The vulnerability is the quality of this or one who is vulnerable (which is likely to be exposed to physical or moral attacks). The concept can be applied to an individual or a social group if it is capable to prevent, resist and cope with an impact. Vulnerable people are those who, for several reasons, do not have this expanded capacity and which are therefore, somehow, in a situation of risk.
In general, children, women and the elderly are considered subjects in situations of vulnerability. This design has to do with deficiencies or physical differences compared to men, which are naturally prepared to face certain threats. A typical example to explain the concept that society has compared the vulnerability is the vessel that is ready to run and where the first to be saved are the above mentioned groups (children, women and the elderly). What it seems, men have more possibilities to resist and to help those who are most vulnerable.
The vulnerability also has a link with the social and cultural conditions. In this sense, a person who lives on the street is vulnerable (exposed) to any kind of risk (disease, attacks, flights, etc.). Furthermore, an illiterate person is also in a situation of vulnerability, insofar as he has struggled to gain access to the work and, therefore, market needs.
In another context, the vulnerability may also be linked to natural disasters. A zone is said to be vulnerable if it is exposed to a phenomenon in destructive potential (for example, a people living at the foot of an active volcano).