Sex and Gender Difference

Improving health care outcomes through sex and gender policies in health and medical research


  • There is a long-standing assumption that medicine, and the research underpinning medical interventions, is sex and gender neutral, however there is a growing body of evidence describing sex and gender differences in disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and health outcomes.
  • Despite this, much research continues to be done without taking sex and gender into account, leading to gaps in the evidence base informing our health care policy and practice


  • To address gaps in the collection, analysis and reporting of sex and gender in health and medical research in Australia.
  • To build capacity among researchers, scientists and clinicians, and drive change in this area


The project involves three phases:

  1. Surveys, interviews, web-based searches;
  2. Development and evaluation of policy frameworks and training materials; and
  3. Health economic analysis.

Potential Impact

  • Each stakeholder within the health and medical research sector in Australia encourages and supports the collection, analysis and reporting of sex and gender.
  • Improving the safety and quality of research will result in greater equality in health care outcomes for all

Fast Facts

  • In a 2019 review of sex and gender policies of funding agencies and medical journals in Australia, only two funders and six medical journals had such policies.
  • Policies on inclusion of sex and gender in health and medical research enables the inclusion of sex and gender-related phenomena in analysis, thereby promoting better targeted treatments and improved health outcomes.