Marie Gustafsson Sendén, porträtt. Foto: Anna Danielsson.

Marie Gustafsson Sendén

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Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 39 46
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 14
Room 348
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Hellen Vergoossen (et al.).

    In 2015, a gender-neutral pronoun (‘hen’) was introduced in Swedish as a complement to ‘hon’ (she) and ‘han’ (he). Adding a gender-neutral pronoun differs from previous gender-fair language reforms because it removes gender information instead of making women more visible by using double forms (she/he). The reforms have in common that both “double” and the “gender-neutral” language reforms have been met with negative reactions. Arguments against gender-neutral language partially tap into the same categories of arguments found against previous forms of feminist language reforms, but also belong to some new categories. Novel is the focus on challenging the idea of gender as being non-binary. While ideas such as sexism being acceptable or sexist language not being sexist were very uncommon in our sample, the idea that gender identities (and either male or female) are important and that language should reflect this was common.

  • 2016. Marie Gustafsson Sendén, Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, Ann Fridner. Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 28

    Background: It is common that physicians go to work while sick and therefore it is important to understand the reasons behind. Previous research has shown that women and men differ in health and health related behavior. In this study, we examine gender differences among general practitioners who work while sick.

    Methods: General practitioners (GP’s) working in outpatient care in a Swedish city participated in the study (n = 283; women = 63 %; response rate = 41 %). Data were obtained from a large web-based questionnaire about health and organization within primary care. Two questions about sickness presenteeism (going to work while sick) were included; life-long and during the past 12 months, and five questions about reasons. We controlled for general health, work-family conflict and demographic variables.

    Results: Female physicians reported sickness presenteeism more often than male physicians. Work-family conflict mediated the association between gender and sickness presenteeism.

    Women reported reasons related with “concern for others” and “workload” more strongly than men. Men reported reasons related with “capacity” and “money” more strongly than women. These differences are likely effects of gender stereotyping and different family-responsibilities.

    Conclusions: Gender socialization and gender stereotypes may influence work and health-related behavior. Because sickness presenteeism is related with negative effects both on individuals and at organizational levels, it is important that managers of health organizations understand the reasons for this, and how gender roles may influence the prevalence of sickness presenteeism and the reasons that female and male GPs give for their behavior.

  • 2016. Ann Fridner (et al.). Book of Proceedings. 12th Conference of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, 203-203

    Objective: Physicians tend to demonstrate inappropriate behavior when it comes to taking care of their own health. Self-prescribing or self-treatment seems to be practiced in many countries, and self-treated illnesses are found to be more common among general practitioners. For the physician such behavior is a threat to their own health, and as a consequence their patients might not be able to receive optimal health care. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between help seeking behavior, sickness presenteeism, exhaustion, and self- treatment among general practitioners.

    Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2013 among GPs employed in one City Council in Sweden using a questionnaire on health and work factors. The criterion variable “To self-diagnose and self-treat” was measured with a single item from the Physician Career Path Questionnaire (PCPQ; Fridner, 2004). Exhaustion was measured with a scale from the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory, OLBI (α = .82; Demerouti et al., 2001, 2003). “Sickness presenteeism” and “Taking vacation due to stress” was measured with single items, also from the PCPQ (Fridner, 2004). For the analyses, we used hierarchical multiple regression.

    Results: Altogether 193 (63,9%) female GPs and 109 (36,1%) male GPs answered the questionnaire, a 44% response-rate. Among them 46,2% stated they had diagnosed and treated themselves for a condition for which they would have referred a patient to a specialist. Our regression analysis model revealed that those physicians who self-treated themselves were also significantly more sickness present at work. Adding to this, exhaustion among the GPs was also included in the model.

    Conclusions: This study shows that self-treatment is not an isolated behavior, but occurs together with exhaustion and sickness presenteeism, indicating a quite severe situation for their health, which would need to be investigated by other doctors than themselves. This needs to be further investigated and taken into account by the National Board of Health and Welfare, County Councils and Medical Associations, and for future physicians our medical schools. 

