ERIC Number: ED195875
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug-30
Reference Count: 0
Sex Roles, Employment Status and Patterns of Disease.
Nathanson, Constance A.
If social roles rather than biological destiny are responsible for sex differences in disease, then employed women should show patterns of illness similar to those of employed men, and different from those of housewives. Recent national mortality and morbidity data, however, do not indicate whether employed women are sicker or healthier than housewives, only that these two groups respond to illness differently. The data show that health-status differentials unfavorable to housewives are concentrated among older married women with no children at home. Women in this category have relatively limited domestic responsibilities; the "sick role" may offer tham a socially legitimate alternative to paid employment. There is at present very little basis for concluding that women's assumption of male roles or life styles has negatively affected their mortality; on the other hand, there may be a basic flaw in the logic equating women's increased participation in occupational roles with their assumption of male attitudes and activities. Few women engage in occupational pursuits at the expense of their roles as housewives and mothers; perhaps the behaviors associated with these roles may provide their continued health protection. (Author/CS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).