Researching for LGBTQ Health

Cultural Representations of Gender in Psychiatric Narratives

The Cultural Representations of Gender study (2014-2017) examined representations of femininities and masculinities as they exist within the contemporary psychiatric medical chart. It is an extension of a pilot study conducted in 2009-2011 that explored the interpretative nature of psychiatric chart documentation in relation to constructions of women's mental distress and gender, sexuality, race and class (Daley, Costa & Ross, 2012).

The objectives of the project include:

  • Exploring how psychiatric chart documentation reflects common ideas related to femininities and masculinities;
  • Exploring how psychiatric language and understandings of mental distress reproduce ways of being feminine and masculine and maintain separate categories of 'woman' and 'man';
  • Applying Mad Studies and psychiatric consumer/survivor (C/S) movement critiques that challenge institutionalized oppressions related to mental distress and gender, sexuality, race and class.

Intersectional representations of gender were examined through an analysis of the documentation practices of mental health professionals in psychiatric in-patient charts belonging to 135 diversely-situated cisgender and trans women, men, and non-binary people within one large urban, Canadian psychiatric institution.


Project Outcomes:

Team (Pilot project 2009-2011):

Project Outcomes (Pilot project 2009-2011):