Sex as a Biological Variable



Every cell has a sex. Our tissues and organs are made of these cells—and sex determines, in part, how the cells function and how they respond to disease, medication, their environment, and other stimuli. The study of sex as a biological variable is key to better science and, ultimately, better health for everyone. To ensure that studies provide the most rigorous scientific data available, the National Institutes of Health “expects that sex as a biological variable will be factored into research designs, analyses, and reporting in vertebrate animal and human studies,” unless there is a clear and strong justification for a single-sex study. Taking effect in 2016, the NIH Policy on Sex as a Biological Variable, or SABV policy, is a significant undertaking and tremendous contribution to science that will improve the health of people of every age.

Learn more about Sex as a Biological Variable and the NIH SABV Policy at https://www.nih.gov/women.

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