Item – Theses Canada

OCLC number
Molyneaux, Heather,1978-author.
In Sickness and in Health :representations of Women in Pharmaceutical Advertisements in the "Canadian Medical Association Journal", 1950-1970.
Ph. D. -- University of New Brunswick, 2009
Ottawa :Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada,[2012]
4 microfiches
Includes bibliographical references.
<?Pub Inc> Pharmaceutical advertisements in medical journals often feature women, presenting Canadian health professionals with images of the ideal female patient. Dominant messages in the advertisements help define gender roles, thereby reinforcing "normal" feminine behaviour and appearance, and turning biological processes into pathological medical conditions. In my dissertation I explore how gender, as an indicator of health, was constructed in advertising images in the 'Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ)', and investigate the extent to which scientific "truths" were informed by popular culture in the 1950s and 1960s. Chapters are arranged according to a woman's reproductive "life cycle," and include analysis of images of women in advertisements for Tampax tampons, birth control pills, prenatal vitamins, and weight loss, antidepressant and hormone replacement therapy medication. My findings indicate that, while there were differences in the representation of women between the 1950s and 1960s as a result of changes to definitions of femininity and gender roles, these differences were contained within overwhelmingly white, middle class, heterosexual imagery. While examining the connection between femininity and women's health, my thesis also challenges the characterization of the 1960s as a decade of sexual revolution. This dissertation not only fills a gap in the literature on Canadian women's health history, but it also contributes to Canadian history, women's history, studies of popular culture and the history of medicine.