umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Gender equality in couples and self-rated health: a survey study evaluating measurements of gender equality and its impact on health
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1633-2179
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. (Arcum)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0556-1483
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3083-106X
2011 (English)In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 10, no Art.nr. 37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Men and women have different patterns of health. These differences between the sexes present a challenge to the field of public health. The question why women experience more health problems than men despite their longevity has been discussed extensively, with both social and biological theories being offered as plausible explanations. In this article, we focus on how gender equality in a partnership might be associated with the respondents' perceptions of health.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey with 1400 respondents. We measured gender equality using two different measures: 1) a self-reported gender equality index, and 2) a self-perceived gender equality question. The aim of comparison of the self-reported gender equality index with the self-perceived gender equality question was to reveal possible disagreements between the normative discourse on gender equality and daily practice in couple relationships. We then evaluated the association with health, measured as self-rated health (SRH). With SRH dichotomized into 'good' and 'poor', logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with the outcome. For the comparison between the self-reported gender equality index and self-perceived gender equality, kappa statistics were used.

Results: Associations between gender equality and health found in this study vary with the type of gender equality measurement. Overall, we found little agreement between the self-reported gender equality index and self-perceived gender equality. Further, the patterns of agreement between self-perceived and self-reported gender equality were quite different for men and women: men perceived greater gender equality than they reported in the index, while women perceived less gender equality than they reported. The associations to health were depending on gender equality measurement used.

Conclusions: Men and women perceive and report gender equality differently. This means that it is necessary not only to be conscious of the methods and measurements used to quantify men's and women's opinions of gender equality, but also to be aware of the implications for health outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2011. Vol. 10, no Art.nr. 37
Keyword [en]
gender equality, health, index, gender differences
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46204DOI: 10.1186/1475-9276-10-37ISI: 000294596100001PubMedID: 21871087OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-46204DiVA: diva2:437387
Available from: 2011-08-29 Created: 2011-08-29 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Health and the elusive gender equality: Can the impact of gender equality on health be measured?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health and the elusive gender equality: Can the impact of gender equality on health be measured?
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: All over the world men and women show different health patterns, and therecan be many and various reasons for these differences. This thesis therefore evaluates theimpact of gender equality on health. To do this, we must be able to measure gender equality.In this thesis, we develop two new measurements of gender equality and evaluate the relationshipbetween gender equality and health.

Methods: Two cross-sectional studies, one register-based and one survey study, are used tocompare different measurements of gender equality and different measurements of health,and the relationship between them. Differences between men and women in relation to healthoutcome are also discussed in the thesis. The register study, comprising 1 097 202 individuals,is based on public registers and includes information on workplace, income, sickness absence,full-time/part-time work, level of education, parental leave and temporary parental leave.A gender equality measurement, the Organizational Gender Gap Index or OGGI, was constructedand 123 companies in two sectors were ranked using the index. Employees in 21 of the mostand least gender-equal companies were invited to participate in a survey. A second genderequality index was constructed based on respondents’ own reports regarding gender equalityin their partner relationship. The variables measured were income, full-time/part-time work,educational level, and responsibilities for and sharing of household duties and parental leave.Both indices were evaluated using the single question: How gender equal is your workplace/your relationship with your partner? The four measurements were dichotomized and testedfor a relationship to health. Health was measured by three different measurements: registerbasedsickness absence, self-reported sickness absence in the past year, and self-rated health.

Results: The thesis has produced two new measurements of gender equality, described above.On gender equality in the partner relationship, we found a difference between men and women.Men perceive higher gender equality than they report, while women report more gender equalitythan they perceive. When it comes to gender equality at work, we found that employees perceivetheir company to be more gender equal than the OGGI index shows. This thesis confirms thefindings that men have better health than women regardless of measurement. However, inthis study we also found that increased gender equality decreases these differences. If employeesperceive their company to be gender equal, they have higher odds of rating their health asgood, and this is especially so for women.

Conclusion: This thesis supports the hypothesis that differences in health between men andwomen can be related to a lack of gender equality. When men and women have differentpossibilities and power to shape society and their own lives, their health will be affected throughembodiment of both biological and sociological determinants in accordance with the eco-socialtheory. Increased gender equality will decrease the differences in health between men andwomen through convergence. The theory of convergence explains why men and women areaffected differently by greater gender equality. Greater gender equality will also decrease thesocial injustice between men and women and improve justice in accordance with the theoryof justice to gender.The differences found between the indices and the single question on perceived genderequality make clear the need for “hard facts” as an complement to people’s own views on gender equality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2011. 110 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1420
Keyword
gender equality, health, gender gap, index, organizations, companies, couple relations
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46298 (URN)978-91-7459-206-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-23, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-09-02 Created: 2011-08-30 Last updated: 2015-04-29Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Gender equality in couples and self-rated health: a survey study evaluating measurements of gender equality and its impact on health(629 kB)175 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 629 kBChecksum SHA-512
437230c21fffb54b46ffd93af582d1fce71389a7d328f28c3f060575bd35ebd1f446780e1e04e4a6c0e850d207f0368a9cdd5b6579a056eb16e1ae0203ea3af7
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sörlin, AnnLindholm, LarsNg, NawiÖhman, Ann
By organisation
Epidemiology and Global HealthUmeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)
In the same journal
International Journal for Equity in Health
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 175 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn
Total: 233 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf