Sep 1, 2013

Job Authority and Breast Cancer

Some results are hard to believe.  
Using the 1957–2011 data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, I integrate the gender relations theory, a life course perspective, and a biosocial stress perspective to explore the effect of women's job authority in 1975 (at age 36) and 1993 (at age 54) on breast cancer incidence up to 2011. Findings indicate that women with the authority to hire, fire, and influence others' pay had a significantly higher risk of a breast cancer diagnosis over the next thirty years compared to housewives and employed women with no job authority. Because job authority conferred the highest risk of breast cancer for women who also spent more hours dealing with people at work in 1975, I suggest that the assertion of job authority by women in the 1970 s involved stressful interpersonal experiences, such as social isolation and negative social interactions, that may have increased the risk of breast cancer via prolonged dysregulation of the glucocorticoid system and exposure of breast tissue to the adverse effects of chronically elevated cortisol. This study contributes to sociology by emphasizing gendered biosocial pathways through which women's occupational experiences become embodied and drive forward physiological repercussions.
From an abstract of a paper by Tetyana Pudrovska. The same argument is here

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