Bias towards men problems means less research focused on women health

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When society as a whole is biased towards paying more attention to men problems, it is impossible to reach a situation in which women are equally treated even in scientific settings such as medicine. And I do not mean treating in the sense of respect but as objects of study. Apparently, even in basic biological research there is a predominance of male cells used for studying the impact of drugs [@criadoperez2020Invisible women: exposing data bias in a world designed for men, chapter 10]. This automatically rules out drugs that are potentially beneficial for women but not for men if at a biomolecular level they don’t pass the basic thresholds.

Later, this permeates to drug trials in animals and eventually in people. Many drugs are tested either exclusively or predominantly in men. Even if phase-3 trials have a mixed population of test subjects, sometimes results are not sex-disaggregated and in any case they only reach phase-3 if they work well for men subjects, women are an after thought. Apparently even the NIH in the United States saw this problems and has some gender requirements in the studies they fund, but are not enforced.

Tags: #bias-in-medicine #gender-bias-in-medicine #gender-bias-in-research


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Aquiles Carattino
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