The American Anthropological Association (AAA) and The Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) have cancelled a panel at their upcoming conference over “transphobia” fears.
The panel was meant to discuss biological sex in human skeletons.
Anthropologists on the panel were slated to talk about how “Sex identification, whether an individual was male or female – using the skeleton is one of the most fundamental components in bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology.”
Elizabeth Weiss, an anthropology professor at San José State University, was planning to attend, but told FOX News that the field has been “nose-diving” into an “off the rails” agenda.
“So just as we are getting better and better at identifying what is male and what is a female and the skeletal record, we are getting more and more attacked for knowing how to do this,” Weiss told Fox. “Truth is not necessarily considered an objective goal and the victims’ narrative is more important than facts. Who tells the story is more important than the data, which we obviously know is not true.”
Weiss said that activists have been pushing the field into dealing with feelings over facts.
“I also think that the increase in the trans what I would say ‘social contagion’ has led to activists in the field… So they’re not really interested in understanding… how a tribe in the rainforest of Brazil lived. They want to push their agenda onto those narratives to make it more seem more normal,” Weiss said.
AAA President Ramona Pérez CASCA President Monica Heller wrote a letter to the panelists saying, “Dear Panelists, We write to inform you that at the request of numerous members the respective executive boards of AAA and CASCA reviewed the panel submission ‘Why biological sex remains a necessary analytic category in anthropology’ and reached a decision to remove the session.”
The panelists responded by accusing Heller and Pérez of an “anti-science response” in cancelling the discussion.
“Your suggestion that our panel would somehow compromise ‘the scientific integrity of the program’ seems to us particularly egregious, as the decision to anathematize our panel looks very much like an anti-science response to a politicized lobbying campaign,” the panelists wrote in the letter obtained by Fox News. “Anthropologists around the world will quite rightly find chilling this declaration of war on dissent and on scholarly controversy. It is a profound betrayal of the AAA’s principle of ‘advancing human understanding and applying this understanding to the world’s most pressing problems.'”
When contacted for comment about the cancellation, the organizations told Fox News, “There is no place for transphobia in anthropology.”
“The session was rejected because it [was] framed in ways that do harm to vulnerable members of our community. It commits one of the cardinal sins of scholarship—it assumes the truth of the proposition that it sets out to prove, namely, that sex and gender are simplistically binary, and that this is a fact with meaningful implications for the discipline,” the AAA said in their statement.
The association added that anthropologists should not strive to identify sex conclusively.
“Around the world and throughout human history, there have always been people whose gender roles do not align neatly with their reproductive anatomy. There is no single biological standard by which all humans can be reliably sorted into a binary male/female sex classification,” the AAA continued.