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Gender differences in health perceptions and their predictors


  • Anson, Ofra
  • Paran, Esther
  • Neumann, Lily
  • Chernichovsky, Dov


This study explored the degree to which risks embedded in the social construction of gender roles and personality traits explained gender differences in health perceptions and reporting among mild hypertensive patients (134 women and 104 men) under the same treatment regime. Compared with men, women were less educated, less likely to be employed, less happy, more distressed, less satisfied with family functioning, and had a weaker sense of coherence. Twice as many women as men evaluated their health as 'poor', and on average reported 2.6 more symptoms than men. These gender differences largely disappeared when unhappiness, distress, and sense of coherence were controlled. While education attainment, employment, and satisfaction with family functioning decreased gender differences in some half of the symptoms, multivariate analysis suggested that unhappiness, distress, and the sense of coherence are far better predictors of gender differential health perceptions. It is suggested that beyond biological predispositions, women's health is in double jeopardy by gender role related risks, which affect morbidity both directly through immunology system and indirectly through health perceptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Anson, Ofra & Paran, Esther & Neumann, Lily & Chernichovsky, Dov, 1993. "Gender differences in health perceptions and their predictors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 419-427, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:36:y:1993:i:4:p:419-427

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    Cited by:

    1. Gail Pacheco & Dom Page & Don Webber, 2012. "Mental and physical health: reconceptualising the relationship with employment propensity," Working Papers 20121206, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    2. Atuoye, Kilian Nasung & Luginaah, Isaac, 2017. "Food as a social determinant of mental health among household heads in the Upper West Region of Ghana," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 170-180.
    3. Gail Pacheco & Don J. Webber, 2011. "Employment propensity: The roles of mental and physical health," Working Papers 2011-01, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    4. Pavel Grigoriev & Olga Grigorieva, 2011. "Self-perceived health in Belarus: Evidence from the income and expenditures of households survey," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 24(23), pages 551-578, April.
    5. Michelle Calvarese, 2015. "The Effect of Gender on Stress Factors: An Exploratory Study among University Students," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-8, November.


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