HLTC02H3 Women and Health: Past and Present
Lecture 2 Outline:
Sociological Approaches to Women’s Health
Assignment: chapter 5. May need to read it a few times. Gender diversity. Further reserahc? Intro.
Paper. Gender analysis. Diversity analysis. Employment as determination of women’s health
Cirticissm of tradiontal epidemiological approaches: primarily concerned with bioogy. Equates sex
and gender. Sex is biology, gender is a social construction. Biology doesn’t consider the
experience es of women’s lives. Exclusively focused on biology or physiology. Traditional.
Deconsextualize. Don’t take into account broader contwext of women’s lives. Depoliticize as well.
For years it was only men in the smaples of studies. It done’st necwessialry apply however. They
respond idffernetly. But there are differences between men and women, and differences between
groups of women as well. What are appropriate responses? Women’s health is not just about
biology, buth te social factors as well.
What happens to women? girls and women. Abuse, violence, pregnancy. Specific types of cancers.
Primary caregivers. Occupational health hazard. Women-led families. Poverty. Unequal sharing of
house work. Mostly in administrative positions. Nursing.clerical work. Teaching. High stress, low
control, low pay, no benefits. Earn less than men, 66 of men’s earnings. Wage gap. Passive.
Emotional. Irrational. Presdcribed anti depressnats: highly addictive, may not work, just dangerous
What happens to men? Independence. Power. Caring, nurturing. Risk takers. Authority. Logical,
rational. Protectors. strong
We need to look beyond. Beyond the concrete and observable nature of epidemoogy, epidemiology
is concwerend with the medical approach.
I. Life-Course Approach
a. Life course/life span research approach
i. Age and stages of roles and experiences of women and girls
ii. Diverse influences on girls’ and women’s health
iii. Causes, themes and patterns on all age groups
iv. Critical periods of the life course
1. Foetal development
3. Nurttion, growth and health in adulthood
4. Educational career
5. Leaving parental home
6. Entering labour market
7. Ebaslihing social nd sexual relationships
8. Job loss or insecurity
10. Epidoes of illness
11. Labor market exit
12. Chornic sickness
13. Loss of full indepdeence
v. So not just reproductive issues, broadens the scope. Not us concerned with
lofie course events, or biological events, concerned with the experience
people have once they ware in the world world or social world. What we do
know is that the conditions prior to birth, then once a child is born have a
cvery significant impact, esepcialyl convcerned with those who grow up in
low income households. Contributes to stress, does affect the developing
fetus. Children in the poorest household do tend to have low birth weight,
have the most problems. Lower you are in social hireacrhy, low income, the
higher your chance of having a low birthweight baby. Low brithweight
babies are associated with problems.
b. Life course approach to health and illness
i. Early life: cirtic al (sensitive) period.
ii. Accumulation of exposure to positive or negative effects
1. High income households don’t haaave to wwworry, ppparenttts
havvve everythinn. A child wwwho doesn’t grow up in those
ocnditions, doesn’t have those kind ooof conditionnns…
interrrvennne in hiiigh risssk househhholllddds, ensuuure everyone
is doing it.
iii. Latent, pathway or cumulative effects.
Birth Childhood adulthood Old age
Smoking/diet/exercise jobstress Inadequate
Atherosclerosis CVD Reduced
Not enough opportunities. No books, no support. There are socioeconomic
influences on cardiocvascular diseae form a lifecourse perserpective. Worst
ocondtioins, lwo pain. Low income, high inequality.