Male bias in medicine

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Boustrophedon
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:14 am

murmur wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:57 am
In my old bit of the forest it is becoming increasingly accepted that major assessment tools for autism and ADHD may have a built-in male bias from how they were designed and normed. However, I'm a bit out of touch with what is happening and how any changes are being considered.

Mumble, something about institutional sexism, mumble, but lack any bits of research to back it up, just anecdotal accounts from female type folk I know.
Having worked in special ed, I would agree from and end user point of view: Girls who get a diagnosis of autism tended to get that diagnosis late in their school career, year 10 being typical, as opposed to the boys who usually arrived in year 7, with the diagnosis. It made little difference as we worked on the assumption that they were all autistic til proven otherwise.

As I understand the current state of play, there is a strong sex linkage with autism and it thus affects boys more often than girls, so perhaps the bias is understandable if not desirable.
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Fishnut
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by Fishnut » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:05 pm

I was listening to a podcast last night (America Dissected) that was talking about infant and maternal mortality. Apparently studies in the US have found that black women have higher rates of miscarriage and premature birth than white women. They found that those mothers who recorded incidents of racism had higher levels of stress hormones and this correlated with higher rates of problems during pregnancy. This combined with worse medical care, also due to racism, has led some parts of the US to have some of the worst infant mortality rates in the world, and is why the US life expectancy has never reached the levels seen in other westernised countries.
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discovolante
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by discovolante » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:56 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:05 pm
I was listening to a podcast last night (America Dissected) that was talking about infant and maternal mortality. Apparently studies in the US have found that black women have higher rates of miscarriage and premature birth than white women. They found that those mothers who recorded incidents of racism had higher levels of stress hormones and this correlated with higher rates of problems during pregnancy. This combined with worse medical care, also due to racism, has led some parts of the US to have some of the worst infant mortality rates in the world, and is why the US life expectancy has never reached the levels seen in other westernised countries.
Ugh that is terrible.

The maternal complications thing came to my attention because of a set of circumstances that made me feel fairly uncomfortable on reflection, and gave me a lot of food for thought. I'm going to have to listen to that podcast.
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Allo V Psycho
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by Allo V Psycho » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:29 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:59 pm
Another new book, this time on the way a relative dearth of research into pregnancy birth and childcare leads to poor outcomes and an excess of unnecessary interventions. The author has a piece in The Conversation which is worth a read. This part really jumped out at me,
One area where women are more equally funded is in the social sciences. But the discipline’s focus on qualitative methods, such interviews and observations, is sometimes taken less seriously. Many instead consider randomised controlled trials the best way to conduct research, as the element of behavioural choice and any associated demographic factors, such as age, gender or race, are removed.

However, conducting trials in birth and parenting research can have ethical implications. For example, you cannot randomise mothers to have a vaginal or cesarean birth, or to breast or formula feed. Also, qualitative methods are often better able to understand what is important to women, such as understanding their experiences of having labour induced rather than simply physical outcomes.
I used to be one of those who looked down on qualitative methods but the more I learn about them the more I realise that they can be rigorous and hugely effective for answering specific types of questions. It would be great if they could lose their stigma amongst the "hard sciences" community and be welcomed as an important tool in our arsenal.
Indeed. As a wholly quantitative researcher, in 2001 I was awarded a grant which required qualitative methods as well as quantitative ones. Of course, I hired an experienced qualitative researcher to do the actual field work and analysis, but for me it was a crash course on the valuable insights qualitative research can bring. Now, I normally aim to design studies using both where I can. The qualitative arm can tell you what happens. The qualitative arm can give you insight into why it happens or what it means to people.

I also think qualitative research is harder than quantitative research, in the sense of 'more difficult to do'.

It is interesting to me that the quantitative field I work in has a large proportion, if not a majority, of female researchers, so gender divisions are not simple.

Draggell
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by Draggell » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:07 am

I read today about a group that was only going to take submissions from female identifying persons, as there has been such a disparity bewtween male and female. Medicine needs to do something similar.

Allo V Psycho
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by Allo V Psycho » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:00 pm

Draggell wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:07 am
I read today about a group that was only going to take submissions from female identifying persons, as there has been such a disparity bewtween male and female. Medicine needs to do something similar.
Could you expand on this, as far as medicine goes? I'm not clear what you mean.
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mikeh
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by mikeh » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:21 pm

I assume that was a reference to a research funder, or similar, prioritising female applicants (though draggell can correct me if I'm wrong, and if I'm right, would be intrigued to see more).

The UK NIHR (research wing of the Department of Health) has put in place rules for their Professorships. Institutions (UK universities typically) can put forward a maximum of two candidates for each round. One has to be female. I think also if they only put forward one candidate, then one has to be female, but can't quite remember for sure on that latter bit.

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Woodchopper
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Re: Male bias in medicine

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Oct 07, 2021 10:54 pm

Some information here on some research finders that require that drug trials include women as well as men.


Why are males still the default subjects in medical research?
https://theconversation.com/why-are-mal ... rch-167545

Which is a start.

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