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Conclusion

This module has highlighted the significant burden of illness that is caused by unintentional injury and violence the world over.

 

Injury and violence are not gender-neutral. Masculinity and a heterosexual male identity promote risk-taking behaviours that are hazardous to health [1] and  occupational traditions and wartime involvement  place men in situations that are threatening to health. Injury statistics confirm the significant risks to health that men face as a result of socialization and learned gender roles.

Conversely, the inequalities women face in income and opportunity place them in a vulnerable position in society. The greater physical strength of men and the power they may exert over women continues to make violence against women a major health threat worldwide.

A public health approach to injury and violence is necessary to reduce the disability and lives lost to a young subset of the world’s population.

As present and future physicians of the global community, we can advocate for gender equity as a means to improve health. We can also raise awareness of the significance of socially constructed gender roles in allowing men and women to realize their potential for a healthy life.

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1. Doyal, L. (2001). "Sex, gender, and health: the need for a new approach." British Medical Journal. 323: 1061-3.

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