Scientific Excellence in Applying Sex- and Gender-Sensitive Methods in Biomedical and Health Research

Linda Nieuwenhoven*, Ineke Klinge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Despite regulations, the attention paid to sex and gender in biomedical and health research is far from optimal. Researchers often recognize the importance of incorporating sex and gender issues in general but fail to see the applicability to their own research. This can have severe consequences and impedes gender equity in healthcare. More hands-on approaches are needed that stimulate scientists to integrate sex and gender aspects into their research. The present work is based on the contents of a workshop developed by the authors that serves as such a hands-on method. It aims at familiarizing a broad range of scientists in the field of biomedical and health research with the basics of conducting sex- and gender-sensitive research. In addition to clarifying concepts, it serves to provide a general introduction to sex- and gender-sensitive methods. To this end, challenges in pitfalls conducting sex- and gender-sensitive research, originally identified in the social sciences, are translated to the practice of biomedical and health research. Implications and applicability to all areas of biomedical and health research are shown by providing illustrative examples. Finally, a tool is presented that allows for the detection of sex and gender bias throughout all phases of the research process and shows how this bias can be overcome through sex- and gender-sensitive (1) relevance checking, (2) literature search, (3) formulation of research questions and hypotheses, (4) research methods and sample, (5) data analysis and interpretation, ( 6) reporting, and ( 7) conclusions and recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-321
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

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