Gender Inequality In Health Care Essay

Uwaezu Onuoha Prof. Shawn Mitchell English 1102 06-30-2017 Gender Inequality in the Healthcare System In the operation of the healthcare system, gender plays a central role. Gender discrimination in the healthcare exists either in the field of education, workplace or while attending to the patients. Interestingly, as opposed to other areas where discrimination lies heavily to a particular gender ; gender inequality in health happens to both women and men. Gender inequality in the health care service negatively affects the quality of care given and perpetuates patient biases to a gender. Also, the gender disparities in the field of health assists researchers and practitioners to study conditions and their probable manifestations within both sexes. …show more content…

"Gender Inequality in Health Care." Boundless, Boundless Sociology, 26 May 2016, Accessed 4 July 2017. Men, Chean, et al. "Gender as a social determinant of health: Gender as a social determinant of health: Gender analysis of the health sector Gender analysis of the health sector ender analysis of the health sector in Cambodia." Summary Report: World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 19-21 October 2011, World Conference on Social Determinants of Health. World Health Organization, 2012, pp. 22-42, Accessed 4 July 2017. Newman, Constance. "Time to address gender discrimination and inequality in the health workforce." Human Resources for Health, vol. 12, no. 25, 6 May 2014, PMC. doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-25. Accessed 4 July 2017. Panisello, Maria L., and Inma Pastor. "Health with equality: a proposal for the incorporation of the gender perspective in health care systems." Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, vol. 20, no. 5, 2015, pp. 1555-1563, doi:10.1590/1413-81232015205.10942014. Accessed 4 July

In this essay, the author

  • Argues that gender inequalities in health care are uncalled for, unfair and can be evaded.
  • Explains that gender discrimination in the healthcare system affects both women and men.
  • Opines that better health services can be realized only if the issue of gender-based discrimination is addressed adequately at personal, administrative, societal, and federal levels.
  • Cites boundless sociology's "gender inequality in health care" as a social determinant of health.

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Gender Inequalities in the Healthcare Sector

Inequalities in various aspects of social and economic life, and the question of overcoming them, are increasingly the subject of political decisions and the subject of academic research and papers. In addition to social justice and human rights values, they emphasize the importance of equal opportunity as a condition for social cohesion and social inclusion. This also applies to health inequalities, which have received considerable attention from the World Health Organization over the last decade.

In this essay, I would like to discuss gender inequalities in health care, as it is an issue of personal interest to me. I do not like hearing how girls are not advised to go into medicine because it is a “serious men’s job” or people do not take nursing jobs seriously and think they are too easy. Various gender inequalities in healthcare area occur in all countries. Inequalities are caused not only by living conditions but also by socio-cultural factors (values, norms, stereotypes) that shape the position of both sexes in society and people’s thinking and behavior about health.

Massive discrimination against women in the healthcare sector worsens the quality of care for people because of the deteriorating working conditions for this group of employees. This is because nurses and doctors who experience discrimination and unfair treatment are unable to provide appropriate care. This factor nullifies attempts to ensure the highest possible level of health for all people. I believe that society must stop discriminating against women in doctors’ posts and that the problem is severe enough to warrant a lot of media attention. In this way, society will ensure decent working conditions for women doctors and, hence, proper treatment for the population.

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This essay will discuss gender inequality in the medical field, examining barriers faced by women, disparities in career advancement, and the implications for healthcare. Also at PapersOwl you can find more free essay examples related to Bias.

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The medical field is consistently one of the best job fields to enter because of the positive job outlook and high salary. This may not be true for women, however. The large amount of gender discrimination and harassment may be enough to keep women away from the medical field, specifically female doctors. In this day and age there is no reason why women cannot become doctors and they are not lesser than their male peers, especially in the 21st century. This literature review will look at the problem of gender discrimination both in the United States/Canada and throughout the world. It will also highlight specific solutions given by experts, leaders, and women in the medical field.

The Problem

Gender bias not only affects doctors, but patients as well. An article by Gaetan Cousins et al. seeks to understand if gender affects patient outcomes when physicians express uncertainty regarding the diagnosis or treatment. Cousins’ article takes the results of previous research done on patients harshly criticizing female physicians as opposed to their male colleagues. The researchers predicted that female physicians expressing uncertainty would have a negative effect on patient satisfaction. Through the research conducted, the researchers’ hypothesis was confirmed. This brings up the question as to how female physicians should bring up uncertainties in medical conditions and what they can do to counteract the negative impact uncertainty has on their patients. This study can be very useful to female doctors and help inform them of their communication habits and how to improve patient satisfaction. This can also inform hospitals and other institutions of the double standard of female doctors and how to combat them (Cousin et al.).

