- •Sex, a biological construct, and gender, a social construct are two distinct variables that may independently influence human health.
- •Despite calls for inclusion of sex and gender into health sciences research, gender is often ignored or conflated with sex.
- •In this commentary, we provide clarification of the distinction between these two variables and concrete examples of gender-related variables that can be collected under the four domains of gender identity, gender roles, gender relations, and institutionalized gender.
- •We also provide methods for incorporating these variables into statistical analysis.
- •We hope these guidelines will help researchers in their efforts to incorporate gender into their studies, thereby meeting requirements of funding agencies and ultimately improving health equity and precision medicine.
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Declaration of interest: none.
Funding: The GOING-FWD Consortium is funded by the GENDER-NET Plus ERA-NET Initiative (project ref. number: GNP-78 ): The Canadian Institutes of Health Research ( GNP-161904 ), La Caixa Foundation ( LCF/PR/DE18/52010001 ), The Swedish Research Council ( 2018-00932 ), and The Austrian Science Fund ( FWF, I 4209 ). V.R. is funded by the Scientific Independence of Young Researcher Program of the Italian Ministry of University, Education and Research (RBSI14HNVT).
This manuscript was conceptualized by C.P.T., V.R., L.P., and C.M.N. The initial draft was written by C.P.T., with all other authors contributing to editing.
Conflict of interests: We declare no competing interests.