February 15, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 4)
Strong Points: Case studies, methods descriptions
Weak Points: None
In research applications, “male” has historically been the default. This has resulted in some obvious sex biases—such as an underrepresentation of female subjects in drug trials—as well as some unexpected biases, like a lack of female (especially pregnant) crash test dummies when testing car safety. The Gendered Innovations project is a peer-reviewed project with the goal of developing practical methods of sex/gender analysis in science and engineering research. The website for this project includes resources related to this goal, including descriptions of the methods and detailed definitions for key terms. Additionally, the site provides a number of case studies that demonstrate how sex and gender analysis has led to innovation (such as pregnant crash test dummies, mentioned above). The case studies are thought provoking and will certainly cause researchers to think more seriously about sex/gender in their own studies.