One and a half million medical papers reveal a link between author gender and attention to gender and sex analysis

Nat Hum Behav. 2017 Nov;1(11):791-796. doi: 10.1038/s41562-017-0235-x. Epub 2017 Nov 6.


Gender and sex analysis is increasingly recognized as a key factor in creating better medical research and health care 1-7 . Using a sample of more than 1.5 million medical research papers, our study examined the potential link between women's participation in medical science and attention to gender-related and sex-related factors in disease-specific research. Adjusting for variations across countries, disease topics and medical research areas, we compared the participation of women authors in studies that do and do not involve gender and sex analysis. Overall, our results show a robust positive correlation between women's authorship and the likelihood of a study including gender and sex analysis. These findings corroborate discussions of how women's participation in medical science links to research outcomes, and show the mutual benefits of promoting both the scientific advancement of women and the integration of gender and sex analysis into medical research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Authorship*
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors*