Is there gender bias in nursing research?

Authors

  • Denise F. Polit,

    Corresponding author
    1. Humanalysis, Inc., 75 Clinton Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
    2. Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Griffith University School of Nursing, Gold Coast, Australia
    • Humanalysis, Inc., 75 Clinton Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
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    • President.

    • Adjunct Professor.

  • Cheryl Tatano Beck

    1. University of Connecticut School of Nursing, Storrs, CT
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    • Professor.


Abstract

Using data from a consecutive sample of 259 studies published in four leading nursing research journals in 2005–2006, we examined whether nurse researchers favor females as study participants. On average, 75.3% of study participants were female, and 38% of studies had all-female samples. The bias favoring female participants was statistically significant and persistent. The bias was observed regardless of funding source, methodological features, and other participant and researcher characteristics, with one exception: studies that had male investigators had more sex-balanced samples. When designing studies, nurse researchers need to pay close attention to who will benefit from their research and to whether they are leaving out a specific group about which there is a gap in knowledge. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 31:417–427, 2008

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