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Participation of women in exercise studies may vary depending on the gender of the researchers

Women are frequently hard to find in fitness research when men are in charge.

A recent study makes a connection between the gender of researchers and women’s engagement, despite the fact that this underrepresentation of female research participants has been reported in everything from clinical trials to cell cultures.

According to lead study author Jessica Linde, a doctorate candidate at Milwaukee’s Marquette University, “our findings directly demonstrate the relationship between gender of authors and gender of research participants.”

Too few women participate, leaving gaps in our knowledge of how some programs affect women.

In order to choose studies published in 1991 and 2021 for this study, researchers examined 971 original research publications in three top journals with an emphasis on exercise physiology.

They discovered that in 1991, all-male teams wrote 51% of the papers. A little over 18% of articles in 2021 also had the problem.

Additionally, the percentage of all female research teams decreased with time, from 1.8% in 1991 to 1.1% in 2021. Women made up just one-third of research participants in 2021, despite an increase in their participation throughout the years.

When a man served as the study’s leader (or final author), there were fewer female participants in both years.

In 2021, research led by women would feature equal representation, according to Linde.

The study discovered a correlation between more gender parity of research subjects and more women in other leadership positions, such as editorial board members.

The research was presented this week in Long Beach, California, at a meeting of the American Physiological Society.

The authors stated in a meeting news release that encouraging male authors to conduct research with an equal number of participants from each gender could address the low representation of women as participants in exercise science and physiology.

Up until it is published in a peer-reviewed publication, research presented at medical symposia should be regarded as preliminary.