ZBGC Statement on Ethics in Trans and Gender Diverse Research

ZBGC Statement on Ethics in Trans and Gender Diverse Research

On January 25, 2018, Posted by , In Factsheets, With Comments Off on ZBGC Statement on Ethics in Trans and Gender Diverse Research

ZBGC Statement on Ethics in Trans and Gender Diverse Research

Following our reading of a recently produced Australian survey investigating health care for trans and gender diverse (TGD) people, Zoe Belle Gender Collective wish to make a statement regarding the inappropriateness of questions relating to issues of genetic inheritance, which are occasionally put to trans and gender diverse research respondents.

ZBGC supports research that seeks to improve and enrich the health and well-being of trans and gender diverse people; however, we do not support research questions which reduce us to scientific objects and our identities to genetic markers.

The following basic points outline our position on questions of genetic inheritance in TGD-related research:

– Our position is that gender is a social construct, and not biologically, or genetically determined

– Centering questions of genetic inheritance glosses over the complexity within the TGD community, particularly in the failure to account for the diverse ways in which people self-identify and the diverse reasons they have for self-identifying

– We believe that underlying this reductive approach are ideologies which reinforce notions of biological essentialism, and that assume our identities are limited to our genetic traits

– We are concerned that this line of research is driven by (and reinforces) the pathologization of gender diversity by medical institutions, and that it simultaneously distances the value we place on social experience, and erodes our right to political self-determination

– We do not believe this line of research will improve the health and well-being of TGD people.

– We are wary of the possibility that research along genetic lines has the potential to be used to ‘screen out’ gender diversity, as in eugenics and embryo screening in IVF treatments

– We feel that for some TGD people, this line of research disregards aspects of spirituality which may be felt by them to be intrinsically linked to identity

ZBGC acknowledges that there are diverse opinions within the community. We encourage researchers and ethics boards to conduct broad consultation with the TGD community around these issues.