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This chapter both explains the concepts of sex and gender and discusses why and how sex and gender matter to public health. It describes and broadly examines the ways in which sex and gender interact with other determinants of health and how they influence health behaviours and outcomes. In addition, this chapter identifies sex- and gender-based analysis SGBA as a tool to help researchers, policy makers and program advisors understand and address the influence of sex and gender on health. SGBA can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services and programs by showing how to create supportive conditions for better health and reduce specific risks and barriers to achieving optimal health for all Canadians.
Sex refers to the biological characteristics such as anatomy e. Footnote Gender refers to the array of socially and culturally constructed roles, relationships, attitudes, personality traits, behaviours, values and relative power and influence that society ascribes to two sexes on a differential basis. Footnote - Footnote Sex is a multi-dimensional construct that encompasses characteristics such as hormones, genes, anatomy and physiology.
Footnote - Footnote Footnote - Footnote Most of us experience or embody gender on a spectrum or as a continuum of characteristics and behaviours rather than as mutually exclusive. While gender and sex are inter-related, sex neither determines gender, nor gender sex. For example, someone born female might have a masculine gender identity. FootnoteFootnoteFootnote - Footnote Gender has multiple dimensions including, but not limited to, gender roles, gender identities and gender relations.
Gender identity refers to how we define ourselves on the gender continuum as man, woman or another identity in a spectrum of gender identities. This identity can affect our feelings and behaviours. FootnoteFootnote Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation — one can identify as female and be sexually attracted to women, men, neither or both. Most individuals develop a gender identity within the context of societal prescriptions about the appropriate expression of gender for their biological sex as female or male. In other words, as we learn to think of ourselves as female or male, we also learn what behaviours, emotions, relationships, opportunities and work are considered appropriate for females and males.
Gender roles are the means by which we express or enact our gender identity. Gender relations affect us at all levels of society and can either restrict or open opportunities for us. Footnote Evidence shows that gender norms — social expectations of appropriate roles and behaviours for males and females — influence overall health and well-being, as does the social reproduction of these norms in institutions and cultural practices. FootnoteFootnote A variety of key social institutions, such as the family, culture, media, education, law, and religious and political establishments shape gender expectations, experiences, roles and relationships.
These societal perceptions can also serve to increase pressure and stress for females and males who are either unable to — or discouraged from — fulfilling or assuming certain roles and responsibilities because they do not fit the prescribed norm. FootnoteFootnoteFootnote Gender norms and roles influence attitudes and behaviours in many areas, including relationships, parenting, schooling, work and health practices e.
FootnoteFootnote Gender roles can also create economic and cultural pressures that affect the health of females and males differently. Footnote Gender norms concerning work roles, the division of paid and unpaid labour and the occupations of males versus females can result in different exposures and vulnerabilities. These, in turn, result in varying health needs, behaviours and outcomes. For example, women are more often the primary caregiver i. FootnoteFootnote - Footnote Public health serves to support, promote and protect the health of all Canadians.
Footnote 4 It strives to ensure that all people — from birth to the end of life — enjoy universal and equitable access to the basic conditions that are necessary to achieve optimal health and well-being. Footnote 5Footnote 6 By helping to provide opportunities to achieve optimal health and well-being, more Canadians can live longer, healthier lives. Footnote Sex can be a factor that influences health, for example, men and women may show different symptomology for diseases and conditions and may respond differently to drugs and therapeutics due to physiological and hormonal differences as well as differences in body composition.
Footnote Some diseases and conditions may exclusively affect women or men, may be more prevalent in either of the sexes or may affect men and women differently. Gender is another important variable. It can affect health as a result of the different roles and responsibilities ascribed to people according to their gender.
FootnoteFootnote Exploring gender can be complex due to the dynamic and changeable nature of the social and cultural environment in which Canadians live. Cultural norms and values can shape and determine gender, and such norms and values differ from place to place and evolve over time. Applying a sex and gender lens to health can help identify how both influence health status.
Footnote 18 It is crucial to understand and appreciate the impacts of sex and gender and to attend to these impacts in public health. Footnote Doing so facilitates better health for all Canadians and encourages more comprehensive health research, policies and programs. This in public health interventions that are more effective and inclusive. Consideration and integration of sex and gender into health research, policies and programs is critical to progress and advancement in population health.
Footnote 11FootnoteFootnote Taking a population health perspective that is cognizant of sex and gender differences can increase knowledge and encourage awareness and participation. Doing so will aid researchers and policy makers in developing promising practices that will help address health issues for all Canadians. Sex and gender interact with a variety of other determinants of health to influence individual and population health.
