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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 17, 2017

Gender Bias in Medical Research: How It Operates and Why It Matters

By Mark Sisson
54 Comments

Inline_Gender_Bias_ResearchSome months ago the issue of gender bias in medical research came up on the comment board. It was certainly an issue I’d occasionally read about. But I’m also a proponent of lifestyle design and intervention. I don’t spend as much time as others on the nitty-gritty of medical treatment for good reason, but the conversation got me thinking. Maybe it was time for an article after all….

And, so, the questions started coming. How does gender figure into medicine, and what exactly is gender bias in this context? How does it operate? How has it been measured? What consequences are there? How much should it influence our trust in medical literature and subsequent recommendations—the validity of findings, the efficacy of treatment, the safety of drug prescriptions? And, finally, what if any progress are we making or can we count on in the near future?

That Was Then, This Is Now: The Beginnings of Gender Bias 

Bias is a form of systematic error that influences scientific investigations and distorts the findings. Bias will always be present in some form during a study, but the goal is to minimize it to the point where the results can still be trusted. Gender bias, then, refers to errors that arise due to differences between male and female participants or target subjects.

Way back when, gender bias was rife in the medical community. Up until the late 19th century, women were commonly diagnosed with “hysteria,” a (very convenient) condition to imply emotional instability was at the core of any complaints, particularly when related to the female reproductive organs. Thus, where medical practitioners were faced with female patients they couldn’t (or couldn’t be bothered to) diagnose, it was accepted practice to chalk it up to her mental state. Surprisingly, this medical mindset remained entrenched up until at least the 1970s, where a 1972 textbook titled Gynecology and Obstetrics, Current Diagnosis and Treatment suggested that nausea during pregnancy was the result of resentment and ambivalence towards childbearing.

In response, legislation was passed in the same decade to prevent gender discrimination in research in an attempt to ensure studies included box sexes and thereby maintained “equality.” Despite this, the emotional and cultural misconceptions that had skewed female-related medical research and treatment for centuries remained very much entrenched, while women were still regularly left out of trials for fears of pregnancy-related complications…despite the fact that drugs were still being administered to pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Then in 1994, there came the big break that gender-aware researchers had been hoping for. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a guideline for the study of gender differences in clinical trials to ensure those drugs were suitable for both sexes.

The guideline addressed the exclusion of women from trials based on unfounded safety reasons, forcing researchers to consider the fact that men and women can have very different responses to the same drug. As a result, an estimated 80% of prescription drugs were withdrawn from the US market due to newly uncovered women’s health issues.

These days, there’s more women than men enrolled in clinical trials. Nonetheless, to some extent gender bias continues to underpin many aspects of medical research.

An Issue of Equality and Inequality

So, what are the different forms of gender bias still prevalent in today’s medical research realm? Let’s dig in here….

A Swedish study conducted from 1997 to 1999 sought to uncover the reasons behind why researchers excluded women from clinical trials. Based on 26 different case studies, they determined that the reasons behind these exclusions were:

  • lack of knowledge regarding the physiology and metabolism of women of childbearing age
  • a continuing desire to base repeat studies on former (male) study populations, and
  • tight research budgets that enabled inclusion of men but not women

Today, the almost universal inclusion of women in clinical trials might give the impression that things have improved markedly, but there’s plenty of problems still operating under the radar. A 2017 meta-analysis of 2,742 case reports showed a “statistically significant gender bias against female case reports,” while the Society for Women’s Health notes that the richest charities aren’t pushing for the inclusion of more women in medical research and that only 3% of grant proposals measured sex differences.

Ultimately, these biases exist due to polarizing assumptions of equality and inequality. On the one hand, researchers have long entertained the assumption that men and women suffer from the same symptoms and similar disease risk factors. Many clinical trials on men carry the assumption that the findings can be equally applied to women.

Despite this, those trials that compare the effects of drugs and treatments between men and women continue to highlight marked differences in the way women metabolize drugs and respond to treatments. Thus, the assumption of equality puts women at risk, not only reducing disease treatment efficacy but also risking exposure to unforeseen adverse side effects.

There’s also the valid point that men and women (as a whole) differ in environmentally and culturally influenced risk behaviors and exposures, and perhaps in their varied perception of symptoms. These are all valid concerns when it comes to clinical trials, but the biomedical model that governs most medical and clinical research tends to brush over this consideration—men and women are simply biological entities separated by hormonal and muscular variations.

