A lot of important medical information and data is based on men – and it could be fatal.
Here’s a question for the women out there – could you confidently say what the symptoms of a heart attack are?
Would you say that chest and arm pains are a telltale sign, as well as clutching at your chest?
If so, you’d be way off the mark.
While these are certainly male symptoms (also referred to as a “Hollywood heart attack) they’re very different to the symptoms which women experience.
Women will often experience physical symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, breathlessness and stomach pain.
Knowing this difference could literally be a matter of life and death – women are 60 per cent more likely to be misdiagnosed.
If you were in the dark about this, you wouldn’t be the only one.
According to Caroline Criado Perez, the fact so many of us are unaware of the difference in heart attack symptoms is a prime example of the “gender data gap.”
This term perfectly encapsulates how male bias dictates information, leaving women’s experiences out of the public knowledge forum.
Criado Perez, who rose to fame when she campaigned for Jane Austen to be included on the new polymer five pound notes, explore this in her new book, Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men .
Another example of this gender data gap is related to temperature.
Do you often feel cold when at the office?
No, it’s not you being “overly sensitive” nor is it in your head.
Criado Perez explains that office temperatures are based on how a 40 year-old man weighing 70kg would feel.
So if you don’t fit this prototype, that might be why your workplace feels so chilly.
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