Sex and gender: modifiers of health, disease, and medicine

The Lancet, Volume 396, Issue 10250, 22–28 August 2020, Pages 565-582
Mauvais-Jarvis, F., et al

Clinicians can encounter sex and gender disparities in diagnostic and therapeutic responses. These disparities are noted in epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, disease progression, and response to treatment. This Review discusses the fundamental influences of sex and gender as modifiers of the major causes of death and morbidity. We articulate how the genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal influences of biological sex influence physiology and disease, and how the social constructs of gender affect the behaviour of the community, clinicians, and patients in the health-care system and interact with pathobiology. We aim to guide clinicians and researchers to consider sex and gender in their approach to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases as a necessary and fundamental step towards precision medicine, which will benefit men’s and women’s health.

 

Hormones are not the key to younger women’s sexual function

Monash University, 22 July 2020

A Monash University study into the causes of sexual dysfunction in young women has found social factors play just as important a role as hormone levels, and hormone therapy should not be prescribed as the only treatment.

The study uncovered that while hormones, including androgens like testosterone, play a role, the things that matter more are whether a woman has children (parity), being partnered or taking psychoactive medication for depression or other mental health issues.

Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from CALD backgrounds in Australia

ANROWS, June 2020

Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australia

This research set out to increase understanding of the lived experience of being a trans woman of colour living in Australia, in relation to gender transitioning and experiences of sexual violence.

Using a large comparative survey, the research situates trans women of colour’s lived experience of sexual violence within the range of sexual violence experienced by other women, including lesbian, bisexual and queer women, and heterosexual women.

This research highlights that the experiences and needs of trans women in relation to sexual violence remain poorly understood by many healthcare providers, legislators, police and policymakers, with the experiences and needs of trans women of colour being the least understood. The absence of culturally competent information and knowledge about transgender experience, accompanied by misinformation, can lead to stigma, prejudice and discrimination, resulting in unmet health and justice needs for trans women.

 

 

 

Australian-led PCOS guideline an international first

Medical Journal of Australia, Published online: 22 November 2019

An Australian-led international and multidisciplinary collaboration of health professionals and consumers has produced the first international evidence-based guideline for the diagnosis and management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) with an unprecedented international translation program, summarised today in a supplement published by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Led by Professor Helena Teede, Director of the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in PCOS, Monash and Adelaide Universities, the collaborators took 2 years to write the guideline, which includes an integrated translation program incorporating resources for health professionals and consumers.

PCOS affects 8–13% of reproductive age women, with around 21% of Indigenous women affected.

Intersex Peer Support Australia launches

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA), 25th October 2019

On the eve of Intersex Awareness Day, an internationally observed awareness day designed to highlight human rights issues faced by intersex people, and observed on 26 October each year, one of the oldest intersex groups in the world is launching a new name, branding and website.

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA) will carry on the important work of the 1985-founded Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia (AISSGA), which for more than three decades has been dedicated to assisting people born with variations in sex characteristics and their families, providing Australia-wide peer support, information and advocacy.

Elise Nyhuis, President of IPSA said, “The new identity will make us more visible to government agencies and support funders, and is more inclusive of the more than 40 known intersex variations, our diverse community and their families.”

“Our organisation advocates for and provides peer support to its members and the wider intersex community, focusing on the lived experience of having intersex bodies that physically differ from stereotypical, medical notions of male and female.

“The intersex community in Australia is strong and growing as people come out of hiding to stand together in the face of continued challenges from medicalisation, stigma and discrimination, shame, mental health issues, social inclusion, access to affirmative healthcare, parenting and human rights protection from medically unnecessary medical interventions on intersex children.

“Beyond our core work of providing intersex peer support, IPSA advocates for intersex issues through educating service providers, liaising with medical professionals, conducting policy review and consulting with government and NGOs, as well as by building community through coordinating opportunities and events for people with intersex variations to meet and share knowledge and experiences.

“The updated IPSA website will be a great resource for the whole community to learn more about the ‘I’ in the LGBTIQ acronym, while our membership will have access to a range of online extras through password-secured access,” said Elise.

Women taking pill may be less likely to suffer ACL injury, study finds

The Guardian,