In the 21st century, a woman can do whatever she wants. If she wants to be an epidemiologist or a geologist, the world is at her fingertips. Some working environments still have not embraced this fact, but she will find a way if science is her passion.
On the other hand, are the studies conducted today executed with women in mind? There are many male-centric experiments today, from basic understanding of how the body works to clinical trials for disease treatment. Whether it’s “exciting enough to justify making this discovery exclusively in males” or too unethical to open clinical trials to anyone who could potentially become pregnant, much of today’s testing includes few-to-no female subjects.
Experiments like mine find that there are fundamental anatomical, chemical, and behavioral differences between males and females. This should be a wake-up call to researchers excluding females in their studies. The results very well may be different with a more diverse sample population! My studies are starting with the addition of females into our experiments, but the future is so much brighter. Soon, we should incorporate implications of these studies on transgender individuals, people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, individuals of all ages, etc. It is so easy to run the exact same experiment with half females instead of entirely males, but many labs still refuse.
Many more women are conducting research, but many of the results in these studies go toward making the world a better place for young, rich, white, North American or European men.
Read more about how we got into this situation and what could get us out of it in my article published on That’s Life [Science].