Debate With Woman Who Justified Male Gynecologists

This lady removed the article, "Male Gynecologists Are Wrong" from her web site at the request of a Christian woman committed to purity and modesty who sent the ministry an email about her concerns about male gynecologists. The title of article was misleading because this ministry used some arguments to justify that male gynecologists were okay and twisted some scriptures. But we still have a copy of the debate and how the Christian woman committed to purity and modesty responded. The rebuttals are in red.

Lady of Ministry's Email:

My husband Ray forwarded your email to me, asking me to answer since I have had both a male and a female OB/GYN. All three of my babies were delivered by a male doctor.

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: I wanted to let you know that my mom had a male gynecologist like you. In fact, he delivered both my sister and me in 1979 and 1983 via C-Section. There were almost no female gynecologists at that time so I imagine there were probably not many female gynecologists available either when you gave birth. Many rural areas in the US still do not have enough or no female gynecologists. I know that today Dallas area has many all-female ob/gyn practices though. Most women who had babies before 1990s had a male gynecologist unless they had a midwife. My mom said that if it had not been for me that she would have never thought about this issue because she was taught that doctors could do pretty much anything. She stopped going to a male gynecologist around 1999 after I brought this issue to her attention. I asked her if she thought that a male gynecologist could stay pure in mind and she said no.

I understand your desire to protect your purity, and I applaud that. However, I believe you are going too far in trying to make the case that male gynecologists are wrong. It's fine to take a personal stance of preferring a female doctor; it's fine to urge others to go to a female doctor; but stating that it's wrong, across the board, is unwise and, I believe, unfair.

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: Christians have been taught to trust the medical industry completely and that they can do anything in name of medicine even if it is against God’s will. Many of us have fallen to this cultural blind spot. I thought you did a wonderful article about abortion. Abortion was not performed in the bible, but infanticide was. You shared bible verses that support that abortion is wrong. There were no male gynecologists in the bible either. I am glad that you agree that life begins at conception.

The abortion issue reminds me so much of opposite sex intimate medical care. Think about it this way: it is wrong for a man to shoot a pregnant woman and kill her unborn baby, but it’s okay for a doctor to kill an unborn baby through abortion in the name of medicine. Both the man and the doctor are equally guilty of murder. I think that all abortion doctors should be in prison. It is wrong for a man who is not in the medical profession to examine and touch private parts of a woman he is not married to, but it is okay for a male doctor to do that in name of medicine. That is ridiculous because God has the same standards for everyone including medical professionals.

I think you lack understanding of some important issues. Most men think differently than women; in fact, God designed their brains in a way that allows them to compartmentalize, concentrating on only one thing at a time. It's like having a chest of many drawers, where only one drawer can be open at a time. When most male OB/GYNs walk into an examining room, they are focused on serving their patients' medical needs. They truly can examine women's private parts without being distracted by an erotic component, because of the God-given design of the way their brains work. I did read your essay, and I understand your skepticism that this could be possible. But I'm curious, how many male gynecologists have you actually spoken to, to do a reality check against your beliefs?

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: The things you shared about how men’s minds work are not true. I have learned a lot over the years about how men’s minds work. I did not know that tight blouses could make men lust for a long time. If it was true that men could see women’s private parts as objects in a non-sexual way, can you please explain why so many men have lustful thoughts when they see scantily clothed or naked women? It is worse when men see naked women. Male gynecologists are no different from other men.

I am so tired of hearing this argument “Male gynecologist has seen so many naked women that it no longer affects him”. If that was true, why is it so hard for a man who constantly looks at pornography to give up pornography? The desire to see more naked women actually increases. Jesus makes it clear that it is wrong for men to lust after women even if they don’t act on their thoughts. Jesus makes this bold statement: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) I think male gynecologist is actually worse than a man who just looks at pornography. I have gotten so many cases of male gynecologists abusing women over the past few years. Having a nurse present makes no difference. A nurse is just present to protect the doctor. I talked to a Christian nurse who told me that she had heard many medical professionals make sexual comments about patients. A former male gynecologist wrote a book, “Women and Doctors” that I read. He said that many of his colleagues would admire unconscious female patients’ private parts while they were out. This doctor boldly says in his book that he doesn’t think men should be gynecologists. He also talks about the mistreatment women have received in the gynecology arena. He said that many doctors do surgeries for money. I believe many male gynecologists keep lustful thoughts to themselves. I cannot support any men (doctors are no exception) touching or seeing private parts of women they are not married to. In Leviticus 18, God goes into great detail condemning nakedness between brother and sister, father and daughter, mother and son, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, grandfather and granddaughter, and the list goes on and on.

