assault on gender and gender studies
The AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and Committee on Women in the Academic Profession strongly condemn efforts to restrict the legal meaning of gender to what are said to be its natural or immutable forms. Biologists, anthropologists, historians, and psychologists have repeatedly shown that definitions of sex and sexuality have varied over time and across cultures and political regimes. The politicians promoting the new definition are neither scientists nor scholars. Their motives are ideological and their invocation of “science” is cynical.
The definition change also poses a potential threat to academic freedom, in that it could be used to deny research funding to scholars and to impugn the value and validity of their scholarly work. In a 2016 report, The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX, we wrote that a narrow focus on sexual injury can mask relations of inequity on and off campus and overshadow the prevalence of other conditions prohibited by Title IX, including uneven access to educational resources, wage disparities, and inequitable representation across the university system. We now reiterate the necessity of robust gender studies (its research and curriculum) as essential to addressing the goals of Title IX.
Read our full statement.
Rana Jaleel, chair, AAUP Committee on Women in the Academic Profession
Henry Reichman, chair, AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure