Texas Medical School Teaches Gender Identity Trumps Chromosomes
Medical students at the University of Texas Southwestern are being introduced to a controversial perspective on gender as part of their studies. According to documents obtained by reporters from the university’s “Human Structure” curriculum, educators are differentiating between genetics and gender, with the latter being a “psychological, social, and cultural construct” that is independent of physical structure, chromosomes, or genes.
While this curriculum does teach the anatomy of reproductive organs in a binary manner, it strays from medical norms by stating that there are “anatomical variants” that do not correspond to the traditional male and female categories. For example, in a video on the “Human Structure Development of the Urogenital System,” the speaker refers to the “typical male” and “typical female” reproductive organs as the “two extreme manifestations of the spectrum.”
These documents were acquired by a Freedom of Information Act request from Do No Harm, an organization comprising physicians, healthcare professionals, medical students, patients, and policymakers. The group aims to protect the healthcare industry from what it views as a “radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology.”
This debate over gender and transgender issues extends beyond the medical field, permeating various aspects of society. For example, a recent bill in Washington state has stirred controversy over parental rights. It permits licensed and unlicensed individuals or organizations to shelter children seeking “gender-affirming treatment and reproductive health care services” without parental permission.
This is not the first instance of Texas-based educational institutions adopting unconventional approaches to gender. For example, the Judson Independent School District offers a course instructing students to use “gender-neutral” language when describing jobs to be more inclusive. The “Gender Equity Booklet” for the course includes activities that encourage students to remove gender-specific terms like “man” from job titles and phrases.
While some view these changes as progressive, others argue they represent a departure from traditional values and scientific norms. In addition, integrating such teachings in medical education raises questions about their impact on the healthcare industry and the potential implications for patient care.
By bringing this information to light, Do No Harm has allowed the public to discuss the appropriateness of such content in medical education. The debate around gender as a social construct, separate from biological reality, will likely continue. Its presence in medical education will undoubtedly be a contentious issue for years to come.