Top Harvard Lecturer Slammed as 'Transphobic' for Teaching 'Biological Reality'
Academic Carole Hooven lectures for the school's Department of Human Evolutionary Biology
A top Harvard University lecturer has been slammed as "transphobic" for continuing to teach "biological reality" and refusing to use terms such as "pregnant person" instead of "woman."
Author and academic Dr. Carole Hooven lectures for the school's Department of Human Evolutionary Biology.
Hooven, who has been at the university for 20 years and received multiple teaching awards, is speaking out due to feeling "frustrated" at the atmosphere in academia.
She is hitting out at critics who say she's transphobic for not joining her fellow professors in bucking science by refusing to use the terms "male" and "female" out of fear of offending students and peers.
Speaking with Fox News on Wednesday, Hooven said that she was dismayed at the insistence on politically correct terminology, which she felt was misguided and goes against scientific facts.
University professors are discouraged from using the words male and female, and referring to pregnant women, she said.
The terms were deemed offensive to the transgender and LGBTQ community.
Critics of the phrase "pregnant people" argue that saying “people” erases women, while those who support the terminology insist it is “inclusive.”
The professor, who says she supports freedom of speech, complained: "This kind of ideology has been infiltrating science.
"It's infiltrating my classroom, to some extent.
"I've been feeling pretty frustrated over the last five years or so.
"It's been gradual."
Her background is teaching and co-directing the undergraduate program in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology (HEB) at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
She's the author of T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone That Dominates and Divides Us.
Her research area includes behavioral endocrinology and the evolution of sex differences in humans - physiology, behavior, and cognition.
But, Hooven has caused upset insisted on using the terms male and female while discussing educators being asked to use gender-neutral terminology.
The Harvard prof told Fox News: "Part of that science is teaching the facts.
"And the facts are that there are in fact two sexes - there are male and female - and those sexes are designated by the kind of gametes we produce.
"Do we make eggs, big sex cells, or little sex cells, sperm?
"And that's how we know whether someone is male or female.
"And the ideology seems to be that biology really isn't as important as how somebody feels about themselves, or feels their sex to be."
But her comments were publicly slammed as "transphobic" by the director of her department's diversity head.
On July 30, Laura Simone Lewis tweeted: "As the director of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for my dept, I am appalled and frustrated by the transphobic and harmful remarks made by a member of my dept in this interview with Fox and Friends.
"Let’s be clear: if you respect diverse gender identities & aim to use correct pronouns, then you would know that people with diverse genders/sexes can be pregnant incl Trans men, intersex people & gender nonconforming people.
"That isn't too hard for medical students to understand."
She added: "Inclusive language like 'pregnant people' demonstrates respect for EVERYONE who has the ability to get pregnant, not just cis women.
"It is vital to teach med students gender-inclusive language, as they will certainly interact with people that identify outside the gender binary.
"I respect Carole as a colleague & scientist.
"But this dangerous language perpetuates a system of discrimination against non-cis people within the med system.
"It directly opposes our Task Force work that aims to create a safe space for scholars of ALL gender identities and sexes.
"Current HEB scholars & those considering joining us: please know there are many of us in the dept who honor & celebrate everyone across/outside the gender spectrum.
"We clearly have so much more work to do, but we are trying hard to make our dept a better/safer place for all."
The Ph.D. student is studying the evolution of social cognition with chimps and bonobos, according to her Twitter bio.
On Wednesday, Hooven was quoted in another interview, which was published on ex-New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss' Substack newsletter.
The Mail Online reported that she said: "You know, we can treat people with respect and respect their gender identities and use their preferred pronouns.
"So understanding the facts about biology doesn't prevent us from treating people with respect."
She also said that political correctness was "incredibly confusing for science educators and for students trying to learn about the world and learn the tools of science and critical thinking."
Hooven added that professors and the media shouldn't "back away from using certain terms that they are afraid people will find offensive.
"And that fear is based in reality.
"People do find these terms offensive; they do complain on social media; they do shame people and even threaten to get people fired.
"So it's no wonder that a lot of people are caving and yielding to the social pressure.
"But we are doing students and the public a great disservice, and dividing the populace."