Send to

Choose Destination
Soc Sci Med. 1991;32(5):579-90.

Gender differences in health related behaviour: some unanswered questions.

Author information

Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


To date, no single explanation has accounted for discrepancies between male and female morbidity rates and health care utilization patterns. The sociomedical approach to sex/gender differences in health related behaviour has generated a variety of hypotheses. However, despite extensive study, many unanswered questions remain. The findings of this study fall short of offering conclusive evidence as to the causes of variations in morbidity and health services use between women and men. However, an effort is made to identify the salience of social role and related social status characteristics (e.g. labour force participation) in accounting for variation in health, illness and sick role behaviour. This paper utilizes data from the 1983 Winnipeg Area Study. Findings of this study raise questions about the adequacy of current concepts and measures for studying sex/gender differences in health related behaviour. The study concludes with a critical discussion of conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues which must be considered in our efforts to advance our understanding of why women experience greater longevity, but experience greater morbidity and make more extensive use of health services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center