Elsevier has released a comprehensive report entitled, Gender in the Global Research Landscape, which explores the outputs, quality, and impact of research worldwide through a gender lens. The report examines the influence of gender on STEM-based research across the span of 20 years, 12 geographies, and 27 subject areas. Click here to access the report.
In the past, the research community assumed that beyond the reproductive system, differences between men and women simply did not exist or were not relevant. Some of the reasons researchers have preferred male subjects include: the cost of using both sexes, a sense of having to protect vulnerable women and/or a potential fetus, uniformity, avoiding the “complications” of the menstrual cycle, and perceived complexity of recruitment. However, the truth, as outlined in Dr. Teresa Woodruff's 2010 Nature editorial, is that sex- and gender-based approaches to research and medicine frame important questions about the differences and similarities in men’s and women’s biological, behavioral and social function in combination with their experience of the same diseases. Consequently, the Women's Health Research Institute developed the Sex Inclusion Toolbox to assist investigators as they engage an sex-specific research.