In certain circles, it is politically incorrect to suggest that men and women are different. (Just ask former Harvard president Lawrence Summers.) Ignoring the entire field of biology, feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir famously philosophized that, "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman," implying that social constructs hoisted upon women by a patriarchal society explain why women become who they are.
That ideology still persists today.
and an impediment to understanding mental illness in women."
In addition to this growing scientific backlash, feminists have another problem to contend with: immunology.
A new review published in the journal BioEssays describes how men and women respond differently to viral infections. From the abstract:
The intensity and prevalence of viral infections are typically higher inIt is simply not possible to blame immune differences on socially contrived gender roles. Indeed, from genetics to psychology, research shows that men and women are simply different. Rejecting this is denying biological reality.
males, whereas disease outcome can be worse for females. Females mount
higher innate and adaptive immune responses than males, which can result
in faster clearance of viruses, but also contributes to increased
development of immunopathology. In response to viral vaccines, females
mount higher antibody responses and experience more adverse reactions
than males. The efficacy of antiviral drugs at reducing viral load
differs between the sexes, and the adverse reactions to antiviral drugs
are typically greater in females than males. Several variables should be
considered when evaluating male/female differences in responses to
viral infection and treatment: these include hormones, genes, and
gender-specific factors related to access to, and compliance with,
treatment. Knowledge that the sexes differ in their responses to viruses
and to treatments for viral diseases should influence the recommended
course of action differently for males and females. [Emphasis added.]