More on Why Feminists Hate “Biological Determinism”

For those of you who would like to know more about the theory of “biological determinism.”

In short, this theory posits that “biological factors such as an organism’s individual genes (as opposed to social or environmental factors) completely determine how a system behaves or changes over time.” Such a theory completely ignores the influence of a person’s culture, racial, ethnic, or gender identity, and even the basic socialization that we all go through as children as we are taught by parents and grandparents, teachers, even by the cartoons we watch and the games we play. Also, there’s not a shred of scientific support for it.

As you’ve no doubt determined by now, feminism is deeply interested in the ways in which our behaviors and identites are socially constructed.

Now, one could argue that having a womb and the ability to have children would change the way you make decisions in your life, and feminists would argue that being born with a female body (or a male body, or a queer or disabled body) is absolutely part of our lived reality and therefore shapes our experience. But it’s equally impossible to ignore that the messages we receive about who should or shouldn’t have children, the value of mothering, and how and when we should choose to use our reproductive abilites (or what it means if we can’t reproduce) probably have a great, if not greater, impact on the decisions we make than the simple biological fact of having a womb.



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