Gender in Research & Teaching

Gender in research

The question, “What does natural scientific research have to do with gender?” calls attention to number of factors, such as:

  • Gender exists at nearly every organizational level of living organisms. Which notions of “male” and “female” and which gender ideologies are conveyed by the language and concepts of the biological sciences (e.g. “male” donor cells and “female” receptor cells”: male = donate, give; female = receive)?
  • The subjects and questions of natural scientific research can affect women and men in different ways, for example, those involving reproductive medicine, reproductive genetics and gender-specific illnesses and syndromes, as well as age-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, due to women’s longer life-expectancy.
  • Nutritional substances, medications and environmental pollutants also have different (side)effects on women and men.
  • In the utilization of land and resources, in work relationships and in the professional management of gardens, crops and forests there have been and remain to be gender-related differences (the division of labor, the understanding of one’s own work, nature of ownership, expertise, etc.).
  • Women’s contributions to the production of scientific knowledge, to the development of research and technology is not valued to the same degree as that of men’s, e.g. brewing monks – brewing nuns; or Rosalind Franklin’s role in the discovery of DNA structure.

A continually updated list of reference materials (German and English references) is available to facilitate an introduction to the issue of gender in the natural sciences.

Gender in teaching

More detailed information on “Gender in teaching” is available on the TUM.Diversity webpages.