In order to preserve the dignity and privacy of female patients, it is standard procedure to give them garments and sheets that cover up anything not being examined at the moment. Women patients just do not lie naked on exam tables! Doctors go to great lengths to keep women from the intense discomfort of nakedness. In addition to that, any ethical male doctor will have a nurse in the room with him to protect both the patient and the doctor.

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: Covering certain parts of a woman's body still does not make it right for a male doctor to examine a woman's private parts. The male doctor still sees private parts of a woman who he is not married to and that is wrong. Doctors have a chaperone to protect themselves. A chaperone does not help to protect sexual abuse or prevent lustful thoughts. Many women are sexually abused by doctors with a nurse present. A chaperone often defends the doctor when she/he does something wrong. What about a chaperone watching an unmarried man and woman having sex? Does it make it less sinful? What about a man having a chaperone present every time he looks at pornography? Does it make it less wrong? ) Check out this article, Do Chaperones Really Protect Patients?

But it's not just my thoughts on the issue. Here are the words of Dr. William Cutrer, a Christian OB/GYN also committed to serving the Kingdom of God in ministry. This is from his book on infertility with my friend Sandra Glahn, When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden (2nd ed., 2010, Kregel): What about gender differences in choosing a doctor? Either gender can provide quality medical care without violating the person of the patient. I have heard about and read of physicians taking advantage of patients, but most have high standards of personal ethics and deserve patients' trust. It is far more critical to have a caring, competent physician who can communicate than to focus on gender.

It might help at this point to reveal a well-kept secret: what goes on (or rather, what doesn't) in the physician's mind during the infertility investigation. The female anatomy is fairly standardized so that no one is so remarkable as to be memorable. Also, my mind is so compartmentalized that before entering a patient's exam room, I review the chart to see where we've been and where we're going. Then I open the door and fix my full attention on that one patient. Ideally, I can focus so there is no other patient in the world for the duration of the visit. This way I can ask all the necessary questions with total concentration. I make notes on the chart to trigger my thinking for future visits. When I leave the room, I begin to focus on the next medical need. If there is an important date for testing or results, I indicate it in my notes. For the time allotted, that patient is the center of my attention.

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: Many people say that bathing patients is not sexual. This is not true. Why have so many male nurses abused female patients? David who was a very godly man in the bible lusted when he saw Bathsheba bathing and then they became immoral. I encourage you to check out a list of male OB/GYNs in the news that have sexually abused women.

One “Christian” male doctor did unnecessary breast exams on teenage girls for sports physicals in a small town. He only did the breast exams on girls whose mothers were not present. What does that tell you?

I learned about a male gynecologist who does cosmetic gynecological surgeries on womena few years ago. This doctor has a semi-pornographic web site. He has a picture of a porn star on his practice’s web site. He also has after and before pictures of women’s breasts on his web site. I tried contacting an advocacy organization to see if we could stop what he is doing and unfortunately, I was told that what he does is legal so we cannot take actions to try shutting down his practice. This reminds me of abortion again. Just because something is legal, it does not mean it is God’s will. The person at this advocacy organization agreed that this doctor uses his web site to sell “sex”. What do you think about this? I won’t send you the web site because you might have some men in your household or ministry that could accidentally see the web site.

Male doctors who care about babies can still work with them, but they should not deliver babies and allow a female doctor to deal with procedures that involve the private parts. I am very supportive of male neonatologists. It is possible for a woman who undergoes C-Section to have her private parts covered if a male anesthesiologist or pediatrician has to be present.

