Sex Differences and Occupational Influences on Health Care Utilization Aboard U.S. Navy Ships

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Abstract

This study assessed health care requirements of men and women aboard U.S. Navy ships. It was hypothesized that shipboard women utilize more health care services than men and that these differences are greatest in occupational specialties that traditionally have not been open to women. Data were collected periodically from 20 ships over the course of a year. Results indicated that the pattern of sex differences in health care utilization aboard Navy ships is similar to that of the nation as a whole. Shipboard women use health care resources at a significantly higher rate than men. The magnitude of the sex differences in shipboard health care use, however, appears to be less than that found in the civilian community. Results also demonstrated that women in nontraditional occupations visited sick call at a significantly higher rate than women in traditional occupations. Various theoretical implications are discussed.

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