Research into human genetics has been expanding rapidly and most people learn about that research from mass media. Because prior research finds gender bias in aspects of both science and the media, we investigate the messages presented to the public concerning the relationship between biology and gender, taking as a case research on the genetic development of sexual difference before birth. We examine both the science that is getting media attention and the form that coverage takes. We find that gendered assumptions direct the science but also that scholarly discourse makes gender biases in method and interpretation accessible to scientific critique. On the other hand, mass media reporting ignores feminist critiques, marginalizes women and dramatically reinscribes gendered beliefs about the inherent superiority of men and the biological basis for gender differences in personality and behavior.
- Sex development