I encourage you to take time to look at the following articles:

1.) Important Information About Sexual Abuse By Doctors

2.) Dr. Levy, a well-respected male gynecologist who took pictures of many women’s private parts with a pen camera

3.) Why Women Should Avoid Male Doctors For Intimate Female Health Issues?

Oprah Winfrey asked several male gynecologists on her show, "Do sexual thoughts ever enter your mind during the exam?" One said, "No. It's no different from examining a knee or an ear." Another explained, "There are no sexual thoughts. I am working very hard to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible; that takes a lot of effort and confidence and energy. We want to get the exam over as quickly as we can. Basically, when a patient is in a gown and a sheet, there's no sexual connotation. I am doing my job."

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: Are you aware that Oprah is into New Age stuff so she would not be a good resource to use? Most male doctors are not going to admit the truth that they have lustful thoughts from time to time. What about this article: 25% percent of male gynecologists admitted in a 1979 article that they had sexual contact with their patients in Ladies Home Journal. It is ridiculous that the male gynecologist on Oprah Winfrey show made this statement: "No. It's no different from examining a knee or an ear." If genitals and breasts were really similar to knee or ear, why do people not walk naked in public? Genitals and breasts are very sacred sexual organs. Can you explain why a husband is excited to see his wife’s genitals and breasts if they are just like ear and knee? God wired a man to become sexually aroused when he sees a woman naked and his wife should be the only woman he sees naked. The only person of the opposite sex who should see and touch private parts of a sexually mature person is spouse. Knee and ears are not private and can be seen by anyone. This example reminds me of an argument that a nurse at an abortion clinic used when a pregnant woman came in: You are only carrying 10 weeks of tissue and it’s not a child. That is a huge lie. You know how God feels about unborn babies. Life begins at conception. A 1 day embryo is a baby period. The same can be said of nudity of an opposite sex person in front of a person of opposite sex who is not spouse. It breaks my heart about how the medical profession has twisted God’s special gift of sex for married people. Nudity is a big part of sex in marriage. If I were a nurse or doctor, I would refuse to do any intimate procedures on sexually mature male patients even if I knew for sure that I could stay pure in thoughts. I feel every wife should be the only woman to see and touch her husband’s genitals. I do not want to take the privilege of a wife to be the only woman to see her husband naked away.

A female gynecologist recommends that rather than making gender an issue, "Select your physician for compassion, availability, competence, and communication." Dr. Cutrer, who also has seminary training, has made the observation as a male OB/GYN that in the Old Testament, the Levitical priests examined men and women to okay them for returning to worship (e.g., leprosy, infections), so there's a biblical precedence for men touching women in the context of healthcare.

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: I have done research on Dr. William Curter, the gynecologist you referred to. I am very concerned about what my research unveiled. How can he be asexual when he wrote a book about sexual intimacy in marriage and started a sex therapy organization? I was very disturbed by this section on pages 35-36 at under the word Clitoris. It is so sickening that he invited a woman’s husband to show him his wife’s anatomy and sexual function (how ridiculous that is) in a gynecological examination. I was also upset that he did premarital exams on women and saw some women’s private parts before their husbands. This is a violation of the sacred bond between a husband and a wife. Look at two responses and rebuttals from a Christian counselor and Billy who is an expert on the Bible.

Concerning Dr. Cutrer's Levitical priest argument for performing gynecological exams on women, it is pretty lame. It assumes that the priests examined women (which they probably did for contagious diseases such as leprosy) but there is no indication in the Bible that they inspected female genitalia. The Hebrew people were far more modest than the surrounding nations. It would be unthinkable for them to examine women like a gynecologist does today. - Christian Counselor Who Has Worked With Men With Sexual Addictions

Two main issues are the heart of the argument here. - Billy

First, the argument is made that cross-gender exams are sanctioned by the precedent of the Old Testament priesthood. Using this precedent succeeds in either minimizing the Levitical priesthood by defining it as a social construct, or exalting the medical profession to God-ordained status. If the Levitical priesthood is only a social construct, without divine
appointment, then morality is a moot point, and there is no moral implication either way. This is more in line with an atheistic and Evolutionary approach to medicine and theology. To argue on the basis of social convention and historical precedent would define the moral argument as only subjective and cultural. If, on the other hand, one equates modern
medicine with a Biblical holy priesthood, serious theological questions must be posed. For example, are women allowed to be priestesses? Is the Levitical law still in effect? Is "Levitical" a certain bloodline, or is this a new spiritual concept? Are non-religious students allowed to become doctors?

