Guidelines for including gender and sex in work and health research

How to take sex and gender differences into account

Based on studies done in the past decade, here are some ways work and health researchers could take sex and gender differences into account:

  • Use the terms “gender” and “sex” consistently in research studies.
  • Use study samples that include both men and women.
  • Ask questions that are relevant for both women and men.
  • Take into account the gender/sex segregation of the labour market.
  • Don’t assume exposures are the same for men and women, even in the same occupation.
  • Examine if the relationships between exposures and outcomes are consistent for women and men.
  • Don’t just adjust for gender/sex, but also examine the pathways that lead to differences in outcomes for men and women.

Source: At Work, Issue 78, Fall 2014: Institute for Work & Health, Toronto