The Unité de soutien SSA Québec has established a scientific sub-committee responsible for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Sex and Gender Analysis (EDI-GSBA). Professor Sara Ahmed (McGill University) and Professor Amédé Gogovor (Université Laval) have been confirmed as joint nominees to head the committee.
Our range of services is under development
Key questions on sex and gender
When we talk about sex, we are generally referring to biological sex, defined by physiological characteristics such as chromosomes, hormones, gene expression and the reproductive system. This generally corresponds to the sex assigned at birth, which can be found on official documents. However, some people are born with physical characteristics that do not fit a binary definition of sex (female or male) or have variations in their sexual development, particularly at puberty. These individuals, who are referred to as intersex or developmentally disabled, are generally assigned a binary sex at birth, particularly in countries or regions that do not allow for the assignment of a non-binary sex at birth (Canada is one such country). In research, sex assigned at birth is most often included, as it is easier to measure because of its binary quality.
Gender is a socio-cultural construct that is composed of several dimensions, such as gender identity, gender relations, gender roles, institutionalized gender, etc. It may or may not correspond to the sex (assigned at birth or biologically) of the individual. It may or may not correspond to the sex (assigned at birth or biological) of the individual. Gender is beginning to be measured more frequently in studies, but the diversity of methods used and the evolution of definitions make its interpretation difficult. It is essential to move away from stereotypical characteristics associated with binary genders (femininity and masculinity) in order to measure the experience and perception of individuals without tainting the results with spatial and temporal bias.
A growing corpus of literature that has evaluated both concepts highlights the fact that gender is as relevant or more relevant to measure in research than sex assigned at birth (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2022). The fact that we rarely have access to the true biological sex of study participants makes the use of sex assigned at birth common practice. This may not be representative of participants’ biological sex, which is still medically sensitive, or of their life experience. Measuring gender allows for the identification of patterns that are not present when measuring sex at birth alone and provides a deeper, more realistic dimension to the results. A joint measurement of sex and gender is therefore ideal.
Two tools are proposed by our team: one corresponds to a self-reported measure of perceived gender to be integrated before data collection, while the other corresponds to a method for creating a composite gender index after data collection when only sex assigned at birth has been measured. The proposed tools are presented in two different papers:
- How do we indirectly measure gender in human research? Presentation of a guide for creating a composite gender score. The guide in french is available. The English version is coming soon.
- Measuring gender in human research, a new adapted questionnaire. It is available in French and English. The english form is at the end of the document.
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Guide to inclusive and epicene writing (in french)
This guide is intended to help us be an inclusive organization and to optimize our communications. It is intended to be practical and easy to use, and is intended for use by the entire community of the Unité de soutien SSA Québec. The adoption of this guide is part of the desire to ensure equal representation of people in the discourse of patient-oriented research (POR) in french in Quebec. We encourage you to send your questions and comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quebecers believe that the well-being of health care teams and science should guide health care decisions above all else
Dr. Anaïs Lacasse creates a gender index thanks to TorSaDe
Webinar on ENGAGE: a project to involve low-literacy patients in research
The Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec announces its COVID-19 services
Deliverables and toolsSee all
Creation guide for a composite gender score
Questionnaire for measuring human gender in research
ENGAGE: participatory methods and visual and auditory tools to get vulnerable populations involved in research
Rapid and Rigorous TransCultural Adaptation (RR-TCA) methods
Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec has published its 2014–2021 activity report for the community
Proper usage of sex and gender in studies of shared decision-making intervention: an assessment by Dr. Lionel Adisso and the Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec
Our postdoctoral fellow Amédé Gogovor and his colleagues publish an analysis on the challenges and solutions of integrating sex and gender considerations in knowledge translation
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Québec's health system
When you apply for support from the Unité de soutien SSA Québec, you are taking part in the emergence of a learning health system (LHS). We offer three types of support: training, consultation and tools.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Sex and Gender Analysis
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