Males are better at mathematical reasoning and have shorter lifespans. Females are more empathetic and less likely to develop heart disease. These kinds of statements are often made by sex-differences researchers working in the human sciences. But something has gone awry in these statements when we consider that many females are exceptional mathematicians and many males outlive females under relevantly similar circumstances. In this paper, I argue that sexed-groups should be understood using a singular semirealist framework, in which one is realist about sexed property-tokens (e.g. sex chromosomes, sex hormones, primary and secondary sex characteristics instantiated in particular individuals), but not property-types (sexed-groups, i.e. males or females).
Gender Studies Graduate Research Workshop
Title: Let’s Not Talk About Sex: A Singular Semirealist Account of Biological Sex
Presenter: Charlene Brecevic (PhD History, Philosophy, Science)
Char Brecevic is a Ph.D. student in History and Philosophy of Science with a minor in Gender Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her primary areas of interest include philosophy of medicine and scientific representations. In particular, her work focuses on questions concerning the function of exemplification and the role of interpretation in representational practices—especially in the context of medical science.