Gender and Health Revisited

Chapter
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

During the last 4 decades, we have seen a tremendous expansion in what we know about the health profiles of men and women. In the broadest terms, women enjoy an advantage over men when it comes to life expectancy and mortality but are disadvantaged when it comes to morbidity or illness. Put differently, women can expect to live longer than men, but their lives are more likely to be lived in poor health (Allendale and Hunt 2000). This general finding has garnered much attention, debate, and scrutiny in recent years, with the result being renewed interest in determining the exact size and scope of gendered health disparities as well as identifying the mechanisms that contribute to differences between men and women. Several key questions guide contemporary research, including but not limited to: Are women uniformly sicker than men across the range of mental and physical health outcomes? Does this vary by age and position in the life course? Is it the same for men and women in different racial/ethnic groups? How do biology, social structural position, behavioral, and lifestyle factors combine to differentially shape the mental and physical health of men and women?

Keywords

Cholesterol Obesity Migration Arthritis Depression 

Notes

We thank Georgiana Bostean for her valuable help with producing the figures for this chapter.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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