At the other end of the spectrum, assumed inequalities occur when physicians consider women’s complaints to be less severe than men’s, due to the cultural notions of male stoicism and the fact that men have a lower average life expectancy and higher rates of mortality. This is reinforced by more frequent research into male-centric chronic diseases, which solidifies the notion that men are more “at risk.” This assumption contradicts the fact that women have higher rates of non-fatal chronic conditions which seriously impact their quality of life, particularly during those “additional” years when they’ve statistically outlived their male counterparts.

Consequences of Systemic Assumptions

The repercussions of this long-standing sex bias in the research realm are sneaky but far-reaching. For starters, larger proportions of women are diagnosed as having “non-specific symptoms and signs,” perhaps reflecting a disease classification system more suited to men than women. These same women might actually be suffering from a fully identifiable illness, but practitioners fail to diagnose it, due at least in part to traditionally male-based diagnostic criteria or to female-centric complaints that aren’t highlighted or even understood by historically (predominantly) male-based research. As a result, many women may receive no or improper treatment of their unidentified disease, something that can be frustrating at best and downright dangerous at worst.

Next, despite the fact that primary healthcare is used more by women than men, research indicates that short-stay and emergency hospital services may be more accessible to men. In one study of patients with the same ultimate diagnosis, women waited longer in emergency rooms and were admitted less often.

Then there’s the issue of incorrect drug dosages arising from insufficient trials on women. Eight of the ten prescription drugs that were withdrawn since 1997 posed greater health risks for women than men. Half of those drugs were withdrawn not because more women took them than men, but because their effects on women weren’t well known prior to FDA approval. For example, antihistamines Seldane and Hismanal and gastroprokinetic Propulsid “can in some circumstances prolong the interval between the heart muscle’s contractions and induce…a potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia. Women have a higher incremental risk of suffering an arrhythmia after taking these drugs than do men probably because (1) the interval between heart muscle contractions is naturally longer for women than for men and (2) male sex hormones moderate the heart muscle’s sensitivity to these drugs.”

At a less morbid level, the FDA recently reduced female doses of Ambien, a common sleeping aid by half. Ambien and similar products had been on market shelves for years, but it wasn’t until the FDA completed tests on a new sleeping aid, Intermezzo, that they realized women metabolized the active ingredient much more slowly than men. Up until that point, it was assumed that women had the same response to the drug as men, and therefore that the recommended dosages should also be the same.

Because of lingering research bias, I’d say women probably have ample (more) reason to be more skeptical of pharmaceutical recommendations. 

Gender Bias In Literature and Practice

Coronary Heart Disease

Despite the fact that coronary heart disease is very much a disease of both genders, its role in female mortality rates is arguably under-appreciated. Women with coronary heart disease tend to have worse outcomes than their male counterparts, and they generally receive less evidence-based treatment than men with CHD.

A 2014 study that examined access to care for 1123 admitted patients exhibiting coronary symptoms found that men were more likely to receive faster care compared to women. Researchers also observed that, when women were anxious, doctors tended to underplay the severity of their condition, while anxious men were still admitted quickly. Even more interestingly, both men and women with “feminine character traits” were less likely to receive timely care than those with masculine traits.

Statins and NSAIDs

In a review of 27 trials of statin use for CHD and 25 trials of NSAIDs for osteoarthritic pain, the two drugs showed a huge difference in inclusion of women. While NSAID trials reflected the population in which they were used, only 16% of women were included in trials despite 45% of statin users being female.

These statistics become even more alarming when we consider the fact that women are often more at risk of adverse side effects from statin use than men. Elderly women, for example, face a higher risk of developing muscular disorders following statin use, while postmenopausal women are at an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus from statin use. 

Animal Studies

This is where things really get interesting. Many specialists now theorize that the high rate of adverse drug reactions in women may stem from biomedical research at its earliest stages—animal trials.

While over half of NIH-funded clinical research participants are women these days, the same progression in recognizing gender bias has not been reflected in animal research. Women have more strokes than men, but only 38% of animal studies on stroke used females. Many thyroid illnesses are up to ten times more prevalent in women, yet only 52% of animal trials used females. And studies that use mice and other rodents to test new drugs typically use only males, despite there being marked differences between the way men and women absorb and process drugs.

