Developing approaches to measuring the dimensions of gender and their relationship to health outcomes

Reasons for the study

It is well recognized that the incidence and prevalence of many work-related health conditions, as well as labour market exposures, differ for men and women. It is also recognized that the reciprocal relationships between work and health can also differ for men and women.

To better understand why differences exist between men and women requires measuring and incorporating dimensions of sex and gender into work and health analyses. Sex refers to biological differences between men and women, while gender refers to socially constructed differences among them. Theoretically, gender consists of multiple dimensions, although in practice quantitative approaches to measure gender have not adhered to this multidimensional approach.

Given that gender is multidimensional, is it also possible that these dimensions may not be concordant with each other. It is not known what the impacts are of gender dimension discordance on health outcomes, although this type of discordance is likely to be most prevalent among the working-age population given the gendered nature of roles and expectations for men and women in the labour market.

Objectives of the study

  • Create a multidimensional measure of gender, with a focus on the working-age population
  • Using this measure, examine the relationships between dimensions of gender and health outcome, as well as the discordance between gender dimensions and health outcomes

Project status


Research team

Funded by

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)