US Gender/Sex COVID-19 Data Tracker

(From left to right) Ann Caroline Danielsen, Tamara Rushovich

This summer, Ann Caroline Danielsen, MPH ’21, and Tamara Rushovich, PHS ’23 have been working with Harvard GenderSci Lab where they and others have recently created the US Gender/Sex COVID-19 Data Tracker.

Beginning on April 13, the Tracker reports the weekly and cumulative data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in each U.S. state by gender/sex. It has been featured in the WIRED, and the Lab has published their findings in The New York Times and its own blog.

“More men than women are dying of COVID-19. However, after adjusting for age and population structure, there is great variability in the gender/sex disparity in cases and mortality rates nationally and over time,” says Danielsen. “There are many socially-relevant variables that may influence the sex distribution of COVID-19 outcomes, such as age, disability, and race/ethnicity.”

Focusing solely on “female” and “male” COVID-19 data can lead to inaccurate conclusions in terms of who is more vulnerable to the coronavirus, she warns. In addition, the narrow definitions of “female” and “male” contribute to mischaracterizing COVID-19 outcomes for individuals who identify themselves as non-binary or gender nonconforming.

Danielsen and Nicole Noll have also published a guide on how how media, public health officials, and others can better communicate about sex disparities and COVID-19.

Joseph Bruch, PHS ’21, is another SBS-affiliated member of the Lab. Along with Danielsen, he co-authored “Socially Relevant Variables In US State COVID-19 Surveillance Reporting: A Report Card” in Health Affairs.

View more of the Gender/Sex COVID-19 Data Tracker.

Quotation edited for brevity.