Gender is a cross-cutting category in research

In almost all subjects, the consideration of gender aspects leads to new insights. This is shown by the research results of Science & Technology Studies and Gender Research. Be it the knowledge of significant compositions in musicology (database MuGi), be it the analysis of the different effects of epidemics, the climate catastrophe or the care for the sexes. In car body design, whose use of male norm sizes leads to the construction of appropriate car bodies for people who fit this norm conception, the category of gender opens perspectives and helps to develop appropriate car bodies for all people (Draude n.d.). In the study of the fertilization process, it was the gender perspective that made it clear that oocytes actively participate in fertilization (Martin 1991). In molecular biology, the sex category contributed to the search for and finding of sex-determining factors not only on the Y chromosome (Fausto-Sterling 2000). In medicine, the difference in heart attack symptoms among the sexes is now a well-known example. The gendered division of labor is also not based on ‘natural’ characteristics of the sexes; rather, occupational activities are gendered according to societal notions of gender, and in interaction with this, women and men are assigned aptitudes for certain activities (Peukert 2020).

‘Gender in research’ is a complex topic area that is well explored in cross-disciplinary gender research and in Science & Technology Studies. However, the extensive body of literature on gender aspects in research is not easily picked up ‘in passing’. It takes time to familiarize oneself with the research findings and time is a valuable resource in the research enterprise. In addition, gender research often follows an intersectional understanding in which multiple dimensions of diversity, such as gender, racialization, class, age, and disability, interact. This makes the issue even more complex. The DFG, Excellence Strategy and EU Horizon guidelines call on all researchers to reflect on their own research practices with regard to these complex gender and diversity aspects.

360° offers support in implementing these requirements. The project is also based on an intersectional approach, but its main focus is on the category of gender. For example, 360° helps to interrogate one’s own research with regard to the category of gender: is gender relevant to one’s own research? In what way does this category play a role in the research interest, in the research question, in the data collection, analysis and interpretation? Are there ‘blind spots’ or implicit assumptions about gender? In what ways can I myself, as the researcher, have a perhaps unintended influence on the study and the interpretation of the data? In doing so, 360°’s offerings address the varying relevance of gender in different subjects. They support the subject-specific reflection on the category of gender and develop tailor-made instruments for the acquisition of research funds, also for interdisciplinary projects.