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Republican Congressman Andy Harris M.D. (MD-01) was able to get the Acting Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. Laurence Tabak, to admit that it is important to enroll men and women separately based on their sex assigned at birth rather than their stated gender identity due to scientific purposes for clinical studies.

Harris asked Tabak the question during the Budget & Oversight Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request For The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, Administration For Strategic Preparedness And Response, And National Institute Of Health.

Harris noted it is important men and women are investigated during clinical studies. He noted his understanding of the difference between men and women is based on reproductive biology.

“Should we enroll men and women in these studies based on their reproductive biology or their sex assigned at birth in order not to muddy the scientific waters of outcomes,” Harris asked.

“Differences in gender have existed for all time,” Tabak started. “We’ve only just begun to realize the nuances.”

Harris clarified:

“I’m not talking about gender, I’m talking about sex,” he said. “I’m talking about sex that’s described as reproductive biology. For scientific purposes, and I’m sure you understand because you’re a scientist, if you have 6,500 genes on that Y chromosome, and we don’t know what they all do, we don’t know how they all interact, if you don’t properly assign that person to the sex categorization in looking at a study, wouldn’t that muddy the waters in the outcome as to whether there is a difference between sex based on reproductive biology in the outcome of the study?”

Tabak responded:

“Depending on the nature of the study you would want to know that information.”


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