Science and sex: sometimes surprisingly clueless, all things considered

July 3rd, 2010  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  2 Comments

I’ve gotten this link from lots of folks, so I’m posting it here: What Exercise Science Doesn’t Know About Women.

Medical science has done a great job in many ways. But in other ways, you’d think women just got invented with how little doctors and researchers seem to know about certain things. I’m hoping that the current majority-female crop of science undergrads is going to change the face of research over the next few decades. Going to rant about that more in my upcoming rant… stay tuned…


  1. Trishy says:

    July 3rd, 2010at 9:35 am(#)

    There has been some flutter over this in the biomedical research community. There was a recent article in Science Magazine (which I can’t seem to track down now) about how a lot of animal research is conducted exclusively on male animals, because it’s cheaper and easier. One of the reasons is that female animals have a menstrual cycle, which has to be monitored in addition to all the other variables that have to be controlled for in animal experiments. Since research on mice is an important step in getting, for example, new drugs to human trials, the fact that the new drug is being tested only in males can be a big problem when human females become part of the clinical trials.

  2. Sarah says:

    July 5th, 2010at 11:06 pm(#)

    And to further Trishy’s point, what if results for women on any given metric may vary depending on their cycle? Whether they have one (pre- or post-menopausal), as well as at what point in their cycle they are at when the study is conducted. If muscle fatigue, strength and recovery are all hormone-influenced, this makes sense – but it would make planning and conducting research hell. Erm, challenging.

    There is actually some discussion on this on some fitness boards – whether you should alter your training throughout the month, with heavier training on weeks 2 & 3 of your cycle (I think…) and resting midway through week 4 to midway through week 1. It would be nice to see some actual research on this.

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