Opening up about sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, has become a widespread movement affecting many different fields, including the medical field. The article by Sophie Soklaridis et al. addresses the #MeToo movement which has become a widespread campaign for the fight against sexual assault and harassment. The article focuses specifically on the movement in the medical field and how more and more female doctors have been challenging the inappropriate treatment found in medical school and the workplace. In response to this movement, many men in positions of power have voiced their concerns about mentoring women. They are afraid to be accused, which could compromise their reputations and careers. Because of this mindset, women are unable to advance far in their careers due to a lack of mentorship and statistics show that medical workplaces do not sufficiently support women in their career advancements. Men’s fear of being accused contributes to these statistics and this source offers explanations as to why. This source also provides different scenarios of men in power being afraid to talk to their women subordinates and provides different approaches to potentially sexist situations (Soklaridis et al.).

These articles highlighted the overarching problems affecting female doctors, including gender bias, discrimination, and harassment. The articles by Kawase et al. and Cousins et al. both talked about the gender bias present in the workplace and how it affects women. Kawase et al. focused more on the worldwide problem and used specific cultures as examples as opposed to Cousins’ which was focused more in eastern Europe. It also concluded that women should try changing in order to change patients’ perceptions. Soklaridis’ article disagreed with this and said that things need to be changed on the leadership side of medicine. The article by Sokaridis et al. also focuses more on sexual harassment and how it disadvantages women in medicine. I really liked how these articles gave statistics and not only highlighted the overall problem, but also how it specifically affects women. These articles lacked specific, central solutions to the gender inequality problem present in the medical field, however, which is something I explored in the next articles.

First Step to Equality

One of the solutions given by many experts and leaders regarding gender equality is bringing awareness to and addressing the problem. The purpose of the article by Rochelle Jones et al. is to address of lack of diversity in radiation oncology and how to best promote equality and inclusion. Researchers conducted phone interviews with radiation oncology department chairs to gain insight into the role of women and underrepresented minorities in these positions and potential solutions to promote diversity and inclusion. Through these interviews, researchers found five common themes: commitment to diversity/inclusion promotes health care, gaps still remain, women continue to face challenges, the realities of gender need to be acknowledged to find solutions, and the career pipeline needs to expand. Researchers also found that current department chairs are committed to these initiatives. Some specific solutions discussed were recruiting and supporting diverse medical students, growing the female workforce, and bias training that discusses intersectionality and gender inequality. All in all, these findings supported the notion that addressing these issues is important to finding solutions and improving quality healthcare (Jones et al).

In comparison to Rochelle Jones et al.’s article, Roxanne Keynejad et al.’s article provides a broader perspective. It focuses on gender equality in the field of global health. Surveys were done in Somaliland and the United Kingdom to measure diverse experiences in the workplace including leadership, missed opportunities, workplace barriers, and expressing views. Many respondents described experiences such as gender-related barriers, pay gaps, and unequal treatment regarding females in healthcare roles. The respondents also proposed solutions to the gender equality present in the medical field. One common theme throughout these solutions was community awareness and better legislation and policies. Many respondents think that more awareness in both the community and government would instill a sense of duty to change the workplace environment for women. The purpose of this study was to understand gender roles and inequality in healthcare all over the world and “taking the crucial first step of starting a conversation” (6). The researchers hope that medical centers around the globe can use this information to change workplace environments and address the gender inequality present within the medical field (2018).

Both articles supported the overall claim that the first step to gender equality in medicine is more awareness. Keynejad’s article focused more on the world, which provides an applicable solution for all cultures, while Rochelle Jones’ focuses more on culture in North America which is more applicable to me. I think these solutions are good starting points for solutions for gender inequality.

Women in Leadership Positions

The idea that putting women in positions of power will decrease the amount of gender discrimination is another solution proposed by many doctors and experts. This is easier said than done, however, but it is good to bring attention to the lack of women in leadership roles in the medical field. Dr. Rebecca Allen accomplishes this in her article. She highlights the ongoing gender discrimination in medicine and how women need to be put into positions of power in order for things to change. The author specifically focuses on the consequences of women’s actions, the disparity in salary and promotion, and the childcare responsibilities of female doctors. She begins by talking about how strong women are perceived, such as Hillary Clinton, and how women in positions of power are scrutinized more harshly than their male peers. She also points out that scientific potential and achievement are perceived differently depending on the gender and that women are discouraged from negotiating for higher pay. They are seen as “dominant and arrogant” (2) if they speak up, but “weak and gullible” (2) if they say nothing. Dr. Allen concludes by pointing out that women have made many advancements, but expectations of women need to change and that will only happen if women are put in leadership positions. This article provides applicable points that can be used by hospitals and administrations that can help solve these problems and that have the power to put women in leadership positions.

