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Health is related to class, gender and ethnicity Essay

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Health is Related to Class, Gender and Ethnicity

Introduction
To state that: health is related to class, ethnicity and gender is a valid assumption. This is relate to social stratification. Often we think of stratification in terms of assets, but it can also occur because of other attributes: gender, age or religious affiliation. (Giddens Sociology p. 295) The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the validity of this statement. In Ireland, although we claim freedom from inequality between social divisions, there are many differences with regard to the mental and physical health of these divisions.   It may be assumed that the main reasons for this are prejudices and wealth.
Class
In Ireland, there are a number of social classes. These classes are allocated a specific stereotype. For instance, it is often perceived that people of a lower income (middle or lower class) are in less of a physical, mental and indeed, social state of health than those in a higher social class. This is evident from birth.
Low birthweight is associated with a greatly increased risk of death in the first year of life as well as serious illness and lifelong disability. Longitudinal studies show that children who were low birthweight experience a greater risk of developing learning and behavioural difficulties and have lower educational attainment and socio-economic status as adults. (Institute of Public Health, Ireland, www.publichealth.ie, accessed 16/10/2007)
The reason, as it is widely assumed, for low birthweight among less wealthy people is that they have a tendency to take less care of themselves than more privileged people. Therefore pregnant women may neglect their health as they prepare to become parents thus resulting in a low birthweight.
Another issue related to health of social classes is that the government neglects to deal with such social health issues as vandalism in a coherent, organised manner. In deprived estates where there is a high proportion of families,...

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