I had the chance to go to her lecture, “I Was Born a Baby: The Dynamic Development of Gender Variability” as part of my Body Politics class. This is the first time that I ever had to consciously think about the relationship between gender and biology, and Dr. Fausto-Sterling provided more insight onto a topic that is not discussed much in everyday world. She presented several of her thoughts and theories on the relationship between parent-infant interaction and gender development; she used a method called the “dynamic systems approach”, which is a way that researchers observe characteristics and their effect on the environment. Dr. Fausto-Sterling spoke about the fact that infants absorb information from their surroundings and from interactions with different people in order to recognize men versus women. One of the most fascinating facts that I learned during the lecture was that interacting with babies influences the way and the speed at which they develop.
Having Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling on campus was an enriching experience. I had read her book Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World for my class, but actually being able to see and hear her explain and talk about her research really helped me gain some further insight on what I am learning in class. I highly recommend that if your student is interested, that s/he look into taking classes in the Women Studies and LGBT Studies departments because these classes are fun and enriching. It’s always great for your student to learn something new!