Past Event

Café Society: Gender Differences

Last month, comments by Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard University, put the debate over gender differences back in center stage. He suggested that it is biologically determined that men are better at math and science than women.

Whether you agree or disagree with his assertion, the firestorm of debate that ensued proved one thing positively: gender is a complex concept. Subscribing certain perceived differences to the balance of X and Y chromosomes is a long-standing practice. But what is gained and lost from this dichotomy? Anne Fausto- Sterling, a prominent scientist who works on the question of sexual difference examines the state and legal system’s interest in maintaining a male-female dichotomy with only two sexes, even when our biological bodies are much more varied.

How much of our perception of gender is culturally constructed? What are the implications of gender differences? Are scientific attempts to investigate innate differences between sexes possible or are they automatically suspect because of inescapable bias? Join a Café Society discussion to share your thoughts on gender.

This weeks articles:

For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.