How Is Normal Gender Identity Represented In Western Medical And Media Discourse? (2017)

This dissertation investigates and analyses how ‘normal’ gender identity is represented in Western medical and media discourse. I used discourse analysis to study ‘Why Gender Matters’ by Leonard Sax, as an example of a key medical text, as well as 10 online media articles covering three case studies of children being raised ‘gender neutrally’ and one of a child being diagnosed as having gender dysphoria.

I chose to study these two areas as within science discourses are particularly powerful in constructing themselves as ‘true’ and are persuasive; whereas on the other hand, discourses within the media are easily accessible and pervasive. Additionally, with analysing articles, I was able to study the comments left on them to gain an insight into audience reactions.

Within these texts I looked at language, discourse, images (where applicable), and the general tone of the text to analyse how ‘normal’ gender identity was being represented in these spheres. I related my findings to key theories within these issues, such as Butler’s heterosexual matrix and ideas surrounding gender as ‘performative’. I found that both the articles and ‘Why Gender Matters’ used various techniques to maintain an authoritative voice and to construct their views and arguments as ‘true’ and reputable.

Additionally, they both persistently constructed gender as a binary in which an individual must be either male or female and constructed those who did not fit within this binary as problematic, such as gender inconsistent children.

  • 16,000 words – 60 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for sociology students

1 – Introduction

2 – Discursive Construction of Gender
Historical Medical Construction

3 – Methodology

4 – Analysis

5 – Conclusion



Gender Identity and the Media Dissertation
Gender Identity and the Media Dissertation

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