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Gender and language use in GP-patient interactions


Time frame

February 2018 - January 2022

Project description

Differences between women and men have been found in all stages of the medical trajectory, often resulting in dissimilar healthcare opportunities and outcomes. It is yet unknown to what extent gender roles and stereotypes, and potential variations in language use are present in the interactions, and to what extent these affect relevant patient outcomes. The aim of this research project is to investigate the role of biological sex and psychosocial gender in interactions between general practitioners and patients with common somatic symptoms. The research project involves both qualitative and quantitative analyses, i.e., a scoping review, a discourse analysis on interruption patterns, a membership categorisation analysis of how gender roles and stereotypes are accomplished in medical interactions, and an implementation study.

External project site

This project has an external project site


Plug, I. (2019). Heeft alleen een vrouw het over ‘slaapjes’? De man-vrouw-labels die we aan woorden hangen. Onze Taal, oktobernummer 22-24.

Plug, I., Stommel, W., Lucassen, P., Hartman, T. O., Van Dulmen, S., & Das, E. (2021). Do women and men use language differently in spoken face-to-face interaction? A scoping review. Review of Communication Research, 9, 43-79. https://doi.org/10.12840/ISSN.2255-4165.026

Joy, P., Cosma, A., Goodliffe, S., Hiltner, S., Magnée, T., Plug, I. (2021). A journey of gender in health: Transforming health by promoting gender considerations through comic art. Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1386/jaah_00066_1


ZonMw (Gender and Health)


Radboudumc, Nijmegen


Ilona Plug, ilona.plug@ru.nl