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Sex and Gender-Based Analysis

Picture of several people of different sex and genderSex and Gender-Based Analysis (SGBA) is an analytical approach that integrates a sex and gender perspective into the development of health research, policies and programs, as well as health planning and decision-making processes. It helps to identify and clarify the differences between women and men, boys and girls, and demonstrates how these differences affect health status, access to, and interaction with, the health care system.

Sex refers to the biological characteristics such as anatomy (e.g. body size and shape) and physiology (e.g. hormonal activity or functioning of organs) that distinguish males and females.

Gender refers to the array of socially constructed roles, attitudes, personality traits, behaviours, values and relative power and influence that are ascribed to the two sexes.

The Importance of Sex and Gender-Based Analysis to Canadians Health

The SGBA approach recognizes that differences between men and women are influenced by a variety of factors, including biology, class, socio-economic status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, geographic location, education and physical and mental ability.

By using sex and gender-based analysis, Health Canada and the other Health Portfolio organizations involved in implementing SGBA (the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission, and Assisted Human Reproduction Canada) can improve their understanding of sex and gender as determinants of health, and how they interact with other determinants (such as the ones listed above). This knowledge will help ensure that proposed research, policies, and programs lead to better outcomes and are beneficial for men and women, boys and girls living in Canada.

For more information, contact the Gender and Health Unit.