This author had many intriguing points regarding the presence of sexism in medicine, although she did not offer any specific solutions. She said we have to put women in leadership positions but how do we make that happen? Overall, this source is very relevant to the medical field today and provides important insight to the disparity between men and women doctors not only in medicine but in other fields as well (2017).

Reena Pattani’s article explores the impact of the underrepresentation of women in medicine and more specifically in leadership roles. Research was done to show the impact by gaining the perspectives of faculty members in a department of medicine and trying to identify how the gender gap affects effectiveness and workplace culture. Many of the subjects interviewed were aware of the gender gap and its impact on organizational effectiveness and workplace culture. They specifically highlighted social exclusion, reinforced stereotypes, and unprofessional behavior. These can have direct effects on workplace cultures and patient care. Some potential solutions provided were improvements to recruitment and hiring, changes to the work environment, and better mentorship opportunity. Overall, this study found that the existing gender gap in medical centers has a negative effect on patient care and workplace culture. This information can be useful to medical centers and can help implement better conditions for female doctors to fight this negative effect (2018).

Both of these authors agreed that putting women in leadership roles within the medical field is a great, overarching solution to gender inequality. These solutions provide a great start for change in the medical field and even throughout the world. Dr. Rebecca Allen’s article provides a nice base for Reena Pattani’s article, but Pattani’s article provides more specific solutions to the overall problem. Pattani’s article also focuses more on the workplace environment and how it affects more than just the female employees. I liked how Pattani’s article went more in depth.

Specific Solutions

The only article to focus on and give specific solutions is Dr. Anna Morgan’s article. She proposes five solutions to address gender-based bias in the medical field and influence those in power to instill change. This article recognizes gender bias as the “elephant in the room” (Morgan et al. 966). This saying refers to the slow-moving progress towards equality. The first solution proposed is simply addressing the lack of gender equality. The author says that by publicly identifying the problem is the first step to solve it. The second solution is the support of those in positions of power, particularly men. Dr. Morgan points out that simply publicly supporting female medical leaders can influence other leaders to do the same. The third solution is incorporating anti-sexist training. Studies have shown that programs have begun producing improvements in gender bias. The fourth solution is working with diverse groups of people to discuss how to make workplace environments more receptive for women. The final solution is to study the drivers of gender discrimination within medicine in order to figure out how to end it. These five solutions can help medical communities address and combat gender discrimination and bias (Morgan et al.).

I really liked how Morgan’s article gave specific solutions to the overall problem of gender bias in medicine. It covered not only addressing the issue and women in leadership positions, but also more specific solutions such as anti-sexist training and working with diverse groups to brainstorm solutions. Many of the other articles such as Dr. Anna Morgan’s and Roxanne Keynejad’s, just highlighted an overarching solution, but specific solutions were up to the interpretations of the readers and especially medical leaders. This can prove to be ineffective because many leaders could make the excuse that there are no solutions. By highlighting specific solutions, it gives medical communities no choice but to instill these solutions into work environments.

Many solutions were given by the authors of these research articles and one common theme was that the more female leaders in medicine, the fewer the problems. Authors also said that just simply addressing the problem can make a huge difference in the treatment of women. By taking these potential solutions into consideration, the lives of many female doctors can improve and gender bias and discrimination can be eradicated from the healthcare system.

I would like to explore these topics and solutions in the local context, especially within the medical school. I think it would be interesting to compare the statistics of the UND medical school with medical environments all around the world. It would also be interesting to see if there are any disparities between the experiences of male and female pre-med students.

Works Cited

  • Allen, Rebecca M. “Gender Inequality in Medicine: Too Much Evidence to Ignore.” Psychiatric Times, vol. 34, no. 5, May 2017, pp. 1–5. EBSCOhost,
  • Cousin, Gaetan, et al. “When Physician-Expressed Uncertainty Leads to Patient Dissatisfaction: A Gender Study.” Medical Education, vol. 47, no. 9, Sept. 2013, pp. 923–931. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/medu.12237.
  • Jones, Rochelle D., et al. “Qualitative Assessment of Academic Radiation Oncology Department Chairs’ Insights on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Progress, Challenges, and Future Aspirations.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, vol. 101, no. 1, May 2018, pp. 30–45. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.01.012.
  • Kawase, Kazumi, et al. “Factors That Can Promote or Impede the Advancement of Women as Leaders in Surgery: Results from an International Survey.” World Journal of Surgery, vol. 40, no. 2, Feb. 2016, pp. 258–266. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s00268-015-3332-x.
  • Keynejad, Roxanne C et al. “Gender equality in the global health workplace: learning from a Somaliland-UK paired institutional partnership” BMJ global health vol. 3,6 e001073. 7 Dec. 2018, doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001073
  • Morgan, Anna U., et al. “Eliminating Gender-Based Bias in Academic Medicine: More Than Naming the ‘Elephant in the Room.’” JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 33, no. 6, June 2018, pp. 966–968. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11606-018-4411-0.
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Gender Discrimination Essay


