Do you remember my post about the all-too-easy concept of attending to sex and gender in biomedical research (“What Kind of Sex Do We Need in the Lab?”)? Sarah Richardson and her colleagues just published a very insightful, informative, and important piece that is much more scientifically sophisticated than my short statement. “Focus on Preclinical Sex Differences Will Not Address Women’s and Men’s Health Disparities,” so the title. Check it out!
A colleague of mine from Berlin, Diana Schellenberg, needs participants for her survey on the categories of sex and gender in neuro- and psy-scientific research. I’m posting her call for participants below. Please consider following this link and completing the survey. I won’t lie, so I must say it takes some effort. But if you do it in four sessions or so, you get four nice little procrastination breaks. Continue reading
The sad days are over! I just submitted the final paper for the last psychology class towards my SCAN certificate. The seminar, instructed by Teresa Pegors, is titled “Neuroscience of Human Motivation and Behavior,” and I had the more or less fabulous idea to write about pedophilia research—since it investigates into the shoreline between criminality and sexuality. That was tough, though. Not only because of the topic per se, but also since I had forgotten how hard neuroscientific(-ish) writing is. I had to correct myself over and over because it is simply too easy to write about “normal” and “abnormal” brains and desires! But, luckily, I had Georges Canguilhem watching me.
Four members of the NeuroGenderings network, Gina Rippon, Rebecca Jordan-Young, Anelis Kaiser, and Cordelia Fine, recently published a fabulous piece on “Recommendations for Sex/Gender Neuroimaging Research: Key Principles and Implications for Research Design, Analysis, and Interpretation” in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience.
Today I want to ask you to contribute your perspective on sex/gender and other types of classification of human subjects in your research on behalf of my Berlinian colleague Diana Schellenberg (psychologist). Please find her call for participants for her study below. (And PLEASE take the time to support her research, since it’s very important from a meta-science point of view; besides that, she asked me to post this announcement on my weblog, so it’s also about my being able to motivate readers to participate—reimbursement with chocolate and gratitude is guaranteed if you let me know that you completed the survey.) Continue reading
From May 8–10, 2014, more than a hundred students and scholars from the neurosciences, social sciences, and the humanities convened at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, for the NeuroGenderings III conference. The organizers Cynthia Kraus (University of Lausanne) and Anelis Kaiser (University of Bern) titled this meeting the “1st international Dissensus Conference on brain and gender.” 14 papers by scholars at different career stages, mainly from Europe and the US, provided examples of successful sex/gender-sensitive brain research and addressed problematic neuroscientific concepts and practices from feminist and queer perspectives. The four keynote speakers illustrate the diversity of approaches: Rebecca Jordan-Young (Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Barnard College), Gillian Einstein (Social & Behavioural Health Sciences, University of Toronto), Georgina Rippon (Psychology, Aston University), and Anne Fausto-Sterling (Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry and Gender Studies, Brown University). Papers were selected by the NeuroGenderings Network, a non-institutionalized interdisciplinary group of scholars, which was founded in 2010 to offer a platform for exchanging best practice models for and reservations against sex/gender research in the neuroscientific realm. All attendees consented that dissenting from unquestioned concepts and practices in brain research can benefit both our neuroscientific knowledge and our social life. Continue reading
The historian of science’s creed to begin with:
I believe in the material existence of beards, breasts and chest hair. I believe in the function of gonads and genitals. I believe in the usefulness of concepts like chromosomes and hormones. I believe in the ideal of meticulously controlled research trials covering a wide variety of test subjects.
However, I do not believe that vaginas are always accompanied by hairless chests and faces, and I am convinced that scrota and breasts sometimes adorn the same organism (pre-plastic surgery!). I believe that integrating sex/gender into scientific research as it is presented in the video below will lead us neither to a more reliable science nor to a better world altogether. Continue reading