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Gender stereotyping in medical interaction: a Membership Categorization Analysis.

Stommel, W., Plug, I., Olde Hartman, T.C., Lucassen, P.L.B.J., Dulmen, S. van, Das, E. Gender stereotyping in medical interaction: a Membership Categorization Analysis. Patient Education and Counseling: 2022
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Objective
Gender can be a valuable resource in communication but also a problem, perpetuating gender stereotypes. So far, there has been little attention for how healthcare professionals and patients make gender relevant in medical interactions. The approach of Membership Categorization Analysis (MCA) is particularly pertinent to meticulously analyze gender in medical communication. Applying MCA, this study analyzes how activity descriptions implicitly associated with gender stereotypes, e.g., "carrying a laundry basket up the stairs", feature in the course of GPs' explanations of a question or diagnosis. The aim is to provide a new perspective on the relationship between gender and medical interaction, and to increase our understanding of how gender stereotypes are reproduced in the medical setting.

Method
Two cases of GPs using gendered explanations in Dutch general practice interactions are analyzed turn-by-turn using MCA.

Results
The findings show how GPs' descriptions of gendered activities serve the exemplification of technical terms, designed for the specific patient, while also casting the patient in a traditional gender role.

Conclusion
Invoking gender in medical interaction may serve a communicative goal while also perpetuating stereotypes.

Practice implications
Insight in the subtleties of gender construction in medical interactions could enhance gender awareness and sensitivity in healthcare.