500 Words Gender Discrimination Essay

Gender discrimination is when there are unfair rights between male and female. It differs because of their gender roles which ultimately leads to unequal treatment in life. Gender discrimination has been around for many centuries. However, as we are evolving, it is time to do away with such notions of gender roles. Thus, gender discrimination essay will take us through it in detail.

gender discrimination essay

Causes of Gender Discrimination

There are many causes of gender discrimination. The first one has to be illiteracy . When people do not educate themselves, they continue to live in the old times. Thus, they follow the old-age sexist traditions and norms.

Education can bring about a change in this mindset because educated people will less likely partake in gender discrimination. Further, poverty is also another reason which is interlinked in a way.

It is the root cause in many places because the economic dependence remains on the male counterparts mostly. Thus, women suffer a lot from it because of the same reason. They never get out of this and stay financially dependent on men.

Furthermore, the patriarchal setup in our society plays a big role. In this setup, the male dominates almost every aspect of life. Thus, they consider themselves to be superior to others.

This way, a lot of violence and injustice is meted out against females. Thus, when there is a gender considering themselves to be superior, it becomes difficult for everyone to avail equal opportunities.

Impact of Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination has a deep impact on society as a whole. It does not just impact a specific section of the society but every part of it. First of all, it impacts children as they fall prey to gender stereotypes from a young age.

Further, it impacts young people because it impacts their behaviour, study choices, ambitions, attitudes and more. Thus, many girls do not participate in many sports and women experience physical violence more than men.

Next up, we have gender discrimination affecting adults because there is a gender pay gap between the working class. Men earn more for doing the same work as women. In addition, older women have more risk of becoming homeless than men.

It also impacts the aboriginal women because they have it a lot worse. It is more likely to happen that they can die from family violence, 11 times more than men. Even for men, it is not beneficial as it sets difficult standards for men to follow.

It draws a line on men being emotional. Thus, they can never showcase their emotions truly without being judged. Similarly, men do not parental leave in many places. Ultimately, all this results in more suicide in men. Thus, it impacts everyone.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Conclusion of Gender Discrimination Essay

Gender discrimination must be checked at every stage so that no person should be denied a chance to learn and grow. Thus, everyone, no matter male or female, must get a start in life in terms of educations and other opportunities. We must come together as a society to do this.

FAQ on Gender Discrimination Essay

Question 1: Who is affected by gender inequality?

Answer 1: Gender inequality affects everyone, which includes men as well. Stereotypes about how women and men, girls and boys should be, start from their childhood and follow us to adulthood. Thus, it does not affect just one but all.

Question 2: Give an example of gender discrimination.

Answer 2: There are many examples of gender discrimination. For instance, restriction on clothing. If a man wears shorts, no one will bat an eye. However, if a woman wears shorts, she will be seen in a bad light and be called names. Similar is the case for housework.


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Gender Discrimination In Health Care

