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From Binary To A Spectrum: Science On Queer Concerns

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“It’s biology, and if we wanna be talking about people, we have to be talking about all people.”

Homosexual activity is legal in all EU states, USA, UK and discrimination in employment has been banned since 2000. The earlier criminalisation of transgender rights in these countries/blocs were repealed in 1998.

However, only 3/54 countries have given the green flag in developing states like Africa. But, that’s an article for another day.

This is an image of a lgbt woman working against a pride flag
In countries like the USA, discrimination in employment against the queer community has been banned since 2000.

There will always be certain conservationists in these developed countries – often working in the media and showbiz business, and political representatives who constantly defame the marginalised gender group. You will read more of them as you continue reading the article.

Their objective is to profit politically and economically and spread hate amongst the majority, be it gender, race or money. According to them there bias is supported by one fact – science.

The Republican Party in the US, Progressistas in Brazil, among others, do not stand for the rights of these groups. The Trump Govt had proposed a new legal definition of sex.

This is an image of the ex US president Donaldtrump
The Trump Govt had proposed a new legal definition of sex.

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the memo proposed. It would embroil the transgender community in legal turmoils. Gladly, it couldn’t be passed in the House of Representatives.

The Democratic Party (a centre-left party) also did not actively stand behind the LGBTQ+ community over reports it might lose political capital and economic funds. On the contrary, it actively corroborated with the Republican Party (a far-right party) in 2004.

Then, under President Bush, they pushed this matter under the rug and handed over the law to the individual states run by conservative governors. In 2012, however, they actively came out in support.

 

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This seeped into the education system for a long time. The majority of scientific classes do not promote gender equality. Only 2.4 per cent of students saw positive depictions of any LGBTQ-related issue in a science lesson, according to a 2017 poll.

According to the survey, 55% of LGBTQ students who were harassed or assaulted did not feel comfortable reporting the incident to school staff. Biology professors have a unique chance to help teachers change this situation through their curriculum.

We also know that even LGBTQ+ fantasy and storybooks such as  Drama by Raina Telgemeier, Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, and George (Melissa) by Alex Gino have been subject to bans and included in the list of the ‘Most Challenged Books’.

people carrying lgbt flag at a pride
According to the survey, 55% of LGBTQ students who were harassed or assaulted did not feel comfortable reporting the incident to school staff.

Drama has important characters belonging to the LGBTQ+ community so the kids can understand that they are part of life. Beyond Magenta is an emotional and physical journey of transgender or gender-neutral young adults. George is also a book based on a young transgender girl.

These books are based on LGBTQ+ characters and are path-breaking for introducing them into mainstream reading. It is pertinent to note that these books were banned by conservative senators who are intolerant of this issue, just as journals and books were banned 30-40 years ago.

Today, this behaviour is again promoted by scientific figures like Jordan Peterson,

I recently came across some interesting statistics, and I would like to describe them here:

  • When it comes to teenagers aged 13 to 15, 10.5 per cent of them are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Transgender youth make about 0.7 per cent of the population.

This is an image of a table with statistics depicting the queer community

  • Public awareness surveys still show that 28% do not comment and feel conflicted in supporting the community. This is partly due to the web of lies based on imaginary science. Scientific books point out the existence of only two genders, male and female. This can be used as a cover for conservatives.

Thus, colleges and homes remain where the children experience great ridicule and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender expression. Such compromised stands further by the very professors of the institutes and their propagation.

Jordan Peterson: A Conservative Take On Science

Jordan Peterson, a Canadian professor of psychology, clinical psychologist, YouTube personality, and the author, describes conservative views on cultural and political issues. In 2016, Peterson produced a series of YouTube videos criticising the Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (Bill C-16).

It was an act that amended the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include “gender identity and expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination. He argued that this act would make the use of specific gender pronouns illegal. He also linked it to a more extensive critique of political correctness and identity politics.

An image of the psychologist Jordan Peterson known for his anti-LGBTQ+ remarks
Jordan Peterson, a Canadian professor of psychology, holds conservative views on cultural and political issues.

‘Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law, the first chapter of a three-part lecture video series, was released on September 27, 2016, by Peterson. The video stated that he would not use students’ and faculty’s preferred gender pronouns because it was compelled speech.

