Evolving gender differences in health & care across cohorts (FUTUREGEN)

PI Sweden: Stefan Fors, stefan.fors@ki.se

Women live, on average, longer than men, but have more health problems. In old age (60+), women are also more likely to use care services and to be informal care-givers. Older adults’ health and care-giving/receiving are two examples of existing inequalities between men and women.

FUTUREGEN aims to understand how entwined GENder inequalities in health and care-giving/receiving evolve across GENerations in connection with cultural and social contexts and individual realities, and how identified sex/gender inequalities may evolve in the FUTURE.

Current gender inequalities in health and care can be attributed to present-day circumstances and to how people live their lives. Both are changing, but we know little about how these changes are shaping health and care and therefore cannot predict or ameliorate future sex/gender inequalities. Are health inequalities between men and women narrowing as women achieve greater economic independence? Will shifting cultural norms mean future generations of older men will provide more care? How are gender inequalities in health and care tied to socioeconomic conditions? As men and women have been found to self-assess their health differently, which measures of health avoid sex/gender bias? To answer these questions for Europe and North America, the multidisciplinary FUTUREGEN team will build on the expertise of its members to 1) apply novel quantitative methods to international datasets and 2) obtain older people’s own views through interviews.

The project is funded by a grant from the Swedish Research Council within the program “International cooperation within GENDER-NET Plus Co-Fund”.