WGS 393 • GENDER, HEALTH, AND SOCIETY
This course will consider the process of policy formation by examining the gender dimensions of health, illness, and the medical care industry in the United States, with some focus on international comparisons. It is motivated by the fact that because of biological and social forces health and disease have important gender-specific components. Economics and politics are highly relevant in determining women's health risks. Relative to other developed nations income inequality in the United States is very high and because of disadvantages in the labor force women are more likely than men to be poor, particularly if they are unmarried. Of the forty-one million Americans with no health insurance a disproportionate fraction are single women with children. Concentrating on gender is important because, as we will find, men and women have different physical and mental health care needs. Yet our society, including our medical care institutions, often ignores those differences, especially when other factors such as race and poverty are involved.