In addition, he expressed his opposition to Bill C-16. The bill proposed to add “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act and similarly expanded the definitions of promoting genocide and publicly inciting hatred in Canada’s hate speech laws.

Believing the muddled premise that trans people can’t participate in character exchange is bogus on various levels. First, this is something that slams and slanders the very idea of the community.

He uses snaps of textbooks from different countries to prove that there are only two genders – male and female. Using scientific explanations and referring to biology textbooks to reject the notion of multiple pronouns is disgraceful.

Florence Ashley, a transfeminine jurist and bioethicist’s take on Jordan Peterson, is worth reading:

“When Jordan Peterson says that gender identity “poses a further and unacceptably dangerous threat to the stability of the nuclear family, which consists, at a minimum, of a dyad, male and female, coming together primarily for the purposes of raising children in what appears to be the minimal viable social unit,” he’s showing his hand. I, for one, will not disagree. I have no feelings for nuclear families and believe that they are only valuable to those who choose them.

Peterson’s proclamation that families should be made up of a man and a woman reveals his homophobic proclivities. Families of the same gender, single parents, polyamorous households, and childless families are all equally desirable. Family ties are worthless unless they bring enjoyment to people who are a part of them. All power to you if the nuclear family suits you. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t force it.”

This is a very regressive mindset, and he is still followed by millions worldwide. His millions of subscribers affirm that the world is not as liberal and open as it used to be.

 

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Using scientific explanations and referring to biology textbooks to reject the notion of multiple pronouns is disgraceful because these textbooks have been written by members of his camaraderie only.

This idea propagated through textbooks has contributed to creating this issue, which shouldn’t be a problem. Now, let’s see someone who is also a scientific figure.

Bill Nye: The Science Guy

“Female or male. Gay or straight. Pink or blue. We were taught to see these as binary. Now, we’re realising it’s more like a kaleidoscope.”

In his new show, ‘Bill Nye Saves The World, he takes the example of sex, which was once regarded at face value but is now being recognised by science as a more nuanced phenomenon. “We used to believe that it was very simple. Males have an X and a Y chromosome, whereas females have two Xs. However, in real life, we see a lot more combinations than that.”

Nye says that most people understand gender by the time they are young children, but that it isn’t always as simple as your gender matching the sex assigned at birth.

When you add gender to the mix, everything becomes even more colourful.

Most children identify with gender by the age of three or four. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to the gender they were given at birth. Hormones can differ dramatically even among people with only two sex chromosomes.

It was a welcome shift from his previous show, ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy. It featured actress Amy Broder who stated that there were “just two possibilities” when it came to gender: “You’re either X or X, girl. Alternatively, X and Y can be used. Being a male or a girl is always a one-in-two chance.”

Since then, Nye’s and the world’s knowledge of sex and gender has evolved. Bill Nye has emerged as a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

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Remedies that can be taken to amend the biology syllabus to a gender-inclusive one:

Schools should demonstrate how professors can use the Framework for Gender-Inclusive Biology Curriculum’s recommended components to make high-impact changes to their science examples. For example, transformations might be as simple as replacing one term with a more precise and comprehensive term.

These transformations can accomplish three key results:

  1. To reduce harm and support LGBTQ-identified students;
  2. To engage all students with opportunities to share ideas and construct their social understanding of scientific evidence;
  3. And to develop student empathy toward diverse identities, perspectives, and scientific ethics. are

Conclusion

It is somewhat a relief to learn that ‘When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, a book by Ryan Anderson, best known for his opposition to same-sex marriage, is dropped from Amazon. The objective of the book can be easily identified through the title.

This dropping of the book was in response to the strongly worded letter received by Amazon from Republican Senators. Amazon has also stopped selling books that fame LBGTQ+ identities as mental illness.

We have seen Bill Nye’s change and Amazon’s transformation from their earlier stance. This is what’s required to change in today’s scientific reports. This change has to be visible from a very early age, or children will grow up to be people like Jordan Peterson in the future, who use these very scientific books to point out the existence of only two genders.

Note: The author is part of the Dec ’21 batch of the Writer’s Training Program.

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