There’s plenty more where that came from. A 2011 review of gender bias in research on animals in 10 biological fields found that male bias was present in eight disciplines and most prominent in neuroscience, where male studies outnumber female by 5.5 to 1. According to researchers, in recent years male bias in human studies has declined while increasing in animal studies, and this doesn’t bode well for the safe development of drugs and disease treatments further down the line. This preponderance of males in animal research unfortunately runs the risk of obscuring key gender differences in clinical studies, preventing reproducibility in human studies, and is especially concerning given women experience higher rates of adverse drug reactions than do men.

Some Final Thoughts…

Clearly, there’s much that still needs to be addressed regarding gender inequalities in the medical research world, but we’ve thankfully come a long way from the days of “hysteria.” Women can now participate in phase one, two and three clinical trials, and the NIH continues to roll out legislation and training to ensure researchers don’t overlook or underplay the importance of including women in their trials. And in the animal research sector, the NIH has now enacted policies requiring a balance of genders in all future trial applications, unless sex-specific inclusion is unwarranted.

Unfortunately, however, many aren’t sure the solution is as simple as requiring equal gender representation in every study. As this opinion piece points out, “modifying experiments to include both males and females costs money and requires a duplication of time and effort—time that researchers might not have to spare or that might be better spent conducting other research—that is rarely practical or scientifically warranted.” The question appears to be one of practical resources, but I’ll admit something in me isn’t fully comfortable with this answer. A lot hinges on the definition of “unwarranted.”

Can we effectively prioritize funding for research where analyzing differences between the sexes promises to provide substantiated benefit—and opening the conversation more for defining that “benefit”? We’ll see. Providing the necessary funding for female or mixed-gender studies should at least ensure that scientists no longer have reason to exclude women from trials. And mandating disclosure when a study uses only male or female animals in the title should improve transparency and assist drug and treatment approval processes.

Thanks for reading folks. What say you? Are there issues and/or solutions you’d add to the mix? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

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54 Comments on "Gender Bias in Medical Research: How It Operates and Why It Matters"

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Sylvie
Sylvie
4 months 6 days ago

Appreciate your discussion of the issue, Mark. Regarding “Being required to include females in a study where it’s unwarranted might simply increase variability and render the study findings useless. That said, I also understand how “unwarranted” might not always be as clear-cut as anyone would like to assume.” —OK, then I say let’s make female the default, see how that goes.

Monisha Pasupathi
Monisha Pasupathi
4 months 6 days ago

Also, if that inclusion increases variability, it can only be because there are some differences by gender – meaning it is actually NOT useless; normally if additional participants come from a similar population, adding participants makes for more precise statistical estimates, and should actually increase the power of studies. One issue in the replicability crisis plaguing alot of biomedical science is small samples and spurious findings. Even if men and women don’t differ appreciably, supporting larger sample sizes in clinical trials will increase the reliability of the findings.

Charles
Charles
4 months 4 days ago
Gender Bias in Studies For everyone who wants to make changes to this, the best thing would be to increase the budget at NIH Let me add to this with a specific example of how men are easier to study, cardiovascular disease in women. (“A Review of Cardiovascular Disease and Treatment Differences in Women” http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0897190003016003003). It is behind a paywall, so I have excerpted the four reasons given for why there were fewer women in early studies. Look at bullets #2 and #4. Further, I am a researcher and write grant proposals, including to NIH. Proposals are evaluated in Study… Read more »
Charles
Charles
4 months 4 days ago

Let me apologize for the multiple posts. I copied and pasted, had a browser crash, and here we are. First time commenter, so I am unacquainted with this comment system.

Jackie
Jackie
4 months 6 days ago
I’m very confused by your final thoughts. You list all these issues from gender bias in medical research, and then roll over and wave a white flag when it comes to suggesting anything be changed. “Being required to include females in a study where it’s unwarranted might simply increase variability and render the study findings useless.” sounds like a complete misunderstand of how statistical research/analysis works. If there’s an issue of two different response patterns to a treatment, then subgroup analysis would get around that by considering each gender on its own, and in fact by no including enough women… Read more »
tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago
If you take a close look at Sweden, its current problems, and how they are being covered up, and what caused them, it will be quite apparent why these studies that have been performed are being biased towards women through not including them to avoid any mention of negative trait statistics on said agenda – in other words, distorting studies and burying ones head in the sand – all in the name of trying to prove that there is no difference between the genders – because this would be clear facts that make current political ideology in Sweden to be… Read more »
Jackie
Jackie
4 months 6 days ago

When did Sweden come into this, and how is it possibly connected to American medical scientific research? Please be explicit in your connection between a faraway country with “its current problems” and why you think studies are biased against women.

