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Revealing the Truth about Science

TESTING As Stryker has said “Medical practitioners and institutions have the social power to determine what is considered sick or healthy, normal or pathological, sane or insane –and thus, often, to transform potentially neutral forms of human difference into unjust and oppressive social hierarchies”(pp. 51-52) 1. We, as a more progressive era of humans, have already started to blur the lines that separate humans into specific categories based on how we were biologically put together, in terms of sex, race, and body and how we present ourselves to the world after having experienced our version of life; while questioning, who gave the majority the power to enforce what is biologically right or wrong with human nature. We, as forward thinking people need to focus on “Dismantling a system that recklessly sorts all of us into biologically based categories of embodied personhood deemed more or less worthy of life” (Xii, Prologue) 2.

TESTING We tend to take on science as a fact without taking into account that scientists are humans with their own biases and perceptions which leak into the “impartial” data they are trying to convey to the public. However, science is not safe from the political nor how this “unprejudiced” data shapes our society and continues to be passed down through generations unquestioned. In the words of Stryker, “Society tends to be organized in ways either that deliberately or unintentionally favor the majority, and ignorance or misinformation about a less common way of being in the world can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and mischaracterizations” (p. 7-8) 3. To elaborate, even if it were possible to create a study that would include every human difference, be it biological, cultural, sexual, etc., there is still a group of scientists driven by their own thoughts or agendas deciding how they want to interpret the data and present it to the world. There is an audience that they intend to present to, or appease, and this could be for funding purposes, as a means to an end, or to support the belief of the majority in society depending on the social issues of the time.

TESTING If in some possible way we could have completely unbiased results of studies or tests, how that neutral data would be presented to the general public would still be leaning to appease the majority or risk being rejected, ignored, or tossed to the wayside regardless of factuality. Science has amended its facts many times over multiple eras and have deemed what should be relevant and therefore funneled to the public and also what should be retracted or disregarded due to ignorance, political shifts, or human error. My point being that medical science biases can make or break movements that lean toward inclusivity, to align with Stryker once more, “Medical science has always been a two-edged sword—its representatives’ willingness to intervene has gone hand in hand with their power to define and judge” (p. 52) 4.

TESTING In a society that profits off of exclusivity, it is necessary to break away from the social or cultural conforms, while focusing on pushing for the equity of all human nature rather than the equivalence of “lower” or “lesser” lives in terms of worth, be it class, race, sexuality, or gender also known as the minority being boosted up to the privileges of the “higher” or “better” or those more worthy of life, also known as the majority. Just as there are multiple perceptions, religions, and interpretations of the world we live in, there is also no way to measure which viewpoint is right or wrong or should be enforced or disregarded. Society tends to have a hard time identifying with the humanity of another person if they can’t understand what a person is trying to personify, especially if it is outside the knowledge of their life experiences. This tends to lead to an instant adverse reaction, usually resulting in a slew of negative emotions, to name a few, fear, panic, disapproval, disgust, contempt, hatred, dread or outrage. This then leads to physical violence, a couple of examples are genocide or murder, and/or emotional violence, directed against the person who is perceived as divergent. This leads to generational disparity, presenting itself in psychological traumas, the regression of the part of society considered outcasts, undeserving, or unfit to be a human amongst other human beings, and unconscious social biases that get perceived as truth.

TESTING I am not saying we should completely snub scientific fact, as we as a people crave recognition and understanding of the world around us, what I am saying is to use the information for inclusivity of all people, rather than to label, demean, or exclude any group or groups of people based on genetics, biology, psychology, or different ways we present our person. There is a historical pattern where science has been used to berate, disregard, or choose who is worthy of having the better quality of life, when we all begin with life and we all end with death and there should not be a need to categorize life, but learn about it and accept each other no matter the difference of person. Our goal moving forward should be to acquire acceptance of all through knowledge, be it scientific or experience based, and not to use this newfound knowledge for means of exclusion, politics, social agendas, the suppression or eradication of a people.

Footnotes

  1. Stryker, Susan. “The Social Power of Medicine.” Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, Seal Press, New York, NY, 2017.
  2. Stryker, Susan. “Prologue.” Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, Seal Press, New York, NY, 2017.
  3. Stryker, Susan. “Foundations of a Movement.” Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, Seal Press, New York, NY, 2017.
  4. Stryker, Susan. “The Social Power of Medicine.” Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, Seal Press, New York, NY, 2017.

