Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sexist biology

Research on mice and other animals has historically been done on male lab mice. Because the female lab mice's cycles might mess up the scientific research. Hmmm...

This one makes me think. If all medical research is done on males, of course it is going to be biased. Just like when all legislators are male, women's rights lag.

So why the controversy? This has been a long running problem. As a layperson I have been aware of this for a few paltry decades. But now it is hitting the forefront as feminist biology is interfering and causing a few ruffled feathers.

So here's my layperson take on this. If all research is done on male mice so the little bitty mouse girly cycles don't interfere with the results, why do they think they can extrapolate and start using their findings on female anythings - from mice to humans - without complications.

It is known that some medications have different effects on males and females (take Viagra for the obvious example). Also at the end of years/decades of expensive research, the drug companies say they still need more years/decades of expensive research because their research didn't cover all potential groups who might benefit from the drug.

I know its a lot more complicated than that but if the basics of the research start off skewed, aren't the results going to end up biased? Let's start with a level playing field here.

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