A mock-up (with live-links) of the Haraway Hall was my draft product for “What does it cost to establish knowledge in a certain place at certain time for a certain people?” a project in a graduate course on gender, race, science, and literature intended to lead students into interpretation of the cultural dimensions of science. Specifically, the project asks students to “produce a mock-up of a museum display and text interpreting Haraway’s [Paper Tiger] video or texts in their 1980s context.” Notice the confusion evident in the alternative scripts. Comments welcome. Continue reading
This thought-piece has been stalled in revision for a few months, so let me expose it for responses and see whether that nudges me to think more about the issues.
0. Discussions of feminist pedagogy often describe critical pedagogy that involves feminist topics, teachers, students. What would make the pedagogy specifically feminist? Or anti-racist? Continue reading
This 23-minute youtube video is a practice run of a talk with the following abstract:
How difficult is it to change the typical distributions of a trait, such as aggression, substance abuse, suicide attempts, as they differ between males and females? This can be construed as a matter of fixity versus flexibility in the development of traits in individuals over their life course or of the relative degrees of hereditary versus environmental influences on the variation between versus within groups. This paper contrasts the conceptual critiques of research of the two construals with a view to clarifying how they address practical concerns about the development of gendered individuals, as raised especially by feminist scholars. Drawing on my book, Nature-Nurture? No (2014), I argue that inattention to heterogeneity has limited critique as well as research under both construals.
The three take home messages are that: conceptual critique (of the forms I describe) clears space for focusing on the development of gendered individuals; this counters a persistent essentialism about gender; and these first two messages have implications well beyond issues raised by feminist scholars.
See http://bit.ly/ishpssb15 for text of talk and references
Many links won’t work because they point to a blog accessible only to the students in the course.
Most people who identify as men have an X and a Y chromosome, while most people who identify as women have two X chromosomes. Understanding what genes are on the X versus the Y chromosome and when/how those genes are activated over the life course (beginning prenatally) is a way to examine the basis of sex differences. Similarly, for the different systems of sex determination across the animal kingdom (wikipedia). Continue reading
http://prospect.org/article/born-way focuses on mental health consequences and practices around how people are able to identify and be identified.
The alphabet soup of LGB—lesbian, gay, bisexual—has, bit by bit, broadened, first to include “T” for transgender, and, more recently, to become the unwieldy LGBTQQIAA, which includes people who identify as queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and ally. Transgender, usually used broadly to encompass a range of gender-variant people (including transsexuals, the word traditionally used to describe people who make a full medical change to the “opposite” sex), is bursting at the seams as 21st-century gender identities proliferate. There are people who identify as genderqueer, bi-gender, agender, Two Spirit. There are trans people who choose surgery but no hormones, hormones but no surgery, or no medical interventions at all.
Two questions arise for me:
1. Can we envisage health consequences at the population level (akin to consequences of socio-economic status in its heterogeneous complexity, Davey-Smith 2000) that would flow from the not-yet-well-elucicated dynamics of biological and social development of heterogeneous genderedness?
2. How do professionals engage with these dynamics in a respons-ible way, taking into account that the dynamics are changing as the “external” social context is evolving, in part through changes in practices around how people are able to identify and be identified.
Reference: Davey-Smith, G. (2000). “Learning to live with complexity: Ethnicity, socioeconomic position, and health in Britain and the United States.” American Journal of Public Health 90: 1694-1698.