Professor Who Suggested Sex Is Binary Ousted from American Psychological Association Email List

Professor Who Suggested Sex Is Binary Ousted from American Psychological Association Email List

A retired professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University was removed from the listserv of a division of the American Psychological Association (APA) after he asked questions via email that suggested there are only two sexes.

John Staddon, who had been on the listserv of APA’s Division 6: Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology, toldThe College Fix he was likely removed from the email list due to his message that said, “Hmm … binary view of sex false? What is the evidence? Is there a Z chromosome?”

The email sent to Staddon, informing him he would be removed from the listserv, was republished by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), of which Staddon is a member, under the headline, “Cancel Culture in the Sciences: A Case Study.”

Jonathan Crystal, provost professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, wrote to Staddon that he was being ousted from the listserv because he had violated a “Code of Conduct” of their APA division.

“The division leadership has received complaints about some of the posts that you have sent to the division listserv,” Crystal wrote to Staddon, and continued:

I do not want to get into the particulars of the range of complaints over the years, but I will note that a number of members of the executive committee and others have voiced concerns publicly on the listserv in an attempt to make you aware of how readers of the list might view some of the posts.

The executive committee views the use of the division listserv as a privilege and has voted to remove you from the listserv. I am writing to inform you that your email address has been removed from the listserv.

I will add that I appreciate that there are a wide range of views about many issues, and I trust that you have other outlets to share your views.

The code “promotes a welcoming environment at conferences that is safe, collaborative, supportive, and productive for all attendees,” the APA division’s policy states, adding that the group “respects and values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among all members of the Society (as per our Policy on Diversity and Inclusion appended at the bottom of this document).”

The code also states division members are expected to:

Treat everyone with respect and consideration. It is acceptable in a scientific organization and at scientific meetings for members to have strong differences of opinion or different theoretical perspectives on aspects of psychological science. However, those differences and disagreements can be conveyed in ways that do not make other people feel threatened, demeaned, discriminated against, or harassed. Communicate openly and thoughtfully with others and be considerate of views and opinions that are different than your own.

In response to Crystal, Staddon said that, while he may have been “a bit flippant on occasion” in an email, still he “never insulted anyone; no ad hominem criticism (unlike those to whom you are responding—rather cravenly, I must add).”

“It is sad that an audience of supposed scientists is unable to take any dissenting view, such as the suggestion that there really are only two sexes,” Staddon added in his reply to Crystal. “Incredible! I don’t mind having one less distraction, but I think you should really be concerned at Div 6’s unwillingness to tolerate divergent views.”

“This incident just illustrates the current inability of some scientific communities to tolerate dissent about issues related to sex and race,” Staddon told The College Fix. “Psychology and sociology seem to be especially flawed in this respect.”

APA has issued its first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys. They draw on more than 40 years of research showing that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage

— APA Monitor (@APA_Monitor) January 2, 2019

Over the past two years, APA has released guidelines that assert “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful;” created a task force that promotes multiple sex partner status as a legally protected class; and published a guide that instructs graduate programs in psychology to end language that refers to biological differences among individuals.

Dr. Susan Berry