The American Association of University Professors, one of the country’s leading faculty unions, has released a statement rebuking what it sees as ideologues standing in the way of “science” by holding to the belief that there are only two sexes — male and female.
In the statement — “The Assault on Gender and Gender Studies” — the AAUP argues, “Like attacks on climate science, the effort to establish a legal definition of gender as binary could lead to denying research funding to scholars and to impugning the value and validity of their scholarly work.”
“Fixing the meaning of gender in this way may undermine the open-ended forms of inquiry that define research and teaching in a democracy,” the statement continues.
Disgraceful that the leading union for American faculty, @AAUP, has sided with gender feminism ('serious scholars doing years of assiduous research') over evolutionary science in defining sex & gender. Why take such a blatantly partisan & biased position?https://t.co/UrziJ91CF3 pic.twitter.com/b37VQgBNZK
— Geoffrey Miller (@primalpoly) December 5, 2018
The AAUP went on to claim the “biological basis for gender” has been “thoroughly discredited by over fifty years of feminist, trans, queer, and critical race research and by lived experience.”
While it is true that gender — feminine and masculine attributes — is on a spectrum, the suggestion that “gender identity” can determine if a person is male or female, regardless of biological sex, is unquestionably unscientific.
But according to the AAUP, those who hold to that perspective are just standing in the way of scientific advancement.
“Their motives are ideological. It is they who are offering ‘gender ideology’ by attempting to override the insights of serious scholars,” the union stated. “By substituting their ideology for years of assiduous research, they impose their will in the name of a ‘science’ that is without factual support. This is a cynical invocation of science for purely political ends.”
The statement from the AAUP came after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban effectively banned gender studies from all universities in the country because, according to a statement from his spokesperson, “people are born either male or female and we do not consider it acceptable for us to talk about socially-constructed genders, rather than biological sexes.”
Colleges that continue to offer gender studies programs are at risk of losing their accreditation.
Around the same time, President Donald Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to return to the pre-Obama understanding of the word “sex” as an unchangeable, biological status determined “at or before birth.”
The AAUP argued such “authoritarian efforts” can “justify racial, class, and sexual policing that disciplines forms of kinship and homemaking — including same-sex, multi- generational, or other non-normative households — that deviate from established nuclear family norms.”