Gender and Race Issues in Nhs

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GENDER AND RACE ISSUES AFFECTING THE NHS MORTALITY Sex is defined as a biological difference. Gender is defined as a social or cultural classification of masculine or feminine (Oakley, 1995). History. In the first half of the 20th century there was parity between male and female mortality. Over the last 100 years life expectancy has increased steadily for both males and females. By the 1960’s women were living, on average, 5.8 years longer (CSO, 1996). In 1997 the life expectancy of females was 82 years and 77 years for males (Scambler, 1997). This could be due to world war one leaving a depleted male population and an increase in NHS services availability (Hart, 1989). The differences between males and females seems to be due to gender or social factors. The difference would be greater if women did not have a high incidence of cancers of the breast, cervix and uterus (Scambler, 1997). Main changes. Child bearing patterns have changed so that women have fewer children further apart and the medical care for pregnant women has improved. In the UK and USA the number of live births has decreased from 5 per woman in the 1880’s to 2 in the 2000’s. Male mortality. Men are more likely to take part in activities such as hazardous work and drinking alcohol that may damage their health (Waldron, 1976 cited by Scambler, 1997). Recent changes. Women have not modified their smoking habits as much as men have. In 1994 there was a 24% drop in smoking in males compared to 15% in women. There has been an increase in female admissions to alcohol rehabilitation clinics. This could be due to more female alcoholics or a decrease in the stigma associated with these clinics. However, more men drink to medically dangerous levels than females. The contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy and hysterectomies carry risks for females. Future. Male and
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