gender discrimination in health essay

Show More Gender is how humans differentiate other humans from each other; boys love playing with toy cars, girls love the color pink and playing with dolls. These stereotypes along with many, many more, define gender; but what happens when a little boy likes playing with dolls more than his toy cars, and as he gets older, realizes that he identifies more with being a girl? Growing up being told you should act a certain way and like certain things that correlate with your assigned gender can be very confusing when you do not feel like you are that gender on the inside. That internal conflict is hard enough to deal with, but pilling on the judgment from parents, family members, friends, and even strangers, makes it near impossible to cope with. Because …show more content… Healthcare discrimination is actually very prominent in the military itself, but it is also common in everyday life. ‘Health’ is a very holistic thing and it includes not only physical illness or impairment, but emotional and mental health as well. So, when using the term ‘health’ in conversation with transgender people, it is not just talking about the idea that these people need hormones or sex change surgeries, they are human too and could need therapy or some kind of prescription drugs for various mental illnesses. These issues related to healthcare for transgender people are not “adequately addressed by professionals” (3512) because they are not educated on how to care for these people, or do not care to learn. “It is difficult for a transgender person to get a good picture of what sexual health can be”, the reason being that schools teach sex education towards non-transgender people. This can be very difficult for the transgender groups because they will not know how their body works and this can also lead them to feel isolated and alone. The discrimination does not stop at physical things; “some informants have been denied counselling support by professionals with the rationale that the informants’ way of living their life was against the professional’s moral values” (3516). Healthcare encompasses a variety of things, and within everything that …show more content… These things can stretch as far as pay equality, keeping a current job, or even getting hired in the first place. On the topic, Erin, a transgender female , says that “I’m scared that if I lose my job it’s going to be hard for me to be hired on somewhere else” (90). This is a huge concern; these people live in a constant fear of discrimination due to their gender identity . Not only does this affect their careers but it even affects their personal lives, and their relationships suffer “due to ongoing workplace harassment and pressures” (124). When looking into the lives of transgender people, you only look as far as you want to see, and no one really goes as far as to even think about their social lives. This proves that as a society, we tend to forget that transgender people are human too, which is where most discrimination roots

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What to know about gender bias in healthcare

Gender bias in healthcare is widespread. Patients, doctors, researchers, and administrators can all hold biased views about gender. These views affect how the healthcare system works and have a serious impact on health outcomes.

Gender bias is a preference for one gender over another. This preference is often based on false beliefs or generalizations that make one gender seem better or worse than others.

Worldwide, the most common form is bias against women. In 2020, a United Nations global report found that close to 90% of all people have some form of gender bias against women.

In this article, we look at gender bias in healthcare, including examples, its impact, and some ways to tackle it.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more .

What is gender bias?

Smiling female and male colleagues talking to nurses while moving down on staircase depicting gender bias

Gender bias is a type of prejudice that favors one gender over another. Gender is based on how someone identifies, while sex refers to biological characteristics, such as genitalia. People can have biases about both sex and gender. Often, these biases overlap.

Almost everyone has some form of gender bias, whether or not they are aware of it. This is because bias can be conscious or unconscious. Bias that a person recognizes is “explicit,” while bias that a person is unaware of is “implicit.” Implicit bias comes from the messages that people unknowingly absorb about gender throughout their lives. Both explicit and implicit biases influence behavior, which leads to discrimination and reinforces inequity.

Because most cultures place a higher value on men and masculinity, gender bias affects women and girls most severely . Gender bias can also affect others whom people perceive as feminine, such as trans and nonbinary people. In addition, this bias can impact boys and men who feel pressure to conform to rigid gender norms.

Examples of gender bias in healthcare

Gender bias is present throughout the healthcare system, from the interactions between patients and doctors to the medical research and policies that govern it. Some examples include:

Disbelief in symptoms

Stereotypes about gender affect how doctors treat illnesses and approach their patients. For example, a 2018 study found that doctors often view men with chronic pain as “brave” or “stoic,” but view women with chronic pain as “emotional” or “hysterical.”

The study also found that doctors were more likely to treat women’s pain as a product of a mental health condition, rather than a physical condition.

A 2018 survey of physicians and dentists arrived at similar conclusions: Many of these healthcare professionals believed that women exaggerate their pain. This was true even though 40% of the participants were women.

Workplace harassment, bullying, and discrimination

Gender bias also leads to discrimination against health workers. A 2020 study of older women doctors found that age- and gender-based harassment, discrimination, and salary inequity persisted throughout their careers.

While these problems diminished over time, the participants’ levels of seniority and professional experience did not put a stop to them.

Other analyses have reached similar conclusions. A 2019 report on sexism at the British Medical Association discovered a culture of bullying and harassment towards women healthcare professionals and staff.

Gaps in medical research

Inequity in medical research reinforces gender bias. In the past, many scientists believed that males made the best test subjects because they do not have menstrual cycles and cannot become pregnant. This meant that a vast amount of research only involved male participants.

However, the important biological differences between the sexes can influence how diseases, drugs, and other therapies affect people. As a result, many studies from before the 1990s are flawed. The lack of inclusivity in studies has left doctors with a more limited understanding of the health of female and intersex people.

Meanwhile, a lack of awareness about this disparity may fuel gender bias because it can contribute to misunderstanding between doctors and patients.

What are the consequences of gender bias in healthcare?

