How Anthropology Canceled Sex

“On Sept. 26, I received an email notifying me and my co-presenters that our panel, ‘Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: Why Biological Sex Remains a Necessary Analytic Category in Anthropology,’ would be removed from the schedule of the November joint meetings of the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Anthropology Society, to be held in Toronto. Ramona Pérez and Monica Heller, the presidents of AAA and CASCA, respectively, explained: ‘The reason the session deserved further scrutiny was that the ideas were advanced in such a way as to cause harm to members represented by the trans and LGBTQI of the anthropological community [sic] as well as the community at large.’ The panel, it was subsequently explained on the AAA website, ‘relied on assumptions that run contrary to the settled science in our discipline,’ especially by assuming that ‘sex and gender are simplistically binary.’”