Devonomics

Devonomics

It is difficult to answer questions about how Nigeria can and should achieve sustainable economic, social and political growth. This column takes a look at well known development economic theories and applies them to the unique Nigerian context.

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Does your sex affect your health?

Martha Sambe

Martha Sambe

Martha is a graduate of Development Economics and International Cooperation from the University of Rome, Tor Vergata. She enjoys writing and researching topics in development, sociology, and religion.

We assume our gender based on the physiological characteristics we possess at birth. So, a person is considered a man or woman by society because they have certain distinct features – even allowing for uncommon cases where individuals present with both male and female features

Society has structured itself around this gender dichotomy, arguably since the first humans walked the earth. And while gender roles have been fluid over time, biological differences have been more fixed; at least, we have usually thought so

While the biological difference between sexes is a preexisting condition, imposed gender roles contribute towards creating an avenue for men and women to have varying health and healthcare experiences. But just how much do these experiences vary? Quite a bit, it turns out. 

 

How nature screws us over

The most notable biological difference between men and women is in their reproductive organs. These differences alone put male and female health needs in different categories. Where the physical act of sex is concerned, though both sexes share the risk of contracting diseases, they do not equally share the responsibility for protection. Women, being more prone to infections than men, are required to manage their reproductive systems in a more careful and delicate manner.  

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