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Social Factors in Health.

Social Factors in Health.


Social Class:

  • Response 1 highlights that social class is strongly linked to health outcomes. Individuals in higher social classes often have advantages that protect their health, such as living in safer neighborhoods and having better access to healthcare facilities.
  • Response 2 mentions that people in lower social classes may face more dangerous jobs, poorer working conditions, and higher healthcare costs, which can negatively impact their health.


  • Both responses agree that age is a critical factor in health. Response 1 mentions that age is the most important predictor of mortality and morbidity, with specific risks at different stages of life.
  • Response 2 adds that as people age, their resilience to recover from illnesses decreases, making them more vulnerable to health issues.


  • Response 1 notes that racial and ethnic minorities, such as African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Southeast Asians, often face the adverse effects of poverty on health. Racial discrimination and environmental racism can also contribute to health disparities.
  • Response 2 emphasizes historical disparities in healthcare access and research among different racial and ethnic groups, leading to unequal health outcomes.


  • Response 1 points out that women may enjoy certain health benefits like higher life expectancy but can also be more vulnerable to intimate partner violence. They may also face challenges related to aging and caregiving.
  • Response 2 highlights discrimination and bias against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly in accessing sexual healthcare, which can lead to negative health consequences.

In summary, both responses acknowledge the significant impact of social class, age, race/ethnicity, and gender/sexuality on health outcomes. These factors can influence access to resources, exposure to risks, and the quality of healthcare individuals receive, leading to health disparities in society. Addressing these disparities requires a comprehensive approach that considers the intersectionality of these factors and promotes equity in healthcare.

APA Annotated Bibliography Format.


  • According to Chapter 3, does one’s social class, age, race/ethnicity, and gender/sexuality affect one’s health returns or potential for illness?
  • In addition, how may one’s social class, age, race, and gender ranking affect health or illness?
  • Discuss 3–5 examples of how social class, age, race/ethnicity, and gender/sexuality may affect the health and illness of individuals in society.

Response 1

Social class, age, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality are all factors that affects one’s health or potential for illness according to research. Social class, which refers to an individuals position within society’s economic and social hierarchy, is strongly linked to ill health (Weitz 2019: 48). A person in a high social class has many advantages that protects their health without them trying, such as the benefits that comes with living in an affluent neighborhood: including protection from crime, pollution, violence, as well as access to healthcare facilities (Weitz 2019: 49). On the other hand, poverty correlates with poor health for a multitude of reasons such as dangerous jobs that cause illness, poor environmental condition, exposure to pollution, overcrowded and unsafe housing, and poor diets (Weitz 2019: 50). These social forces make it so that those with more resources will have better odds at good health across different times and places. Age is the single most important predictor of mortality and morbidity (Weitz 2019: 59). The most dangerous time for infants are the periods before and immediately after birth, before the risk of mortality significantly decreases. However, past the age of 45, that risk of mortality begins to rise again. If one manages to make it to 65, they are face years of chronic disease and disabilities that often mean they’ll need access to healthcare and assistance (Weitz 2019: 60). African-American, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Southeast Asians all struggle with the affects poverty has on one’s health. Not to mention that racial discrimination and lack of control they have adds stress that affects their mental and physical health. The low social status of ethnic minorities leaves them without the political power and financial influence needed to resist environmental racism. While women might enjoy some health benefits such as higher life expectancy and lower mortality rates than men, they are far more likely to be the victims of intimate partner violence (Weitz 2019: 62). Women also face the feminization of aging, which leaves them poor and without of spouse to help care for them (Weitz 2019: 60). Men on the other hand experience less illness but are more likely to die when they fall ill (Weitz 2019: 61).

Response 2

According to Chapter 3, one’s social class, age, race/ethnicity, and gender sexuality has a large impact on health returns and potential for illness. The higher the social class, the less uncontrollable stress that these people have to deal with. Poorer people have to take more dangerous jobs where companies do not care about their workers or their health and safety. Of course, as one gets older, they become less resilient so the ability to recover from illnesses as easily as a younger person is most likely not possible. In history, there have been many myths about healthcare for minorities. Many disturbing experiments were performed on minorities in order to advance the medical field yet, these same minorities did not receive quality healthcare. Jim Crow laws spearheaded the right for white people to receive the best healthcare and everyone else to get the bottom of the barrel. The lack of research on each specific race or ethnicity puts our healthcare system at a disadvantage. Of course, these diseases affect different people in different ways. Also, some illnesses affect some races more than others which have roots in history but it is just the way things are. Pertaining to social classes, insurance is very expensive and some may bring up Medicaid or Medicare but to receive these benefits is a specific tax bracket. Therefore, for the lower middle-class people who are working and just getting by, insurance costs can easily send families underwater. Which eventually can hurt these families when unexpected illnesses or health issues arise. Pertaining to race, black people have never received the same care as white people. There is no reason that in 2023 black women should have the highest mortality rate in childbirth. There is a lot of bigotry and hate in the world. The LGBTQ+ community was and still is discriminated against. Many members of this community are shamed when it comes to their sexual health. This bias leads to many deaths just because people aren’t comfortable enough to get help. At the end of the day, many factors affect healthcare that really shouldn’t, everyone deserves to be treated equally.

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