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January 2014

The Evolution of Gender

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(1):13-14. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.3199

In its 2001 report entitled Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called on biomedical researchers to step up their investigation of sex and gender as critical variables affecting health.1 In support of their appeal, the authors noted rapidly growing evidence for important distinctions between males and females at every level of existence, from the sociological level down to the molecular level. The authors proposed that increased understanding of the roles of sex and gender in health and disease could advance preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic health care practices. The IOM report thus listed several recommendations for future investigations of sex differences.

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