Child development

September 2011

Research

Medical journal covers

An analysis of gendered images and how these might influence best practice

Volume 40, No.9, September 2011 Pages 725-728

Jan Coles

Susan P Phillips

Lyn Clearihan

Kymm Feldman

Background

Images convey a concept or message to their audience. In medical communications, social expectations and stereotypes can be transferred through language, images and practices just as they can in the lay press. Most medical journals utilise images on their front covers, with the aim of enticing readers to open the journal.

Objective/s

This article explores the use of image on the covers of two medical journals. It investigates the concepts of gender and the patient-doctor relationship used in these images through a content analysis.

Discussion

While the images investigated are engaging and sometimes amusing, we explore meanings beyond our engagement as a viewer. The discussion focuses on the need for promotion of best practice, in words and pictures, to model best professional practice.

Images convey a concept or message to their audience, and images of people can offer us ideas of who and what we are and who and what we might become. Image can also play a role in ‘maintaining or subverting established forms of social practice’.1

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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