Open Access in JAH
- In 2005, the World Health Organization recognized gender as a structural driver of inequalities in health . While health patterns unfold throughout the life course, it is during the transitional period of early adolescence, 10–14 years of age, that a gender divide in health begins to emerge with consequences that exacerbate across adolescence and through adulthood . While the original understanding of this divide was mostly rooted in a biomedical conceptualization of gender (often conflated with sex), we have moved toward a biosocial understanding of gender as a sociocultural process that interacts with and regulates the bodies through differential patterns of exposures and practices .
- With 1.8 billion young people aged 10–24 years in the world today, the cohort of adolescents and youth is the largest in history. Concurrently, millions of adolescents are confronting sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges, including high rates of unmet need for contraception, unintended pregnancy, and clandestine and unsafe abortion . Social norms—or shared understandings of how oneself and others should behave—can alleviate or exacerbate these challenges. Rapid global changes over the past 25 years have increased the spotlight on the interrelationships between social norms, health, and development [2–4].
- The focus of the Wingspread consultation was to explore the implications of recent research in the fields of epigenetics, adolescent neurodevelopment, and neurobiology on adolescent health. Specifically, its goal was to explore policies, programs, and future research directed to critical health concerns affecting youth that have implications for a range of noncommunicable conditions with lifelong consequences. The focus was on low- and middle-income countries.