Eastern APA affiliate meeting session: On Gender Identity

Synergizing scientific, medical, legal, and political perspectives on gender identity

Deep South Philosophy & Neuroscience Workgroup

Eastern APA affiliate meeting

Sheraton Times Square, New York

January 17, 2024 7pm-10pm

Meeting Overview

This meeting will explore work on the scientific, medical-ethical, legal, and political dimensions of gender identity. The goal is to foster interdisciplinary research on gender identity between scholars in the sciences and humanities to promote the development of a holistic perspective. Speakers will emphasize issues surrounding how to scientifically conceptualize and study gender identity, when and whether it is acceptable to medically intervene based on gender identity, including the ethical implications of barriers to such care; the legal status of gender classifications and various legal barriers faced by those of trans identity; and the various political mobilizations around gender identity, including its use as a fulcrum for liberatory political action.

Session Number, Date, and Time

The session number is G14I. It will occur on January 17, from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.


Our speakers include experts on the scientific, medical, legal, and political perspectives on and issues surrounding gender identity.

First, covering the scientific perspective is Dr. Rebecca Jordan-Young, Ann Whitney Olin Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard University(New York City). She has written bestselling books on sex and the brain (see her Brainstorm and Testosterone). She is also on the board of the Neurogendering’s Network, an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers working on sex and the brain across cognitive science.

Second, covering the medical perspective is feminist philosopher Dr. Alison Reiheld, Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is known for her work on the ethics of research on memory, but her research ranges across issues about gender and sexual minorities, the ethical status of gender-affirming care, and related topics.

Third, covering the legal perspective is Dr. Paisley-Currah, Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies at Boston University. He has written several books on the legal landscape for trans people in the United States (see his Transgender Rights and Sex is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity) and served the government in various roles to advocate for trans people, perhaps most notably helping to found the Transgender Law and Policy Institute.

Finally, covering the political perspective is Dr. Rowan Bell, Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Sexualities, Genders, and Social Change at the University of Guelph, Ontario. Rowan has published papers primarily on feminist philosophy, metaethics, and social epistemology. However, their focus throughout their work is on giving voice to trans experiences and perspectives


This session was organized by Maximiliana Jewett Rifkin (CUNY Graduate Center) and Robyn Bluhm (Michigan State University). The organizers thank Dr. Michael Lehman and the Brain Health Research Institute (Kent State University) for generous financial support, without which this event would not have been possible. Finally, we would like to thank the American Philosophical Association for graciously allowing us the use of their event space for this group meeting of the Deep South Philosophy and Neuroscience Workgroup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *