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Scientific American pushes claims that science-based critiques of gender ideology are 'misinformation,' 'violence'
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Scientific American pushes claims that science-based critiques of gender ideology are 'misinformation,' 'violence'

Gender ideologues have the Biden administration and multitudes of Democratic lawmakers across the country dutifully advancing their agenda and victimizing multitudes of Americans, but apparently that's not enough. They also appear keen to have the broader public buy into their narrative around sex, genital mutilations, and transgenderism.

In an effort to overcome or at the very least sidestep the common citizen's common sense, social constructivists have in recent decades attempted to mask their reality-defying philosophy in the language of science.

The trouble with this effort is that when exposed to actual scientific scrutiny, their claims have altogether failed to hold water. That has become especially clear in recent months where even Britain's National Health Service has pumped the brakes on so-called "gender-affirming care."

Faced with the collapse of their narrative, ideologues have worked to villainize critics and to reframe the debate about gender. On Friday, one such attempt was made in the pages of Scientific American, a 178-year-old science magazine published by the German-British Springer Nature Group.

Scientific American published an interview that originally appeared in OpenMind Magazine — former Discover magazine editor in chief Corey Powell's outlet that supposedly tackles "disinformation" in science.

The interview, originally made possible by a grant from the Pulitzer Center's aptly titled "Truth Decay" initiative, comprises an engagement between Powell and two transvestites, both of whom are self-identified activists: a French-Canadian man who calls himself Florence Ashley and describes himself as a "transfeminine activist, academic, and slut"; and Simon Dow-Kuang Sun, a senior fellow at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies in Chicago.

Blaze News previously reported that Ashley, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in Canada, wrote that where confused kids are concerned, "Unbounded social transition and ready access to puberty blockers ought to be treated as the default option, and support should be offered to parents who may have difficulty accepting their youth."

He claimed in an article for the leftist blog Truthout that efforts to protect children from irreversible puberty blockers, genital mutilations, and LGBT propaganda are "rooted in racism and white supremacy."

Ashley has also called for the decriminalization of rape by fraud, particularly in cases in which a transvestite has sex with a victim without indicating he isn't actually a woman as advertised.

Sun, unlike Ashley, actually has credentials as a scientist and has studied neuroplasticity. However, the credibility of his scientific declarations concerning gender ideology may not altogether be scientific.

In an article he co-authored last year with Ashley, Sun declared there is "no such thing as a male or female brain." Just months later, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science revealed that a group of Stanford Medicine researchers identified "highly replicable, generalizable, and behaviorally relevant sex differences in human functional brain organization localized to the default mode network, striatum, and limbic network."

The framing of the interview in Scientific American made clear that science would be taking a back seat and that the aim was political.

Powell's interview is prefaced with the following statement: "In 2023 alone, more than 500 anti-trans bills were proposed or adopted in nearly every state in the United States, targeting everything from drag performances to gender-affirming medical care to school inclusion policies for trans people. Support for these measures has been enabled and propelled by scientific misinformation, which has proven to be a distressingly effective tool in outraging a public that might otherwise be broadly empathetic, or at least uncertain about where to stand."

After recycling the suggestion that the science informing legislation against sex change mutilations is "disinformation," Scientific American recirculated the suggestion by Sun that the notion there are "just two sexes" — characterized in the piece as "sex essentialism" — is "completely wrong about the biology of how sex characteristics arise."

"The error is simply that the gametes are a determining factor of sex — that once you know what gametes a person produces, that's their sex and nothing about it can change," claimed Sun. "But biology is a dynamic system where an organism starts in a particular state and grows through life and through development with multiple systems interacting. That is, more precisely, how sex works. Sex essentialism boils all that down to one, immutable characteristic to preclude transness as a biological phenomenon."

Ashley chimed in, saying, "The people who use ideas about biological sex against trans people are first appealing to the idea of biology as a description of difference, but then they do a jump and use that conception of biology as a form of meaning. The thing is, we organize society around meaning, not difference. Biology at its core can't tell you what matters to human organizations."

"We should really be asking what we care about, and then look to see if biology has anything to say about it. If you go through that exercise, then you realize that biology really has very little, if not virtually nothing, to say about things like trans rights," added Ashley.

The Canadian activist went on to intimate that when a scientist interprets empirical results in a way that hurts the transgender narrative, he or she is committing "epistemological violence."

"Epistemological violence occurs when a researcher or somebody else interprets empirical results in a way that devalues, pathologizes, or harms a marginalized group, even though there are equally good or better explanations for the same data," said Ashley.

Ashley then noted in the interview, "We should try to interpret the data in a way that's compatible with their inclusion and well-being, if that's an equally good interpretation."

The interview concluded with a call for shutting down undesirable speech.

"Shut down misinformation and hate when you see it crop up around you," Ashley told Powell. "Oftentimes we don't like confrontation, so we just let misinformation go. We need people to start speaking up whenever it comes up. And be loud. We’re in an ecosystem where the anti-trans voices are trying to portray themselves as speaking for a silent majority. We need people to be loud enough to counter any impression of a silent majority.

While Scientific American claims it is "committed to sharing trustworthy knowledge" and "enhancing our understanding," it has also indicated it is committed to "advancing social justice." It appears these commitments are not equally weighted.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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