SOCIALIZATION OF WOMEN AND ITS IMPLICATION ON THEIR HEALTH STATUS

W. Boateng

Abstract


Gender socialization championed primarily by the family impacts differently on the health status of women and men. Based on the perspective of the social role theory, a case has been made in this conceptual paper that women experience poor health status as a result of multiple social roles and responsibilities placed on their shoulders. The Feminist theorists concurred with the social role theorists that macro and micro sociological structures marginalize women on many fronts, which adversely affect their health status. This is perpetuated through role orientation acquired, reproduced, and sustained through the conduit and process of socialization, which takes place primarily within the family. This study recommends that social policies that hold promise for women to increase control over their lives and particularly to reduce any type of discrimination confronting them have to be institutionalized to improve their overall wellbeing. Women should also be proactively involved in social decision-making, principally in those affecting them directly. This should not be limited to just health treatments but also in all other aspects of their lives. Since men play a significant role in the gender socialization process because of their status as family heads in most cultures, they should be more encouraged to champion women’s causes through education and formulation and implementation of feasible social policies. This is a critical step geared towards addressing gender inequalities in contemporary society with its promise of improved health status for all.

Keywords: Gender Socialization, Family, Women, Health Status, Social Roles


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