A Journey of Gender in Health



The comic book aims to illustrate how sex and gender can influence the health of people and to create knowledge, enthusiasm, and discussions among health professionals and researchers. We hope that our comics will create awareness and help you consider how sex and gender can influence health research and the health of communities and individuals. This project is an international collaboration among health experts from The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Canada. The authors received funding from ZonMw: The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development as part of the Gender and Health Knowledge Program. We are taking you on a journey across the life course, from childhood to older adulthood, to raise awareness of gender in health care. We follow the story of H, a person who represents the common Humanity we all share. H is not limited by the binary ‘he’ or ‘she’ and does not identify with a particular gender. We use the gender neutral ‘they’ in telling the story of H in the hope to prevent gendered stereotypes. The story follows H throughout their life path, using illustrations with summaries of the relevant literature to explore how gender can shape their health, health experiences, and health care. The illustrations within these pages are all made by different artists. Each artist interprets H differently but they are identifiable by the letter H on their shirt. In this way, we emphasize that sex and gender affect us all. We attempt to show how many of us think of ourselves as one coherent being, but others often see us differently and may have gender assumptions about us.
... The biographies of the team members and artists were provided at the end of the book. The final comic book was entitled A Journey of Gender in Health: A Comic Book (Cosma et al. 2020). ...
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Sex and gender are determinants of health outcomes across an individual’s life course. However, often in health research and practice, sex and gender considerations are either overlooked or confounded. Recent developments in health research and practice ask for the inclusion of sex and gender considerations within health research and practice. This article is a reaction to these calls. It explores the ways in which an international team of health researchers created a comic book that highlighted the impact of gender in many areas of health across an individual’s life course. The creative processes are critically explored, as well as selected images. Through this work, it is proposed that comic art knowledge mobilization projects can be viewed as means to transform health research and practice by critiquing and disrupting dominant cis-heteronormative sex and gender discourses.
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