Sociological Insights And Implications


Health inequality is referred as the differences faced in health status or in distributing health resources between various groups within the population. The differences arise as a result of social conditions in which individuals live, grow, work and age. In this essay, findings of the sociological researches are highlighted to information regarding the reason behind the rise of inequalities in health. Further, the extent of inequality has surfaced in relation to gender and sexuality is also discussed. Lastly, explanations for the existence of inequalities in health and social care are evaluated.

Analysing finding of sociological research into inequalities in health and social care

The inequalities in health in relation to gender are seen to have originated from the traditional society where all medical practices are focused on showing subordinate social status of the female. The sociological researches inform that since women are put on childbearing roles which result their health to become forcefully competent to get early as well as excessive development to bear child makes them vulnerable to face increased health issues compared to men creating health inequality (Bandaet al. 2017). This is because women who bear a child at an early stage has to experience physical and emotional stress for which their health may not be prepared making it vulnerable for them to get exposed to health disorder and diseases. As mentioned by Blumbergand Cohn (2015), sex preferences that manifest discrimination against female results women to face health inequality. This is because discrimination against women in the society by male dominance does not provide them minimum opportunity of health literacy or medical intervention required by them to lead a healthy life. Thus, the lack of proper health intervention as a result of male dominance and discrimination against women in society leads the females to lack proper exposure to healthy activities giving rise to health inequality.


The sociological researches inform that workloads to which women are exposed make them face increased health issues compared to men giving rise to health inequality (Bartley, 2016). This is because in the household women are exposed to increased physical strain and health adversities while working making them experience intense health difficulties compared to men. For example, in rural areas, it is seen that women are made to work in confined cooking places where they are exposed to smoke and heat for longer time that has adverse effect on their lungs and other parts of the body making them physically ill. However, men are not involved in such activities which makes them less vulnerable to develop health disorder due exposure to smoke related to cooking (Belgraveand Abrams, 2016). Moreover, due to increased work burden at home, the women get less chances to take care of their health compared to men raising inequality in health (Amin, 2015). This is because men have free time to look after their health but the women being burdened with responsibilities at home are unable take time off to think of their health to get proper healthcare. As asserted by Taukobonget al. (2016), women lack autonomy as well as power to make decision regarding their healthcare. This is because men being the key financial earners of the family they have autonomy over the women regarding the way the economies are to be managed. It provides less scope for the women to have economic efficiency to spend money to access proper healthcare creating health inequality in relation to gender within the society.

In relation to sexuality, increased health inequality still exists in the society and few of the factors driving the inequality is known but the broader factors are still unknown or understood. The sociological researches inform that discrimination in the society in relation tosexual orientation leads individual of other sexes apart from men and women face lack of access to proper health insurance and facilities (Matthewset al. 2018). This results them to face deteriorated health condition as the healthcare services needed for their improved health are not able to be available by them.As stated by Fishand Karban (2015), shortage of care service providers who have proper knowledge as well as culturally competent to take care of people with different sexual orientation such as gay, lesbian and others from the LGBT communities raises health inequality. This is because it causes the people of other sexes apart from men and women unable to have proper assistance from healthcare providers to resolve their health complication to live a healthy life. Thus, it results in creating differences in health condition of the other sexes compared to men and women in society.

The lack of proper health education based on controlling and managing health as per the sexuality of the individuals has raised health inequality in society (Hatzenbuehleret al. 2017). This is because people of the other sexes (LGBT communities) are unable to understand the way they are to develop preventive methods and manage their health so that better and at par healthy life like people of the other sexes (men and women) can be lived. As commented by Fredriksen-Goldsen et al. (2017), people with different sexual orientation apart from men and women are thought as lower and inappropriate in society. This discriminative attitude leads people of other sexes to remain deprived to get proper access to healthcare opportunities raising health inequality for them in society. As argued by Formby (2016), there is lack of social support and laws to protect the people of the other sexes from abuses or harm in the society. This makes the people of the LGBT communities to faced bully or harm in the society that adversely affects their health in relation to others making them face differences in acceptance in the society.

Discussing the problem to measure inequality in gender and sexuality

In order to measure health inequality, the health status or health outcomes need to be unidirectional and the factors related to health be able to be measured on a cardinal scale (Eikemoet al. 2017). In relation to this, the problem faced in measurement of health inequality in the area of sexuality and gender is the differential distribution of diseases. This is because the differential distribution of diseases among gender and sexes within the society makes it difficult to identify a common metrics of health based on which the health inequality is to be evaluated (Bartley, 2016). For example, in the UK, it is seen that people with different sexual orientation other than men and women are more prone to develop sexually-transmitted diseases. However, the people of general sexual orientation and gender are dominantly affected by poor mental health, chronic diseases, nutritional problems and others (Batterhamet al. 2016).

The variation of census data and vital events creates challenges for measuring health inequality due to gender and sexuality disparities (Hananditaand Tampubolon, 2016). This is because in low-resourced societies it is seen that the vital events and census records of the population in relation to gender and sexuality may not be present based on which the inequality range can be estimated. As mentioned by Mirowsky (2017), avoidance of diagnosis of the diseases posses difficulty for measuring the health inequality in relation to sexuality. This is because it cannot be measured by comparing with others in the society regarding which aspect or factor the inequality exists. For instance, in India, it is found that the people of other sexes apart from male and female are found to show reluctance in seeking healthcare services compared to others due to their lack of acceptance and humiliation in the society.

