Metrics details. Much work has been done to promote sex and gender-based analyses in health research and to think critically about the influence of sex and gender on health behaviours and outcomes. However, despite this increased attention on sex and gender, there remain obstacles to effectively applying and measuring these concepts in health research. Some health researchers continue to ignore the concepts of sex and gender or incorrectly conflate their meanings. We report on a primer that was developed by the authors to help researchers understand and use the concepts of sex and gender in their work. We provide detailed definitions of sex and gender, discuss a sex and gender-based analysis SGBA , and suggest three approaches for incorporating sex and gender in health research at various stages of the research process.
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Who volunteers to have sex in a laboratory? I was struck by this question when reading about an experimental study of ideal sexual positions for men with back pain. For the purpose of the research, couples were filmed using motion capture and infra-red technology while they had sex. The researchers were in a separate booth where they could hear, but not see, the participants. Electrodes were used to record muscle activity in certain parts of the body, to get an idea of force. Other sex studies are more invasive.
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As a clinical geneticist, Paul James is accustomed to discussing some of the most delicate issues with his patients. But in early , he found himself having a particularly awkward conversation about sex. A year-old pregnant woman had visited his clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia to hear the results of an amniocentesis test to screen her baby's chromosomes for abnormalities. The baby was fine—but follow-up tests had revealed something astonishing about the mother. Her body was built of cells from two individuals, probably from twin embryos that had merged in her own mother's womb.
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. EMBO reports 13 , ; doi.