BioSpace Collaborative

Academic/Biomedical Research
News & Jobs
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Channel Medical Device and Diagnostics Channel Clinical Research Channel BioSpace Collaborative    Job Seekers:  Register | Login          Employers:  Register | Login  

NEWSLETTERS
Free Newsletters
Archive
My Subscriptions

NEWS
News by Subject
News by Disease
News by Date
PLoS
Search News
Post Your News
JoVE

CAREER NETWORK
Job Seeker Login
Most Recent Jobs
Search Jobs
Post Resume
Career Fairs
Career Resources
For Employers

HOTBEDS
Regional News
US & Canada
  Biotech Bay
  Biotech Beach
  Genetown
  Pharm Country
  BioCapital
  BioMidwest
  Bio NC
  BioForest
  Southern Pharm
  BioCanada East
  C2C Services & Suppliers™
Europe
Asia

DIVERSITY

PROFILES
Company Profiles

INTELLIGENCE
Research Store

INDUSTRY EVENTS
Research Events
Post an Event
RESOURCES
Real Estate
Business Opportunities

PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Non-Clinical Medicine - Science Policy

A Conceptual Muddle: An Empirical Analysis of the Use of ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’ in ‘Gender-Specific Medicine’ Journals
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Author: Anne Hammarström et al.

by Anne Hammarström, Ellen Annandale

Background

At the same time as there is increasing awareness in medicine of the risks of exaggerating differences between men and women, there is a growing professional movement of ‘gender-specific medicine’ which is directed towards analysing ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ differences. The aim of this article is to empirically explore how the concepts of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are used in the new field of ‘gender-specific medicine’, as reflected in two medical journals which are foundational to this relatively new field.

Method and Principal Findings

The data consist of all articles from the first issue of each journal in 2004 and an issue published three years later (n?=?43). In addition, all editorials over this period were included (n?=?61). Quantitative and qualitative content analyses were undertaken by the authors.Less than half of the 104 papers used the concepts of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. Less than 1 in 10 papers attempted any definition of the concepts. Overall, the given definitions were simple, unspecific and created dualisms between men and women. Almost all papers which used the two concepts did so interchangeably, with any possible interplay between ‘sex’ and gender’ referred to only in six of the papers.

Conclusion

The use of the concepts of ‘sex’ and gender’ in ‘gender-specific medicine’ is conceptually muddled. The simple, dualistic and individualised use of these concepts increases the risk of essentialism and reductivist thinking. It therefore highlights the need to clarify the use of the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in medical research and to develop more effective ways of conceptualising the interplay between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in relation to different diseases.

  More...