Cover: Gender and Health

Gender and Health

The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies

Posted on rand.org Mar 9, 2008

by Chloe E. Bird, Patricia P. Rieker

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Gender and Health is the first book to examine how men’s and women’s lives and their physiology contribute to differences in their health. In a thoughtful synthesis of diverse literatures, the authors demonstrate that modern societies’ health problems ultimately involve a combination of policies, personal behavior, and choice. The book is designed for researchers, policymakers, and others who seek to understand how the choices of individuals, families, communities, and governments contribute to health. It can inform men and women at each of these levels how to better integrate health implications into their everyday decisions and actions.

"Research findings inform us as to how we can reduce our risk of various diseases and increase our life spans — we can stop smoking, drink less alcohol, exercise more, and eat less. Yet despite this simple advice, many people fail to take the steps necessary to maximize their health. This observation has prompted Chloe Bird and Patricia Rieker to write this book, in which they examine the opportunities and choices that men and women confront when making health-related decisions, the constraints that are imposed on that decisionmaking process, and the differential effect of those constraints depending on sex … ‘Gender and Health'; does not provide answers to the questions posed. Rather, the authors challenge their readers to adopt a broader perspective in their approach to the formulation and evaluation of social policy, the conduct of research, and the provision of patient care through an integrated consideration of the biological and social dimensions of gender "

- New England Journal of Medicine, September 11, 2008

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