Evaluating two explanations for the existence of inequalities in health and social care

The existence of inequalities in health and social care in relation to gender and sexual orientation can be informed through cultural and structural explanations. The cultural explanations in relation to gender health inequality inform that men are likely to be more addicted to alcohol, smoke and take drugs compared to women as it is the way to make them feel masculine and to socialisewhich makes them suffered increased health complication reducing their life expectancy (Umubyeyiet al. 2016). In comparison, women are confined to household jobs as a result of the cultural principle that makes them remain at home and avoid socialisation in the public in turn barring them from getting addicted to alcohol or take drugs (Adeelet al.2017). Thus, it informs that health inequality in respect that men lower life expectancy than female as men are more prone to execute substance abuse in comparison to women due to their socialisation behaviour directed by cultural principles that support drinking and smoking. As commented by Kapilashramiet al. (2015), culturally women are thought as weaker sections of the society compared to men as they cannot income for the family that is required to make the family members live in an effective way. Thus, women being dependent for their livelihood on men face dominance from the male counterparts who take decision on behalf of them regarding their health and development. It leads to develop health inequality as men avoid spending finances on women's health as they think them as insignificant due to their lack of economic contribution to the management of the family. In some cultures, the female is thought as a burden for the society as they are thought to be physically weak and burden for the family. In such cases, the females are deprived of basic health activities required by them to live a healthy life, in turn, increasing health inequality (Daviesand Bennett, 2016).

The structural explanations inform that women are more likely to suffer and remain undiagnosed from health issues incomparison to men because of their caregiving role in society. This is evident as caregiving role leads the women to have increased responsibilities to manage their family which leads them to suffer stress and mental illness as they have little time to socialise or relax physically or emotionally (De Clercqet al. 2016).The structural explanations inform that there is less number of school and facilities to teach women regarding the way they are to take care of their health. This leads the women lack proper literacy to understand the way healthy activities are to be performed to ensure good health (Lowe et al. 2016). Thus, it leads women to lack information about healthy living giving rise to health inequality in comparison to men who are properly educated to understand the way their health is to be managed to lead a healthy life. As mentioned by Kahleand Peguero (2017), society structures are framed in such a way that they dictate women to have less power in comparison to men. Thus, the disadvantage of lower power has raised the issue of health inequality as women due to lack of power have no proper support in improve their living condition to have proper health facilities for improved health condition.

The structural explanations of health inequality in regard to sexual orientation is that the people with different sexual origin other than male and female are considered as lower or eliminated part of the society. This has resulted the people with other sexual orientation to face hindrance and lack of knowledge regarding the facilities they are able to avail for their better health conditions (Coroskyand Blystad, 2016). It has created health inequality in respect to sexuality as the people with other sexes cannot even participate due to the oppressive attitude of the society towards them and lack of knowledge regarding health services. The structural explanations inform that the people with different sexual oriental feel fear to share personal information specifically about sexual issues as they would be mocked or humiliated by others due to they being different in the society (Pachankiset al. 2017). This leads the people with other sexuality to remain deprived of proper healthcare facility and diagnosis as they could not come out in the society to access assistance.

The societal structure do not offer respect or dignity to the individuals of other sexual origin. This makes the individual avoid exposing them in the society to avail healthcare making them suffer deteriorated health condition raising incidences of health inequality (Kim and Fredriksen-Goldsen, 2017). As mentioned by Reisneret al. (2016), lack of respect and dignity leads individual to avoid exposing information regarding their health and avail healthcare services. This is because their self-esteem is hurt which makes them avoid to reveal their health conditions to get proper diagnosis to avail healthcare. The structural explanations also informs that resources and education required to understand and treat health issues of the people with other sexuality are still nor properly available in the society (Marti-Pastoret al. 2018). Thus, as a result, the individuals of other sexual origin are facing health inequality in comparison to others as they are avoided of required resources needed to ensure their good health.

The cultural explanation in respect to sexuality informs that the increased violence, bias and hate crime towards the other sexual communities have made them avoid exposing their health issues in the public. This is because of the fear of discovering their sexual orientation while accessing healthcare services making them prone to abuse and harm in the society. It has lead to inequality in the aspect that the individuals with other sexuality are unable to avail required healthcare activities and diagnostic services needed for their improved health making them suffer and face death (Aylagas-Crespilloet al. 2018). The ostracious behaviour in many cultures towards the people of different sexuality has resulted the individual to face exclusion from accessing required and available healthcare services for other individuals in society. It has lead to increased health inequality as the individuals of other sexually lack support from the family or from the society or government required to ensure their better health condition and living (Bowlinget al. 2016).

The structural explanations inform that people of other sexual origin who belong to the LGBTQ communities suffer increased incidence of mental health issues compared to normal individuals (Schmitzet al. 2019). This is equal distribution of health conditions persists because the people from LGBTQ communities continuously face humiliation, lack of support from family, abuse in the society and other as a result of their different sexual orientation. As stated by Ejaifeand Ho (2019), in some cultures the prejudice regarding people of different sexuality other than women and men is that they are harmful to society. This cultural ideology leads the people of other sexual origin to avoid to avoid exposing themselves in the society for the purpose of receiving healthcare making them deprived of basic health amenities required for their improved living, in turn, causing health inequality.


The above discussion informs inequalities in health and social care exists in relation to sexual origin and gender. This is because women are thought as lower individuals in the society who are not offered power to take decision or avail proper resources to ensure their good health. In relation to sexual origin, health inequality exists as they are different from the society where they are discriminated by people due to their condition. The cultural explanations inform that health inequality in relation to gender exists because the women are thought as insignificant person of the society who has less physical as well as mental strength to bet at par men to take own decision for having proper healthcare. The structural explanations in relation to sexual origin that creates health inequality inform that lack of proper resources, lack of knowledge regarding health issues about the LGBTQ communities and others have contributed to the unequal state.

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