The Biblical argument must be approached from two directions. If we understand that doctors are human, and that medicine is a pursuit of human science, doctors can never be viewed as not subject to the failings of any human pursuit or defined as separate from Biblical authority. They cannot exist outside either biblical morality or social law. First, is it ok for men, who are not the husband, to touch women in their intimate parts? Clearly, in most human endeavors, this is a rhetorical question. Why should it be different for the medical field? Biblical sanctions cannot be found for such activity. While assumptions may be drawn concerning the priesthood, doctors are not priests, and the drawing of assumptions is no basis for professionals executing their duties. In addition, creating Medicine as a new priesthood of Modern or Postmodern expression has serious historical and social consequences. Second, should women, who are Biblically exhorted to be "keepers at home" enter into a field of professionalism like medicine which has the potential to make them disobedient to the exhortation? Socially, this is a taboo question. For
this discussion, it is necessary to address, since, for women to have women available to tend to their medical needs, women must have access to education and licensing, and the Christian must be able to address the apparent contradiction. The consistent Biblical perspective, across the spectrum of Biblical narrative, is that women care for women. As science has progressed, and Modern institutions have been devised for licensing and
defining professionals, levels of training have been identified for human certification that is honored by title. What one does not see across that spectrum is cross-gender physical examination outside the context of marriage. If women who render care to women reach the levels of certification and title in our culture that brand them as Doctors, there is
nothing Biblically inconsistent with it. There is, however, something
Biblically inconsistent with cross-gender exams.

Second, with respect to the psychological reference to how men think, while men may think differently than women, it must also be remembered that men are the aggressors in the physical relationship. Rare is the man who can approach the idea of being asked to touch a naked female in her intimate parts in any context without a hint of sexuality entering his mind. Healthy men are just not built to ignore the urge to mate. Anecdotal evidence may be presented as proof of the ability of all men to ignore their urges, but, anecdotally, I know of a doctor whose goal throughout his high school years was to become a gynecologist so that he could touch women in their intimate parts. He is now a gynecologist.

Arguments for gender neutrality are generally made from the perspective of either superhuman capacity or callousness on the part of the medical community. While the first is clearly not true, the second is no recommendation.

I also think it would be helpful to consider the longer, bigger view, such as the history of medical practice before the day when women were trained in medicine. Millions of women and babies would have died without their intervention, even taking into account the services of midwives. To say it is wrong is to dishonor all that honorable, non-sexual work.

Rebuttal From Woman Committed to Modesty: The reason we did not have female gynecologists years ago was due to the fact that medical schools would not admit women. This was a HUGE mistake. I agree with you that many women and babies would have died without doctors. Rachel died after giving birth to Benjamin in the bible. A number of women have very high risk pregnancies so it would not be safe for them to give birth with midwives. I am thankful for improvements in the medical field such as C-Sections. But that does not mean that male gynecologists are okay. Only women should have been allowed to become gynecologists in the beginning. Medical school is to blame for this.

I encourage you to take time to research some history. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female gynecologist. Look at how she became a doctor because one of her dying friends who probably had uterine cancer was more comfortable with a female doctor. I admire Dr. Blackwell for fighting for the right to become the first female doctor.

Look at how a male medical student wrote an article about “Why Women Should Actively Seek Out a Male Gynecologist”. I disagree with him. However, he wrote about the historical progression of pelvic examination and how men were not allowed to examine women’s sexual organs before 1800s. This proves the point that men were actually not allowed to examine women’s private parts in the Bible. Midwives delivered babies. This author has it right that women were not allowed in medical schools and that’s why we only had male gynecologists for many years.

There is nowhere in the bible that says that it is okay for male doctors to examine private parts of women they are not married to. There were no pap smears in the Bible. Pap smears were not invented until around 1928. Midwives delivered babies in the bible as you know.


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