ERIC Number: ED432969
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Biology: Discipline Analysis. Women in the Curriculum Series.
This essay examines the ways in which biology, as a discipline, has been influenced by feminist scholarship and research into the areas of gender and sexuality, focusing on the validity, limits, and gender bias of scientific objectivity. It explains that gender bias exists not only in who traditionally has been expected to do science (namely white males), but also in what counts as science, noting that "home economics," which started as chemistry and public health, was separated from those sciences and thus devalued primarily because the disciplines had been founded and was practiced by women. The essay goes on to note that feminist critiques document the way that beliefs in "natural" gender differences have permeated even molecular biology, distorting our understanding of how cells and organisms function in health and disease. It examines gender-based naming, which describes certain hormones as "male" and others as "female," and studies that claim that homosexuality is biologically determined from birth. The study concludes that gender bias in biology and other sciences demonstrates that the dominant group's values and interests strongly influence which models are chosen and where research funds go. (Contains 29 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: Biology, College Curriculum, College Instruction, Females, Feminism, Feminist Criticism, Gender Issues, Higher Education, Molecular Biology, Science Instruction, Scientific Attitudes, Scientific Research, Sex Bias, Sex Differences, Sex Discrimination, Sex Fairness, Theories
Towson University, 8000 York Road, Baltimore, MD 21252; Tel: 800-847-9922 (Toll Free); Fax: 410-830-3482; Web site: http://www.towson.edu/ncctrw ($7).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Towson Univ., Baltimore, MD. National Center for Curriculum Transformation Resources on Women.
Note: For related documents in this series, see HE 032 663-689.