20 July 2022

Tolerast archaeologists

Gender activists-archaeologists opposed the genders of skeletons

Alexander Berezin, Naked Science

Canadian gender activist Emma Paladino said (and her tweet went viral) that determining the sex of a skeleton is "nonsense" that only "shitty" archaeologists can do. The young researcher is a candidate for a scientific degree in the field of archaeology, but a number of other scientists have recently supported such theses.

Some scientists (so in the text – VM) go even further, claiming that there are supposedly no clear genetic differences between a man and a woman. Earlier this year, associate professor Jennifer Raf of the University of Kansas (USA) published the book "Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas", in which she stated: "There are no clear divisions between physically or genetically "male" and "female" [individuals]." Raf wrote this in the context of bone remains that archaeologists find. She postulates that scientists cannot know the "gender" of a Peruvian huntress who lived nine thousand years ago, about whom the media has been actively writing recently, because the authors of the works do not know whether she identified herself as a woman or as a man. According to the researcher, the "dual" concept of gender is "imposed by Christian colonizers."

Previously, similar views were expressed in forensic medicine, even a whole group of Trans Doe Task Force emerged, claiming that identifying corpses by gender "does a disservice to people who do not have gender binary."

Gender identification by skeleton is a long—standing norm in archaeology. In most cases, the bones of men and women are seriously different in a number of ways. The skeleton of women is "lighter", more graceful, most of the bones are thinner, their density is often different.


In addition, the genetic identification of the last decades allows you to determine the gender and genetically. As you know from school, women do not have a Y chromosome.

Although there may be a situation when men (in old age) some cells have lost this chromosome, but this condition is a pathology that reduces both life expectancy and cognitive abilities.

The problem with the refusal to identify the remains by gender remains that, with its consistent implementation, a number of scientific publications may not be possible. For example, the authors of the same work on a 9,000-year-old Peruvian huntress pay special attention to explaining how and why a woman could engage in such a thing as hunting, to which men are normally physically adapted better. They are usually faster, stronger and more resilient, which is not least due to a fundamentally different level of testosterone and a number of other physical adaptations that depend on the genes of the Y chromosome, as well as other regulation of about 6.5 thousand genes and outside of this chromosome.

Another example: a number of past studies compare the average height of men and women. This is important because it indicates a difference in their diet and lifestyle, due to the fact that in almost all traditional societies, both men and women differ.

A number of scientists are trying to protest against new trends in Western archaeology. Elizabeth Weiss from the University of California at San Jose calls the attempt to "cancel" the sexual identification of human remains "ideologically motivated concoction."

Weiss goes even further and notes that the recent sharp increase in the number of people identifying as transgender indicates that this trend is "social, not biological." According to her, "the attempt to retrospectively deprive of sex overshadows this obvious fact." "This new policy of erasing the progress of archaeology [in identifying women] is a step backwards for science and women," the scientist concludes. She also notes that the refusal to identify the remains by gender will deal a blow to forensic medicine.

At the same time, it should be understood that Weiss' position is not too typical for the modern United States of America. No wonder the researcher is suing her own university because she is called a "racist" at the university and denied access to the remains with which she worked.

With a high degree of probability, the rejection of the sexual identification of skeletons has every chance of winning in Western archaeology. At least, this is indicated by the experience with the rejection of their classification by race, which in the last 30 years has mostly already ended (however, only for the Western world: in Russia this process is just underway).

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