Please answer the following questions as thoroughly as you can, using
examples, when asked for or when appropriate, to support or illustrate
Short Answer Questions:
1. Please explain the concept of medicalization. [3 marks]
Answer: Where more and greater areas of our lives and bodies are
given over to medical intervention and authority. For instance,
pregnancy and child birth.
2. Describe why, according to Durkheim, Protestants are more
susceptible to suicide than Catholics? What name does he give to the
type of suicide exhibited by Protestants? [5 marks].
• Doubt and uncertainty are a feature of the Protestant community
of followers (as opposed to the certainty of Catholicism).
• Doubt and uncertainty makes for internal divisions.
• The individual/individuality assumes a greater prominence in
• So if Protestantism concedes a greater freedom to individual
thought than Catholicism, it is because it has fewer common
beliefs and practices.
• Social integration, and the support Protestantism provides,
• The superiority of Protestantism with respect to suicide (i.e. the
higher rates of suicide among Protestants) results from its being
a less strongly integrated church than the Catholic church.
3. Please explain the difference between the concepts absolute
poverty and relative poverty, and the different ways in which they
impact population health. [4 marks]
Answer: Absolute poverty is a gross deficiency in basic living
conditions such as food, housing, recreation and other life amenities
and resources. Chronic stress is also a feature of absolute poverty.
Relative poverty has to do with one’s socio-economic position in
relation to the group. While absolute poverty results in poor health due
to severely limited access to resources (for example, malnutrition, poor
housing, etc), relative poverty is more of a psychological hardship tied
to feelings of inadequacy and envy in relation to those who are more
privileged. Relative poverty is a function of economic inequality.
4. Identify and discuss four variables (reasons) as to why women tend
to be more susceptible to HIV/AIDS infections. [6 marks] Answer: While biology plays a role in higher rates of infection
amongst women (reproductive tract infections; tears in genital tract
during intercourse), GRP plays an even bigger role.
• Women, in many situations, lack power and economic
independence to negotiate safe sex and insist on condom use.
• Especially, when sex is being exchanged for material benefit.
• Abused women in a cycle of violence, drug abuse and unwanted
• Double standards in relation to promiscuity whereby it’s
encouraged amongst men.
• Women are stigmatized for knowing about and demanding the
practice of safe sex.
5. According to the documentary, “The ‘F’ Word: Who Wants to be a
Feminist?,” what is the largest, and most unrecognized, sector in any
economy? How is that sector linked to the concept of the “double
shift”? [2 marks]
Answer: Unpaid work (in the home). Because women are still largely
responsible for unpaid work in the home even when they work full-time
outside the home, they are then burdened with a “double shift”.
6. True or False. According to the lectures and the course text, good
health care is sufficient for a healthy population. Please explain. [3
Answer: False. Good health care is only one of the social determinants
for a healthy population. It is possible to have good health care and