Women are more susceptible to a variety of autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), primary biliary cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This increased susceptibility in females compared to males is also present in animal models of autoimmune diseases such as spontaneous SLE in (NZBxNZW)F1 and NZM.2328 mice, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in SJL mice, thyroiditis, Sjogren’s syndrome in MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr mice and diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Indeed, being female confers a greater risk of developing these diseases than any single genetic or environmental risk factor discovered to date. Understanding how the state of being female so profoundly affects autoimmune disease susceptibility would accomplish two major goals. First, it would lead to an insight into the major pathways of disease pathogenesis and, secondly, it would likely lead to novel treatments which would disrupt such pathways.