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Exploring the interconnections between gender, health and nature

MacBride-stewart, Sara ORCID:, Gong, Yi ORCID: and Antell, Jessica 2016. Exploring the interconnections between gender, health and nature. Public Health 141 , pp. 279-286. 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.09.020

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Objectives Public health has recognized that nature is good for health but there are calls for a review of its gendered aspects. This review attempts to develop and explore a broad analytical theme – the differing interconnections between gender, health and nature. The paper summarizes the interconnections that have been subject to extensive academic enquiry between gender and health, health and space, and gender and space. Methods A combination of key terms including place; gender; health; outdoor space; green space; natural environment; national parks; femininity; masculinity; recreation; physical activity; sustainability; ecofeminism; feminism; environmental degradation; and environmental justice were used to search the electronic databases Sociological Abstracts, Web of Science and Scopus to identify relevant articles. We took two approaches for this review to provide an overview and analysis of the range of research in the field, and to present a framework of research that is an analysis of the intersection of gender, health and nature. Results Four dimensions are distinguished: (1) evaluations of health benefits and ‘toxicities’ of nature; (2) dimensions and qualities of nature/space; (3) environmental justice including accessibility, availability and usability; and (4) identification of boundaries (symbolic/material) that construct differential relationships between nature, gender and health. This paper offers an understanding of how environmental and social conditions may differentially shape the health of women and men. The dimensions direct analytical attention to the diverse linkages that constitute overlapping and inseparable domains of knowledge and practice, to identify complex interconnections between gender, health and nature. Conclusion This review therefore analyses assumptions about the health benefits of nature, and its risks, for gender from an in-depth, analytical perspective that can be used to inform policy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environment; Outdoor space; Gender; Health
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0033-3506
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 November 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 September 2016
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 22:16

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