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Why Don't We Know Enough About Women's Health?
There is a significant gender gap in between the knowledge that we have related to women and men. Most of the biomedical knowledge we have is based on the research and effects that were solely concerned on men. It’s only during the past few decades that the research community is paying attention to the existing gender differences, though there is still a lot more needed to understand the women health and broaden this concept.
If we trace the history, we come to know that the National Institutes of Health hardly used to enlist the people to keep the track of women in research. Besides, The Food and Administration Department was also excluding women of childbearing age from participating in drug trails that were conducted. The possible reasons researchers would give in was the child bearing capacity of a woman that could endanger two lives or the hard work that had to be carried out for women’s varying hormonal changes and cycles. To understand it better, if we look at the case of depression, women are twice as likely to have depression than males, yet the majority of research was conducted on males.
Though the scenario has changed and women are being a part of the research more than ever, they are still under presented in most of the research areas. Most of the tissue samples and cell lines are obtained from men where the knowledge on the symptoms and risk factors of various diseases remain limited to them only. Besides, it has been seen that most of the health problems common in women are comparatively under researched which include autoimmune diseases, gynecological disorders, fertility, chronic pain conditions etc. Besides being neglected of research, research funding has been also very petite in these areas.
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