Women are more likely to develop disorders of the heart rhythm. The electrical properties of the heart are different between the sexes, and the mechanisms of heart failure are gender-specific.
It is untrue that women are the “weaker sex.” Evidence shows that men are more vulnerable in the womb and throughout their lives. Two hundred forty males are conceived for every 100 females. Yet, the ratio of actual birth is 1.05 boys to 1 girl. Men live a much more fragile existence throughout their lives and, on average, die six years earlier than women.
Even identical genes are expressed differently in males and females. Gender plays a crucial role in genomic manipulation.
When Did It All Start
The second half of the 20th Century saw the dramatic change of women’s roles in society as well as medicine. The American medical community and policy-makers realized that “protecting” women from the potential dangers of medical research was doing them a disservice. By the early 1990s, women began participating in direct clinical trials. While the scientific community initially resisted the change, the result was an unexpectedly rich discovery of remarkable differences in the physiology of women and men in normal health as well as in their response to the same diseases. These discoveries opened the gateway to a new science: gender-specific medicine.
Did you know!
There are profoundly significant sex differences in the therapeutic power of drugs and their side effects.
Men have less vigorous immune systems and are less able to fight some types of infection.
The part of the brain that moderates impulsive behavior is not yet fully developed in adolescent males, but it is in females. As a result, teenage boys often exhibit risky behavior that makes them prone to accidents. Accidental death and suicide are the chief causes of death for boys of this age.
Investigations on a genetic, cellular, and biological level have improved health and prolonged life for both sexes. However, not nearly enough doctors and scientists recognize the importance of examining the commonalities and differences between men and women. Of equal importance is the education of the public. Patients that do not understand gender-specific medicine cannot make informed decisions about their health and care.
The evolution of gender-specific medicine is similar to the emergence of pediatrics, which evolved because of an increasing awareness of the fact that children were not simply small adults. Their physiology, diseases, and treatment are age specific.
It is unfortunate, that in spite of all of our progress, the majority of medical practitioners both nationally and globally still do not consider gender when treating patients. There is still a great deal of work to be done.
Suggested by Dr. Marianne J. Legato
The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge after the Genome
By Jenny Reardon, Ph.D.
“Jenny Reardon's The Postgenomic Condition draws on decades of fieldwork to tell stories that lay bare the intricate tangle of technologies, individuals, institutions, expectations, experiments, businesses, communities, acts of resistance and superhuman efforts of grinding hard work that make up our genomic age… This is a book not just about what went wrong in genomics, and how hopes for a better world go awry, it is also about what happens when our democracy encounters new technologies that refuse to sit still long enough to be understood.”
The Gene: An Intimate History
By Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies―a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?
A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution
By Jennifer A. Doudna, Ph.D. and Samuel H. Sternberg, Ph.D.
“When people refer to CRISPR now, they talk about wiping out disease, resurrecting woolly mammoths, and fashioning designer babies. Such implications fascinate and torment Doudna, and she writes about them movingly with Samuel Sternberg, a biochemist and former research colleague, in A Crack in Creation.”
Sex and Gender: An Introduction
By Hilary M. Lips, Ph.D.
Taking advantage of the abundance of current research that reevaluates and resituates the major issues of sex and gender, the Sixth Edition collects and distills this scholarship into a book that is readily accessible and relevant to today's readers.
Lips incorporates knowledge gained from a range of social sciences, taking a critical approach to empirical research. Throughout the book, she emphasizes culturally, racially, and sexually diverse perspectives. A discussion of the role that gender plays in social relationships and power hierarchies illuminates the experience of inequality between men and women in business, education, politics, and the media.
Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance
By Medicine National Academies of Sciences, Engineer; National Academy of Medicine; National Academy of Sciences; and Ethical Considerations Committee on Human Gene Editing: Scientific, Medical
This report considers important questions about the human application of genome editing including: balancing potential benefits with unintended risks, governing the use of genome editing, incorporating societal values into clinical applications and policy decisions, and respecting the inevitable differences across nations and cultures that will shape how and whether to use these new technologies.
Postgenomics: Perspectives on Biology after the Genome
Edited by Sarah S. Richardson, Ph.D. and Hallam Stevens, Ph.D.
Postgenomics is transforming our understanding of disease and health, our environment, and the categories of race, class, and gender. The contributors to Postgenomics analyze these ruptures and continuities and place them in historical, social, and political context.
Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome
By Sarah S. Richardson, Ph.D.
“Erudite yet accessible, meticulously researched, and elegantly written, Sarah S. Richardson’s Sex Itself examines the history of modern genetic research on human sex difference. The book is ambitiously pitched and yet magisterially successful in delivering what it promises.”
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
A Calm Brain: Unlocking Your Natural Relaxation System
By Gayatri Devi M.D.
The Foundation for Gender Specific-Medicine supports the investigation of the ways in which biological sex and gender affect normal human function and the experience of disease. One of the discipline’s pioneers, Marianne J. Legato, FACP, M.D. established the Foundation as a continuation of her work with The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University.
The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance
By Nessa Carey, Ph.D.
Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, surveys twenty-years of history in field, highlighting its latest findings and innovations, and providing a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics.
Size Matters: The Hard Facts About Male Sexuality That Every Women Should Know
By Harry Fisch, M.D. and Kara Baskin
A man’s anatomy is a lot easier to understand than his mind, and knowing what’s going on down there is just as important to a happy relationship as figuring out the deeper meaning of his every word. You can analyze your relationship with your girlfriends, but who can you turn to with the more . . . sensitive questions? In Size Matters, Dr. Harry Fisch, an expert on the male reproductive system, and writer Kara Baskin team up to introduce you, metaphorically speaking, to the penis.
Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence
By Andy Clark, Ph.D.
A stunning new look at the human brain and the human self, Natural Born Cyborgs reveals how our technology is indeed inseparable from who we are and how we think. Drawing on his expertise in cognitive science, Clark explores ways in which we have adapted our lives to make use of technology (the measurement of time, for example, has wrought enormous changes in human existence), as well as ways in which increasingly fluid technologies can adapt to individual users during normal use.
Clinician’s Quick Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy
By Myrna Weissman, Ph.D., John Markowitz, and Gerald Klerman
“The authors of this book are pioneers of IPT. They have now written an accessible guide for busy clinicians. The book is very comprehensive and practical in scope. It is written in an interesting and stimulating style in which the authors have successfully distilled the core skills and principles of IPT.” –The Psychologist
Mastering Depression Through Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Patient Workbook
By Myrna Weissman, Ph. D
This book is a user-friendly guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), an empirically-tested and effective approach to treating depression. It is intended for persons affected by depression who are seeking or currently undergoing IPT.
Written to help destimatize depression and therapy, this book begins with a description of depression disorders and addresses common patient concerns. It then introduces the patient to Interpersonal Psychotherapy and also answers frequently-asked questions about the psycho therapeutic relationship. The next chapters, which are organized around common causes of depression, describe the process of treating depression with IPT and offer typical case examples at the end of each problem area. Throughout the book, worksheet guides help the patient think about problems and solutions to depression in constructive ways.
The Male Biological Clock: The Startling News About Aging, Sexuality, And Fertility In Men
By Harry Fisch, M.D. and Stephen Braun
Male sexuality is a topic discussed far more by stand-up comics than by responsible physicians. Dr. Harry Fisch’s book is a fascinating, well-written guide that provides enormous amounts of information that men — and their partners — of all ages will find useful and informative.
–Robert Bazell, Chief Science Correspondent, NBC News
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Alzheimer’s Disease: The Complete Guide To Preventing, Treating, And Coping With Memory Loss
By Gayatri Devi M.D. and Deborah Mitchell
The director of the New York Memory and Healthy Aging Services offers sound advice for patients and caregivers facing Alzheimer's disease. This guide covers prevention, treatment, and coping with memory loss and examines the symptoms and stages of Alzheimer's.
Estrogen, Memory, And Menopause
By Gayatri Devi M.D.
“Informative, accurate, scholarly, yet entertaining.” — Laurie Romanzi, M.D.; Asst. Prof. of Gynecology, Cornell University School of Medicine.
Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?
By the Institute of Medicine, Board on Health Sciences Policy, and Committee on Understanding the Biology of Sex and Gender Differences
Sex differences in health throughout the lifespan have been documented. This book begins to snap the pieces of the puzzle into place so that this knowledge can be used to improve health for both sexes. From behavior and cognition to metabolism and response to chemicals and infectious organisms, this book explores the health impact of sex (being male or female, according to reproductive organs and chromosomes) and gender (one's sense of self as male or female in society).
Submit your email and join our weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date with the Foundation.