This comment sounds like you have a bone to pick and you’re forcing it into every discussion in hopes of derailing it.

tribal
tribal
4 months 5 days ago

Mark was referring to a Swedish trial.

Anna
4 months 6 days ago
This is so true, and it’s not just an academic problem; the effects are very evident in everyday medical treatment. E.g., why was I taught that 98.6 was the “normal” body temperature, without ever being told to expect that my normal, base temperature would routinely be between .5 and 1 degrees cooler during the first half of my cycle than the second? And for that matter, why are most mainstream doctors so uninterested in paying any attention to the details of a woman’s cycle? If she has a problem like excessive cramping, instead of taking the trouble to figure out… Read more »
NaturalGirl
NaturalGirl
4 months 6 days ago

I have participated in various clinical trials. In my personal experience of searching for trials that pertained to my health, I never had any problems locating trials that accept women. One of my considerations is, do I want to participate in certain invasive trial or not? Or I consider the risks involved?

Colleen D.
Colleen D.
4 months 6 days ago
Thank you for addressing this issue! Not only is there a gender bias in medical research, but in my personal experience, there is a gender bias in personal medical care for women as well! On more than one occasion, I have gone to see a medical professional and been told my pain is “normal” and I need to “wait a cycle or two” and see if it goes away, referring to monthly hormonal cycles. Or worse, that the issue is “in my head”!?! (Needless to say, I did not go back for further treatment there; I had food sensitivities, of… Read more »
Keith
Keith
4 months 6 days ago

Great comment, but I think the whole issue with your example is medical billing as a whole. I had the same problem when suffering severe medical issues (turned out to be a simple food allergy), but all the doctor was concerned about was getting me in and out as fast as possible and getting me some type of meds. Worst of all, this was the better doctor. While gender gaps in studies is an issue, related to specific care, it is more about doctors trying to satisfy their real customers, the insurance companies paying the tab.

2Rae
2Rae
4 months 6 days ago

And the drug companies that push their products, my sister worked for doctors and they were taken out to lunch several time a month by the drug reps pushing their products. Sigh.

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

Keith – what’s worse is that they are finding that many women once they get the medical position, end up giving up and loosing interest, after the government has thrown a lot of money into them, end up quiting to be stay at home mom’s any way. Most men when trained as a doctor rack up much more “return time” for the initial amount invested. The end result is less qualified doctors who are actually career committed.

Keith
Keith
4 months 6 days ago

That will always be an issue. Women will always have to confront the reality that if they want to focus on their career, time with family will have to take a hit. There is only so many hours in a day. I have seen it in my family, too, although not on the medical side. When a family member’s wife realize that she was learning about her child’s developments through daycare, she switched to being a stay at home mom, creating quite a negative economic impacy on the family.

K D
K D
4 months 6 days ago

@tribal I’d rather see a female physician working 40-60 hours a week, that takes time to listen to my concerns, than a male physician who works 120 hours a week and wants to get me out the door with pills in my hands as fast as possible. The whole “women can’t do it because they have a womb” argument is old and simply untrue. Not all women want children any more than all men want to spend their entire waking hours working.

Keith
Keith
4 months 5 days ago

I think you mistake that a female will automatically listen where a male doctor won’t. They can both be equally good, or bad more focused on billing than with patients.

tribal
tribal
4 months 5 days ago

The ability to be a good physician who listens to their patient is not tied to sex, or cultural background (although I have found doctors of certain backgrounds far more dismissive of their patients due to the class structures that exist in their homelands), and this skill cant be taught at university – it is something the individual has/doesn’t have in their nature. Good and Evil are not tied to a particular sex, although the devil would like this if you believed it, makes it easier to put you off guard and deceive you.

Shary
Shary
4 months 6 days ago

+1

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

Unfortunately, the current political influence is based around proving there is no difference between the sexes – a two edged sword I guess.

Studies that show any negative traits of females result in the institution doing the studies having its funding cut, as it is going against the “gender neutral” theme.

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

The studies that show alignment with the motives of the parties providing the funding are the ones who continue to get the funding. The motive in this case is to erase any evidence that suggests gender inequality – the big brother has sanctioned this.

Shary
Shary
4 months 6 days ago

Gender bias (read that as marginalization of women) exists in every walk of life. Not surprising that it’s always been rife in the field of medicine. Various forms of inequality are not as bad here as in some cultures and it’s slowly improving, but I suspect it will always be a problem that women have to deal with.

