The Science of Sexual and Gender Fluidity
Earthlings, this episode of Science & Cocktails in planet X31 is about gender and sexual fluidity and guided by Lisa Diamond, Earth's most renowned expert on Psychology and Gender Studies and president-elect of the International Academy for Sex Research. Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing experience, steamed by The Tremolo Beer Gut surf and western sounds.
How do your genes influence your sexual orientation? How can a person’s gender be fluid if they have a single biological sex? Are some individuals more likely than others to experience changes in their gender or sexuality? Do gender and sexual fluidity exist in other cultures? If gender and sexuality are fluid, does this mean that people can willfully change their own gender or sexuality?
Historically, both gender and sexual orientation have been viewed as static traits -- characteristics that we possess intrinsically and innately from the moment of birth. Certainly, both gender and sexual orientation are known to be genetically influenced. Yet genetic influence is not the same as genetic determination, and studies consistently show that many individuals experience their gender and their sexual orientation as fluid rather than fixed – capable of change and expansion over the life course.
But what exactly does this mean? Is sexual/gender fluidity a fluke of our modern era, or is it an inherent human capacity? What do we know about its evolutionary and biological basis? What does sexual and gender fluidity tell us about genetic influences on gender and sexuality? Is everyone’s gender and sexuality somewhat flexible, or are some individuals more fluid than others? If so, why? Does the existence of sexual and gender fluidity pose a challenge for LGBTQ+ advocacy and legal rights?
In this talk, Lisa Diamond will answer these questions and leave you with a host of new ones. She will review the current “state-of-the-science” regarding fluidity in gender and sexual expression, and I will address both the scientific and social implications of treating sexual/gender fluidity as normative rather than exceptional experiences.
Event held in English with the generous support of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Lisa M. Diamond is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah, and president-elect of the International Academy for Sex Research. For nearly 3 decades, she has studied the development and expression of gender and sexuality across the life course. Her current work focuses on the biobehavioral mechanisms through which social stigma, social stress, and social safety shape the health and well-being of sexually-diverse and gender-diverse individuals at different stages of development. Dr. Diamond is best known for her research on sexual fluidity, which describes the capacity for individuals to experience unexpected shifts in sexual identity and expression over time. Her 2008 book, Sexual Fluidity, published by Harvard University Press, has been awarded the Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Study of LGBTQ Issues. Dr. Diamond is also co-editor of the first-ever APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology, published in 2014, and is a fellow of two divisions of the APA. She has published over 140 articles and book chapters, and has been invited to present her research at over 150 national and international Universities and conferences. Dr. Diamond has received awards for her work from the Developmental Psychology and LGBT Psychology Divisions of the APA, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the International Association for Relationship Research, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Her current work focuses on the importance of social safety (unconditional social connection, inclusion, and protection) for the human immune system, and the negative long term health implications of living with chronic unsafety in one’s day-to-day life. Dr. Diamond also studies religious trauma among sexually-diverse and gender-diverse individuals raised in the Mormon church, and the factors that promote adjustment and acceptance among this population and their families.
The Tremolo Beer Gut
They are here to put the URF! back in surf! They love tremolo, they love beer and they've got guts! The Tremolo Beer Gut plays old school surf & western, a genre they've thought up themselves, which draws inspirations from the ultra cool rough twangy guitar sound of 50's and 60's surf as well as the great film music of Mancini, Barry and Morricone. The songs are short and instrumental (apart from occasional shouting and carrying on).