This study was designed to determine the age- and gender-specific incidences of moderate and minor head and neck injuries from emergency room casualty registers in two cities in northern Sweden. By contrast with findings in most studies on injuries, the incidence of minor and moderate head and neck injuries was higher among women than men in the 15-17- and the 39-53-year-old age group, and the incidence of neck injuries as high among women as among men in the 15-65-year-old age group. As compared to men, women more often sustained their head and neck injuries as pedestrians and as car passengers, and in rear-end and side collisions. Men were more often injured as motor vehicle drivers, in single-vehicle accidents and head-on collisions. Sports-related impact injuries were twice as common as fall injuries among men, the reverse being true of women. The determinants of gender-specific differences, and the relatively high incidence of minor head and neck injuries among women are discussed in relation to exposure, physical differences, as well as behaviour and lifestyle. It is recommended that greater detail is required in injury registrations, and that neck injury prevention be improved taking into consideration women's greater vulnerability to such injuries.