Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Gender Analysis of Social Health of Students

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Gender Analysis of Social Health of Students

Article excerpt


The gender dimension is based on the idea that not the physical or biological differences between the masculine and feminine are significant, but the sociocultural meaning attached by the society to these differences. Gender specification of the sex is exposed quite early, but sometimes it is not noticed and the society, accordingly, does not pay much attention to it in the context of socialization of young people. One of the main reasons of the not entirely satisfactory health status of the youth in all its sides-physical, mental, and social-is at the root of this phenomenon. Despite the fact that at present, the findings of the social determination of the health status, its gender differentiation are generally recognized, the study of Russian students and their social health from the gender perspective has not yet become very popular in the sociological science. In this regard, the authors believe that at the level of sociological reflection, the development of a gender approach to the study of the social health of students, in the light of which this article analyzes the dependence on gender of the social health of students of the Southern Federal University, acquires critical importance.

Keywords: social health, students, gender differentiations, gender stereotypes, subjective health indicators, the Southern Federal University

1. Introduction

The study of social health of students in the social sciences and humanities is based on different methodological approaches that allow assessing the diversity of views on its nature from different viewpoints. Herewith, modern scientific studies demonstrate permanently growing interest in the study of gender relations and dependence of health on the gender, and in incorporating the gender approach to intellectual comprehension of the "social health" category. Sociological study of the social health of Russian students is of great practical, socio-medical, and public importance. Today's youth is to implement such important social functions of the society as the professional and labor function, as well as the reproductive, intellectual, sociocultural, and moral functions. Russian students, as a specific population group, are very responsive to any processes taking place in the modern society. And since the social transformations taking place in the Russian society for over 20 years have significantly changed the social space and along with it the economic, socio-stratificational, cultural and national, ideological, and gender relations, it is natural against the background of these transformations that changes are observed in the pattern of the social health of young people.

The inequality of social health of students is based on the benefits or, conversely, deprivations associated with the distribution of wealth, power, prestige, i.e. with the attributes of the social hierarchy, of which gender hierarchy is a variety. Currently, the need for a brand new coverage of gender aspects of health has been clearly delineated due to the gender-based needs in the social health of the Russian students. The objective conditions of the state of social health of the modern students require creating a mechanism for effective impact on gender processes related to the improvement of the nation and increase in its spiritual and physical potential. The weak theoretical elaboration and insufficient specification of the social side of health were mentioned by I. Mc Dowell and C. Newell who pointed to the much lesser number of developments in the field of social health compared to the physical and mental health fields (McDowell & Newell, 1997). Despite the practical relevance of gender studies in the field of social health of students in contemporary Russia, the number of research papers in this field is very small, which provides many opportunities for research on this issue.

Thus, the purpose of this article is to determine the level of social health among students and find gender-based differences in the mechanisms of formation of social health groups and in the indicators of the social health of young people. …

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