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Invisible Women: literally anything other than women

Invisible Women
Invisible Women: literally anything other than women
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #98 • View online

Hellloooo GFPs! Well, this is a VERY exciting edition of the newsletter, because it’s the one in which I can finally announce that the podcast is GOING LIVE! First episode drops this Wednesday, the 15th June, with new episodes every week for the following 11 weeks. You can catch it for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or wherever else you get your podcasts – and you can hear the trailer at the link to get you in the mood 🤠
Visible women with Caroline Criado Perez - Tortoise
In each episode I will try figure out how to fix a gender-data-gap-shaped problem – PPE, artificial intelligence, playgrounds… POCKETS. You’ll hear me investigating all sorts of things, and maaaaaybe getting into some teeny fights along the way…and I can’t wait to hear what you all think of it! In fact, I’d like to literally hear from you.
The first episode is going to be all about PPE, so this week I would like you to send me a voice-note with your most galling, most infuriating, most bizarre mishap with ill-fitting PPE. Just send me your short story (ideally, tell it to me in less than a minute!) to [email protected], and I’ll include as many of them as I can in a special bonus episode, which will be dropping on FRIDAY.
These bonus episodes will include various other bits and bobs like more in-depth interviews we couldn’t fit into the main episode and they will be available exclusively to Tortoise members. 
If you use my code CAROLINE30 you can get Tortoise membership for £30 for six months, which includes a ticket to an exclusive event with me in the Tortoise newsroom about the podcast. Visit to join.
If you’re already a GFP member (or if you become one!), you can get your first three months of a Tortoise membership for free and then pay just £50 for 12 months. I will email members separately with details of how to redeem this offer – I can only send one email a day on this platform, so, members, look out for that TOMORROW 💪
STOP PRESS: we just got out first review! And it’s very lovely 😎
Gender data gap of the week
This week’s gender data gap comes courtesy of GFP Kelly – and it’s good news!
Nature journals have actually already been asking researchers for information about sex and gender for nearly a decade now, and a recent analysis found that sex was reported in 52% of the studies in Nature journals versus 36% in non-Nature journal studies. So, clearly, asking researchers for this info has had an impact, but also quite clearly, and as Nature acknowledges, gaps remain:
including presentation of data that is disaggregated by sex and gender, a reliance on a single sex or gender without appropriate justification and a lack of appropriate sex and gender analysis
So Nature has announced that, starting this month, the journals it publishes will update their guidance so that authors are “more clearly and actively encouraged” to report sex and gender data in their papers. This will involve the creation of a new section where authors will be asked:
  • to “state whether and how sex and gender were considered in study design”
  • to “indicate if no sex and gender analyses were carried out and to clarify why” [this GFP possibly getting a bit hot under her collar at this point]
  • to provide data disaggregated by sex and gender [heavy breathing intensifies dot gif]
  • And last but as any GFP who has been monitoring my one-woman campaign against misleadingly gender neutral headlines and academic paper titles will know, most certainly not least: to note in the title and/or abstract if findings apply to only one sex or gender
These changes will apply to studies with human research participants, vertebrate animals and cell lines, and, says Nature, “We hope that requiring these details in a structured manner through established implementation routes will induce more authors to provide this information in published articles.” They also hope, they say, that these changes will ultimately result in “the integration of sex and gender analysis in study design by default.”
Nature is also running a pilot with four of their journals: Nature Metabolism, Nature Cancer, Nature Communications and Nature Medicine. They will send letters to authors and reviewers of these journals during the peer review process, as well as actively asking authors to provide disaggregated data. The idea is that the pilot will help Nature to
better understand the degree to which these considerations are already part of study design, data collection and analysis for the research we publish; to identify any challenges in its implementation; and to evaluate author and reviewer reception to our updated guidance.
I wonder if they’ll be sex disaggregating that data…😎
Default male of the week
GFPs, this week’s default male is….slightly less jolly I’m afraid. So, a couple of weeks ago, GFP Nicole sent me this article:
“As an active person with a heart condition,” wrote Nicole, “I got excited when I saw this.” Unfortunately however, the BBC has not yet adopted Nature‘s new guidelines on specifying in the title if a study applies to only one sex, and when Nicole clicked through the read the article, she found that this study was not on gender neutral hearts, but only on male hearts.
The University of Leeds project will see the men, all aged over 50, fitted with a small monitor under the skin on their chest to record their heartbeat.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) wants to find if heart scarring in some athletes is linked to abnormal rhythms.
“It is hoped,” the article continues, “the results will inform future research around ways to avoid heart damage in sport.” But only in men, of course, let’s not go crazy.
Still, at least the BBC article did go on to explain the study was only in men, which is more than can be said for the literal press release about the study from the University of Leeds, which is studiously gender neutral throughout, referring to “athletes” and “people” (long-time GFPs will, of course, know that, famously, women are not people).
The lead author, Dr Swoboda, is quoted expressing excitement about how much researchers will learn through this study, “including whether heart scarring is linked to irregular heart rhythms. This could help identify who is most at risk, and some of the lessons we learn could be applied to younger athletes, too,“ [my emphasis] and by this point I am just….
I did tweet both the study author and the British Heart Foundation (BHF), who are funding the study, to ask why they were only including men in the study…
Caroline Criado Perez
@pswoboda81 @TheBHF @DSheridanYEP @leeSkettle @UoL_LICAMM @LTHTResearch Hi there, great to see this research being undertaken, but could you explain why you're only researching male athletes?
…but at the time of writing I had received no response.
This research announcement comes less than a month after the American Heart Association issued a presidential advisory calling on researchers to urgently address “pervasive gaps in knowledge and care delivery to reduce sex-based disparities.”
During the past 5 decades, basic discoveries and clinical research studies have uncovered important biological differences between women and men, and differences in their respective responses to social, environmental, and behavioral stresses, as well. The underrepresentation of women in all aspects of biological research (from bench to population investigations) has delayed the pace of these discoveries and hindered effective translation.
Your move, BHF
If you are enjoying this newsletter, consider becoming a member! Members get access to member-only events, a members-only area, plus the warm glow that comes from supporting the work that goes into producing this weekly blast 😍
OBVIOUS homework this week, GFPs, is to first of all listen to the Visible Women podcast (here, here, here, here or wherever you get your podcasts), and, if you enjoy it, like it, share it, tweet it, facebook it, insta it, email it, probably tiktok or snapchat it I don’t really understand how those platforms work). This REALLY MATTERS for making the podcast a success so, if you do like what you hear, make a noise about it!
In other homework news…
Health and Care Research Wales
Do you use a coil or intrauterine contraception (IUC)?

Researchers @HywelDdaHB would like to hear your experience of having an IUC fitted to help improve future procedures.
Find out more:
#contraception #research
…GFPs may remember a while back, a few editions where we spoke about pain in the fitting and removal of IUDs, and the failure to systematically collect data on women’s experiences during these procedures…well, Health and Care Research Wales is filling in this data dap and they need our help!
Do your thing, GFPs…
Oh, and ***don’t forget*** to send me voice notes of your PPE experiences to [email protected]!
For a limited time, new members will get free membership of Tortoise for 3 months, and then pay just £50 for 12 months.
For a limited time, new members will get free membership of Tortoise for 3 months, and then pay just £50 for 12 months.
Poppy pic of the week
ferocious baby <3
ferocious baby <3
That’s it! Until next time, my dear GFPs….xoxoxo
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Caroline Criado Perez

Keeping up with the gender data gap (and whatever else takes my fancy). Like the Kardashians, but with more feminist rage. Plus, toilet queue of the week.

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