Presentation on theme: "Gender inequalities in health"— Presentation transcript:
1 Gender inequalities in health Week 18Sociology of Health and Illness
2 Recap Thought about how health and illness are structured by society Considered the ‘sick role’, medicalisation, surveillance medicine and ‘lay’ understandings of healthConsidered different explanations about the impact of social class on health
3 OutlineConsider the evidence for an association between gender and healthLook at completing explanationsBiologicalSocialStructural
4 Gender DifferencesGender differences in health are often related to the maxim:Women get sicker but men die quickerSome evidence of this, but complex picture
5 Mortality DifferenceIn the UK, women generally life longer than men (National Statistics online)Life expectancyat birth:by sex in the UK
6 Health care usageMore women than men consult their GP National Statistics onlineConsultationswith an NHS GPby sex and age2001/02
7 Limiting illnessOther statistics give a different picture National Statistics online2001 CensusPeople inprivatehouseholdswith a long-termillness
8 Gender differencesWhat do you think might account for the different levels of gender differences in the 3 areas:MortalityHealth care usageMorbidity
9 Explaining Gender Differences There are 3 different groups of explanations:BiologicalSocial RolesStructural factors
10 Biological Explanations Biological explanations focus on genetic and physiological differencesMale and female bodies are differentBut mortality and morbidity gaps change over time and between placesSo this does not see to be asufficient explanation
11 Social RolesThe construction of normative ideas about masculinity and femininity has implications for healthDifferent risk behavioursAlcohol, smokingTraffic Accidents major case ofyoung male deathGendered workOccupational risks, domestic labour, unregulated markets
12 Do you think women and men’s lifestyles and work can account for gendered differences?
13 Social Roles Social relationships are also gendered Women’s responsibility for ‘care’ includesmaintaining the family’s healthWomen’s roles in the family and communityOlder single men more vulnerable to isolation
14 Social Roles Gendered roles in reporting Women and men are socialised to experience bodily sensations differentlyWomen say how they feel, men report physical sensationsMen may be more reluctant to seek medical advice
15 Do you think there are gendered differences in the experiences of bodily sensations? If so, how might this impact on health?
16 Social Roles Gendered diagnosis Women and men may get different diagnosisPsychiatric disorder rather than Chronic Fatigue SyndromeDifferences found in the prescription of drugsDifferences found in treatment
17 Patriarchal medicine?Women’s bodies are deemed to be inherently pathologicalDefined by their unstable reproductive bodiesThe medicalisation of menstruation, pregnancy and menopause leads to higher health care usageRemoving appointments related to reproduction evens out the statistics
18 Structural factorsMaterial circumstances make a different to health outcomesDifferences between men and womenPower and resources in the home can leave women disadvantagedFeminization of povertyDifferences between womenIntersection with social class
19 Summary Considered the relationship between gender and health Gendered roles and relationships have an important impact on healthThis intersects with other areas of social disadvantage
20 Next weekContinue to consider health inequalities by focusing on ethnicityLook at explanations for ethnic differences and experiences of health patternsWhat impact does racism have?