Sex and Gender Flowchart
The following is a satirical piece assembled for an audience of youth and peers. It is meant to illustrate the importance of biology and scientific studies with regards to their influence upon dominant discourse within our culture – regardless of whether those findings are conceptually relevant, methodologically rigid, or statistically significant. Scientific studies are often grasped and cited in the process of forming policy and promoting social agendas. Such use of scientific data is theoretically ideal, so that policies might be informed by factual understanding and thus work towards aiding populations to which they apply. Unfortunately however, data is often misinterpreted and reinterpreted. The practice of drawing upon “scientific studies” in order to bolster an argument is common and widespread. This practice hinges upon a Western epistemology that privileges science and rationality, thereby conflating it with authoritative power. It is therefore no surprise when a politician throws in a statistical figure, or when a scientific study is cited by legislators. The use of such scientific data is a means by which authority is gained, as it (authority) is conferred upon the subject by an unquestioned body of knowledge that is called upon. Furthermore, the use of scientific data is by no means confined to the realm of politics or policy – it is gratuitously used in mainstream media: as the crux of an advertisement, appearing as trivia in television shows, or even disseminated as fact on the news. It is thus that data derived from scientific studies are of great importance, and scientists ought to be aware of what impact their work has. Even if a study fails to make a significant impact within the realm of scientific study, it is not useless, nor will it go unnoticed.
The project is a flowchart consisting of two parts. It examines aspects of biological sex, as well as subtly incurring the biological foundations for social constructions of gender. The flowchart is not meant to be cohesive. Rather, it starts as vaguely cohesive but then unravels along the way. It is meant to be a satirical illustration of how scientific data might be assembled and interpreted by the general public – with disregard for distinction between sex and gender, without cohesion between different assertions/points, and also without a distinct conclusion.