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How to include gender in your teaching ?

Adopt a Gender mindset:

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  • Generalize only when appropriate, to ensure that students understand different presentations of disease amongst diverse populations.

  • Don’t allow neutral terminology to mean male, while specifying sex when talking of a female patient.

  • Always specify the sex of a patient in a case, unless the disease being discussed is unique to one sex.

  • When sex is irrelevant, use gender neutral terms such as s/he, human, person, or the plural term “they“, but use sex specific terms when appropriate

  • Beware of overemphasizing female psychological status or underemphasizing psychology in men. 

  • Use language to reveal and dispel, rather than reinforce stereotypes.

  • Don’t hesitate to communicate gender-relevant concerns to your colleagues!

  • Avoid shifting from epidemiology to stereotyping, for example: gay men have a higher prevalence of HIV but not all gay men are HIV positive.

  • Break stereotypes by including family roles equally when describing women or men. [2]


2. Tutor Guide to the Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum written by Dr. Susan Phillips, Queen’s University and Chair of the Gender Issues Committee of the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine.

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