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Gender Differences in Public Health

Mental Health Problems and Gender

Admittedly, cultural and gender differences affect the course of such mental problems as depression. Thus, females usually suffer from depression because of issues related to their children, marriage, housing, romance, etc. (Afifi, 2007). However, males usually suffer from such mental problems because of crises concerning finance, careers, and marital relationship (Afifi, 2007). The course of the depression also differs greatly among males and females. The researcher points out that this can be the result of females’ isolation, so to speak. Females tend to focus on their problems, which increases depression and anxiety. If females do not feel support, the depression worsens.

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Dealing with Health Problem in Regards to Gender

One of the most effective ways to treat depression among women is to provide proper psychological support (Afifi, 2007). Women should have access to various programs to obtain psychological support. Of course, health care specialists should be able to address this or that issue properly. Apart from precise programs and policies, technology can provide a lot of opportunities for women. Admittedly, social networks (various blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) help women to share their experiences. Thus, women can feel support on the part of those who have faced the same issues. Nonetheless, it is still important to create resources that could provide women with professional help and support.

Treatment in Regards to Gender

Admittedly, gender plays a very important role in developing treatment and intervention strategies. Thus, such purely female intervention procedure as breast cancer screening needs particular attention with regards to gender peculiarities (Rimer et al., 2001). Rimer et al. (2001) focus on peculiarities of mammography in the USA. The researchers claim that a rather restricted number of women acknowledge the importance of undergoing the procedure. The researchers also mention that it is essential to develop specific programs and strategies to encourage women to undergo the procedure. The developers of the programs should take into account various factors: physiological, psychological, and social.

Evidence of Gender Differences and HIV/AIDS

Gender differences (as well as gender inequalities) can be found in HIV transmission and vulnerability to this disease. Thus, according to the World Health Organization Department of gender and Woman’s Health (2003) at the beginning of the pandemic, the infection was found among men in the vast majority of cases, but now more than half of the infected are women. Gender differences have contributed greatly to this. Cultural peculiarities in African countries also contribute to the spread of the infection.

Thus, very young girls often have to marry much older men. Women also tend to rely on hormonal contraception ignoring the importance of the use of other HIV prevention tools like condoms and others (The World Organization, 2006). Besides, sex is also seen as a sign of masculinity and maturity and many boys try to enter sexual intercourse as early as possible. The lack of proper education contributes to the spread of the infection.

Factors Contributing to Gender Differences and Strategies to Address Them

Alcoholism has been associated with males throughout the centuries. However, the change in social roles performed by females and males has changed this trend (World Health Organization Department of Gender and Women’s Health, 2005). Now female alcoholism is steadily increasing. Females start playing more active roles in society and they are often depressed, which leads to alcohol abuse. The rate of male violence against women also increases and contributes to the development of female alcoholism. Finally, the lack of strategies to address female alcoholism also plays a negative role. To effectively address the issue, it is important to develop prevention programs, educate health care specialists to enable them to address a specific problem related to female alcoholism, develop services for females, victims of male violence, etc.

Reference List

Afifi, M. (2007). Gender differences in mental health. Singapore Medical Journal, 48(5), 385-391.

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Rimer, B.K., Meissner, H., Breen, N., Legler, J., & Coyne, C.A. (2001). Social and behavioral interventions to increase breast cancer screening. In N. Schneiderman, M.A. Speers, & J.M. Silva (Eds.), Integrating behavioral and social sciences with Public Health (pp. 177-201). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The World Health Organization Department of Gender and Women’s Health. (2003). Gender HIV/AIDS. Web.

The World Health Organization Department of Gender and Women’s Health. (2005). Gender, health and alcohol use. Web.

The World Health Organization. (2006). Progress in sexual and reproductive health research: female genital mutilation (FGM) and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries. Web.

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