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US Biology Textbooks Promoting 'Misguided Assumptions' on Sex and Gender

Started by Jessica_Rose, February 26, 2024, 05:36:32 AM

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US Biology Textbooks Promoting 'Misguided Assumptions' on Sex and Gender

Story by Jess Thomson (23 Feb 2024)

A new study published in the journal Science analyzed six of the most widely used high school biology textbooks in the United States, and found that most of them conflate sex and gender, which are considered two separate concepts by scientists.

Scientific study into sex and gender makes it clear that while sex and gender are often referred to interchangeably, they actually refer to different aspects of identity. Sex typically refers to the biological characteristics that define male and female bodies, such as reproductive organs, chromosomes, and hormones. While most people fit into either the male or female sex, there are some people who do not fit into the categories of male or female: Intersex individuals, for example, may have variations in sex characteristics that do not fit typical definitions of male or female.

Gender, on the other hand, is a social and cultural construct that refers to the roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men, women, and people of other gender identities. Gender identity is how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. It may or may not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender identity exists on a spectrum and can include identities such as male, female, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, among others.

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