The overall consequence of gender bias in healthcare is that people receive worse care than they should, which increases health inequity. Gender bias causes:

  • Knowledge gaps: A lack of inclusivity in medical research has led to gaps in knowledge. This means that doctors know less about female, intersex, and trans health than male health. In one example, a report from the National LGBTQ Task Force found that 50% of respondents have had to teach their doctors about caring for trans people.
  • Lack of women in leadership: A 2019 study found that in academic medicine, many people view men as naturally better leaders than women. This may explain why the number of women in leadership positions is disproportionately low.
  • Delayed diagnoses: When doctors do not take a patient’s symptoms seriously, it can keep the person from receiving a correct diagnosis for many years. A 2019 analysis in Denmark, for example, found that in 72% of cases, women waited longer on average for a diagnosis than men.
  • Inadequate symptom management: Doctors not believing patients also prevents people from getting help with symptom relief. For example, doctors who dismiss the severity of chronic pain may not provide women with pain medication.
  • Avoidance of medical care: People who no longer trust medical professionals or organizations due to negative experiences may avoid getting necessary care. This may be a factor in vaccine hesitancy. A Harvard survey found that only 47% of nonpregnant women who did not trust public health agencies planned to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Abuse, neglect, and death: Gender bias can lead to actions that increase the risk of patients dying. For example, the idea that heart attacks mainly occur in males — and a lack of awareness about how they affect females — contributes to the higher rates of females dying from heart attacks.

Gender bias and sexism can also intersect with other forms of oppression, such as racism, ableism, classism, and heterosexism.

Learn more about racism in healthcare.

Ending gender bias in medicine

Everyone has a role to play in ending gender bias, but institutions have the most power to create widespread change. Here are some ways that institutions and organizations can end gender bias in medicine.

Education and awareness

It is important for healthcare professionals and the people they serve to understand what gender bias is, that everyone has these biases, and how they affect healthcare. People and organizations can only stop reinforcing inequity by recognizing their biases and taking action to unlearn them.

Some studies suggest that implicit bias training can help. Not all studies support the effectiveness of this approach, though. It is also worth noting that people addressing their own biases is only a first step.

Sex and gender diversity in research

Women now make up around half of the participants in clinical research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, this does not cover all studies, and it does not account for the decades of research that only involved males.

Health organizations and researchers must commit to sex and gender diversity in all relevant studies and fund research to fill in the gaps in knowledge.


It is crucial that workplaces hold people accountable for any form of biased or discriminatory behavior . This reduces the likelihood of harassment and bullying.

It is also essential for healthcare institutions to become accountable for the ways that their policies, systems, and practices uphold gender bias.

Equitable treatment guidelines

As a 2017 review notes, many studies have found gender-based variations in how doctors diagnose and treat patients. Some found that doctors asked women fewer questions about their symptoms or prescribed women less medication.

Having standardized, equitable, and evidence-based rules for treatment may reduce the risk of implicit bias affecting healthcare.

Equitable workplace policies

Similarly, clear policies about how institutions should address systemic inequity are essential. This may include rules that correct imbalances, such as unequal pay or career advancement opportunities. It may also include policies that support women who are new parents or caregivers.

In addition, standard procedures for how organizations should respond to gender discrimination, harassment, and abuse are crucial.


If a person believes that they are receiving inadequate care due to gender bias, there are steps they can take. Try:

  • seeking second or third opinions from other doctors
  • speaking with a specialist
  • getting doctor recommendations from others who have faced similar situations

There are also ways to advocate for oneself. People can:

  • Bring an ally to an appointment for support and to act as a witness.
  • Ask why a doctor is not pursuing tests or treatments.
  • Ask a doctor to memorialize their decisions, and the reasons for them, in their patient records.
  • Report bias or discrimination that is obvious or severe.

Many hospitals have patient advocates who may be able to help. And in some cases, it might be appropriate to report malpractice stemming from bias to a state medical licensing board.

Gender bias in healthcare is a critical, well-documented problem that endangers people’s lives and well-being. It is a component of sexism , which is a major cause of inequity worldwide, including health inequity.

Gender bias affects diagnosis, treatment, and health outcomes, reducing the quality and effectiveness of healthcare. In order to stop it, organizations and institutions need to commit to changing their policies and practices.

