Assess the Relationship between Gender and Health | SGBA e-Learning Resource
Gender specific symptoms of ill-health . but predispose us to others is not only important for understanding the relationship between gender and health. An extensive literature documents the relation between gender divisions and women's health.7 Researchers have explored a wide range of. Papers oriented towards gender and health with social theories on relationship between gender inequality and gender-based violence and.
Papers oriented towards gender and health with social theories on gender are still scarce, despite the fruitful results, as some of the papers in this cluster show, for instance in Gibbs et al. We believe that this mirrors the research field of gender and health, and that new aspects are still to be covered. In this editorial, we briefly summarise and categorise the included papers and also hint at gaps and lacking perspectives when it comes to gender and health.
We view gender as a central analytical category in the studies of health. There has for a long time been an urge for integrating theoretical gender approaches into health research 4 — 7. A variety of theoretical approaches are at hand when dealing with research on gender and health and we agree with other researchers that gender is both relational and intersectorial 78.
Gender Differences in Determinants and Consequences of Health and Illness
When viewing gender as part of social, institutional, and structural dimensions of human lives, it also becomes evident that the links and interconnections between different power structures are at hand. It matters whether one lives as a woman, a man, or other sexual identities.
All this influences health, not only at the individual level but also at all levels of human life. Gender research also problematises other expressions of sex and gender such as transsexualism, transgender, and queer perspectives. Therefore, we do not regard gender as a binary category with men and women only but also regard it as socially constructed and contextual.
Gender is something we live, perform, and construct. However, as researchers in health and ill-health, we cannot disregard that the body is a biological entity sex as well as a socially constructed phenomenon gender. Fausto-Sterling has been vital for theorising sex and gender and how to think about them as integral, not separate entities 9. The papers included in this cluster that deal with sexual and reproductive health and rights come from different settings and take both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
They offer examples of how gender equality is connected with different sexual and reproductive health issues, such as condom use, adolescent pregnancies, maternal-child health, and sexual health.
They conclude that sexual and reproductive health is central to gender equity in health in the region, and that interventions to improve it have to be enacted not only within the health system but also outside the system In the field of maternal and child health, the paper by Mason et al.
In the field of young people's sexual and reproductive health, Mehra et al.
Sex, Gender and Health — Medicus Mundi Schweiz
They show that women are at higher risk of inconsistent condom use, and relate these findings with gender—power relations, proposing that the feminisation of the HIV epidemic in this setting could be driven by gender inequalities They found that although some of the measures of gender inequality were not associated with unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, the role of gender power was evident in that teenage girls who experienced physical violence were more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy Finally, in the field of sexual health, DeMeyer et al.
Their cross-sectional study with young people in Bolivia and Ecuador reveals that more egalitarian gender attitudes are related to higher current use of contraceptives within the couple, more positive experiences and ideas about sexual intercourse, and better communication about sexuality with the partner among sexually active and sexually non-active adolescents Violence against women or intimate partner violence IPV is addressed in three articles.
Women's lived experiences of coping with domestic violence in rural Indonesia is described by Hayati et al. The interviewed women faced lack of institutional support Edin and Nilsson highlight the specific circumstances of living in violent relations and becoming pregnant. The study is based in Sweden and they conclude that Swedish health care institutions and maternal care need to become more aware of the way pregnant women exposed to IPV express their situation, which often is indirect and difficult to understand In a cross-sectional survey, Burgos-Soto et al.
The prevalence was significantly higher among infected women Five articles deal with questions about men, masculinities, and health. They concern traditional masculinities of dominance and power as well as emerging, new forms of masculinities, of which the former are regarded to be detrimental to both men's and women's health. In the Nicaraguan context, Torres et al.
Assess the Relationship between Gender and Health
From the Ecuadorian context, Goicolea et al. The main finding is that the young men take a stance in which they condemn violence whereas at the same time they do not really reject sexism Inlife expectancy at birth was 41 years for men and 43 for women. Since that time, life expectancy has improved dramatically, particularly for women.
Most of the improvement has occurred in the twentieth century and is attributable to the dramatic decline in infectious disease mortality. It is important to remember that men stil1live longer than women in some less developed countries e. India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistanwhere infectious disease remains an important threat to health, where potentially harmful environmental and occupational exposures are unregulated, and where women have more children at younger ages in the face of poorer nutrition.
But women are sicker? In north America and western and northern Europe, men's higher mortality is often contrasted with women's greater morbidity. In adulthood, women are often said to rate their health less positively, to report more physical and psycho-social symptoms, to consult health professionals more frequently, to report more days of disability or sickness absence from work, and to have a higher level of conditions which are not life-threatening than do men.
Gender and Health
It was sometimes suggested that this presented a paradox: More recently, people have argued that this picture has become over-generalised, and that we have drifted too far towards a blanket expectation of difference.
Gender specific symptoms of ill-health Plenty of studies have shown differences in some aspects of health. Certain symptoms such as headaches, tiredness are more often reported by women, and as a group, women have a higher prevalence for some kinds of mental distress.
The British Health and Lifestyle Survey showed an excess in women of depression and problems with nerves, of varicose veins, of migraine, and haemorrhoids at most ages, and of arthritis and rheumatism at older ages; but it also suggested a male excess of digestive disorders, asthma and back trouble in younger adulthood, and as expected a male excess in heart disease at older ages. The proportion reporting that they have a chronic illness is very similar for men and women up until the age of 74 years.
This is partly because of the difference in the age distribution in this oldest age group by sex. It also bears witness to the fact that many women may survive longer than men, but that at these later ages their healthy life expectancy may not be that different from men's. Perhaps it is not surprising that the evidence should be so mixed.
There is no doubt that men and women differ biologically in some ways, but any biological differences that do exist are mediated by a complex interplay of exposures which are socially determined. Gender, as well as socio-economic status, continues to structure opportunities and life chances.Can you have OPPOSITE SEX friendships while in a healthy relationship?
For example, although the difference between men's and women's participation in the formal labour market has narrowed in the last two decades, men are still more likely to work full-time in different types of jobs see Figure 1. Census and Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics Explaining the difference A number of possible explanations for differences in men's and women's health have been put forward.
These include biological risks, acquired risks relating to different behaviours or exposures broadly defineddifferences in the propensity to recognise illness and to report symptoms of ill-health, and different access to, and use of, health care. Some of these are premised on the different social roles that men and women experience, others are based on assumed differences between the sexes.
Challenging assumptions There are plenty of widespread assumptions about men's and women's health and health behaviour which are based on surprisingly little evidence. For example, not many studies have examined directly whether women really are more ready to recognise and act on symptoms of illness, and those that have, provide little support.