A feminist approach to analyzing sex disparities in COVID-19 outcomes

Marion Boulicault, Annika Gompers, Katharine M.N. Lee, Heather Shattuck-Heidorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

arly in the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers reported a surprising trend in disease outcomes: men were more likely to require hospitalization and die from COVID-19 than women (Peckham et al. 2020). Researchers looked to sex-linked biology to explain these disparities, hypothesizing innate sex differences in immune function (Scully et al. 2020), suggesting the use of estrogens or androgen-suppressants as therapy (Suba 2020; Calderone et al. 2020) and even pushing for sex-specific vaccine strategies (Takahashi et al. 2020; Gadi et al. 2020). Leading bioethicists like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel at the University of Pennsylvania recently described the sex disparity in COVID-19 outcomes as “the unsolved mystery” of the pandemic, calling for urgent, multimillion dollar investment into sex disparity research (Emanuel 2021).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167 – 174
JournalInternational Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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