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Teaching the Biology of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Leads to a Marked Increase in Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2329-9002

Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology
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Research Article

Teaching the Biology of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Leads to a Marked Increase in Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Nathan H. Lents*
Department of Sciences, John Jay College, 445 W. 59th Street, New York, NY 10019, USA
Corresponding Author : Nathan H. Lents
Department of Sciences, John Jay College
445 W. 59th Street, New York, NY 10019, USA
Tel: 646-557-4504
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 15, 2013; Accepted March 27, 2013; Published April 04, 2013
Citation: >Lents NH (2013) Teaching the Biology of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Leads to a Marked Increase in Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. J Phylogen Evolution Biol 1:105. doi:10.4172/2329-9002.1000105
Copyright: © 2013 Lents NH, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

 Biology education in the U.S. is under threat due to resistance to the principles of modern evolutionary theory. Although religious and cultural prejudices heavily influence this resistance, poor understanding of evolutionary theory itself is at least partly responsible. Thus, coherent and aggressive strategies are needed in order to rectify this poor understanding and properly educate the next generation of the electorate and its policy makers. Herein, we examine acceptance of evolutionary concepts among students in a majors-level introductory biology course and those in a gender studies course on sex, gender, and sexuality. Through pre- and post-course surveys, we measured the change in their acceptance. Surprisingly, students in the gender studies course consistently displayed greater improvement in their acceptance of evolutionary theory than the biology students, despite only tangential coverage of these topics in the gender studies course and substantial coverage of them in the biology course. These results provide evidence that one strategy for advancing the proper education of biology and natural history is through teaching of the biological basis of reproduction and sexuality, topicsthat exhibit a high level of student interest and uniquely convey the effects and consequence of evolutionary forces such as natural and sexual selection, adaptation, mutation, and genetic drift.

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