  • 2015. Marie Gustafsson Sendén, Emma A. Bäck, Anna Lindqvist. Frontiers in Psychology 6

    The implementation of gender fair language is often associated with negative reactions and hostile attacks on people who propose a change. This was also the case in Sweden in 2012 when a third gender-neutral pronoun hen was proposed as an addition to the already existing Swedish pronouns for she (hon) and he (han). The pronoun hen can be used both generically, when gender is unknown or irrelevant, and as a transgender pronoun for people who categorize themselves outside the gender dichotomy. In this article we review the process from 2012 to 2015. No other language has so far added a third gender-neutral pronoun, existing parallel with two gendered pronouns, that actually have reached the broader population of language users. This makes the situation in Sweden unique. We present data on attitudes toward hen during the past 4 years and analyze how time is associated with the attitudes in the process of introducing hen to the Swedish language. In 2012 the majority of the Swedish population was negative to the word, but already in 2014 there was a significant shift to more positive attitudes. Time was one of the strongest predictors for attitudes also when other relevant factors were controlled for. The actual use of the word also increased, although to a lesser extent than the attitudes shifted. We conclude that new words challenging the binary gender system evoke hostile and negative reactions, but also that attitudes can normalize rather quickly. We see this finding very positive and hope it could motivate language amendments and initiatives for gender-fair language, although the first responses may be negative.

  • 2015. Ann Fridner (et al.). BMC Medical Education 15

    Background: The proportion of women in medicine is approaching that of men, but female physicians are still in the minority as regards positions of power. Female physicians are struggling to reach the highest positions in academic medicine. One reason for the disparities between the genders in academic medicine is the fact that female physicians, in comparison to their male colleagues, have a lower rate of scientific publishing, which is an important factor affecting promotion in academic medicine. Clinical physicians work in a stressful environment, and the extent to which they can control their work conditions varies. The aim of this paper was to examine potential impeding and supportive work factors affecting the frequency with which clinical physicians publish scientific papers on academic medicine.

    Methods: Cross-sectional multivariate analysis was performed among 198 female and 305 male Swedish MD/PhD graduates. The main outcome variable was the number of published scientific articles.

    Results: Male physicians published significantly more articles than female physicians p <. 001. In respective multivariate models for female and male physicians, age and academic positions were significantly related to a higher number of published articles, as was collaborating with a former PhD advisor for both female physicians (OR = 2.97; 95% CI 1.22–7.20) and male physicians (OR = 2.10; 95% CI 1.08–4.10). Control at work was significantly associated with a higher number of published articles for male physicians only (OR = 1.50; 95% CI 1.08–2.09). Exhaustion had a significant negative impact on number of published articles among female physicians (OR = 0.29; 95% CI 0.12–0.70) whilst the publishing rate among male physicians was not affected by exhaustion.

    Conclusions: Women physicians represent an expanding sector of the physician work force; it is essential that they are represented in future fields of research, and in academic publications. This is necessary from a gender perspective, and to ensure that physicians are among the research staff in biomedical research in the future.

  • 2015. Marie Gustafsson Sendén, Sverker Sikstrom, Torun Lindholm. Sex Roles 72 (1-2), 40-49

    Previous research has shown a male bias in the media. This study tests this statement by examining how the pronouns She and He are used in a news media context. More specifically, the study tests whether He occurs more often and in more positive semantic contexts than She, as well as whether She is associated with more stereotypically and essential labels than He is. Latent semantic analysis (LSA) was applied to 400 000 Reuters' news messages, written in English, published in 1996-1997. LSA is a completely data-driven method, extracting statistics of words from how they are used throughout a corpus. As such, no human coders are involved in the assessment of how pronouns occur in their contexts. The results showed that He pronouns were about 9 times more frequent than She pronouns. In addition, the semantic contexts of He were more positive than the contexts of She. Moreover, words associated with She-contexts included more words denoting gender, and were more homogeneous than the words associated with He-contexts. Altogether, these results indicate that men are represented as the norm in these media. Since these news messages are distributed on a daily basis all over the world, in printed newspapers, and on the internet, it seems likely that this presentation maintains, and reinforces prevalent gender stereotypes, hence contributing to gender inequities.

Show all publications by Marie Gustafsson Sendén at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 23, 2018

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