A Massachusetts high school biology teacher taught students that biological sex is fluid and easily changed, encouraging them to stop using “gendered terms” that marginalize groups who have been “persistently discriminated against,” according to a report from Parents Defending Education (PDE).
A biology teacher at Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts, told students that “humans are socially conditioned to view sex and gender as binary” and instructed them to use “language that removes gendered terms to talk about bodies” to make sure “people with diverse (a)sexualities, (a)genders, bodies, and (a)romantic orientations are included and respected,” according to the PDE report. Some students reportedly thought the lesson was an effort by the teacher “to show kids that wanting to change your sex is a feeling that is common throughout nature.”
One slide showed to students said that intersex people make up nearly 2% of the population, which the teacher said is “comparable” to the number of people born with red hair, the PDE reported showed. The teacher also reportedly told students that using male and female as the only two categories of biological sex “marginalises intersex people, who have been persistently discriminated against.”
“Needham High School promised a science class and instead delivered a pseudoscience class,” Direct of Outreach at PDE, Erika Sanzi, said in a statement. “The slides shared by the biology teacher are harmful and wrong because they are factually inaccurate, sow confusion and rely heavily on regressive sex stereotypes.”
“The claim that nearly 2% of the population is intersex is preposterous and deliberately deceptive — the actual number is .018%, or about one out of 5,000,” Sanzi said. “Perhaps most absurd is the implication that biological sex in humans is fluid, or can literally change, because it happens to be true of non-human species like clownfish and tree frogs.”
In another slide the teacher reportedly defined anatomical sex, or biological sex, as comprising attributes such as “genitals, chromosomes, hormones, body hair, and more,” but said the “one thing it’s not: gender.” Gender expression is defined as the way gender is presented through “actions, clothing, demeanor” and “how that’s interpreted by others based on gender norms,” according to the lesson.
Gender identity is the “psychological sense of self … based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender,” according to the lesson. The teacher said attraction or sexual orientation is often conflated “with gender, or categorize the attraction we experience in gendered ways,” according to the PDE report.
The teacher used “non-human examples” of gender variation to prove the lesson’s assertion that gender is fluid, PDE reported. Examples reportedly included the hierarchy in a school of clownfish where a female is at the top, but is replaced by the most dominant male who changes his sex to take her place after she dies.
The teacher also reportedly mentioned the common reed frog, citing evidence that the amphibian is a “sequential hermaphrodite, meaning the adults switch sexes after mating” and the amborella plant which changes its “sex depending on how much light they receive.”
The lesson concluded by asking students to find their own examples of gender fluidity in nature.
Needham Public Schools did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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