Identifying the challenges in solving issues associated with “providing care for the opposite sex” and a survey on unmet needs


Project Summary

Principal Investigator

OHTA Yuji (Faculty of Core Research Natural Science Division)

SAITO Etsuko (Institute for Gendered Innovations)
NAGASAWA Natsuko (Faculty of Core Research Natural Science Division)
OZAKI Akiko (Tohoku University)
TAYA Norihiko (Tohoku University)
HONNA Yasushi (Honjyo Himawari Fukushi-kai Social welfare service corporation)

Research period FY 2022 -
SDGs Goals

3(Good Health and Well-being)
5(Gender Equality)
8( Decent Work and Economic Growth)

Outline of Research

Issues associated with “providing care for the opposite sex” requiring care and support are serious challenges that have been left unresolved for many years. Specifically, in cases where women receive care from men, there are sensitive issues such as those receiving the care must have their bodies touched by someone of the opposite sex. This is a chronic issue in the field of care. “Excretion care” is especially delicate, where it has been pointed out that avoiding liquid to minimize emotional pain could lead to deterioration in health conditions. Even for male caregivers, it requires notable psychological considerations to provide care for women, causing much stress for the caregivers. Certainly, similar challenges exist when women provide care for men. “Providing care for the opposite sex” is not an exception for caring for family members, notably in young carers where solutions are urgently needed. “Excretion” is especially private, where it is desirable to solve with technology without an intervention by another person as much as possible, and it is an urgent issue. In this study, with the aim of understanding the current situation surrounding this issue, we conduct an interview survey and a questionnaire survey.

Research Reports

A survey on awareness and initiatives regarding cross-gender assistance was conducted with 600 facilities throughout Japan (special nursing homes for the elderly, support facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, and support facilities for people with physical disabilities) via a web-based response system. The survey targeted facility directors, on-site managers, and on-site staff at each facility. The total number of respondents was 123. Additionally, interviews were conducted with two facilities in Japan. The following is a list of points considered important based on the facts found in the web survey.
〇 More than 60% of staff have experienced cross-gender assistance, and 50% of them have experienced stress in situations of cross-gender assistance.
〇 The situations in which staff experience more stress due to cross-gender assistance are “bathing,” “toileting,” and “changing sanitary products.”
〇 Both male and female staff feel more stressed as the age of the target user increases.
〇 The situations in which users experience more stress due to cross-gender assistance are “bathing,” “toileting,” and “changing clothes.”
〇 Female users tend to experience more stress than male users. Users tend to feel more stressed as their own age increases. 
〇 Although 70% of facilities confirm that users prefer same-gender assistance, only 50% of facilities take concrete steps to resolve the issue.

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