Ways of identifying vary and are informed by both lived experience and aspects of biology. Our language around identity, gender identity in particular, has grown and evolved over time. Yet there remains a critical gap in understanding the contribution of biology and the biological sexes to this deeply personal psychosocial construct. There is, however, a growing body of literature that demonstrates that the sex of the brain itself (i.e. sex-typical patterns of neural organization), genetic sex (i.e. chromosomal sex), and phenotypic sex (i.e. how ones body develops and presents) can be disassociated from one another. That disassociation speaks to a biological reality that is not adequately (or often accurately) codified by the dominant social construct of gender. This course examines the intricacies and nuances of sexual differentiation with the goal of understanding this process from a multi-level view from which solid inferences can be made as to the biological underpinnings of certain aspects of gender and sexual identity formation variability.
Prerequisites: BIOL 101 or 111.