Applying Intersectionality in quantitative research

What is intersectionality?

The research framework of intersectionality acknowledges a person or group with multiple layered social identities (e.g. gender, class, race, ability, etc). The combined impact of these social identities manifest a social position of advantage and/or disadvantage. These positions of advantage and/or disadvantage can affect health behaviors, access to health services and resources, and health outcomes. Adopting an intersectional approach to research can help researchers understand their research populations and the social context in which their research findings emerge. It contributes to insight in between and within group differences, and helps link these differences.

Why consider intersectionality?

Intersectionality enables researchers to address health inequities and social justice in their research. It helps researchers to gain insight in biases: to whom is this knowledge applicable? And to whom is it not? Intersectionality allows for researchers to identify vulnerable/ underserved groups, differences within and between groups and to explain these differences from a socio-structural perspective. Thereby, intersectionality adds value by generating integrated knowledge that contributes to tailored, personalized and patient-centered care policies and practices.


  • Axelsson Fisk S, Mulinari S, Wemrell M, Leckie G, Perez Vicente R, Merlo J. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Sweden: an intersectional multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy. SSM - Population Health. 2018;4:334–46.
  • Bostwick WB, Meyer I, Aranda F, et al. Mental health and suicidality among racially/ethnically diverse sexual minority youths. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(6):1129‐1136. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301749
  • Branković I, Verdonk P, Klinge I. Applying a gender lens on human papillomavirus infection: cervical cancer screening, HPV DNA testing, and HPV vaccination. Int J Equity Health. 2013 Feb 8;12:14. doi: 10.1186/1475-9276-12-14. PMID: 23394214; PMCID: PMC3598235.
How to apply intersectionality?

The research framework of intersectionality is applicable to all phases of quantitative research: preparation, research instruments, recruitment, sampling, data collection, data processing, data analysis, reporting and knowledge translation/ implementation. Although the application of intersectionality in quantitative research is still in its early stages, a number of useful resources have been published. 

Research support and intersectionality
  1. APH PhD Training ‘Intersectionality and I’

If you are interested in applying intersectionality to your research, you can participate in the Amsterdam Public Health PhD training ‘Intersectionality and I’. The following themes are part of the training:

  1. Introduction to theory and concepts of social justice and intersectionality
  2. Implications of social justice and intersectionality to public health
  3. Implications of social justice and intersectionality in quantitative and qualitative research methods
  4. Application of social justice and intersectionality in your own research design
  5. Reflexivity and the role of the researcher in the interpretation of research findings
  6. Train-the-trainer: to present acquired knowledge and skills to your own research teams

For more information on enrollment, please contact:

Community of Practice:

If you already practice intersectionality-based research or plan for the integration of intersectionality in your research, you may want to enroll in the community of practice. The community of practice has a digital platform where key resources are shared and experiences with intersectionality-based research are exchanged.

For more information or to enter the SharePoint platform, please contact: