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Health Studies
Toba Bryant

2012-01-23 HLTC02H3 S Lecture 3: Sociological Approaches to Women’s Health • Assignment is on diversity analysis and looks at gender and focus on its application in regards to the employment of women o Define diversity analysis in your own words o What kind of policies a diversity analysis might recommend o And also further research in the area o Focus on women in employment as a determinant of health Lecture: • Criticisms of traditional epidemiological approaches o The focus on the biomedical model o Sex is a biological and gender is a social construction o Conflation of physiology o Focus on physiology and decontextualize broader context of women’s lives o Women often have different reactions and also different reactions b/w different groups of women o Doesn’t consider other factors that may affect women’s health outcomes o Evidence suggests that women’s lives and health is greatly structured by social events  Abuse/violence  Pregnancy  Cancers  Primary caregivers which would apply more stress on them  Occupational health hazards= high stress, low control (low pay and few benefits)  Bear the burden in single-parent families  Low socioeconomic status • Women live in longer periods of poverty than men  Puberty  Menopause  Unequal sharing of housework  Nursing  Administrative/clerical  Teaching  Depression • Anti-depressants may not work and contain a lot of side effects • In the long-run can lead to more depression • Addictive o Tendency to overmedicate women and this is a cause of the monopoly of pharmaceutical companies and marketing techniques  Presumption that women are naturally caring and nurturing and therefore they are more accepted in occupations where women are caregivers and nurturers • Emotional • Irrational • Inferior • Passive • Nurturer o Assumptions of the female gender and they are thought to be about biology but that is not the case but is led to the biomedical model to medicalize women’s bodies • Beyond the Concrete and Observable o Life Course/lifespan research approach:  Age and stages of roles and experiences of women and girls  Diverse influences on girls’ and women’s health  Causes, themes, and patterns on all age groups • Focus on their lifestyle behavior and not on the broader context that takes into account the broader context • Focus on health issues because of their biological sex o Critical Periods of the Life Course:  Foetal development  Birth  Nutrition, growth, and health in adulthood  Educational career  Leaving paternal home  Entering labour market  Establishing social and sexual relationships  Job loss or security  Parenthood  Episodes of illness  Labour market exit  Chronic sickness  Loss of full independence • Focus on social factors as well as biological factors but does not take into account race and gender differences that affect women’s health (gender-blind) • Conditions prior to birth and in childhood are health outcomes that affect the individual throughout their lives o Eg. Being in a low-income household, children are born w/low birth weight o Life-course approach to health and illness:  Early life: Critical (sensitive) period  Accumulation of exposures to positive and negative effects  Latent, pathway or cumulative effects • Experiencing material deprivation in childhood can have cumulative effects in later life  Social structures influence how much money a household has  Public policies and social structures also influence how much money households have o Latent Effects 1:  Specific biologic or developmental factors at sensitive periods lifelong effective regardless of later circumstances  The impacts of material deprivation in utero  Occurring prior to birth: • Nutrients, infection, smoking affect availability of oxygen to organs • Affect blood clo
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