Krieger’s Model and Sex Differences in COVID-19 Infections
The threat that COVID-19 has been posing to the global community needs an immediate response along with long-term planning, which, in turn, demands a strictly analytical approach. In the specified situation, illustrating the current connections and correlations between variables is essential to convey the key message and outline the path toward further research. In turn, Krieger’s diagrams as the visual shorthand for the key correlations between the existing factors are a very helpful tool for delineating the essential dynamics within the target environment. Due to their simplicity, the specified tools allow charting the path toward a more complex understanding of the issue by locating minor connections and details.
Namely, the model is perfect for identifying within-sex comorbidities in addressing the instances of COVID-19 since it provides a straightforward and clear way of locating key issues related to exposure and outcomes. According to Krieger, the issue of determining connections between sex, gender, and health management is complicated by the history of the specified definitions. However, the understanding of gender as the factors related to socialization and sex as the issues associated with biology and genetics is expected to help in addressing health concerns. As Krieger explains, “Not recognizing that parity is a social as well as a biological phenomenon, with meaning for men as well as women, means important clues about why parity might be associated with a given outcome might be missed.” In turn, the model that Krieger has suggested provides a perfect tool for defining the correlations between sex, gender and exposure to, as well as the development of COVID-19.
The importance of addressing intersectional issues in managing health concerns has been raised by scholars multiple times, which proves that Krieger’s model is worth applying in modern healthcare settings worldwide. For example, Hankivsky explains that the necessity to account for the factors associated with both gender and sex in managing health concerns is crucial. Namely, the author emphasizes the need to consider endless gender permutations affecting the quality of patients’ living, their health literacy, and the related factors, along with the issues tied to the patients’ biological sex. Most importantly, the author states that sex is likely to become a massive influence on gender, which means that the correlation between the two must be established when addressing major health concerns.
A similar sentiment has been expressed by Schulz and Mullings, who also insist on the need to incorporate the principles of intersectionality into health management and embrace a wider range of factors. Placing the heavy emphasis on the differences across people belonging to different races and genders, Schulz and Mullings reinforce the role of intersectionality in managing health issues. As the authors explain, “The challenge we now encounter is how to understand the ways in which gender, race and class relations intertwine.” Consequently, Schulz and Mullings indirectly contribute to the role that Krieger’s diagrams play in structuring the relationships between sex, gender, and COVID-19, primarily, exposure to it and the expected health outcomes.
The specified line of thinking aligns with that one of Krieger, thus suggesting that Krieger’s model needs to be promoted in managing COVID-19. According to Krieger, “not only can gender relations influence expression and interpretation of biological traits, but also sex-linked biological characteristics can, in some cases, contribute to or amplify gender differentials in health.” Thus, the incorporation of Krieger’s model into the reflection on COVID-19 infections (cases/morbidity) or death (fatality/mortality) is instrumental since it offers a way of locating relationships between sex, gender, exposure, and outcomes in COVID-19 management.