5 thoughts on “Revealing the Truth about Science

  1. Tateanne Green (she/her)

    Hi Laneice,

    I enjoyed reading through your post. Not only did you shine a well needed light on the biases that can occur in scientific research and medical care, you did an excellent job at pointing out some of the reasons why these biases occur and the impacts that they have on different social groups. In the second paragraph you pointed out that modern day science is also impacted by politics and in the third paragraph, you also pointed out that science that does not appease the majority it often goes ignored among other things. These points are addressed well and led me into thinking further about how different people in our society are affected by all of this.

    These points are some of the reasons why women, minorities, and LGBTQ members often face life threatening and unfair biases in scientific research and medical care. I agree with your ending point that unbiased science is needed. Everyone deserves to experience an excellent quality of life and these biases and the reasons behind them, unfairly limits particular groups from receive the care and attention they need to achieve all of this. My question here is, what can we do as a society to eliminate these biases so they don’t pass on to other generations?

  2. amandaaa525

    Hi Laneice,
    I absolutely love the topic you chose. Medical science biases is very much real and relatable to many women, POC, and LGBTQ community members. This topic hits home for me because of something I personally experienced also working in healthcare it is devastating to know that some professionals leave a bad taste in patients mouth about the field due to this and makes it harder for the people who aren’t biased. I love the quote you added about the two sided sword! It shows how complex medical science is. I feel you did this topic justice and even gave the reasons for this unfortunate reality of medical biases such as doctors wanting to reach a certain audience or funding or just them supporting their beliefs. I’m happy you took our advice from class and split up the writing into paragraphs, It gives it a better flow. I hope there’s a day where medical science biases isn’t an issue and we can all be treated and respected equally.

  3. Sadaf Chaudhry (she/her)

    Hey Laneice, as I mentioned in your draft, it is a great topic especially because it reflects on the dark side of medicine that no one seems to be interested in these days. I completely agree that society as a collective has come to a place where we seem to be blinded by the social constructs that have tremendously shaped our life experiences. It is the hard reality that marginalized communities have to suffer because of the so-called “reality” imposed by some of the “elite” members of our society. In any society, the majority always somehow threatens those that are not included in it which explains why was have some of the discriminatory traditions as completely acceptable because they have become the norm. In the 2nd last paragraph, you mention how humans become agitated if they are unable to understand another person who may be different from them. This seems to be most common in the case of gender/sex, many people tend to argue that it is not okay to present ourselves other than the two-gender because they are proven by “biological reasoning” which is so surprising because it is almost as if humans are perfect and cannot have any biases. I also agree with your closing statement that we do need scientific reasoning to make sense of the world around us but it should not be the sole determinant of an individual’s identity.

  4. Karen Zheng (she/her)

    Hi Laneice,
    I really like your topic, and I think it is a topic that is often forgotten and left unaddressed so I’m glad you shed some light on the “biased” side of science. Science is not as impartial as we are droned to believe; the data may be unbiased but the same can’t be said about the scientists that interpret those data, although it’s their job to remain neutral, like you pointed out. Nevertheless, even without the influence of scientists, data would still be manipulated to fit the social norm, or in other words, align with the interest of the majority. I completely agree with your argument in that “society profits off of exclusivity” and that if we are to move forward in this together, we ought to eliminate social conforms that reinforce negative associations with certain groups of people.
    Oftentimes, people align with beliefs that they may not completely agree with because we as humans, out of instinct, want to go with the flow so we are not excluded for having different opinions. If social norms are broken, the prejudices incorporated into scientific data will gradually decrease. In conclusion, acceptance, and willingness to learn about individual differences is a crucial first step.
    Hopefully, one day, science will no longer be used to label and demean any person for their differences.

  5. Yara Alhusari (She/her)

    Hi Laneice,
    Your post genuinely opened my mind to question the science around me. As a society, we are constantly encouraged to listen and trust science, and we tend to forget that the scientist who studies science are humans and humans naturally have a bias so to what extent can we really trust their word? Even though it is against a scientist’s job to implement bias into their studies and solely focus on fact it does not mean it does not happen. This paper really encouraged me to do my own research and do my own studies on topics. Your paper genuinely encouraged me to be careful with that sources I am trusting and listening to. I also appreciate your effort to really emphasize the importance of inclusivity.

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