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Disparities in Female Health Care

This guide aims to address the gaps in medical research that contribute to female health disparity

IntersectionalityDiagram of overlapping circles with different social categories such as race or gender to demonstrate the concept of intersectionality

"Where systems of race, gender, and class domination converge... intervention strategies based solely on the experiences of women who do not share the same class or race backgrounds will be of limited help to women who because of race and class face different obstacles." - Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989, pg.1246)

Not all female patients may identify as women, but every patient will experience the healthcare system from their unique perspective of racial identity, sexual identity, and other social categories. Intersectionality is the idea that these social categories are not isolated, but rather interact together to influence the experiences of those who belong to more than one marginalized social group.

Searching the Literature

Social terms and language on identity evolves faster than terminology in medical studies, however to access the full literature some outdated wording may have to be used. Search terms will also vary between sociology databases and health science databases, but experimenting with searches across platforms may yield interesting results as they bring out different aspects of the discussion.

Keyword MeSH CINAHL Notes
Intersectionality Intersectional Framework Intersectionality Since intersectionality is directly addressing the interaction of different social categories, it is recommended to specify your population of interest in your search. EX: Intersectionality AND Women AND Race
Ethnic Groups Population Groups Ethnic Groups Ethnic and population groups are umbrella headings which include all ethnicities. Specific terminology for ethnic groups is linked to learn more.
Sexual Identities Sexual and Gender Minorities
Sexual and Gender Minorities Specific terminology for sexual and gender identities is linked to learn more.
Economic Classes Socioeconomic Factors Socioeconomic Factors Specific terminology used to discuss the effects of economic instability, housing instability, and illiteracy is linked to learn more.
Neurodiversity Neurodevelopmental Disorders Neurodiversity Specific terminology used to discuss different neurodiversities is linked to learn more.
Intellectual and Developmental Disability Intellectual disability Intellectual disability Specific terminology used to discuss intellectual and developmental disabilities is linked to learn more.
Critical Race Theory N/A Critical Theory Critical Race Theory and its acronym CRT are best used as key phrases for searches, but to use CINAHL's subject heading, you can try a search similar to (MH "Critical Theory+") AND nursing
Example Searches

Click on the highlighted links to see the search or copy and paste this search into the suggested database.

APA PsycInfo: autism spectrum disorder AND (female disparities)

PubMed: (maternal mortality black women) AND (socioeconomic factors)

Sociology Database: noft(feminism OR "feminist theory") AND noft(intersectionality) AND noft(health care)


Selected Databases

For more relevant databases to search, you can browse through Gumberg's social sciences resources.

Additional Reading