Assess explanations of gender and ethnic inequalities in health chances

Published: 2021-08-07 06:15:07
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Category: Hegemonic Masculinity, Ethnic

Type of paper: Essay

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* Using your knowledge assess explanations of gender and ethnic inequalities in HEALTH CHANCES
* Write about the health chances for the different situations within society.
Health Chances- Can be defined as the likelihood and possibility for an individual to become ill or unwell in view of his/hers overall health and well-being also considering the affect on an individual in view of the different situations within society.

Health Chances is sometimes overlooked in view of the different situations within society. It can be said firmly that both gender and ethnicity unfortunately create inequalities in health chances within society. Health Chances clearly vary in these two situations and as a result have caused problems within society.
Statistics in Gender inequality in health clearly show a high percentage for women in both Morbidity and Mortality
Firstly, gender results to inequalities in health chances due to various factors and situations within society. Women's position in society affects their experience of health chances. Women indeed can be said to be more open and co-operative than men in view of their general health and well-being. Women tend to visit doctors more often than men. Statistics show that women visit their G.P. 5x a year whilst men tend to visit their G.P. approximately 3x a year.
Furthermore, the health of women may appear to be worse than that of men because their longer life expectancy increases the risk of chronic illnesses, senile dementia and therefore the regular use of medical services. However, statistics do indicate that women suffer more chronic disorders in all age categories. The common saying 'women are sicker men die quicker' is very realistic, statistics clearly show that women live longer and so are more prone to getting ill, as part of getting old.
Moreover, women's position in society affects their health chances; women have the burden of childcare, which affects them both physically and mentally. Also, domestic labour, poor employment conditions because of gender discrimination, greater exposure to poor housing as a result of poor employment, greater exposure to poverty also as a result as poor employment. Women position in society should be regarded very highly as they are situated in such conditions which lead to ' housewife syndromes' acknowledged by Jessie Bernard causing ill health. It is the woman's job in society i.e. in the family, to make decisions, bring up the children which is quite stressful along with absorbing and taking on the stress of other family members such as the children, husband which overall in my opinion is the reason to why more women get ill. Furthermore, Women in society generally tend to occupy jobs such; working in the home, the NHS & social services which are generally not highly paid occupations and the fact that these jobs are a lot more stressful, and according to feminism sociologists they are unrecognised and always undervalued.
Moreover, there are obviously differences in the health experiences of men and women that can be attributed to biology, particularly those concerned with reproduction. Hormonal differences can account for some variation in the occurrence of particular illnesses e.g. higher rate of heart disease amongst men before the age of 50 can partly be accounted for by the lack of protection provided by the hormone oestrogen. Genetic and biological research points to certain gender to being more prone to certain illnesses and diseases. Women suffer from certain sorts of health problems because of their distinctive biology e.g. pregnancy and childbirth, contraception and abortion, menstruation and menopause, breast and cervical cancer. They are also more likely to suffer from autoimmune disease e.g. arthritis and degenerative disease (because they live longer), but on the other hand men suffer more heart disease.
Health and Ethnicity, the problem of definition; do we use race, ethnicity, or specific culture groups, e.g. Punjabi to define health and ethnicity. Ethnicity results to inequalities in health chances due to various factors and situations within society. Genetic and biological research clearly portray the fact that certain ethnic minorities are more prone to having certain diseases, e.g. Haemophilia is quite common in European men, whilst Sickle Cell Anaemia is quite common in Afro-Caribbean's. However, we could argue that not all health illnesses are necessarily related to ethnicity, for instance, heart disease, bronchitis and strokes which all have a high incidence in the Asian community are linked to socio-economic factors not ethnicity.
Moreover, diet/lifestyle/traditions and cultural values also affect the outcomes of health chances within society, i.e. Asian communities e.g. prenatal mortalities is high for Asian women but this may be because many do not attend anti-natal classes. Also, diet- high rate in the use 'GHEE' in the Asian cooking relating to heart disease. However, many Asian diets particularly the Vegetarian dishes are healthier than they counter parts in the white community.
Furthermore, low social class, poor and under-paid occupations, unemployment and dangerous/hazardous jobs are common within the ethnic minority society, which result to poor health conditions resulting to the worst health chances. Which in effect are being persevered through generations resulting to inequality in health within the ethnic minority society. Although the materialist argument is more successful than either the genetic or cultural approaches in explaining health differences between ethnic groups it still fails to adequately explain why they should be so particularly disadvantaged. For example when comparing black and white sharing the same social class position black people are more vulnerable to unemployment.
Racism in the private and public housing markets has also been shown to compound inequalities generated by social class. Racism, therefore, is further constraint on the access to conditions of life are more conductive to good health. Also racism may be a reason for a higher death/violence rate in the ethnic minority groups. However, the likelihood of contribution of racism to ill health is complex and varied. Although, high rates of unemployment, redundancy, excessive shift work, compulsion over time and un-social working hours are some issues within the ethnic minority society which contribute to the overall of affect health chances.
Finally, both gender and ethnicity create inequalities in health chances within society, as discussed. Some of which can be regarded as acceptable i.e. unavoidable, whilst others can be clearly acknowledged as discriminating, etc.

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