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VU Pride Panel Debate: Researching the rainbow

16 January at 16:30 - 20:00


VU Pride Panel Debate

Researching the rainbow:
Harmless self-discovery or scary science?

Organiser: VU Pride
Date: January 16, 2020
Time: 16.30-20.00
Location: 3D, VU campus square
Entrance = free for everyone
Click here to register

Panel members
Michel Nivard, VU researcher, Genetics of Sexual Behaviour
Afiah Vijlbrief, sociologist, Movisie
Reubs Walsh, Phd Student, Vrije Universiteit
+ 1 to be confirmed

Researching the Rainbow
Is there such a thing as a gay gene? Are non-cisgender identities localized in the brain? What biological processes dictate your love life? Cool questions, right?

But what happens if we can actually answer them?

Everyone who has ever felt different because of their gender identity or sexual orientation has asked themselves at some point: why me? We all want to know who we are, because the answer can give us insight in some fundamental questions we have about ourselves. What can explain my attractions, my sense of self, my choices?

Scientists have been trying to explain sexual and gender diversity for centuries. Not so long ago, this included the search for sexual deviance, a search underpinned by the ideology that non-cisgender, non-heterosexual identities and behaviors were a mistake (from God, or nature), inherently pathological, and thus should be corrected by the church, state, or modern science (in particular medicine). Our sex drives and gender role were innate, determined by nature, was what many scientist believed, and therefore so must be sexual deviance. There was a natural order, and to restore this order it was important to localize the origin of the deviance. Modern scientific methods and technology increasingly facilitated this scientific exploration. Still to this day, scientists are curious as to what it is exactly that makes us feel male, female or other, or why we desire what we desire. The search or the material foundation of our sexual and gender identities has slowly but steadily continued. Scientists have developed biological models of sexual and gender identity to explain why we are what we are.

The claim that nature has decided for us and we are ‘born this way’ has been used to convince others of our entitlement to basic human rights. Nothing wrong with a little diggin’, right? Or are we overlooking something? If our sexuality and gender are innate, stored in our very cells, should we try to find it?

  Visit the VU Pride panel debate
Researching the rainbow – Harmless self-discovery or scary science?

  Click here to register

Please share this inviation with your fellow students, colleagues, rainbow family, Facebook, everyone 💕🏳‍🌈


16 January
16:30 - 20:00
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VU Pride


Campusplein Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam, Netherlands
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