Last medically reviewed on October 25, 2021

  • Women's Health / Gynecology

How we reviewed this article:

  • Almost 90% of men/women globally are biased against women. (2020).
  • Challenging gender discrimination: A how-to guide. (n.d.).
  • COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among pregnant women and mothers of young children. (2021).
  • Fitzgerald, C., et al. (2017). Implicit bias in healthcare professionals: A systematic review.
  • Greenwood, B. N., et al. (2018). Patient-physician gender concordance and increased mortality among female heart attack patients.
  • Hansen, M., et al . (2019). Implicit gender bias among US resident physicians.
  • Hoff, C. (2019). Taking on gender bias in clinical trials.
  • Implicit bias. (n.d.).
  • New report reveals rampant discrimination against transgender people by health providers, high HIV rates and widespread lack of access to necessary medical care. (n.d.).
  • Paulsen, E. (2020). Recognizing, addressing unintended gender bias in patient care.
  • Rimmer, A. (2019). "Old boys club" culture at BMA undermined female members and staff, sexism report finds.
  • Samulowitz, A., et al. (2018). "Brave men" and "emotional women": A theory-guided literature review on gender bias in health care and gendered norms toward patients with chronic pain.
  • Templeton, K., et al. (2020). Issues faced by senior women physicians: A national survey.
  • Wesolowicz, D. M., et al. (2018). The roles of gender and profession on gender role expectations of pain in health care professionals.
  • Westergaard, D., et al. (2019). Population-wide analysis of differences in disease progression patterns in men and women.
  • Zeidan, A. J.,  et al.  (2019). Implicit bias education and emergency medicine training: Step one?

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Related Coverage

Gender bias can cause delays in treatment, misdiagnosis, and even avoidable deaths. Learn more about gender bias in medical diagnosis.

Gender discrimination harms mental and physical health in a wide range of direct and indirect ways. Learn more and find resources here.

The psychological effects of gender inequality include low self-esteem, negative body image, exposure to chronic stress, and trauma.

Some biases exist in healthcare that can affect the treatment a person receives. Bias may involve a person's race, sexuality, age, and more.


Gender And Health Inequality Essay

Introduction There is a rising concern on the topic of health inequalities, which refers to the differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups (World Health Organization, n.d.). Differences in mobility and mortality can be caused by different determines such as gender role, social classes, age, etc. This article will focus on how gender roles and social classes affect one’s health and how they contribute to health inequality as well as reasons for healthcare professionals to be sensitive on this topic. Analysis First and foremost, there factors affect health which is the state of complete physical, social and mental well-being instead of just the absence of disease (World Health Organization, n.d.). The following paragraphs would examine how general roles and social classes affect one’s health and cause health disparity. According to World Health Organization (n.d.), gender roles are the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women, …show more content…

Take drinking and smoking as the examples. According to the Centre for Health Protection (2014), there are 5.7% male interviewees consume a drink containing alcohol daily, while there are only 1.2% female interviewees drink every day. Besides, 21.8% male drink at least once a week, while only 6.5% female do that (Centre for Health Protection, 2014). Apart from consuming alcohol, smoking also brings negative impacts to health. The survey conducted by the Centre for Health Protection (2014) pointed out that there are 17.5% of male daily smokers while there are 3.2% of female daily smokers. As risk-taking health behaviors are linked with masculinity, male tend to perform those activities in order to show their masculinity. As a result, this contributes to the health disparity between men and

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Health Inequalities: Social Determinants Of Health Care

The term social determinants of health, can be defined as a ‘set of conditions in which people are born, grow up, live and work.’ These conditions include housing, education, financial security and the environment along with the healthcare service. ( These factors are affected by the amount of money, power and resources that are available at a global, national and local level. Social determinants of health are linked to health inequalities according to the World Health Organisation, health inequalities are ‘the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.’

Women's Rights Dbq Essay

Since the beginning of empires, women were often subservient to men. They were underrepresented in politics, forbidden from education and sometimes even the workplace. Women were expected to be homemakers, raise children and be otherwise obedient. World War II began to change this. As men went to fight, women took up their places in the workforce.

In the twentieth century, women endured many struggles regarding their rights. The government had central rules placed on them. Women cannot vote, Muslim women must wear head coverings, women cannot own property, and so forth. In the twentieth century, communist movements affected women's struggles for rights by placing down laws against women, protesting feminism, and changing the system.

Social Determinants Of Health Research Paper

Social Determinants of Health Shelly Clavis Rutgers University School of Nursing Social Determinants of Health Defined Health concerns is an issue that most organizations have formed a pact to safely deal with the challenge. The main agenda focuses on the eradication of health inequalities that may exist in most countries. It is best suited that social determinants are accorded the much-needed attention since they affect a number of people. In assessing the factors that affect one’s health, genetic disposition, personal behaviors, ability to obtain healthcare and the overall environment in which an individual resides are to be considered. Social determinants of Health are issues that deals with the conditions that people have found constructed in a society and acts as a parcel in their lives, such as; growth, age and some of the more complex systems that construct a society which include economic policies and their systems that include social norms, development goals and the basic political system that they are indulged under (World Health Organization, 2008).

