Class And Gender Inequalities In Health Sociology Essay


This essay aims to understand why there are wellness inequalities between both genders and the societal categories. This will be achieved by analyzing the findings of sociological research, whilst discoursing the chief jobs with how wellness inequalities are measured. The cultural and structural accounts on why wellness inequalities occur will besides be evaluated.

In 2009, The House of Commons Health Committee published a study, which found that even though people ‘s wellness was bettering in all societal groups, the spread between the wellness of the societal categories had widened. The ground stated for this, was that the wellness of those in higher societal categories was bettering far quicker than the wellness of those in the lower societal categories. The figures within in the study showed that if you are in a higher societal group you are more likely to populate longer than person in the lower societal categories. The study besides stated that non merely do poorer people die younger ; they besides suffer more old ages of sick wellness. Access to wellness attention for the lower categories is besides uneven and those who are hapless, aged and handicapped are less likely to have proper intervention than those who are immature and able-bodied. A study done by the Learning Disabilities Observatory alleged that this was because the aged and handicapped were unable to entree wellness attention due to decreased mobility, being unable to pass on wellness jobs to professionals and their carers neglecting to place wellness jobs. ( Eric Emerson, 2010 )

The Health Committee study besides illustrates the interrelatednesss of gender inequalities and socioeconomic position. On a geographical degree females who were born in the more flush countries of London, such as Kensington and Chelsea had a significantly higher life anticipation ( 87.8 old ages ) than females who were born in Glasgow ( 77.1 old ages ) , which has the lowest life anticipation figure in the UK. Subsequently, even though the life anticipation for males and females in societal category cubic decimeter ( professional ) and societal category V ( unskilled manual ) has improved compared to old old ages, the disparity between them, is still widening. ( House of Commons, Health Committee, 2009 )

A cultural account was besides given for why work forces ‘s life anticipation is more badly affected than adult females ‘s life anticipation. It was suggested by the Men ‘s Health Forum that work forces are more likely to take hazards with their wellness due to them seeking to get by with emphasis and conforming to function theoretical accounts in society. Work force, compared to adult females besides make hapless usage of primary attention services such as pharmaceuticss and GP surgeries. This is thought to be because work forces find it culturally unacceptable to discourse their wellness jobs. Work forces are besides more likely to decease of wellness jobs associating to their weight, as they are less able than adult females to place when they are fleshy, as weight is seen as a ‘women ‘s issue ‘ . ( Memorandum by the work forces wellness forum, 2008 )

However, even though the information found within the Health Committee ‘s study looks converting the bulk of the information is based on morbidity rates, which are non ever dependable, as non everyone who gets ill may describe their unwellness. Even human mistake and unwellness non being recorded accurately can intend that informations based grounds of wellness inequalities can be undependable.

A old study done in 2004 by Hilary Graham, featured grounds that suggested that if your parents were hapless or in poorness so you were already predisposed to holding hapless wellness and holding a higher mortality and morbidity rate. This was due to female parents who are hapless non being able to afford alimentary nutrient and non being able to entree wellness attention. This in bend can take to babes being born with a lower birth weight, and hapless cognitive and physical development. This can act upon farther jobs in wellness as an grownup and hence, farther inequalities in wellness than person who was born to parents with a higher income. The findings of the study done by Graham besides showed that those populating with unwellness or an damage were less likely to avoid economic adversities due to their persisting wellness troubles and the favoritism they faced, intending they were less likely to keep long term employment. In bend, those who did belong to a higher socioeconomic group had a far better opportunity of remaining in employment even when faced with sick wellness. It was besides suggested within the study that socioeconomic place affects an person ‘s wellness indirectly by act uponing ‘intermediary factors ‘ such as their place and environment ( e.g. hapless life and on the job conditions ) and psychosocial factors such as their emphasis degrees and relationships within their household. ( Graham, 2004 )

On analyzing Grahams ‘ study, there are certain unfavorable judgments that can be made on the dependability of her findings. For case, all the informations that featured in her study is secondary ; none of it is her ain. Therefore, the cogency and dependability of the findings featured in her study is merely every bit good as the people she collected it from. However, the research she did usage was up -to – day of the month and from believable resources.

There are cultural and structural accounts that besides help us understand why there are inequalities in wellness between the genders and societal categories. In dealingss to gender inequalities in wellness the cultural/ behavioral account suggests that work forces are far more likely to endure sick wellness and dice younger than adult females due to function theoretical accounts in society and the demand for them to experience masculine. Because of this, immature work forces in peculiar are more likely to smoke, imbibe intoxicant and take drugs. A higher ingestion of intoxicant and drug pickings in peculiar is thought to be a premier ground why immature work forces are more likely to perpetrate self-destruction. Women, on the other manus have been socialised to pay greater attending to their wellness and organic structure as it is seen as a manner to specify their muliebrity. However, more adult females suffer from eating upsets than work forces do. ( Waugh, C. et al 2008 ) Many women’s rightists believe that adult females no longer hold control over the wellness attention they receive, and any wellness attention they are given is suited to physicians and hospital hours. They besides argue that adult females are left to endure at the custodies of male physicians, who are more likely to name female patient ‘s symptoms as that of a mental unwellness. ( Browne, 2008 )

The structural/ mercenary account for inequalities in wellness has suggested that adult females are more likely to acquire sick because of their function in society as health professionals because they are more likely to endure from emphasis and mental unwellness. Womans who do parttime work are besides more likely to endure from sick wellness as they are less good paid and have fewer fringe benefits than adult females who are able to make full clip work. Work force on the other manus frequently do occupations that are unsafe, nerve-racking and physically demanding ( e.g. warehouse work, armed forces occupations etc. ) The structural account besides suggests that those who are in the lower societal categories are more likely to endure from sick wellness because they are less able to prosecute in healthy lifestyle picks due to miss of income. They are besides more likely to make manual occupations and have less money to purchase good quality nutrients. Lack of conveyance may do it harder to entree medical attention and emphasis of non holding adequate money can take to farther wellness jobs, which may finally take to unemployment. Marxist ‘s claim capitalist society causes people to go sick as it aims to function merely the higher categories. Bing unable to work is seen as the definition of illness, whilst Doctors are seen as agents of societal control with the power to subscribe people off work. Yet non working can every bit do people ill by increasing the hazard of sick wellness, depression and self-destruction. ( Kirby, M. et al 1997 )

Both accounts are every bit valid ; nevertheless, the structural account looks at the wider image of why people in lower categories or certain genders are more likely to endure from high morbidity and mortality rates, as they can non afford healthy life styles like the higher categories. The cultural account gives insight into why one gender more than the other seeks wellness attention and why informations for morbidity if higher for adult females than work forces yet mortality degrees are higher than work forces than in adult females. ( Martin Holborn, 2004 )

In decision, the findings in both the studies from the Health Committee and by Hilary Graham both show that the lower your societal category, the higher your hazard of enduring from hapless wellness and lower life anticipation. Furthermore, the cultural account gives ground to why work forces are less likely to see the physician due to desiring to conform to masculine stereotypes, whereas adult females are encouraged to look after their wellness. Alternatively, the structural account gives greater penetration into how your societal category can impact your wellness by restricting your entree to healthcare and the agencies to populating a healthier life style.