Document Type

Honors Thesis


Lynn A. Atkins

Committee Members

Jennifer B. Blossom, Margaret O. Killinger

Graduation Year

May 2023

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Females and minorities are two underrepresented communities in a multitude of areas. The two areas that are of interest to this paper are: clinical research and the military. The female population, in particular, was examined because of two policy changes that took place in 2016: the lift of the ban on females in combat positions and the requirement that sex be investigated as a biological variable in scientific research. Therefore, one focus of this study was to examine whether these policy changes led to increased representation of women. Lacking access to databases containing the data of interest, a modified meta-analysis approach was completed. In this study, three databases and archives were used to collect data which was then refined with inclusion/exclusion criteria. The search through the databases and archives yielded a total of 72 datapoints (articles) that met the criteria. From these datapoints, it was determined that the results supported the hypothesis that the collected information would not accurately represent the female population. The results of particular interest within the findings were basic demographic data (sex ratios and race/ethnicity inclusion), publishing dates, military status, amputation types, and affiliations of articles. Of the 72 datapoints, 43% included females in their populations, 38% did not report sex of subjects, and 19% used only male subjects. In terms of other demographic results, 12.5% reported more than two races, neither military status nor amputation type was found to be a prevalent factor included in the articles, and most studies were affiliated with the military. These results are important to take into consideration because of how they can apply to female combat amputees seeking prosthetics or medical treatment, as well as examining how the addition of inclusive policies in communities like the military or that of clinical research truly affect the treatment of females and underrepresented populations within these communities.

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