I don’t know which is worsed, that the mother (who wrote the letter) is more concerned this will ‘turn him homosexual’, or that the person writing the reply breezily telling her it won’t affect him.

  • I was assisting an older woman (maybe 80s) by telling her that medical books this old were sometimes worse than nothing. Not all weeding needs to happen in public libraries.

  • I know that back in the 70’s when I was born the R word (I can’t type it as I risk making my own head burst into flames) was supposed to be the “nice” way to describe someone mentally challenged (before that things like idiot or moron were medical terms), but hearing it still being used today makes my blood boil. I guess nothing has really changed.