Demographic Variables and Women’s Health
Health issues are often related to particular variables. The socio-economic variables, for example, are regarded as a system that includes education level, marital and employment status, as well as health insurance coverage (Alexander, LaRosa, Bader, Garfield, & Alexander, 2014, p. 373). Concerning the latter factor, its relationship to health is obvious. As for the former three, there exists scientific evidence, which can be supported by common sense, to the fact that these factors correlate with particular health parameters. For example, unemployment, as well as the lack of education, restricts the access of people to healthcare. Apart from that, unemployed people are more prone to depression, which may indicate a higher level of stress. Similarly, the depression rate among previously married people is higher than among those who are still married (Alexander et al., 2014, pp. 372-373). For women, the variables of employment and marital status are particularly important. The balance between employment and family is another unresolved issue based on the fact that traditional gender roles are still in the process of change. Similarly, women are more likely to be unemployed or underpaid, particularly in developing countries, which may result in poverty (Hung et al., 2014, pp. 892-893).
Other variables include age and race; sadly, even in the racially diverse modern environment, racial discrimination is still an issue that is capable of negatively influencing the health status of a group (Patel & Rushefsky, 2015, pp. 149-150). Apart from that, the race-defined specifics of lifestyle can affect health attitudes (Hung et al., 2014, p. 893). Age-related illnesses are going to be discussed lower.
Finally, an opinion exists that the variable of gender itself does not only include the physiological differences. Instead, it presupposes the experiences and behavior that are characteristic of men and women and highlights the existence of an “interconnected web of political, cultural, psychological, and socio-economic conditions” that are different for the two genders (Phillips & Hamberg, 2015, p. 2). This fact could contribute to women being generally healthier and living longer than men (Hung et al., 2014, p. 894).
Specific Age-Related Health Concerns of Women
During middle age (from 35 to 65) women’s bodies undergo significant changes, and many of them are adverse. Middle-aged women tend to gain weight and lose hair, suffer from various sleep disturbances and mood swings; their menstrual periods change, and this can be a sign of menopause. While the average age for the beginning of menopause has been defined at 51, variations are possible (Alexander et al., 2014, p. 223). The process renders a woman infertile and is often accompanied by urine leakages, decreased sexual drive, mood swings, hot flashes, and other inconvenient symptoms. More life-threatening signs of menopause include depression as well as the heightened risks of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. The symptoms are not exhibited by every woman during her menopause, but they are not unusual and must be taken into account by those concerned with the health of the population (Alexander et al., 2014, pp. 221-225).
Preventive-Based Care for Women: Diverse population
A healthy lifestyle can alleviate the problems connected to the aging process for women, which makes its promotion time- and effort-worthy (Alexander et al., 2014). Apart from that, the delivery of illness-relevant information to the endangered groups, as well as the promotion of the screening procedures use, is of fundamental importance for primary preventive care (Hung et al., 2014, pp. 17-19, 117). It has been noted that the health issues of a family are usually the concern of women; therefore, one may suggest that women are more health-conscious and more amenable to health promotion (Alexander et al., 2014; Hung et al., 2014). However, the diversity of modern society poses difficulties that are connected to the variables described in the first section; the specifics of the lifestyle of different groups should be taken into account when working on health promotion.
Women Movement in the US: Healthcare Aspect
It is not a secret that, concerning numerous aspects of life, women used to have a “second-class status” (Patel & Rushefsky, 2015, p. 161). In part, this resulted in the restriction of education and employment; the importance of these factors and their impact on women’s health has been described above (Hung et al., 2014, p. 919). The access of women to knowledge about their bodies and health as well as their inclusion in related legislative decisions is the result of the empowerment of women that could not have happened without feminism.
The movement for the rights of women has never been constrained by the borders of one country, it is a global issue, and the US feminists have greatly contributed to the process of its settlement. For the US, the issue of women’s rights began to be stated in the eighteenth century, at the same time when the people of color were freed, but it was not until the twentieth century that significant results in the field were achieved. Notable milestones like the 1920 Nineteenth Amendment or the contribution of the US women to the victory of 1945 ensured the significance of equality in the modern US society (Patel & Rushefsky, 2015, pp. 161-168). The promotion of women’s rights, both in the past and nowadays, has always been concerned with women’s health and the acknowledgment of women’s needs. Nowadays, when the US and other developed countries can be proud of a high level of equality, the movement for women’s rights does not lose its importance. It is still significant for the developing countries as well as for the preservation of the achieved results.
Alexander, L., LaRosa, J., Bader, H., Garfield, S., & Alexander, W. (2014). New dimensions in women’s health (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Hung, Y. F., Conner, R., Villarreal, L., Washington, C., Repovich, W., Babcock, D.,…Janes, S. (2014). Community Health Nursing. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Patel, K., & Rushefsky, M. (2015). Health care in America. New York, NY: Routledge.
Phillips, S., & Hamberg, K. (2015). Women’s relative immunity to the socio-economic health gradient: artifact or real? Global Health Action, 8(1), 1-16. Web.