Why Do We Need Gender Medicine?

  • Vera Regitz-Zagrosek


Gender medicine, under this term, was not popular before 2000. Only in 2000 the medical community discovered that “women are not small men.” NIH and FDA recognized in the 1980s and 1990s that medicine was male dominated and most diagnostic and therapeutic strategies were aimed at males. They counteracted this by focusing on women’s health. Endocrine and reproductive systems were first targeted in the early years. However, it was soon recognized that women and men also differ in diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular syndromes and research was pushed in these directions. This led to the funding of the large “WISE” (Women Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation) study program in the USA and foundation of the Organisation for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) under the auspices of NIH. In these early years two aspects dominated: the focus on women and the focus on biological sex.


Exercise Behavior Sexual Hormone Unbiased Comparison Medical Hypothesis Gender Medicine 
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I thank Londa Schiebinger for fruitful discussions and Simon Simonsen for critical review of the manuscript. Great thanks go Margarete Ammon for continued interest and support of our work.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Gender in Medicine (GiM), Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCR)Charité - UniversitätsmedizinBerlinGermany

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