Keith
Keith
4 months 6 days ago

I would have to disagree with you here. Academically and economically, males are failing and falling behind. Women make up the majority on college campuses, and when traveling at the VA (which are often aligned with teaching hospitals), most residents are female. This is turning into a female lead world, although it takes time. Then you guy get to make all the rules and decide what gets spent on what. 🙂 Just need a little more patience.

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

The victim mentality also exists in every walk of life.

Jackie
Jackie
4 months 6 days ago
“but I suspect it will always be a problem that women have to deal with.” Certainly if you take the perspective that it’s always going to be there and will never change, but that’s being completely defeatist. EVEN IF it can’t be completely removed, why not strive to make things better and reduce its effect as much as possible? Particularly since there are clear avenues that would lead to that reduction that people aren’t taking because it’s inconvenient (see the Final Thoughts paragraph where Mark backs off his position that the bias is bad because it would make scientists need… Read more »
Shary
Shary
4 months 5 days ago
Jackie, you’re reading too much into what I wrote. Dealing with the problem IS doing something about it, but, historically speaking, nothing is going to just fall into anyone’s lap. Gender bias is pervasive and must be continually exposed and chipped away. At some point in time it may disappear completely, but I don’t see that happening soon. Tribal, I’ve known women with MBA’s who were working behind the counter at Starbuck’s. A college education doesn’t necessarily equate to a decent salary if one is a woman. Also, your patronizing comments demo you as part of the problem rather than… Read more »
Keith
Keith
4 months 5 days ago
That is a problem with college degrees as a whole. Too many people bought into the whole a college degree is worth it (myself included) without thinking that most aren’t. If you get a STEM degree, you will do fine, but if you get one of the soft social sciences, the slogan “Do you want fries with that” will become your mantra. Also, it seems today people are way to sensitive and are looking to play the victim. If you want to play with the big boys, you need to learn the rules. Too many times, people believe culture needs… Read more »
tribal
tribal
4 months 5 days ago

on that one – “Social Science” is not a science – it just communist studies.

Jackie
Jackie
4 months 5 days ago

Am doing social science. Have not studied communism outside of history and philosophy classes. It never comes up in any of the group meetings, or in the research I read.

Dunno where you’re coming from with this.

tribal
tribal
4 months 4 days ago

At the university level – the entire course is Marxist influenced, it is just not directly referred to (some subjects though do go into blatant Marxism).

Jackie
Jackie
4 months 5 days ago

I’m being honestly curious here, because I don’t want to come across as patronizing: what part of my comment seemed patronizing to you?

I’d also like to point out the big difference between “At some point in time it may disappear completely, but I don’t see that happening soon.” in your recent comment and “it will always be a problem that women have to deal with.” in the comment I was responding to. The latter is an absolute statement that hints at no possibility of change, regardless of action, while the former allows for that.

Alex
4 months 6 days ago

My lab only uses female mice. They’re easier to handle and easier to house, since they fight less often. I’m not sure why people would use exclusively male mice unless the field is built on these biases and they’re trying to avoid confounding factors (which is a legitimate reason – generally you want to change as few variables as possible when building on past research). In any case, it’s good to see that clinical trials are more balanced now, as I think that’s the most critical stage of drug development.

Tuba
Tuba
4 months 6 days ago

But it has gone the other way now. Men are manure to the medical community. More so disease has become politicized. More women die of heart disease and liver cancer each than breast cancer but breast cancer is the darling ’cause men usually don’t get it. Do you see any prostate cancer awareness months? How about prostate cancer walks, rides, telethons, bumper stickers, parades, national sports games dedicated to said? You know that answer. Men are manure and third class citizens. So pardon me if your articles doesn’t elicit much sympathy regarding the medical plight of women.

Lina
Lina
4 months 6 days ago

oh dear, you poor thing. Have you tried therapy? It might help…..

Nannsi
Nannsi
4 months 6 days ago

Such an abundance of unwarranted self-pity! You are making all that up, Tuba. If you haven’t seen benefits/events, you’re not looking. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month everywhere…Google it. ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/walks were held in DSM, STL, and Dayton, to name a few. Tour de Bleu and RCDCU biking events, among others. Prostate bumper stickers by Cafe Press, GiftMD, Choose Hope, and more. Prostate Cancer Awareness Dinner at the Pro Football Hall of Fame this last April. That’s pretty first-class attention. Try an informed comment next time.

