Designing and Conducting Gender, Sex, and Health Research
John L. Oliffe, British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health
This is first textbook to offer a critical examination of gender and sex in study designs, methods,
and analysis in health research. So as to produce ethical, accurate, and effective research findings,
it is vital to integrate both sex (biological characteristics) and gender (socially constructed factors)
into any health study. This book draws attention to some of the methodological complexities in this
enterprise and offers ways to thoughtfully address these necesary challenges by drawing
on empirical examples across a range of topics and disciplines.
Designing and Conducting Gender, Sex, and Health Research is an invaluable resource for students undertaking research in health sciences, medicine, nursing, gender studies, women’s studies, epidemiology, health policy, psychology, and sociology.
A Preview of Chapter 1:
Why Put Gender & Sex into Health Research? Lorraine Greaves
It is a matter of ethics to do so. As “every cell has a sex,” according to the Institute of Medicine (Wizemann & Pardue, 2001, p. 4), and every person is gendered (in some way), both sex (biological characteristics) and gender (socially constructed factors) must be woven into any health research that deems itself to be complete and/or relevant. Integrating these concepts reveals and reinforces their incredible significance in producing more accurate, effective, and relevant research findings. Hence, in order to improve health in humans (or animals), it is critically important to attend to both the biological and the social aspects of growth, development, illness, and recovery.
The notion of influences of sex and gender captured this shift, along with the notion that certain factors such as bodily characteristics or social circumstances could affect human health. Highlighting critical appraisals of gender encouraged identification of situational and temporal characteristics across cultures and time, entrenching gender as a social process. Ultimately, gender analysis surfaces the relational issues between males and females, men and women, or girls and boys in the context of social institutions.
The utility of sex- and gender-based health research is in its contribution to improving understanding of all aspects of health, disease, treatment, and health system design and policy. Ultimately we aim to acquire more knowledge and information on the influences of sex and gender on health. In the process, however, it is important to generate more precision in sex, gender, and health research by evolving more accurate and complex measures of sex and gender.
For more about the book, go to: SAGE