A recent investigation by CBS News has found that concussion research is primarily focused on male athletes, leaving female athletes without the care they need. The gender gap in this area of medical research could be hurting women who have suffered from concussions.
The majority of studies regarding the effects of concussions have been conducted with male participants, which may not accurately reflect how concussions affect females. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), females are more likely than males to suffer from a concussion while playing sports such as soccer and basketball.
Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University who specializes in studying brain injuries in athletes, says that this lack of research on female concussions can be dangerous. "We're missing an opportunity to really understand what's happening," she said.
One possible reason for the disparity is that male-dominated sports like football receive more attention from researchers and media outlets alike. This means there is less funding available for research involving other sports where women are more likely to experience head injuries.
However, it's important to note that some progress has been made in recent years towards closing this gap. The NCAA has made efforts to increase awareness about concussions among female student-athletes and implemented policies aimed at reducing head injuries across all sports.
Despite these efforts, there is still much work needed to ensure that both male and female athletes receive proper care when dealing with concussion-related symptoms.
"We need equal representation for men and women," Dr. McKee said. "And we need people paying attention so we can make a difference."
In conclusion, while there have been strides made towards increasing awareness about concussion risks among all athletes regardless of gender identity or sport preference over time; further steps must be taken so as not leave any one group behind - especially those most vulnerable due largely because they participate less frequently than others do.