CIHR Grant: Integrating Gender and Sex in Health and Environment Research: Development of New Methodology

Although it is common knowledge that boys and girls, men and women are biologically different and that their experiences bring them into contact differently with their physical and social environments throughout their lifespan, research in environment and health has been slow to translate this knowledge into methodologically sound studies that adequately consider sex and gender. The paucity of  information in this area has vital implications for health, health services and preventive intervention strategies for children, adolescents, family members involved in paid and non-paid work, and the elderly. The overall objective of this proposal is to integrate gender/sex considerations into research in health and environment throughout the lifespan. 

To achieve this goal, we have set up a pan- Canadian interdisciplinary research team, building on recognized Canadian expertise in environment and health and in quantitative and qualitative methods to take account of gender and sex. The emerging team will:

  1. develop and refine interdisciplinary quantitative and qualitative methods for integrating gender/sex considerations in Canadian and international research in environment (including workplace and health);
  2. establish strong collaborations with community-based and public health partners working in environment and health, in order to come to a richer understanding of the real-life mechanisms linking environmental health to sex and gender;
  3. train and mentor young researchers;
  4. initiate multi-centre, multi-disciplinary research demonstrating the scientific importance of integrating gender/sex considerations into research and intervention in health and environment. We propose a participatory structure with partners working in the field of environment and health and a 5-year progressive research and activities plan grounded in on-going research in environment and health across Canada.