Sex bias in basic and preclinical age-related hearing loss research

Dillan F. Villavisanis, Katrina M. Schrode, Amanda M. Lauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aims to determine if there is sex bias in basic and preclinical research on age-related hearing loss for the 10-year period of 2006-2015, prior to the NIH mandate of including sex as a biological variable in 2016. Design: Manuscripts were identified in PubMed for the query "age-related hearing loss" for the 10-year period of 2006 to 2015. Manuscripts were included if they were original research (not reviews or meta-analyses), written in English, contained an abstract, used animals, and were primarily on age-related hearing loss. These criteria yielded 231 unique manuscripts for inclusion in the study analysis. The text of each manuscript was screened for the sex of the animals, the number of male and female animals, the discussion of sex-based results, the study site (US or international), and the year of publication. Results: Only two thirds of manuscripts reported the sex of animals used in the experiments, and of these, 54% used both sexes, 34% used males only, and 13% used females only. In papers reporting sex and number of animals used, 67% were males and 33% were females. Over twice as many internationally based studies used males only compared to US-based studies. Only 15% of all manuscripts discussed sex-based results. Conclusions: Sex bias is present in basic and preclinical age-related hearing loss research for the manuscripts screened in the 10-year period. Equal inclusion of both males and females in basic and preclinical age-related hearing loss research is critical for understanding sex-based differences in mechanisms and for effective treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
JournalBiology of Sex Differences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 13 2018


  • Animals
  • Basic
  • Hearing loss
  • NIH
  • Preclinical
  • Sex bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Endocrinology


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