Cissexism in Scientific Studies

Trigger Warning: Cissexism

I was planning to write more about atheism today, but then I came across this.

Supposedly, the guy running this study is “interested in learning more about male asexuality”, but he also explicitly states that it is a study about “natal males”. If you click on the link to the actual survey, it asks you a few questions to determine if you are eligible for the study. The only question pertaining to gender is “Were you born as an anatomical male?”.

Now, I can totally understand that a scientific study might want to focus on only AMAB people, or only AFAB people. There are definitely valid reasons for wanting to make a distinction (in a scientific study) based on what sex someone was assigned at birth, rather than their gender. On the other hand, there are definitely also reasons that are not valid to make a distinction based on sex assigned at birth rather than gender.

This study, for instance, just seems to be purposely excluding trans people. Note that it is a study about “male asexuality”, yet eligibility is based on whether or not a person is AMAB. So, trans women technically qualify for this study on “male asexuality”, and trans men do not. In other words, the author of the study is saying that trans men are “really” female, and that trans women are “really” men. Do I even need to point out how incredibly insulting and invalidating this is? Even if there was some pressing need for the author of the study to only have AMAB people take his survey (which I doubt), he could have done this without invalidating trans people’s genders.

So, yea. Grargh. Now I am all grumpy and punching pillows and stuff after having my interest in participating in a study on male asexuality thrown back in my face, with a heavy serving of cissexism. Well, ok, I’m pretty much past the grump and pillow punching by now. On a positive note, the site I found the link on (The Asexual Agenda), was very quick to change the wording of their link to reflect that the study is about AMAB people, not men, after I posted a comment pointing this out.


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