Gender Language Ideologies in Science
POSTER PRESENTED AT THE AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION MEETING (2018)
Transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) health is an often overlooked area of biomedical anthropological research. From demographic questions that only offer binary options, to the common practice of throwing out data from non-cisgender participants due to a small sample size, TGNC populations are largely absent from the current medical literature. Rather than simply critiquing this phenomenon, the current study uses linguistic anthropological theories and methods to better understand the emerging discursive barriers existing in these settings. More specifically, we explore inclusionary and exclusionary stances as they are performed vis-à-vis TGNC participants from research studies and/or consideration by researchers. Through interviews that we conducted with biomedical anthropologists, this research examines the discursive practices through which language is drawn upon to construct, contest, and refashion understandings of sex and gender. In particular, this analysis focuses on the way in which researchers actively redirect the conversation away from TGNC topics to instead discuss instances in which they did demonstrate inclusivity when discussing their previous research studies. This pattern, which emerged in many of our interviews, points to the importance of considering how these researchers use discursive practices to negotiate their identities as inclusive researchers. More broadly, this study considers the ways in which anthropologists have overlooked gender diversity and how increasing awareness of these populations can enrich our understanding of human experiences. By exploring novel ways to bridge linguistic anthropology with biomedical anthropology, this study also contributes to advancing theories and methods in these two subfields.