Symposium Article| Volume 348, ISSUE 2, P153-155, August 2014

Sex Differences in Cardiovascular Health: Does Sexism Influence Women's Health?

  • Lisa Molix
    Correspondence: Lisa Molix, PhD, Department of Psychology, School of Science and Engineering, Tulane University, 2007 Stern Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118
    From the Department of Psychology, School of Science and Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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      This commentary provides a brief overview of theory and research that supports the idea that sexism may be related to the disproportionate negative cardiovascular health outcomes in women. It describes sexism as a stressor and outlines its association with a variety of health outcomes as evidence for why sex disparities should be examined within the context of pervasive inequities. To date, population-based studies have not explicitly examined the relationship between sexism and cardiovascular disease, but smaller studies have yielded fairly consistent results. It is suggested that future research should aim to examine the influence of 2 types of sexism (ie, hostile and benevolent) and that daily or within-day designs be used to assess cognitive, behavioral and physiological responses to everyday sexist experiences.

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