Gender matters: an integrated model for understanding gender roles

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   How the roles of each gender affects utilization of preventive health programs       

 According to Koh (2010), the American health department targets to achieve a fully healthy nation by the year 2020. This is expected through massive health promotion activities that would probably prevent disease occurrence among the people. The campaign aims at eliminating social and cultural perspectives that inhibit health care services. Bird & Rieker (1999) indicates that gender roles contribute to the percentage of disease occurrence between men and women. The author suggests that the cultural responsibility accorded to each gender determines their health status. The mortality rate of men is observed to be different from that of women where it is slightly higher than the later. This difference cannot be ascertained but is traceable in the different roles practiced by these genders.

According to Bird & Rieker (1999), men are reluctant to seek preventative healthcare services due to the masculinity effect. Men usually feel more superior and stronger than women hence lack preference for preventative health care systems. The society too perceives men to be stronger and resilient. In a healthcare scenario, women tend to receive more attention than men even though the mortality rate of men is higher than that of women. Connectively, the life expectancy of men is significantly lower than that of women. The roles that each gender engages in determine their likelihood to seek preventative health services. Men for example engage themselves in risky activities that increase their health risks such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. Men are also hesitant to seek preventative health care services due to the roles assigned to them by the cultural norms. They are perceived as strong and enduring hence ignores health preventative programs.

  1. Promoting marriage in a bid to protect population health

            According to Idler, Boulifard & Contrada (2012), stable marriages are connected to low adult mortality rates. This indicates that marriage is a foundation for a healthy population. The author further indicates that adults who are single are susceptible to high mortality than those who are married. People who have never been married and those who are divorced or separated have higher likelihood of health problems and high mortality than the married people. It would therefore be suitable to enhance and facilitate stable marriages in order to promote a healthy population. Unmarried people are more likely to involve themselves in activities that may threaten their health than married people. Cases of excessive smoking and alcohol consumption are more prevalent with unmarried people than married ones. This explains why successful marriages should be supported.

According to Wight, LeBlanc, & Lee (2013), the population involved in sex marriages is more prone to health problems than that engaged in normal male-female marriages. Heterosexuals record a lower mortality than the bisexuals together with gay and lesbians. The social stigma fuelled by acts of discrimination and rejection accorded to people in same sex marriage increases the likelihood of poor health status of these people. It has been evidenced that people in heterosexual marriages have better health outcomes than the bisexuals. Therefore, promotion of same sex marriages would lower the health problems among the general population. Stable heterosexual marriages can be depended upon to produce a healthy population.

  1. Designing programs that encourage people to chose healthy options

            According to Koh (2010), the American health department aims at instituting programs that will facilitate establishing healthy population. The program dubbed 2020 Vision for Healthy Peoplewas initiated by the American health care system to improve the health standards of the people. The programs aims at leaping maximum health benefits for the people through focusing on key areas that challenge to a healthy population. The main idea of the program is to sensitize the people to take responsibility of their own health. The program also focuses on reducing the health risk factors by enlightening the people on the same. Such include excessive tobacco use, substance use, weight control and effective immunization among others.

The PRECEDE-PROCEDE model can effectively be used to facilitate designing a program that would realize maximum health benefits for the public. The model uses an articulate approach to health promotion and education programs. The model provides an elaborate mechanism through which the public may apply in order to achieve maximum health benefits. Intervention and support are the main factors that the model focuses on to establish a health program. Intervention involves interrupting the underlying health trend to make it suitable to accommodate newer healthy approach strategies. This may involve complementing the cultural norms such as dietary habits to match the healthy standards. Support involves holding up these interventions and enabling the public to manage their own health (Green & Kreuter, 1999).

  1. A, Attitudes towards seeking medicine and medical attention among low income African Americans

            A health disparity exists between the African Americans and the Native Americans. This disparity is attributed to many factors. Some researchers indicate that there exists physician bias when handling patients from different societal backgrounds. Hispanics are arguably given more health care attention than the blacks. Other studies indicate that the blacks are less willing to seek medical care from medical institutions due to their cultural beliefs. There is also a proposition that African Americans with low income tend to avoid medical attention due to the high cost of services involved (Schnittker, Pescosolido & Croghan, 2005).

Schnittker, Pescosolido & Croghan (2005) indicates that African Americans have got less trust on the contemporary medicine and medical attention offered by primary health care practitioners. This emanates from their strong cultural beliefs. The health disparity is more prevalent among low income African Americans. This is because most of them choose to forego services of primary health care due to the cost factor. African Americans with low income tend to avoid hospitalization for minor ailments. The disparity in health between the whites and low income blacks cannot be fully ascertained to cultural beliefs. The socioeconomic status differences influences these attitudes.

  1. Reasons for low income minority population preference for emergency room health service other than primary health care facility

            According to Kangovi et al (2013), patients with a high socioeconomic status tend to seek ambulatory health services more than those occupying low socioeconomic status. The difference is traced to the cost effectiveness of the two modes of health care. The low income population views primary health care facilities as expensive. They also perceive the ambulatory services to be of low quality and less convenient as compared to hospital services. Low income population however lacks information on the benefits of ambulatory services which are more concerned with dealing with health ailments at the early stages. Primary health care facilities offer continuous health checkups to their patients and reduce the likelihood of escalation of health problems. The services are much more expensive than those provided in hospitals. Ambulatory health care aims at reducing the number of cases requiring hospitalization. Primary health services are less subsidized making them more expensive than hospital services which are charitable in nature. It is hectic for low income earners to afford health care services in primary care units. Most people of low socioeconomic status do not have health insurance and cannot afford the regular primary care health services.

  1. Reasons why population earning less income would prefer non-medical health services

            Study indicates rise in use of non-medical health care services in the US in the recent past. Some of the non-medical services sought by people include the yoga, meditation exercises, massage, dietary therapies and herbal clinics among others. People are slowly abandoning the conventional health care system for the alternative health practice. Various hypotheses have been developed to explain this scenario (Pagán & Pauly, 2005). According to Schnittker, Pescosolido & Croghan (2005), the cost of health care services in the US has increased substantially. Low income earners are finding it difficult to access medical services owing to the high cost of the services. Pagán & Pauly (2005) indicates that uninsured low income earning adults in the US experience difficulties in accessing contemporary medical services. Most of them switch to non-medical health services due to lack of enough funds to secure proper services from credible health facilities. On the other hand, the population may be dissatisfied with the quality of services provided by medical facilities. Some people have got low trust for conventional medical care which leads them to consult alternative health services. Cultural beliefs also serve as a factor of increasing use of alternative health services. Some people are more acclimatized to beliefs that limit their use of conventional medical care.

  1. Why Mexican Americans prefer seeking medical services from clinics in border cities

            Many Mexico immigrants living in America return home to access medical services. The situation is more prevalent with communities living close to the Mexican border. Most Latinos prefer accessing medical services from their homeland other than obtaining the same from the American health system. The main reason behind this trend is the high cost of medical services in the American health facilities. Most low income Latinos fancy medical services from border clinics.  The main reason is to evade the high cost of accessing similar services from facilities in American health. Convenience is another factor that motivates these medical returns. Mexicans living close to the border prefer accessing medical services from their homeland since it is convenient for them in terms of distance. Some Latinos claim that homeland medical services are of higher quality than those provided by American medical system (Horton & Cole, 2011).

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