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  • School of Public Health

    AG 8: Demography and health

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Gender gaps in health and survival (G-HEALTH)

The female advantage in life expectancy is one of the most consistent findings in demographic, epidemiological, and health-based social research. While the findings are less consistent, research also tends to show a female disadvantage in health across subjective and objective measures and nations with very different cultures, economies, and social systems. These apparently paradoxical findings have led researchers to speculate, “Why are women sicker, while men die quicker?”

Two X chromosomes, female sex hormones, greater immunocompetence in women, and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors in men have all been shown to play important roles in explaining gender gaps in survival. Socio-economic advantages in men and traditionally masculine behaviors have been suggested to explain women’s greater morbidity. But is this so simple and static? Substantial diversity in the direction and magnitude of gender differences in health and longevity highlight the need for more integrative and inter-disciplinary approaches to studying gender differences in health and survival.

G-HEALTH addresses with the following overarching questions: 1) How consistent are gender differences in health and survival across health measures, across high-, middle-, and low-income countries, and across various subpopulations within a country? 2) How does gender shape health reporting, treatment-seeking behavior and compliance with treatment? 3) How do men and women modify their health behaviors after they experience a major life event?

 

Research Project: Gender Differences in Health and Mortality: Comparative Approach

The first pillar of G-HEALTH investigates differences in health and mortality between men and women across various health measures, across high-, middle-, and low-income countries, and across various subpopulations within countries. more

 

Research project: Gender Inequalities in Health and Mortality: Role of Biology and Social Factors

We aim to understand whether and why women better survive stressful times, such as receiving a serious diagnosis or experiencing a death in the family. This project also investigates the role of gender in shaping health reporting and treatment-seeking behaviors, and compliance to treatment. more


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