seX & whY Episode 14, Part 2: COVID-19 Through a Gender-Based Lens

Jeannette WolfePodcast Episodes

Show Notes for Episode Fourteen of seX & whY: COVID-19 through a Gender Based Lens Part 2

Host: Jeannette WolfeGuests: Dr Gary Barker CEO of Promundo- an organization that promotes healthy masculinity and gender equality

Dr Stephen Burrell Assistant Professor in the Dept of Sociology at Durham University – whose area of focus in on engaging men and boys in the prevention of violence against women.

Here are some of the take-home points of our discussion.

  • The need to clearly label preliminary studies as “preliminary” to avoid early adoption of inadequately proven therapies
  • The importance of both including both males and females in research drug trials and in analyzing results by biological sex. (For example, from toxicology research it is known that females are at greater risk for drug-induced QTc prolongation – which can trigger a dangerous arrhythmia- than men, yet this consideration was not taken into the design and analysis of almost all the hydroxychloroquine studies even though we know that QTc prolongation is one of this drug’s most well-known side effects.
  • The need to go beyond biological sex to look at social and environmental determinants that help identify “which men” or “which women” (or “which nonbinary person”) is at greatest risks so that we can better direct interventions. This approach often quickly spotlights longstanding heath inequity issues.
  • If the goal is to improve health outcomes to consider subtly shifting the approach away from how can men better engage with health care systems towards how can health care systems better engage with men is quite important. Dr Barker shared an excellent example of a project he was involved with in Brazil in which men were approached during their partners prenatal clinic visits to make their own health related appointments.
  • This pandemic has been associated with some significant collateral health related damage including: people being afraid to seek out medical care for true emergencies; huge shortages of reproductive health services; increasing prevalence of domestic violence; and mental health related issues triggered by loneliness and isolation.

Here is the link to the Pew Study that Dr Barker mentioned.

Here is the link for the Harvard GenderSci

Here are some links for the challenges India is having with obstetrical care including this NY Times article

Amanda Nguyen’s Rise UP 19 program that allows domestic violence victims to be helped by restaurant owners.

Special thanks to Doug Deems who helped me edit this podcast.