Questions of non-binary gender and population health

PHS 795 Student Rissa Lane writes:

This article was published in CNN on Wednesday, September 20th, and refers to The Global Early Adolescent Study: An Exploration of the Factors that Shape Adolescence, an article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health volume for October 2017 and came from researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the World Health Organization. The study draws connections between binary gender roles imposed on people from a very young age and the health implications that result. The article suggests that gender role expectations are the result of bias from group to group and the norms that exist in a community, because gender roles exist in nearly every culture across the globe, but the expectations for each gender are not necessarily synonymous across different populations. This study is particularly relevant to the content covered in this course as we have started to look at health of populations and social-ecological determinants of health. Typically, controls are imposed on study participants to regulate the effects of varying income, education level, age, and gender on the representation of results of evaluation. With this study, it becomes evident that the binary gender system may actually have health implications in and of itself.


One thought on “Questions of non-binary gender and population health

  1. This is a great article find, Rissa! As you mentioned, gender norms and expectations are a product of society and the communities that individuals live in. As we learned in the Socioecological Models of Population Health online lecture module, each person is influenced by several spheres of surrounding factors and influences. Starting with the innermost circle, a genetic predisposition can determine the gender and sexuality that a person identifies as. The article acknowledges this, and even recognizes that there are greater factors than solely biology that influence gender roles and norms. As we learned in class, there are additional layers including interpersonal, community, and societal factors that influence individual behavior. In this case, the emphasis is on the outer layer, which includes the reciprocal influence that is occurring between all levels of the model. Based on the SEM model, both social and cultural environments matter, and influence individuals, which ultimately shapes how society’s gender norms and values are executed.


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