A Swedish university professor is being investigated for making the comment that there are biological differences between men and women. Lund University neurophysiology professor Germund Hesslow was accused by a student of making “transphobic” and “anti-feminist” statements in a lecture, and though the school has asked him to recant, Hesslow is refusing.
RT reports that during a lecture in his course on ‘Heritage and Environment’, Hesslow cited research that supports the idea that there are differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” concluding that for that reason genders cannot be regarded as merely “social constructs.”
After the lecture was over a female student complained to the department suggesting that Hesslow’s comments went against Swedish values which require all schools in Sweden to adhere to an ethical policy, which upholds egalitarian values, individual freedom and equality of the sexes.
Hesslow spoke with RT saying, some students, “for ideological reasons,” don’t like to hear certain scientific facts about biological differences between men and women.
Reportedly, the comments were not necessarily tied to the course material but were prompted by a question asked by a student during the lecture.
“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.
According to Academic Rights Watch, Hesslow met with the chairman of the program board for medical education Christer Larsson, and was told that the student claimed he spoke on his “personal anti-feminist agenda.”
The university asked Hesslow to refrain from and remove himself from two specific comments he made: that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that whether transsexuality is a sexual orientation is “a matter of definition”.
Hesslow has refused to recant his statements saying “At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether.”
Reportedly, Hesslow also denied the accusation that he was plugging a “political agenda,” noting that his only agenda was to let scientific fact, not a new conventional outlook, steer university teachings.
He said, “Ideology, politics and prejudice form the conventional outlook, not science.”
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Ken Treloar