An international imperative for gender-sensitive theories in women's health.
PURPOSE:To propose gender-sensitive theories as a future direction for theoretical development of women's health. Few theories pertain to women's health and illness experiences, with gender issues embedded in social, cultural, and historical contexts. ORGANIZING CONSTRUCT:Significance, definition, and philosophical bases of gender-sensitive theories. FINDINGS:Six major components should be incorporated in the development of gender-sensitive theories: (a) gender as a major feature, (b) women's own words and experiences, (c) nature of women's experiences, (d) theorists' perspectives, (e) contexts, and (f) guidelines for actions. CONCLUSIONS:We believe that the development of gender-sensitive theories in nursing could enable researchers to transcend androcentric and ethnocentric views on women's health, decrease gender inequity in health care, enhance women's well being, and ultimately contribute to knowledge development in nursing.
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