Document Type


Publication Date

January 2005

Publication Title

Journal of Ethnobiology

First Page


Last Page



Contending that a significant portion of current ethnobiological research continues to overlook cultural variation in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and practice, this paper explores the potential impacts of gender-imbalanced research on data collection, hypothesis testing, and the formulation and application of ethnobiological inventories and theories. A multidisciplinary review of over 220 studies addresses commonly held stereotypes underlying gender-imbalanced field research and demonstrates the need for more inclusive, finely-tuned studies which disaggregate indigenous knowledge and practice by gender. The paper outlines factors underlying gender-based spatial and temporal variation in ecosystem exposure and traditional ecological knowledge in rural societies worldwide, and discusses how these factors contribute to gender differences in wild food harvesting, biodiversity and agrobiodiversity maintenance, natural resource management, and the transmission and conservation of sacred and secular customs. The review concludes with suggestions for designing and implementing more inclusive research.


Copyright Journal of Ethnobiology 2005