Sex and gender analysis improves science and engineering

AbstractThe goal of sex and gender analysis is to promote rigorous, reproducible and responsible science. Incorporating sex and gender analysis into experimental design has enabled advancements across many disciplines, such as improved treatment of heart disease and insights into the societal impact of algorithmic bias. Here we discuss the potential for sex and gender analysis…


The goal of sex and gender analysis is to promote rigorous, reproducible and responsible science. Incorporating sex and gender analysis into experimental design has enabled advancements across many disciplines, such as improved treatment of heart disease and insights into the societal impact of algorithmic bias. Here we discuss the potential for sex and gender analysis to foster scientific discovery, improve experimental efficiency and enable social equality. We provide a roadmap for sex and gender analysis across scientific disciplines and call on researchers, funding agencies, peer-reviewed journals and universities to coordinate efforts to implement robust methods of sex and gender analysis.

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We thank H. F. LeBlanc for her assistance. R.E. acknowledges financial support from a NERC Industrial Innovation Fellowship (NE/R013241/1). J.Z. is supported by a Chan-Zuckerberg Investigator Award and NIH P30AG059307. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research or the Canadian Government.

Author information

Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally: Cara Tannenbaum, Robert P. Ellis, Friederike Eyssel, James Zou


  1. Institute of Gender and Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    • Cara Tannenbaum
  2. College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

    • Robert P. Ellis
  3. Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology, Department of Psychology, Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany

    • Friederike Eyssel
  4. Biomedical Data Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

    • James Zou
  5. Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub, San Francisco, CA, USA

    • James Zou
  6. History of Science, Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering and Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

    • Londa Schiebinger


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L.S. conceptualized the paper and invited R.E., F.E., C.T. and J.Z. to collaborate. L.S. and C.T. structured and drafted the article, R.E. wrote the marine science section, F.E. wrote the social robots section, L.S. wrote the introductory and policy sections, C.T. wrote the health and medicine sections and J.Z. wrote the machine-learning section. All authors commented on and revised the paper. R.E. conceived and developed Fig. 1, C.T. conceived and developed Figs. 2 and 3, and contributed to Fig. 1, L.S. contributed to Fig. 3 and developed Fig. 4.

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Correspondence to
Londa Schiebinger.

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Peer review information Nature thanks Simon Beggs, Cynthia Breazeal, Jayne Danska, Reshma Jagsi and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Tannenbaum, C., Ellis, R.P., Eyssel, F. et al. Sex and gender analysis improves science and engineering.
Nature 575, 137–146 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1657-6

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