Introduction to GBA Plus

Applying the concepts of sex and gender


Excluding the consideration of sex and gender differences in research has limited effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment for women, men, non-binary people and intersex people. Even today, many clinical trials do not report results that have been analyzed separately for males and females, making it difficult to determine the biological and socio-cultural factors that may influence health. When developing effective treatments, it is important to document where sex does not factor into different outcomes, and to challenge your assumptions and consider why there aren’t any differences.

There is increasing recognition in medical research of the need to identify sex and gender differences in relation to risk factors, symptoms and patterns of health issues for the purposes of preventing, diagnosing and treating illness in people of all genders. Further, it is necessary to consider the multiple identity factors that a person may hold, which influences their experiences. Understanding how and when identities come together and intersect, is essential to understanding how outcomes and experiences are uniquely shaped.

In our next module, we will move beyond the concepts of sex and gender and examine a number of the factors – such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability - that make us who we are.