What a Difference Sex and Gender Make: A Gender, Sex and Health Research Casebook - Long Descriptions

Long description for Figure 1-1

This figure contains functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of brain activity during a mental rotation exercise in patient men and women with schizophrenia and control men and women without schizophrenia. Brain images for each group are provided from three different vantage points (front, back and side) and brain activity is indicated by colourful patches on otherwise monotone, greyscale brain scans. Control women without schizophrenia and patient men with schizophrenia show little to no brain activation during the mental rotation task. Control men without schizophrenia and patient women with schizophrenia display multiple areas of brain activation during the mental rotation task. Overall the figure illustrates that during this particular mental rotation exercise, brain activation patterns in women without schizophrenia were very similar to those of men with schizophrenia and, conversely, brain activation patterns in men without schizophrenia were very similar to women with schizophrenia.

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Long description for Figure 3-1

This is a schematic diagram of the human body's physiologic responses to stress. Once stressors (absolute or relative) in the environment are detected by the brain, two systems in the body are triggered. Within seconds, catecholamines like adrenalin are released into circula­tion as part of the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary axis. Within minutes the body produces glucocorticoids like cortisol as part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

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Long description for Figure 4-1

This figure provides a planning tool to integrate sex and gender in systematic reviews. Although the planning tool is presented in sequential steps, it is in fact iterative. Each component of the planning tool has a back-and-forth relationship with the Table of Included Studies.

Planning Tool Components


  • Provide a clear rationale for why sex and/or gender are or are not relevant to the systematic review (SR) question (e.g., evidence in the literature of sex/gender differences in prevalence of condition, health outcomes, etc.).
  • What is known about sex/gender in relation to other health determinants in the subject area?
    Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria
  • Do the criteria for including/excluding studies in the SR consider sex/gender differences? (e.g., could outcome measures differ between men and women?)
  • If relevant, provide a rationale for why some population groups are excluded from the review (e.g., women, men, or particular subgroups).


  • If possible, extract data for men and women separately.
  • If data extraction by sex/gender cannot be done, provide a rationale and/or contact primary study authors for more information.

Results and Analysis

  • If possible, distinguish between findings for men/women/subgroups in your results.
  • Analyze the findings taking sex/gender into account.
  • If subgroup analysis by sex/gender could not be completed, explain why.

Table of Included Studies

  • Is there sufficient information on primary study samples to include sex/gender, age and ethnicity in your table of included studies?
  • Are answers to other tool questions consistent with information provided in the table?
  • If basic demographic information has not been reported in primary studies, discuss the implications for the systematic review.

Discussion and Conclusions

  • Discuss whether the primary studies analyzed or failed to analyze results by sex/gender and addressed any implications of sex/gender.
  • Discuss to whom this evidence does or does not apply.
  • Discuss any implications of sex/gender for clinical practice, policy and regulation and for further research in the subject area.

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Long description for Figure 5-1

Percent of AMI patients receiving cardiac catheterization, by sex and age group
Age group Male Female
40-44 50.4% 63.2%
45-49 59.0% 60.0%
50-54 46.5% 54.0%
55-59 40.8% 53.8%
60-64 42.7% 45.3%
65-69 40.1% 40.3%
70-74 33.9% 27.6%
75-79 29.8% 24.9%
80-84 17.5% 16.3%
85+ 6.7% 5.6%

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Long description for Figure 9-1

This figure presents a diagrammatic network model of knowledge diffusion via sex/gender differentiated pathways. Men and women form densely connected knowledge subgroups, concentrating information in networks of similarity. Opinion leaders are individuals in both subgroups with extensive subgroup connections and constitute same-sex/gender sources of information. The connections between the men's and women's groups—the majority of which are formed by conjugal links—illustrate the importance of sex and gender relations for the diffusion of health and environmental knowledge and practices.

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