“Ecological Losses are Harming Women: A Structural Analysis of Female HIV Prevalence and Life Expectancy in Less-Developed Countries”
Speaker: Kelly Austin
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Director of Health, Medicine and Society Program
Abstract: Increased inequality in life expectancies across nations due to the advent of the HIV pandemic requires rigorous investigation of gender inequalities, as women now disproportionally represent the majority of global HIV cases. While empirical examinations of women’s status on HIV prevalence and life expectancy have amassed, one under-explored area of concern is the influence of environmental decline. I integrate ecofeminist perspectives to inform analysis of the direct and indirect effects of ecological losses on female health outcomes in a structural equation model of 136 less-developed nations. I find that ecological losses reduce women’s longevity via increased HIV prevalence, hunger, and diminished health resources. Conclusions point to the importance of ecological conditions and the efficacy of incorporating ecofeminist frameworks to explain global health and gender inequalities.
Kelly Austin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of the Health, Medicine, and Society Program at Lehigh University. Her current research focuses on examining the interconnections between gender inequality, environmental degradation, and infectious disease in developing countries. Austin also conducts field research on the efficacy of international health aid in the rural district of Bududa, Uganda.
Bring Your Own Lunch • Beverages and Dessert Provided