Health Disparity In Canada

Health disparity are avertible health status of distinctive group of people like races, skin color, language, socioeconomic resources, gender and age (Edelman, Kudzma, & Mandle, 2014). Health disparities are arbitrary and explicit to historical and present uneven distribution of political, economic, social, and environmental resources. A disparity can also be related to education, where dropping out of school occurs associated with various social and health problems (CDC,2017). Comprehensively, person with inadequate education are more likely to struggle number of health risks such as substance abuse, obesity, and traumatic injuries, compared to individual who receive more education. One of the main findings within health disparities in history

Health Disparities Essay

1. What does the term health disparities mean? Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. Populations can be defined by factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, education, or income, disability, geographic location orientation.

Social Determinants Of Health Care Literature Review

Annotated Bibliography Marmot, M. (2005). Social determinants of health inequalities. The Lancet, 365, 1099 1104. This journal article illustrates that many countries have enormous disparities in health.

Social Determinants Of Health (SDOH)

Health outcomes among people depend upon the resources that people have to live a quality life. The variations with the money distribution and power derive such circumstances and induce inequalities in health at domestic and global levels where they have become unavoidable at present (Vega & Frenz, 2013). It has been stated that income, housing as well as environment are the major categories undermining all the factors of social determinants as mentioned earlier. Individuals, groups and communities are negatively influenced by these factors in their health status. Governments of all nations have undertaken several measures to tackle the risks arising from these conditions (Chapman, 2010).

Gender Roles In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Term gender role is described as a set of social norms of what types of behaviors are generally considered acceptable, appropriate or desirable for a person based on their sex ussualy centered around opposing conceptions of femininity and masculinity. Gender roles traditionally were often divided into distinct feminine and masculine gender roles, until especially the twentieth century when these roles diversified into many different acceptable male or female roles in modernized countries throughout the world. Gender roles are closely linked with gender stereotypes.

Health Inequalities

Social determinants of health depend on social, environmental and economic conditions in societies (EuroHealthNet, n.d.). These factors and conditions, together with the age, sex and hereditary factors of a person, are interlinked and influence the health status of the individual, because a person is born, grows, lives, works and ages in these conditions (Equity Action, 2010). The living and working conditions include agriculture and food production, education, work and environment, unemployment, water and sanitation, health care services and housing (Marmot, Health inequalities in the EU, 2013, p. 40). In addition, it is clear that equal access to good health is hard to achieve, and it can be done so, if disadvantages are assessed, and that necessary measures should be taken (Stegeman, Costongs, & Needle,

Health Inequalities Essay

Health inequalities are preventable and unjust differences in health status experienced by certain population groups. People in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to experience chronic ill-health and die earlier than those who are more advantaged. Health inequalities are not only apparent between people of different socio-economic groups – they exist between different genders and different ethnic groups (“Health inequalities,” n.d.). The situation in which people are born, grow, develop, work and age are affected by social, economic, environmental and most importantly political factors.

Gender Inequality Essay

Equality among people justifies the development of human civilization. The history witnesses how people mistreated the others and how other people fought for freedom. It proves a permanent truth that the more civilized the people are, the less inequality would be promoted. However, there was no one period in the past, even now, without inequality completely. The slavery issue in the West and the gender inequality in the East both brought unimaginable damage for not only the groups of people who were mistreated, but also the society which is supposed to be peaceful, fair and justice.

Essay On Health Care Inequalities

This essay aims to identify and evaluate the inequalities in health care in different areas of society, namely disability and gender. Firstly, it is important to understand what we mean by health inequalities. It is commonly understood that health inequality refers to unjust differences in the health status, usually preventable, between different groups, populations or individuals. The existence of such inequalities is attributed to the unequal distributions of social, environmental and economic conditions within societies. Such conditions determine the risk of individuals getting ill, their ability to prevent sickness, as well as opportunities to access to the right treatments.

Essay On Gender Equality

Gender Equality is the only way forward. What is gender equality? Gender equality is achieved when all genders enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making, and when the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued and favored.

Thesis Statement On Gender Inequality

The fact also arises that women not only suffer from lack of recognition for the work they do in households but also for their work in their jobs. Women work as much as men, if not more. When both paid and unpaid work such as household chores and caring for children are taken into consideration, women work longer hours than men—an average of 30 minutes a day longer in developed countries and 50 minutes in developing countries. This is known as second shift, where women not only work at their jobs but also come back home and complete their household chores. However their contribution remains minimum due to unequal wage pay and lack of consideration given to household chores.

More about Gender And Health Inequality Essay

Related topics.

  • Health care
  • Health care provider
  • Health economics


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