Gender Score Development in the Berlin Aging Study II: A Retrospective Approach

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Ahmad Tauseef Nauman, Hassan Behlouli, Nicholas Alexander, Friederike Kendel, Johanna Drewelies, Konstantinos Mantantzis, Nora Berger, Gert G. Wagner, Denis Gerstorf, Ilja Demuth, Louise Pilote, Vera Regitz-Zagrosek

In: Biology of Sex Differences 12 (2021), 15, 10 S.


In addition to biological sex, gender, defined as the sociocultural dimension of being a woman or a man, plays acentral role in health. However, there are so far few approaches to quantify gender in a retrospective manner inexisting study datasets. We therefore aimed to develop a methodology that can be retrospectively applied to assessgender in existing cohorts. We used baseline data from the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II), obtained in 2009–2014from 1869 participants aged 60 years and older. We identified 13 gender-related variables and used them toconstruct a gender score by using primary component and logistic regression analyses. Of these, nine variablescontributed to a gender score: chronic stress, marital status, risk-taking behaviour, personality attributes:agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, loneliness, conscientiousness, and level of education. Females and malesdiffered significantly in the distribution of the gender score, but a significant overlap was also found. Thus, we wereable to develop a gender score in a retrospective manner from already collected data that characterizedparticipants in addition to biological sex. This approach will allow researchers to introduce the notion of genderretrospectively into a large number of studies.

Gert G. Wagner

Senior Research Fellow in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Keywords: Gender, Sex, Aging, Berlin Aging Study II, BASE-II, Gender score
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