Max Planck Research Group
Gender Gaps in Health and Survival
In all industrialized countries, women outlive men at all ages, but women show much lower health indices than men of the same age, which is the so-called "male-female-health-survival paradox".
The female advantage in life expectancy is one of the most consistent findings in demographic and health-based social research. While the findings are less consistent, research also tends to show a female disadvantage in health across subjective and objective measures and in nations with very different cultures, economies, and social systems. Substantial diversity in the direction and magnitude of gender differences in health and longevity suggest that the contributions of biological and social factors are likely to vary across health measures, nations, and at different stage of the life course.
The complexity revealed by these patterns also highlights the need for more integrative and interdisciplinary approaches to study gender differences in health and survival. The GGHS group links multiple disciplines to investigate the role of gender in shaping treatment-seeking and health reporting behaviors and changes in these behaviors after experiencing a major life event.