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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


RUIZ CANTERO, María Teresa et al. Gender systems and/in the Spanish National Health Interview Survey. Gac Sanit [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.6, pp.427-434. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To analyze the Spanish National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from a gender perspective, with special emphasis on gender division of labor. Method: We analyzed the 2003 Spanish NHIS from the perspective of the levels of gender observation, with gender understood as: a) the basis of social norms (responsibilities by sex, health risks, and problems related to masculine/feminine roles); b) the organizer of the social structure: gender division of labor, work overload, vertical/horizontal segregation, time spent in activities according to social times, access to resources), and c) a component of individual identity (conflicts due to multiple roles, body image dissatisfaction, self-esteem, self-perceived recognition of the work performed, assimilation of the sexual gender role, sex differences in health conditions). Results: The Spanish NHIS is centered on the main provider, referred to in masculine grammatical form. Gender division of domestic labor is identified only by a general question. When using the concept of main activity for productive or reproductive work, the survey requires respondents to evaluate them and select only one, thus losing information and hampering analysis of the impact of an overload of work on health. Information on time used for reproductive work and leisure is not solicited. Assaults (intentional) and accidents (non-intentional) are combined in the same question, thus preventing research on gender-related violence. Conclusions: The Spanish NHIS includes the variable of sex, but its more descriptive than analytic focus limits gender analysis. The survey allows specific circumstances of employment-related inequalities between sexes to be measured, but does not completely allow other indicators of gender inequalities, such as the situation of housewives or work overload, to be measured.

Palabras clave : Gender roles; Sex differences; Gender identity; Health surveys.

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