The weaker sex? Exploring lay understandings of gender differences in life expectancy: a qualitative study

Carol Emslie, Kate Hunt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Despite increasing interest in gender and health, ‘lay’ perceptions of gender differences in mortality have been neglected. Drawing on semi-structured interview data from 45 men and women in two age cohorts (born in the early 1950s and 1970s) in the UK, we investigated lay explanations for women's longer life expectancy. Our data suggest that respondents were aware of women's increased longevity, but found this difficult to explain. While many accounts were multifactorial, socio-cultural explanations were more common, more detailed and less tentative than biological explanations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)808–816
    Number of pages9
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Volume67
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

    Keywords

    • gender
    • longevity
    • men's health
    • women's health

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