Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Men Estimate Men's Risks Of Common Disorders Higher Than Women Do, And Vice Versa

Date:
April 30, 2005
Source:
University of Glasgow
Summary:
New research from University of Glasgow researchers on lay perceptions about gender differences in health reveals that both men and women believe health risks are higher for their own sex than for the opposite sex. But, it also shows that males think that men are fitter and females think women are more athletic.

New research from University of Glasgow researchers on lay perceptions about gender differences in health reveals that both men and women believe health risks are higher for their own sex than for the opposite sex. But, it also shows that males think that men are fitter and females think women are more athletic.

Related Articles


Professor Sally Macintyre in the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow analysed responses from 466 women and 353 men, aged 25, 45, and 65, to a questionnaire that asked whether they thought men or women (or both equally) were more likely to have heart disease, cancer, mental illness and accidents, to be fit and to live longer.

The research provides insights about gender identity and difference. They found that each gender tends to think risks are higher for their own sex than for the other gender. Previous studies suggest that lay people and health professionals operate on stereotypes about the gender patterning of certain types of health problem and health behaviour. For example, coronary heart disease tends to be perceived as a 'male disease' even though it is the leading cause of mortality amongst women in the UK. (One study found that 30 year old women with chest pain were much less likely than 30 year old men to be given a cardiac diagnosis, much more likely to be given a psychiatric diagnosis, and around seven times more likely to be considered not to need medical treatment).

The University of Glasgow study reveals that when a respondent considered one sex more at risk than the other, men were thought more likely to have accidents and women to have cancer and mental illness. Accidents: 48 per cent of males compared to 37 per cent of females said men were more likely to have accidents; 58 per cent of females chose 'both', compared to 50 per cent of males.

Cancer: around two thirds of both sexes said they believed men and women were 'equally likely' to experience cancer; 12 per cent of males compared to 3 per cent of females said that men were more likely to have cancer, and 30 per cent of females compared with 24 per cent of males said that women were.

  • Fitness: there was a trend towards males thinking that men were fitter and females thinking women were.

  • Heart disease: 79 per cent of males and 59 per cent of females said men were more likely to get heart disease; 19 per cent more females than males chose 'both equally'.

  • Longevity: 87.5 per cent of all respondents said women lived longer.

  • Mental illness: 31 per cent of females compared to 18 per cent males believed women were more likely to suffer from mental illness, and 72 per cent of males compared with 61 per cent of females said 'both equally'.

Professor Macintyre, from the University of Glasgow, said: "In general these lay perceptions mirror professions perceptions. However, what is unexpected is that when there was a gender difference in attribution of relative likelihood, respondents tended to perceive the risks as higher for their own sex than for the opposite sex. This tendency was also evident in the one condition -- fitness -- posed in positive terms.

"Previous studies on personal risk assessments suggest a tendency to underestimate one's own risk of illness compared to one's peers -- this is often referred to as optimism bias. Our findings suggest in contrast that what may be going on in response to these type of questions is neither an optimistic nor negative bias for one's own sex, but rather a bias towards thinking any health experience, whether positive or negative, is more probable for one's own sex than the opposite sex thinks."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Glasgow. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Glasgow. "Men Estimate Men's Risks Of Common Disorders Higher Than Women Do, And Vice Versa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050430103842.htm>.
University of Glasgow. (2005, April 30). Men Estimate Men's Risks Of Common Disorders Higher Than Women Do, And Vice Versa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050430103842.htm
University of Glasgow. "Men Estimate Men's Risks Of Common Disorders Higher Than Women Do, And Vice Versa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050430103842.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins