First steps for integrating sex and gender considerations into basic experimental biomedical research
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In recent decades there has been an increasing recognition of the need to account for sex and gender in biology and medicine, in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of biological phenomena and to address gaps in medical knowledge that have arisen due to a generally masculine bias in research. We have noted that as basic experimental biomedical researchers, we face unique challenges to the incorporation of sex and gender in our work, and that these have remained largely unarticulated, misunderstood, and unaddressed in the literature. Here, we describe some of the specific challenges to the incorporation of sex and gender considerations in research involving cell cultures and laboratory animals. In our view, the mainstreaming of sex and gender considerations in basic biomedical research depends on an approach that will allow scientists to address these issues in ways that do not undermine our ability to pursue our fundamental scientific interests. To that end, we suggest a number of strategies that allow basic experimental researchers to feasibly and meaningfully take sex and gender into account in their work.
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