Introduction for Sex Differences in Physiology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The study of the human body dates back to ancient times but was not named as the discipline "physiology" until the 16th century by the French physician Jean François Fernel, who introduced the term to describe the study of bodily functions. Since that time, physiologists have contributed fundamental and critical information needed for the evidence-based practice of modern medicine. However, like all scientific disciplines, physiology and physiologists are not immune from political, societal, and cultural trends and for many years except for studies related to the physiology of reproduction, most human and animal physiological studies enrolled male volunteers and utilized male animals. Thus, physiological principles contained in classical physiological and medical textbooks and graduate and medical curricula have been based on the 70. kg healthy male (usually between 18 and 40 years of age) or on male animals. Times have changed and this book "Sex Differences in Physiology" provides an important update and focus on basic physiological control systems and mechanisms in females and males that contribute to health and disease across the lifespan. It is essential for scientists and clinicians to consider sex differences as one of the underlying physiological mechanisms of disease to provide the building blocks for evidence-based, individualized medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSex Differences In Physiology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780128026083
ISBN (Print)9780128023884
StatePublished - May 16 2016


  • Jean François Fernel
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Physiologists
  • Physiology
  • Sex differences/gender differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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