Northwestern Events Calendar


"Coproducing Sex, Gender, and Liberated Mice in the Regulation of Biomedical Research"

When: Monday, January 27, 2020
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Central

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum - 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: FREE

Contact: Janet Hundrieser   (847) 491-3525

Group: Science in Human Culture Program - Klopsteg Lecture Series

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Speaker - Madeleine Pape, Northwestern University, Sociology,

Abstract - Gender and sex have long been recognized by scientists and policymakers as important determinants of health whose independent effects can be difficult to disentangle. Nevertheless, a policy was introduced by the NIH in 2015 that focused on sex independently of gender. The Sex as a Biological Variable (SABV) policy promotes the basic and preclinical study of sex as fundamental to the advancement of science and gender equity in health. The policy mandates that preclinical and basic researchers seeking NIH funding, and especially those doing animal research, consider sex as part of their research design. "How did policymakers succeed in separating sex from gender? And, to what extent did they succeed"? This talk examines how scientists and policymakers navigate the complex relationship between sex and gender. I argue that the SABV policy was achieved via a series of ontological and epistemological moves, with the subsequent emphasis on biological sex contested but ultimately legitimized by a diversity of powerful actors beyond the realm of biomedicine. The case of the SABV policy reveals that the distinction between sex and gender––and the biological and the social––is actively coproduced, albeit never fully realized.​

Biography - Madeleine Pape completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied knowledge-making about sexual difference, notably in the use of hormone-testing in international sports. She is teaching two courses for Sociology in 2019-20: "Sociology 355 - Medical Sociology: Gender & Health" during the winter quarter and "Sociology 319 - Sociology of Science: Feminist Perspectives" in the spring.

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