chapter  3
14 Pages

Engendering Health

A variety of factors contribute to gender differences in health and longevity, such as biology, economic status, and ethnicity. As we have seen in the preceding chapter, health behavior is among the most important of these factors-if not the most important one. And although many sociocultural factors are associated with health behavior, gender is the most important. Men have signifi cantly less healthy lifestyles than women, and being a woman may, in fact, be the strongest predictor of health-promoting behavior. Few contemporary researchers or theorists have offered explanations for these gender differences and their implications for men’s health (Lee & Owens, 2002; Sabo & Gordon, 1995).