Patrick Grzanka, The University of Tennessee; Jenny Brian, Arizona State University;
The 2023 4S Meeting will occur as many of the most pressing controversies at the nexus of sexuality and gender/sex are fervently playing out worldwide. In the United States, a post-Roe legal landscape is taking shape as various forms of reproductive technologies (e.g., contraception, chemicals that can induce abortion) are likewise being transformed amid technoscience-laden debates about what constitutes life and choice. Contestation over anti-transgender legislation across the industrialized West involves the deployment of technoscientific and medical knowledges to argue for or against the capacity of trans youth and adults to access gender-affirming care. These arguments implicate both longstanding scientific understandings of the complex relationships between psychology, biology, and medicine, as well as rapidly shifting ethical norms and legal guidance on the role of the state in the regulation and implementation of health care. Challenging teleological progress narratives that suggest gender, sexual, and racial liberation are inevitable consequences of the onward march of history, the Human Rights Watch identifies at least 67 countries worldwide that criminalize 'same-sex relations,' virtually all of which turn upon distinct understanding of what constitutes sex, sexuality, and gender. Feminist, anticolonial, queer, and intersectional approaches variously insist upon the role of historical and social forces in co-constitution of technoscientific issues and problems. Papers in this open panel will explore how gender/sex, sexuality, and their entanglements with race, nation, capitalism, criminality, ability, and other vectors of inequality present STS with exigent challenges and opportunities to intervene and shape frontiers of sexual, gender, and racial justice.