Patriarchy has affected every aspect of human life, without any exceptions. It has influenced the way women look, dress, work, love, marry, and essentially exist. For the longest time, humanity’s understanding of the world has been through a male perspective, conveniently ignoring the female. As social movements have progressed, they have tried to break that understanding to form a newer, more inclusive one. However, the same has yet to be done for medical science. Experiments performed on the human body to find out about its biology sounds like an inclusive concept. However, the truth is far from it.
Our understanding of human biology is based on studies that have only studied male subjects, and hence disregard female biology. Medical conditions like heart attacks and autism are experienced differently by females, through different symptoms. But given that we know what they look like based on how males go through them, females are often misdiagnosed or termed as ‘hysterical’.
However, progress is being made.
WHAT HAS BEEN DISCOVERED ABOUT FEMALE BIOLOGY?
Marta Cerruti and her team discovered that minerals that are responsible for blocking heart valves are different in males and females.
Cerruti and her team examined damaged heart valves from patients who had had transplants.
Their research revealed that the mineral deposits found in aortic valves of people who suffer from stenosis are different and based on the biological sex of the patient. Stenosis is a life-threatening heart condition caused when the aortic valve opening is narrowed.
Marta, who is an Associate Professor in McGill’s Department of Materials Engineering, said –
“What we showed, which was a surprise to us, is that the type of minerals in the heart valves is different between the sexes.”
Cerruti also believes that the lack of female subjects in studies has affected our understanding of human biology. She also cited the exclusive use of male mice in experiments being the standard.
“Our study is the perfect illustration that by only looking at a specific population, you will skew your data.”
She added –
“Having a more diverse data set improves your science.”
The research was conducted using the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan, and published in Acta Biomaterialia.