Joint Statement by the Surgery Journal Editors Group
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We, the editors of surgery journals, believe that conducting sex-inclusive biomedical and clinical research is imperative to improving health outcomes of men and women. Note that the word “sex” is being used rather than “gender”. Sex is the genotype by which one is born, and gender is the phenotype. It is the chromosomal sex of the human, animal, tissue, or cell to which we are referring. Recent studies have shown that the majority of biomedical research in the field of surgery and related topics is conducted on male animals and male cells, even when studying diseases prevalent in women . Human clinical research suffers from a lack of sex-based reporting and sex-based analysis of the results [2, 3]. Given these findings, the National Institutes of Health has now asked that sex be considered as a biologic variable in all National Institutes of Health-funded research . As such, we support uniform, defined reporting of the sex used for human, animal, tissue, and cell research in ALL manuscripts published in our journals. If only one sex is studied, authors must include a justification statement as to why a single-sex study was conducted. We also will require sex-based reporting and analysis of data for all human, animal, tissue, and cell research. As a group, we will require this among all our collective surgery journals.
- 2.U.S. Government Accountability Office. National Institutes of Health: better oversight needed to help ensure continued progress including women in health research. https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-13. Published: Oct 22, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 2015
- 4.National Institutes of Health. Consideration of sex as a biological variable in NIH-funded research. https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-102.html. Published June 9, 2015