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Gender and Health Inequalities : from embodiment to health care cascade


Start Date
End Date
Total Funding
€ 9 974 447
Funding Programme
European Countries Involved

In all European countries, social inequalities in health remain pervasive. Much research has identified a number of social stratifiers of health while others have specified the role of the health care system in contributing to the evolution of health inequalities. However, gender, as a social relation of power between men and women, is rarely considered as a key determinant of health inequalities, and when it is, theoretical frameworks are rarely relevant. Furthermore, while social science studies generally ignore biological processes, sex differences in biomedical research are often interpreted as biologically irreducible. Our objective is to document and explain how gender intersects with other social hierarchies (social class and race/ethnicity) to produce social inequalities in health from early childhood to late adulthood. Adopting a life course perspective, we will examine two complementary research questions 1)'gendered embodied health' or how (un)healthy bodies are socially constructed, and 2) 'gendered health care cascade' or how health-seeking behaviours and patterns of care are shaped by gender. Within this framework, we focus on hypertension and myocardial infarction, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and colorectal cancer.
Our approach is resolutely multidisciplinary, associating social sciences and epidemiology, in close collaboration with clinicians. We develop triangulation analysis based on (i) secondary quantitative analysis of six large cross-sectional and cohort survey including biological markers and (ii) family monographies, interviews with youth, patients and health professionals and ethnographic observations of medical visits. The multiple working meetings to develop this project has firmed our conviction over the strength, innovative value and feasibility of this multidisciplinary, multi-method and multi-pathology project supported by four experienced researchers who are leaders in their field and internationally recognised.

Project partners

Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique Cnrs

Alzheimer Europe's database on research projects was developed as part of the 2020 Work Plan which received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014–2020).