Sex social constructs can lead us to into believing

Sex and gender are two drastically different concepts, one defining biology and one defining social constructs. These social constructs can lead us to into believing that gender is binary, that there is only male and female, and can also lead to things like sexism. Implementing sex and gender measures in research can be especially difficult, since you can run into the problem of excluding those who don’t identify as male or female, or searching for similarities and differences when that may not be the best approach. Different approaches to research, like using experimental versus observational methods, and measuring data qualitatively or quantitatively, are all factors that should be considered when preforming research in any topic.            The article by Nancy Krieger, Genders, sexes, and health: what are that connections- and why does it matter, underscore the concepts that sex and gender should not be grouped as the same thing, but many times in research they are. She goes on to give a table of 12 ways in which gender relations and sex link biology have various effects on health outcomes.            The article by Julia Belluz and Steven Hoffman, the one chart you need to understand any health study, goes into dissecting the various types of research one can conduct, specifically observational and experimental. While observation research allows for a more naturalistic approach, no cause and effect conclusions can be drawn because there are no controls implemented. While experimental designs can give you cause and effect results, their artificial nature can lead to results that aren’t completely accurate.            In Erin Schumaker’s article, Sexism in the Doctor’s Office Starts Here, there is a focus on how women are underrepresented in clinical trials, even if the drugs being tested are designed to be taken by women! This article elucidates how benevolent sexism has prevented women from preforming in these trials early on in scientific history, since many researchers wanted to protect potentially childbearing women from possible harmful side effects. This “protection” has been overall hurtful for women since it has left the effects of many drugs and treatments for the most part unknown.            I find it extremely interesting that there is such misuse when using the terms gender and sex in research. My time working in a research lab has shown me that even the most brilliant of PhD students and doctors I’ve worked with have difficulty with delineating between the two and often use the terms interchangeably. Part of our routine background questions involve asking someone if they’re male or female, but we have no other options other than that binary choice. As stated in the lecture PowerPoint, this leaves out a potentially large group of participants that don’t identify as such. I wonder if this is due to researchers yearning for simplicity in already complex experimental designs or lack of knowledge on the subject?


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