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Disparities in Female Health Care

This guide aims to address the gaps in medical research that contribute to female health disparity

What Are Disparities in Female Health Care?
Medical sketch of female skeletal hip bone

Biological sex is an essential consideration in both clinical care and research. Numerous studies have demonstrated that female patients are more likely to experience adverse drug effects, hospital readmissions, and misdiagnosis. These are just a few indicators that suggest female patients are receiving lower quality care than their male counterparts. Theories to explain these differences include research that does not account for sex as a biological variable, foundational research conducted primarily on male populations, and sex biases in health science education and research.




Image by BAO YI WONG

Guide Disclaimer: Sex- vs Gender-Based Health Care

This guide's purpose is to address health care issues related to females (sex assigned at birth), but the term "female" is used to reference those with any spectrum of female anatomy or a female endocrine system. We acknowledge that some trans men and non-binary people may feel alienated under this label. This guide does not attempt to address the critically important and complex questions of disparities in care for transgender persons.

Because many existing studies and databases conflate the social construct of gender with the biological term sex, when conducting searches, it is sometimes necessary to include terms like "gender differences" when searching for "sex differences."