The concept of "gender-based biology" can be traced to the late 1980s, during the formative days of the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research. In a discussion with the then president of the Institute of Medicine, Samuel Thier, about the omission of women from the design of clinical trials, Thier commented that there were real gender issues. He also offered that researchers needed to take advantage of the information the exploration of those differences could provide. The challenge was how to expand research, examining medical problems as they affect women while avoiding the politically volatile debate about reproductive health, specifically the politics of abortion. One way to sidestep questions of reproductive health was to concentrate on the health of women age 50 and over. Postmenopausal women do not (in the natural course of things) get pregnant. Therefore, the politics of abortion and contraception would not apply. Also, women...

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