Footnote Each determinant of health can, in turn, influence health risks, opportunities, behaviours and outcomes at every stage of life. Footnote 10 In addition, these factors intersect with each other, creating complex and varied contexts within which people make choices and enact behaviours that ultimately also affect health outcomes across and within populations. Footnote 10Footnote - FootnoteFootnoteFootnote FootnoteFootnote Socio-economic factors can contribute to inequalities in health outcomes not only between women and men, but among and between different groups of women and men.Canada's Sex Trade Part 2
Footnote These factors can influence opportunities for good health and well-being. Footnote 10FootnoteFootnote Each determinant has the potential to influence a person differently depending on their sex and gender. Footnote To enable all Canadians to achieve good health and well-being, people need opportunities to access the conditions and services necessary to achieve optimal health.
Health inequalities are differences in health status experienced by various people or groups in society. These can be the result of genetic and biological factors, choices made or by chance, but often they are due to unequal access to key factors that influence health, for example, income, education, employment and social support.
Diversity refers to variations or dissimilarities between and among people. It is often used to denote observable differences, such as visible ethnic variations in a population and distinctions in age or location of residence. However, diversity can also include differences that are not always evident, such as sexual orientation and level of education.
Canadians constitute a diverse population marked by differences in income, living conditions, geographic location, level of education, employment, ability, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, Aboriginal status and racial and cultural identities. Diversity can influence opportunities for health; exposures and susceptibility to risk; and access to health, social services and supports. It can also contribute to increased risk or affect exposures to various risk factors, diseases and health outcomes, ultimately resulting in inequalities in health status.
Footnote 22FootnoteFootnote Gender mainstreamingas defined by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programs, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women and men an integral part of de, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally and inequalities are not perpetuated.
The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality.
Sex- and gender-based analysis SGBA is a systematic approach to research, policies and programs that explores biological sex-based and sociocultural gender-based similarities and differences between women and men, boys and girls. Footnote 22Footnote Gender mainstreaming in public health is a process of working towards systematic and consistent consideration of both sex and gender in the development, implementation and evaluation of studies, policies and programs in the interest of advancing health equality.
While many recognize the benefits of applying a sex and gender lens to public health action, some challenges remain. Footnote Being a man or woman can have a considerable impact on our resources and opportunities for good health, exposure and susceptibility to health risks, access to and effectiveness of health services and programs, and overall health outcomes. SGBA allows for critical examination of research, policies and programs to ensure they meet the diverse needs of all women and men, girls and boys.
Footnote 22FootnoteFootnoteFootnote SGBA is consistent with the population health approach in that it analyzes variations in health status by sex and gender. It also demands consideration of the different ways determinants of health influence the health of men and women, boys and girls. Footnote By asking these questions, SGBA can help reduce inaccurate assumptions and lead to positive changes in how programs are offered and how we can most effectively allocate resources.
SGBA is both necessary and possible in all areas of health research, planning and policy-making. It can help foster a deeper understanding of how women and men differ in patterns of illness, disease and treatment. It can also advance research and development on how these factors and patterns are influenced by social structures, experiences, norms and culture.
FootnoteFootnote When this information is then applied to practice, it can encourage appropriate and effective developments, recommendations and interventions, ultimately in an effort to promote, improve and maintain positive health outcomes for all women and men, girls and boys and those who do not strictly identify themselves using these. Footnote It helps ensure that interventions reach those at greatest risk and are appropriate to their needs, which improves both effectiveness and efficiency.
It can help to secure the best possible health for all Canadians. Sex and gender are critically important considerations to all areas of public health including research, programs and policies.Asking 100 Girls For Sex (Social Experiment)
Understanding the relationships among sex, gender and the other determinants of health and how they intersect to influence health opportunities, risks and outcomes is critical to achieving optimal health and well-being for all Canadians. You will not receive a reply. For enquiries. Table of Contents Next. Chapter 2: Sex, Gender and Public Health Clarifying sex and gender Why sex and gender matter to public health Sex, gender and the broader determinants of health Sex- and gender-based analysis: a tool Summary This chapter both explains the concepts of sex and gender and discusses why and how sex and gender matter to public health.
Clarifying sex and gender Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, sex and gender have different meanings. Footnote 22 Gender refers to the array of socially and culturally constructed roles, relationships, attitudes, personality traits, behaviours, values and relative power and influence that society ascribes to two sexes on a differential basis.
FootnoteFootnoteFootnote - Footnote Gender has multiple dimensions including, but not limited to, gender roles, gender identities and gender relations. Footnote Gender roles are the means by which we express or enact our gender identity. FootnoteFootnoteFootnote Gender norms and roles influence attitudes and behaviours in many areas, including relationships, parenting, schooling, work and health practices e.Social sex Canada
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