Considering sex and gender perspectives in your research

As from 2020, we ask all who apply for a grant from us to state whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant in their research. This applies to most of our calls. You can find instructions in the call text.

One of the tasks in the Swedish Research Council’s directive from the Government is to work towards sex and gender perspectives being included, when applicable, in the research funded by us. It involves including both social and biological aspects of sex and gender identity in the methods, analyses, and results of research – when this is relevant. The Swedish Research Council sees this as part of the work to strengthen the quality and renewal of research.

The links further down this page show examples of how sex and gender perspectives can be applied.

This applies for grant applicants

The Swedish Research Council funds research in all scientific fields, and the preconditions of the fields vary. For this reason, we manage the issue of sex and gender perspectives differently in different scientific fields. However, for most calls you must describe whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant in your research.

The call texts provide full instructions. Under the heading “How your application is assessed” you can also read about how the issue is handled in the assessment of scientific quality.

What are sex and gender perspectives?

Sex describes the division into categories based on biological, physiological, and anatomical differences in sexually reproducing organisms. Sex can, for example, be related to chromosomes, genes, hormonal levels, and reproductive organs.

Gender relates to socially and culturally construed norms, values, and expectations. Gender also refers to attitudes and behaviours related to what is considered to be masculine or feminine. The concept of masculinity or feminity is often unconscious, and varies over time and between cultures.

Sex and gender perspectives in research can relate to anything from including and analysing differences between women and men in, for example, clinical study material (sex perspective), to problematising and reflecting on how gender affiliations are created and understood (gender perspective).

A research result that implies biological differences between men and women can be caused by culturally construed norms, or vice versa. It is therefore important to take both perspectives into account.

Note! Sex and gender perspectives in research contents should not be confused with equal gender distribution in the composition of the research team, or gender-equal assessment of research grant applications.



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