Sex Cells

The Fight to Overcome Bias and Discrimination in Women's Healthcare

Mayo Clinic
Phyllis E. Greenberger M.S.W., with Kalia Doner
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Sex Cells is a clear-eyed report on the still-pitched battle to get the scientific and medical world to recognize that women are not small men.

The idea that our biological sex impacts our health seems like such a simple concept. Unfortunately, it has proven to be anything but that. Phyllis Greenberger’s battle cry has been: Women/females need to be treated equitably in relationship to men/males. They are equal, but they are not the same.

It has been challenging to get individual researchers and practitioners to accept this, as well as research and medical institutions, and manufacturers of medications and devices. The journey towards equal treatment and the understanding of sex and gender differences in prevention, diagnosis and treatment is still unfolding. This book is the story of that journey — why it was, and still is, so important to do research specific to women/females.

Sex Cells gives readers access to the wide world of sex-specific medical issues as they play out in research labs and doctor’s offices, and how women pay the price, with a close look at the impact on minority populations.

The story is told by Phyllis Greenberger — the woman who is recognised as the driving force for change over the past 25 years — and her allies in government, NGOs, academia, medical research, the US government, and public health advocacy. The array of experts who have contributed to the book offer an insiders’ up-close view of the battle to have female cells, lab animals and humans brought into medical research, so that women can receive treatment that is appropriate and effective for a wide range of conditions.

Told with humour, ferocity and passion, Sex Cells is a manifesto that will appeal to anyone interested in health, women’s rights, and public health policy.

Contributor Bio

Phyllis E. Greenberger, M.S.W., is Senior Vice President of Science & Health Policy for HealthyWomen. She is the former President and CEO of the Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR), a national nonprofit organisation widely recognized as the thought leader in women's health research, for 26 years. In 2016, Phyllis was given the Trailblazer award by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health. Women’s Day magazine awarded Greenberger the 2006 Red Dress Award in recognition of her work in leading the way in the fight against heart disease in women, and in 2010 named her one of 50 Women Who Are Changing the World. She also received the Award for Research Excellence by the National Association for Women’s Health, Journal of Women’s Health & Gender-Based Medicine’s Achievement Award, Champion of Women’s Health by Ladies’ Home Journal, the Washington Woman of Genius by Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and received an award for public advocacy from the Clinical Research Forum. She was named the 2013 Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.