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Friday, 23 August 2013

Vancouver Science World's 'Science of Sexuality' exhibit (and why it made me cry)

Vancouver Science World's 'Science of Sexuality' exhibit (and why it made me cry)

| August 23, 2013

(Below are excerpts, please read entire post at source)
Seeing that it was recommended for people as young as 12, I didn't have high hopes for Science World pushing the envelope in their Science of Sexuality exhibit this summer. How graphic, how detailed, how varied could it be?

Before I tear the whole endeavor to pieces, I want to be clear: I understand that its target audience was young people. I understand that it was supposed to be "science" and not some paradigm-shifting sociological analysis. In fact, this is why I want to tear the whole inaccurate, Freudian, phallocentric, heteronormative thing to pieces. Young people learn that crap from somewhere; dressing up tired values and calling them science gives them powerful, but false, legitimacy which should not be shielded from critique. Especially when that crap is being spoon-fed to eager-to-learn children.

Let's start in the first room. The first display shockingly establishes that sex and gender are the same thing, that there are only two gender/sexes, and those are determined by chromosomes. This is later followed up by the statement that as one matures, one realizes that one's gender "does not change." Huh. I guess right off the bat we're leaving out intersex folk, and that sex and gender are not the same thing -- this has been established for over twenty years.

Next room. "Just like the colour of my eyes, I have no control over my sexual orientation." It's really nice that tolerance of anything other than heterosexuality sometimes successfully follows the whole "they can't help it" argument. What about those who can "help it" but are so audacious as to make choices about their sexuality? And nothing like the colour of one's irises, what about when orientation changes, is explored, is fluid, is complex? This not on the table, apparently.

Read more: http://rabble.ca/news/2013/08/vancouver-science-worlds-science-sexuality-exhibit-and-why-it-made-me-cry

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