Gender and Health: Down With Clichés !

October 20 2017

When it comes to health, women and men are not equal. This is not only due to their biological differences, but to social, cultural and economic factors which are not always taken into account. Gender stereotypes influence medical training and practices, research, as well as how patients behave. This in turn creates discrimination and gender inequalities in both medical supervision and access to healthcare.

The Inserm Ethics Committee and its "Gender and Health Research" Working Group are seeking to raise awareness of a wide audience on health inequalities between women and men with a series of short films, “Gender and Health: Down with Clichés!” co-produced by the Inserm, the CNRS and the Université Paris-Diderot. The CNRS and the Université Paris-Diderot are the only public higher education institutions in France to have launched and sustained missions dedicated to gender equality. This film project is also sponsored by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Institut universitaire de France.

The 6 one-minute films[1] alert viewers to gender stereotypes in six areas of medicine and research: depression, life expectancy, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, pain, and brain imaging. These films were designed to raise awareness of healthcare professionals and patients with the objective of promoting greater equality in medicine for both women and men. 

These videos also serve to launch the “JRS Inserm” international conference on “Sex and Gender in Health Care and Research : An Innovative Articulation”[2] to be held in Paris on November 23rd 2017.

[1] The films, produced by Véronique Kleiner and available in French, English, and with subtitles, can be found on Inserm’s YouTube channel, at:


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Catherine Vidal
Member of the Inserm Ethics Committee
“Gender and Health Research” Group

Jennifer Merchant
Member of the Inserm Ethics Committee
“Gender and Health Research” Group 

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