Research Topic

Sex and Gender in Addiction

About this Research Topic

Sex and gender play a significant role in addictive disorders. There are demonstrated, clinically important sex differences at every stage of addiction from initiation, transition to substance use disorder, to withdrawal and recovery. However, until recently, there has been little focus on sex and gender as a variable in both pre-clinical and clinical research globally. This has led to a critical gap in understanding how addictive disorders develop and present in women as compared to men. Research into sex and gender differences in addiction treatment could shed light on new pharmacological and psychotherapeutic targets, informing future treatment implementation, programming and policy. In addition, research specifically focused on women’s experiences of addiction will contribute to more targeted treatment approaches.  

This Research Topic will highlight research focused on sex and gender differences in addiction and women’s experiences of addiction. We are interested in interdisciplinary approaches, clinical studies and pre-clinical studies with potential translational significance.



Research should address the following points:  

-     Sex/gender differences as a key research question OR

-     Women’s experience of addictive disorders and/or addiction treatment

-     Highlight implications and next steps for future research and clinical efforts in this area, as well as gendered approaches to service programming and implementation


We welcome a broad range of contributions, including Original Research, Reviews, Commentaries, Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, Reflections and Case Studies or Case Series. We are particularly seeking contributions from early career researchers, those from minority populations and diverse backgrounds, and from low- and middle- income countries. 


Keywords: Sex, Gender, Addictive Disorders, Women, Addiction, Substance Use Disorder


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Sex and gender play a significant role in addictive disorders. There are demonstrated, clinically important sex differences at every stage of addiction from initiation, transition to substance use disorder, to withdrawal and recovery. However, until recently, there has been little focus on sex and gender as a variable in both pre-clinical and clinical research globally. This has led to a critical gap in understanding how addictive disorders develop and present in women as compared to men. Research into sex and gender differences in addiction treatment could shed light on new pharmacological and psychotherapeutic targets, informing future treatment implementation, programming and policy. In addition, research specifically focused on women’s experiences of addiction will contribute to more targeted treatment approaches.  

This Research Topic will highlight research focused on sex and gender differences in addiction and women’s experiences of addiction. We are interested in interdisciplinary approaches, clinical studies and pre-clinical studies with potential translational significance.



Research should address the following points:  

-     Sex/gender differences as a key research question OR

-     Women’s experience of addictive disorders and/or addiction treatment

-     Highlight implications and next steps for future research and clinical efforts in this area, as well as gendered approaches to service programming and implementation


We welcome a broad range of contributions, including Original Research, Reviews, Commentaries, Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, Reflections and Case Studies or Case Series. We are particularly seeking contributions from early career researchers, those from minority populations and diverse backgrounds, and from low- and middle- income countries. 


Keywords: Sex, Gender, Addictive Disorders, Women, Addiction, Substance Use Disorder


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

11 June 2021 Abstract
17 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

11 June 2021 Abstract
17 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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