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Guardian: Not accounting for sex differences in Covid research can be deadly

(25 Posts)
AnonymousSauces Fri 25-Sep-20 16:38:07

www.theguardian.com/science/2020/sep/25/not-accounting-for-sex-differences-in-covid-research-can-be-deadly

Extract:

Historically, medical research has often taken a one-size-fits-all approach, lumping women and men together despite growing evidence that the sexes differ in how they catch and fight disease.

A stark example was the heart drug digoxin, which was widely marketed in the late 1990s on the basis of a trial that showed it to be effective and safe. But over time a higher incidence of side-effects in women emerged. When the same dataset was analysed on the basis of sex, it showed digoxin decreased mortality in men – but increased mortality in women.

“Women are not just small men,” one expert said.

Covid-19 seems to be a case in point when it comes to differences between the sexes, with men thought to be up to twice as likely as women to die from the virus. But a new analysis suggests that scientists involved in the race to develop medical interventions for the coronavirus have paid little attention to these disparities.

....

“The problem is, if you don’t do sex analysis – if males and females have very different responses – you could miss [accurate data on] everybody,” said Londa Schiebinger, a history of science professor at the University of Stanford.

Many funding agencies now require that scientists conduct sex analyses, as have some medical journals, while drug regulators are encouraging the practice. But until the exercise is enforced it appears the status quo will continue, experts said.

“People will promise anything if it allows them to either record the study or secure funding … but if it’s not being monitored, it doesn’t necessarily happen,” said Oertelt-Prigione.

“Women are not just small men. We have different hormones [levels], smaller kidneys and more fat tissue where drugs can accumulate,” said Dr Cara Tannenbaum, a scientific director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. “There’s so many reasons why things can go wrong.”

When it comes to Covid-19, and infectious diseases in general, female immune systems are considered stronger, in part because they have two X chromosomes that are understood to shape immune responses, although environmental factors play key roles. There are other established physiological and anatomical differences that may also make women more susceptible to some drug-related risks.

It’s therefore imperative that scientists analyse data by sex, the experts stressed.

From the newspaper that pushes the idea that men can have babies. It's as if the Guardian has had no role whatsoever over the last 10+ years of creating an anti women agenda that has leaked into every area of human life, including scientific research.

OP’s posts: |
persistentwoman Fri 25-Sep-20 16:43:03

They have no shame do they? Years of openly silencing women demanding that sex based differences are recognised. I wonder if they've got this on their twitter feed? That's where they usually get push back when they don't allow comments.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 25-Sep-20 16:47:45

Is the Guardian now saying biological sex is a thing confused

ahagwearsapointybonnet Fri 25-Sep-20 17:00:07

But...but... that's transphobia innit! Set the LibDems on them! grin

AnonymousSauces Fri 25-Sep-20 17:04:56

I'm surprised there hasn't been a mass walk out of triggered Guardian staffers, led by Little OJ.

OP’s posts: |
BrassicaRabbit Fri 25-Sep-20 17:07:27

The evil TERFs! I expect their USA colleagues are penning a furious letter right now....

Ah - no - hang on. I think this one's allowable because I'm guessing this time it's men who are endangered when the existence of sex is denied?

CodenameVillanelle Fri 25-Sep-20 17:08:45

Funny how sex is real when it's men who are at risk isn't it??

BoobsOnTheMoon Fri 25-Sep-20 17:33:50

Women are not just small men 😂😂😂

You have to wonder how long this expert trained for to come out with that nugget of "expertise" hmm

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 25-Sep-20 17:41:22

BoobsOnTheMoon

Women are not just small men 😂😂😂

You have to wonder how long this expert trained for to come out with that nugget of "expertise" hmm

I had a uni friend who was 6’1” was she a tall “not small man” who was taller than many small men who were actual men not “not small men”
<goes for a lie down>

AskingQuestionsAllTheTime Fri 25-Sep-20 17:42:49

I have been waiting for this to be acknowledged for weeks now. Months, in fact. Ever since the very first suggestion that the disease was killing more men than women; and that came before the suggestion that it was killing more people of African and Asian descent than European, and I think at one point fewer of Jewish descent than any other.

Men and women are not the same biologically, in this as in other ways. It's like sickle cell disease not being as likely in one set of genetic heritage as another, and any sensible medical professional simply accepting this and not thinking it was in some way prejudiced to do so.

xxyzz Sat 26-Sep-20 23:48:22

AskingQuestionsAllTheTime

I have been waiting for this to be acknowledged for weeks now. Months, in fact. Ever since the very first suggestion that the disease was killing more men than women; and that came before the suggestion that it was killing more people of African and Asian descent than European, and I think at one point fewer of Jewish descent than any other.

