This project asks the question 'What is the Science of sex and gender?' The project is engaged with bioscientific understandings of sex and transexuality.
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About the project
The Scidentity project is funded by the Wellcome Trust and asks the question 'What is the Science of sex and gender?' The project is engaged with bioscientific understandings of sex and transexuality. Historically we have understood sexed identity through a medical and biological framework. Gender, on the other hand, considers the cultural phenomena or life experiences of how people attribute male and female characteristics to themselves and others.
This project engages a group of trans youth in an exploration of how sex is defined. It considers emerging understandings of sex differences in the brain, hormones and their effect on behaviour, chromosomes and their function, hormonal and surgical sex reassignment and the consequential range of moral and ethical issues that are raised. For transexuals - someone who crosses from one sex to another - life is profoundly caught up in how the scientific and social worlds produce sexed and gendered beings.
Transsexuality might be viewed as a trope for the relationship between scientific and medical worlds, and all sexed identities. The project runs for a year and has two aims firstly, running a performing and visual arts project with a group of young transsexual people to explore their understandings of the relationship between the science of sex and sexed identities.
Phases of the project
The first phase will produce a multimedia and performance art exhibition/event of young trans people's artwork and a short film that will document the creative workshops, present interviews with medical experts and practitioners in the field and incorporate the multimedia/artwork produced by the young people.
In its second phase the project will run a community outreach programme: participatory workshops using the film as a stimulus, with school and college groups in relation to aspects of AS/A Level Biology (Human), and AS/GCSE Citizenship curricula; workshops/post-show discussions with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) youth groups; dissemination of the film and supporting information package to regional and national LGBT organisations and film festivals.
The Goldsmiths team will be conducting a participatory evaluation of the project in order to hold up a mirror to the process, working with staff and participants to identify key lessons and good practice.
For more information about the project, email Dr Alison Rooke.