Title: The Sex/Gender Distinction in Biomedical Research
Presenter: Char Brecevic
Philosophers Alex Byrne and Tomás Bogardus have recently presented strong critiques of the sex/gender distinction, arguing that gender is a biological concept that should be identified with sex. However, the prevailing view in the biomedical literature is that there is, in fact, a sex/gender distinction. The questions to be asked, then, are whether or not there is sufficient reason to motivate the continued use of the sex/gender distinction in biomedical research and, subsequently, whether biomedical researchers ought to maintain this commonly used distinction in practice. In this paper, I defend a positive answer to both questions.
Char Brecevic is a Ph.D. candidate in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Program and graduate minor in the Gender Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame. Her research is located at the intersections of philosophy of medicine, theories of representation, and social values in scientific practice. Her dissertation addresses the question of whether patient nonadherence with medical advice is purely a matter of having the right kind of knowledge and the right kind of resources to act on that knowledge. To answer this question, she explores the role of imagination in facilitating and inhibiting health behaviors in patients diagnosed with chronic medical conditions, as well as the role of imagination in mediating the relationships among patients and medical professionals. Her other research interests include the use of social kinds in scientific research, responsible innovation, and environmental philosophy.