Men and women are not the same biologically, in this as in other ways. It's like sickle cell disease not being as likely in one set of genetic heritage as another, and any sensible medical professional simply accepting this and not thinking it was in some way prejudiced to do so.

Off topic, but actually, Covid has been killing many more Jewish people than the average - more than double the national average. So you're wrong on this, Asking.

But yes, the Guardian does seem to be trying to have its cake and eat it, by claiming on the one hand that there are no clear biological differences between the sexes, and on the other hand, ermmm, that there are clear biological differences between the sexes.

One wonders if they think a transwoman would magically react to illness and medications the same way as a woman, because gender essence.

Gladysthesphinx Sat 26-Sep-20 23:59:26

Well, the Guardian is just doing this to benefit men, aren’t they? Because in the Covid context it helps men to recognise reality.

If women were the sex disproportionately affected by Covid, the Guardian wouldn’t give a fuck & would still be claiming biology doesn’t exist. We’re disposable, but when there are men to save.....! Just see them as a misogynistic MRA rag & it falls into place.

BatShite Sun 27-Sep-20 00:11:11

I had the 'pleasure' of watching a TRA convo about the covid thing, during which they were convincing each other that if they up their 'HRT' a bit, they would basically be the same as a woman and thus at less risk than men hmm Or they might infact be protected already as they have the same hormone levels as women..apparently. Fairly sure it doesn't quite work that way.

BatShite Sun 27-Sep-20 00:11:44

But yes, sex exists when men are more at risk. Interesting eh...waiting for the wails about bigots mentioning sex.

Goosefoot Sun 27-Sep-20 02:04:42

I don't think they care because it affects men. I don't think they are even attempting to be coherent.

borntobequiet Sun 27-Sep-20 05:52:20

I emailed one of my favourite radio programmes, More or Less, to point out that they were misleading people by using the term gender instead of sex when quoting COVID stats. Such a shame.

Siablue Sun 27-Sep-20 07:06:58

I think there are quite a lot of gender critical staff at the guardian but that is not the editorial line. Fortunately they don’t let OJ write the science news.

Oxyiz Sun 27-Sep-20 08:12:18

They don't care because the men it affects won't get violent over this.

Most transwomen will agree that women are different from men, and need more nuanced medical research, because they will assume they "count" as women.

Annasgirl Sun 27-Sep-20 09:20:10

Well that’s going to be very difficult seeing as many universities have now adopted “male’ female, other, do not want to say’ as their default - and as I found to my cost, when you argue the issue with your Professor, you are told that you are not allowed to change that format as you are being mean🙄

carefulvulvadriver Sun 27-Sep-20 09:23:42

Reminds me of how the bbc covered the story of a trans man who was given the wrong treatment for their health condition because the doctors didn’t know their actual biological sex. Which the bbc wrote up in terms of how awful the doctors were to not be sensitive to trans issues, rather than asking the patient themselves why they didn’t think to mention it, or scrutinising the bullshit which will have led to that important biological information being missing from their health record

www.bbc.com/future/article/20200814-why-our-medical-systems-are-ignoring-transgender-people

RedToothBrush Sun 27-Sep-20 09:32:16

The Guardian are playing a game of 'both siderism'. This however is not journalism.

Its a game you don't win. By playing to both sides you piss them both off. And you completely lose credibility as a newspaper that seeks out the material truth of a situation that lies beneath the political rhetoric.

Aesopfable Sun 27-Sep-20 10:24:12

The BBC do this too - depending who is writing the articles or the context they either think sex is not important or they think sex is very important.

KenDodd Sun 27-Sep-20 10:35:14

When someone has a GRC (or even not) are they then recorded for statistical and research purposes as the opposite sex to their biological sex? If so, this worries me a bit as it must surely lead in inaccurate data and all the problems that will then stem from that?

KenDodd Sun 27-Sep-20 10:36:44

I would also recommend a book about the female data gap.

www.audible.co.uk/pd/Invisible-Women-Audiobook/1473569001?source_code=M2M30DFT1BkSH101514006M&ipRedirectOverride=true

AskingQuestionsAllTheTime Sun 27-Sep-20 10:59:40

xxyzz
"that came before the suggestion that it was killing more people of African and Asian descent than European, and I think at one point fewer of Jewish descent than any other." (emphasis added for explanation)
Off topic, but actually, Covid has been killing many more Jewish people than the average - more than double the national average. So you're wrong on this, Asking.

I am not, because the suggestion, which was definitely made (and I know this because enough of my relations were crowing about it and asking whether my mongrel blood meant it wouldn't apply to me) was not mine.

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