Other Subject Area

Invited Editorial + Original Research


International Journal of Exercise Science 16(6): 364-376, 2023. A sex-data gap exists between females and males within the sport and exercise science literature, and implications are far-reaching. The purpose of this work was to (a) heed recent calls and scrutinize data from within IJES to address the gap and (b) gain insight on self-identified sex of IJES corresponding authors. The present self-study included all published manuscripts from 2008 through 2021. A total of 851 publications were included, and 806 (94.7%) reported data on participant sex. There was a difference between publications that included only females (n = 132) versus only males (n = 215), and three publications reported data on sex according to non-binary identifications (0.4%). There was an overall difference between the number of female (n = 54,153; 35.9%) and male (n = 96,890; 64.1%) participants. To gain insight on self-identified sex of corresponding authors, we performed an IRB-approved research study. Among 761 unique corresponding authors, 168 individuals provided 157 usable responses—58 biological females (36.9%) and 99 biological males (63.1%). We fully support the prerogative of researchers to ethically conduct investigations and encourage open-mindedness and inclusion in future research. With data revealing an approximate one-third female (36%) and two-thirds male (64%) composition, and corresponding author feedback on self-identified sex being similar (36.9% and 63.1%, respectively), we propose a new concept that should be analyzed: is the sex-data gap representative of the composition of the field? We are not excusing the sex-data gap issue as if it cannot be addressed, and we urge others to join us in researching this line of inquiry.