Sunday, 25 June 2017

Effect of Gender on the Knowledge of Medicinal Plants: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6592363, 13 pages
Review Article

1Laboratory of Ecology and Evolution of Social-Ecological Systems (LEA), Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Av. Dom Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Ethnobiology and Human Ecology Group, Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Rod. BR 104, Km 85, s/n, 57000-100 Rio Largo, AL, Brazil
Received 19 July 2016; Accepted 6 September 2016
Academic Editor: Rainer W. Bussmann
Copyright © 2016 Wendy Torres-Avilez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Knowledge of medicinal plants is not only one of the main components in the structure of knowledge in local medical systems but also one of the most studied resources. This study uses a systematic review and meta-analysis of a compilation of ethnobiological studies with a medicinal plant component and the variable of gender to evaluate whether there is a gender-based pattern in medicinal plant knowledge on different scales (national, continental, and global). In this study, three types of meta-analysis are conducted on different scales. We detect no significant differences on the global level; women and men have the same rich knowledge. On the national and continental levels, significant differences are observed in both directions (significant for men and for women), and a lack of significant differences in the knowledge of the genders is also observed. This finding demonstrates that there is no gender-based pattern for knowledge on different scales.