Editor's Note:
This is the fourth article in a series on sex-based differences in the biology of males and females. Future articles in the series will cover sex-based differences in drug metabolism and in life expectancy.

Lisa Damiani

In the 1970s, medical textbooks noted that lupus patients should not get pregnant because it could kill them, recalls physician Michael Lockshin. "I was challenged by a medical student, who had lupus, to show the data to prove that. But it didn't exist and it was all, forgive the implied pun, an old wives' tale that was just being passed on," says Lockshin, now director of the Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City. The third-year medical student, who was two months' pregnant, ignored the textbooks, and Lockshin for that matter, and went on to have a large family. (Lupus is still considered...

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