Gendered Innovations

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Gendered Innovations harness the creative power of sex and gender analysis to discover new things.

The peer-reviewed Gendered Innovations project:

1) develops practical methods of sex and gender analysis for scientists and engineers;
2) provides case studies as concrete illustrations of how sex and gender analysis leads to innovation.

Why Gendered Innovations?

Thirty years of research have revealed that sex and gender bias is socially harmful and expensive. For example, between 1997 and 2000, 10 drugs were withdrawn from the U.S. market because of life-threatening health effects. Eight of these posed "greater health risks for women than for men" (U.S. GAO, 2001). Not only does developing a drug in the current market cost billions—but when drugs failed, they caused human suffering and death.

Gender bias also leads to missed market opportunities. In engineering, for example, considering short people (many women, but also many men) “out-of-position” drivers leads to greater injury in automobile accidents (see Pregnant Crash Test Dummies). In basic research, failing to use appropriate samples of male and female cells, tissues, and animals yields faulty results (see Stem Cells). In medicine, not recognizing osteoporosis as a male disease delays diagnosis and treatment in men (see Osteoporosis Research in Men). In city planning, not collecting data on caregiving work leads to inefficient transportation systems (see Housing and Neighborhood Design). We can’t afford to get the research wrong.

It is crucially important to identify gender bias and understand how it operates in science and technology. But analysis cannot stop there: Gendered Innovations offer state-of-the-art methods of sex and gender analysis. Integrating these methods into basic and applied research produces excellence in science, health & medicine, and engineering research, policy, and practice. The methods of sex and gender analysis are one set of methods among many that a researcher will bring to a project. Doing research right can save lives and money (Roth et al., 2014).

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