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Oct 30 2023

Inclusive Research Matters Series: Distinguishing between sex and gender: Implications for transgender- and intersex-inclusive data collection

Kate Duchowny, Research Assistant Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

Monday, October 30, 2023
12:00 – 1:00pm EDT

1430 ISR-Thompson
426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor

Join via Zoom:
Zoom link\
Meeting ID: 954 1861 058
Password: 818420

This talk is part of the ISR Inclusive Research Matters Series, which explores the measurement of constructs across intersectional identities, as well as the assumptions and decisions that impact sampling, representation, and the selection of research topics.This event is part of the ISR Population Studies Center Brown Bag Series. If you have questions or would like to request accommodations, please email [email protected].

Despite recent calls to distinguish between sex and gender, these constructs are often assessed in isolation or are used interchangeably. In this talk, I will present data that quantifies the disagreement between chromosomal and self-reported sex and identifies potential reasons for discordance using data from the UK Biobank. My co-authors and I show that among approximately 200 individuals with sex discordance, 71% of discordances were explained by intersex traits or transgender identity. These findings imply that health and clinical researchers have a unique opportunity to advance the rigor of scientific research as well as the health and well-being of transgender, intersex, and nonbinary people, who have long been excluded from and overlooked in clinical and survey research.

Dr. Kate Duchowny is a social epidemiologist and research assistant professor in the Social Environment and Health Program at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Her overarching research goal seeks to bridge the social, environmental, and biological determinants of musculoskeletal health and physical functioning in older adults to inform interventions. Dr. Duchowny’s current research is organized around two lines of inquiry: 1) Identifying which aspects of the built and social environment matter most in helping older adults maintain independence and physical mobility, and 2) Examining life course sociobiologic mechanisms (e.g., viral infections, mitochondrial function) that drive disparate outcomes in physical disability especially related to neighborhoods.