Infographic: How Sex and Gender Influence Health and Disease
Sex and gender can influence health in important ways. While sex and gender are distinct concepts, their influence is often inextricably linked. The scientific
studies that generate the most complete data consider sex and/or gender influences in study design, data collection and analysis, and reporting of findings.
Sex is a biological classification, encoded in our DNA. Males have XY chromosomes, and females have XX chromosomes. Sex makes us male or female.
Every cell in your body has a sex—making up tissues and organs, like your skin, brain, heart, and stomach. Each cell is either male or female depending on
whether you are a man or a woman.
Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, expressions, and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people. It influences
how people perceive themselves and each other, and how they act and interact. Gender is usually conceptualized as binary (girl/woman and boy/man), yet
there is considerable diversity in how individuals and groups understand, experience, and express it.