Keith
Keith
4 months 6 days ago

I did not know that about September. I thought that was what the foolishness of the “Momember” thing. Turns out us guys get two months in a row! Woo hoo!

K D
K D
4 months 6 days ago

You mean like Movember?

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

When you mentioned Sweden, they are one of the most left wing extremist cucked countries in the world, and are about to meet a destructive fate due to their obsession and unchecked political correctness, feminism, and uncontrolled socialism and migration – I guess nature/Darwin theory take no prisoners, this behaviour has led to nature marking them for elimination.

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

When people say there is no difference between the sexes, its laughable – its like me saying to you if you are 25 years old, and I go “so why aren’t you sixty years old”.

Facts and reality are simply facts and reality – no matter haw many social science PHD’s you have.

Social science also is not an actual science – its what some people do when they fail at everything else in life.

Amy
4 months 6 days ago

In addition to the gender bias you cite in the medical research, there is also a gender gap in authorship of academic medical literature to consider. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa053910#t=article

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

The power’s to be have decreed that there are no differences between the genders – therefore, any possible study needs to be increased, or limited (as in this case), so as to show no difference.

This is the only way to maintain fanciful non-reality illusions about what really is.

tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago
Its like this – at the moment there are forced gender quotas for say the military – based on an assumption that there are no differences between the sexes, and that all women can perform just as well as all men on the battlefield – should a study ever surface indicating that say women may have different health issues to men, then that would essentially undermine the whole basis of gender quotering. Ladies – equal rights WILL be enforced, at all costs – there will be enforced body bag gender quotering, equal rights means equal responsibility, and the equal right… Read more »
tribal
tribal
4 months 6 days ago

Mark – be careful with this post, you will have social justice warriors trying to take down your site for even daring to hint that the genders are not equal and that some studies are being biased to that end – no joke.

A ghost
A ghost
4 months 5 days ago
Tribal, I don’t think you need to be too worried about that. Mark has written about gender differences several times before (in relation to fasting, for example) and as far as I know nobody has tried to shut down the site. I know what you mean but that particular bunch of noisy idiots won’t be able to attack an American company even if they had the nerve to try – they can’t even boycott it because the products are not sold in Sweden. Actually, I’m not even sure that they can do permanent damage inside Sweden – they are just… Read more »
Sylvie
Sylvie
4 months 4 days ago

And what’s wrong with social justice warriors? I applaud Mark for his balanced discussion of the issue of gender bias in medical research, and as several commenters have pointed out, in health care. It’s high time we did some social warrioring about the disparities in health care–not just for women but for many minority groups as well.

tribal
tribal
4 months 4 days ago

The problem is that social justice warriors have no connection with any actual social justice, it is a guess they portray to hide their own selfish agenda’s.

A ghost
A ghost
4 months 4 days ago
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The trouble with social justice warriors is that they rarely have the vaguest idea of what they are talking about, and therefore risk doing considerable damage to the groups they profess to wish to help. As an example, read the story about the “scientific discovery” this social justice warrior (whose particular cause is anti-racism, in case it is not obvious from the text) from Uppsala University believes herself to have made: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/allah-viking-burial-fabrics-false-kufic-inscription-clothes-name-woven-myth-islam-uppsala-sweden-a8003881.html Now imagine this type of non-science applied to medical studies. Surely you can see how dangerous this is? Then… Read more »
Brandon
Brandon
4 months 6 days ago

That claim that 80% of drugs were recalled because of issues in women sounds wildly implausible. I know that’s what the page you cited says, but maybe they mean that 80% of recalls were due to women’s health issues. This was in the 90s. If 80% of prescription drugs were recalled, we’d remember it. That would have been a huge, huge deal.

Also, why would they withdraw the drugs altogether? It would make more sense just to label them as not suitable for women.

Isadora Guggeheim
4 months 6 days ago

Another area of bias is transgender which is a growing group due to chemical exposures in utero that affect sexual differentiation.

Jenny
Jenny
4 months 6 days ago

What thoughtful discussion. I do believe the population studied should be in the title.

Timo
4 months 5 days ago

Bias of any kind has no place in science IMO.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
4 months 4 days ago

Not trying to justify or excuse anything, but for some trials, the many variables of a woman and her body could become complex or confounders. She might be pre-menarchal, of breeding age, or post-menopausal. And then within breeding age, where on the cycle and did she have a hysterectomy.

Men? We are Johnny One Note.

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