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SWEDISH PROFESSOR INVESTIGATED FOR TEACHING THAT MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT

A professor in Sweden who recently spoke about the biological differences between men and women says he’s now being investigated by his university.  Germund Hesslow, a professor of neurophysiology at Lund University, is speaking out about how his employer has launched a “full investigation” into his remarks about the biological realities of gender.  According to the Sweden-based Academic Rights Watch (ARW), Hesslow has taught a course for years on “Heritage and Environment” in the Lund University medical program. In that course, he has addressed such topics as biological gender differences.

The watchdog organization reports that Hesslow would sometimes be questioned by students who didn’t like that his teaching is not based on “the gender scientific approach adopted in politics.” Hesslow maintains that gender is not entirely socially constructed because empirical research has found that there are statistical gender differences in behaviour that are biologically based.  Hesslow told ARW, which was founded to monitor “attempts to restrict the fundamental rights of teachers and researchers,” that he was asked by school administrators to apologize for his remarks on gender and LGBT people that drew the ire of feminist students who complained.

Hesslow fears that there are “forces in leadership” who seek to hire another teacher to teach the course that he has developed over the years.  In a statement emailed to The Christian Post about Hesslow’s claims, Lund University’s international press officer, Lotte Billing, said: “There has been criticism levelled against a lecture entitled ‘Nature, nurture and the biology of sex differences’ given at the medical program at Lund University.  We take feedback from our students very seriously.  We also take academic freedom very seriously.  It is important that different perspectives are allowed within our programs and courses.

On the other hand, we should never compromise when it comes to scientific standards in teaching, or maintaining a professional approach when interacting with our students.  Lund University is currently investigating if the specific lecture was offensive in any way.

“We continuously strive to integrate issues relating to equal treatment, gender equality and diversity into all of the programs and courses given at the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University.  Within the medical program, there is currently an ongoing development project that will affect the entire curriculum.”

The student’s concerns eventually made it to Christer Larsson, the chair of the Lund Medical Education Program Board.  Hesslow was told to retract two statements by submitting in writing that those statements were “unfortunately formulated.” One of the statements is “gay women have a male sexual orientation.”  The other: “Whether it’s a sexual orientation is a definition question.”  Hesslow, however, has refused to apologize. “I’m not going to give any further discussions about terminology.  It’s about an answer to a question from a student.  I think I have done enough to explain and defend my word choice,” Hesslow reportedly wrote in a reply to Larsson.

“Somewhere, one must ask for a sense of proportion among the people involved.  I is acceptable and normal for students to record lectures with a view to finding compromise formulations and then engaging staff with meetings and discussions.  That this deal could lead so far is because most students do not have this attitude.”  The university rector has ordered a full investigation into his case.  There “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture” Hesslow said.  Since he’s past the retirement age, Hesslow fears that the university could use his age as a reason to remove him from the course.

Source: The Christian Post