Recommendations on research content
- Extend the GenderBasic approach to a new project addressing upcoming dynamic areas in the life sciences that are of deemed interest for the near future and where attention to sex, gender and diversity until now is completely absent. These areas are:
- Neurosciences: with novel issues as cognitive enhancement and mood enhancement. Aim of this research is not only to mend disabilities but to enhance human capacities
- Biology of human performance and health; physical activity and health: research issues such as fitness and life span extension
- Development of joint research projects based on the GB Research Agenda.
Recommendations on research processes and methodologies
- For male and female animals, their age and weight should be recorded and for females, their reproductive status and ovarian cycle phase should be determined as accurately as possible.
- The sex of origin of biological research materials should be determined and disclosed on publication.
- In study design, reporting and peer review, the possible variations and impact of sex differences on all aspects of the experiment should be considered and be based on evidence relevant to the strain, species and environmental conditions.
- Research should include both men and women as subjects. If this is not the case, researchers need to explain the reasons for the exclusion of men or women.
- Results should be reported disaggregated by sex; the influence of sex on participation, continuation and drop-out rates must also be reported.
- Gender factors should be assessed a priori on the basis of their hypothesized role in the causation, course, treatment-seeking patterns, attitudes, treatment effectiveness, impact and outcome of health problems.
- The impact of other exposures, such as socioeconomic variables, on health problems should be examined differentially for men and women, and should be critically analysed from a gender perspective.
- Women should be included in clinical trials and other health studies in appropriate numbers and the data generated from such research should be analysed using gender-sensitive tools and methods.
- Ensure collection of data disaggregated by sex, socioeconomic status, and other social stratifiers by individual research projects as well as through larger data systems at regional and national levels, and the classification and analysis of such data towards meaningful results and expansion of knowledge for policy.
- Research into lifestyle diseases in which biological genetic dispositions interact with life style factors are best studied in multidisciplinary teams from a life time perspective.
Recommendations on how integration of sex and gender in research contents and processes / methods could be promoted, facilitated and ensured by different tools, guidelines and institutional arrangements
- International conference on GenderBasic Results
- Maintenance and extension of GenderBasic Network
- Development of a training module based on the GenderBasic results, in sex and gender aspects of biomedical and public health research targeted at the research community. Supported by website and helpdesk. Ideal format would be an e-learning course.
- Training of evaluators (EU staff, member state research councils)
- Call upon disease related professional societies and organisations (f.e. European Society of Cardiology, Osteoporosis Foundation, ESF 10-year program Systems biology to combat metabolic syndrome; and many others) to adopt our proposal for guidelines for Good Sex and Gender Practice(GSGP); to endorse the GenderBasic Research Agenda and to support proposed research projects.
- Call on Member State Research Councils to stimulate dissemination and promotion of adoption of GenderBasic Results.
- Editorial boards of journals: innovation of guidelines for authors. Medical and related journals should request that papers present data disaggregated by sex and explain sex and gender differences adequately.
- Research funding agencies should promote research that broadens the scope of health research and links biomedical and social dimensions, including gender considerations.
- Pharmaceutical companies should see stratified research as an opportunity to express their corporate social responsibility and to demonstrate good governance.
- Strengthen women’s role in health research. Redress the gender imbalances in research committees, funding, publication and advisory bodies.
- Chairs in sex and gender medicine at European Universities; translation of new insights to biomedical and health sciences education.
- Harmonisation of clinical guidelines: to secure attention to relatively new groups in pharmacological research (women, children, the elderly, different ethnic backgrounds). Call to integrate guidelines for Good Sex and Gender Practice(GSGP) into:
- ICH-GCP-International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) for clinical studies/ WHO Good Clinical Practice standards
- EMEA (The European Agency for the evaluation of medicinal products)
- EU Directives on clinical trials
- Governments should take action to improve the evidence base for health policies by changing gender and other imbalances in both the content and the processes of health research.
- Role of Governments: to mainstream gender equality in all policy areas including health research. In this way governments can influence research councils in a very strong way (best practice: Sweden since 1994)
Research councils are requested to integrate gender perspectives into their research strategies and monitor this regularly.
- Good governance in the production of health and medical knowledge should incorporate the gender dimension (sex and gender issues) and the role of women.
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