Federal agency awards nearly $1M to 3 universities to make biology classes 'inclusive' for trans students

University professor addresses his students during a lecture.
University professor addresses his students during a lecture. | Getty Images

A federal agency has awarded nearly $1 million in taxpayer funding to three academic institutions to help make undergraduate biology courses more “inclusive” for trans-identifying students, claiming that most courses “inaccurately categorize sex and gender as binary.” 

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that helps promote science, primarily through grants. According to its website, the agency’s investments account for about 25% of federal support to colleges and universities in the United States for research purposes. 

As noted author and professor of apologetics at Houston Christian University, Nancy Pearcy, notes on X, "The award abstract claims that 'biology courses often inaccurately categorize sex and gender as binary.' This, the NSF says, 'can make biology classrooms particularly challenging' for students who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming."

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The research, titled “Collaborative Research: A qualitative inquiry into sex/gender narratives in undergraduate biology and their impacts on transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students,” purportedly examined how to create a more “inclusive” environment in undergraduate biology courses. 

“Research indicates that rather than emphasizing the diversity of strategies and experiences that organisms have around sex, gender, and orientation, biology courses often inaccurately categorize sex and gender as binary,” the abstract argues. “The oversimplification of sex and gender into binary categories can make biology classrooms particularly challenging for [trans-identified] students.”

The three academic institutions that received a combined $905,694 in taxpayer funding to participate in the study include the University of Minnesota, Colorado State University and Florida International University. The University of Minnesota received $387,605 for the study, while Colorado State University was awarded $313,026 and Florida International University was allotted $205,063.

The initial amendment date in all three abstracts is June 2022, with a start date of September 2022. Each of the three abstracts has August 2025 listed as an estimated end date. 

Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for education studies, said education is a state and local matter. She also asserted that the Biden administration needs to “protect free expression and free inquiry,” stating that this is what the Trump administration did.

“More and more college campuses are not discussing or teaching controversial issues unless they are ‘viewed through the lens of oppression’ or some other limiting point of reference,” Kilgannon said in an emailed statement to The Christian Post. 

“This kind of program is also a great example of the way government is used for the enrichment of people and organizations who hold the acceptable views or support progressive ideology rather than for the common good,” she continued. “This is another form of weaponization of government.”

A spokesperson for the NSF declined to comment on the story. However, CP was directed to review the award abstracts for the three universities. On its website, the agency states that diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility are a “high priority,” highlighting its “LGBTQ+ and Allies” Employee Resource Group. 

Jay Richards, the director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family and the William E. Simon senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told CP that he hopes the agency’s initiative serves as a “wake-up call.” The policy expert said, “not even college biology is safe from this madness.” 

According to Richards, the NSF’s efforts to make undergraduate biology “inclusive” for trans-identifying people is a consequence of the Biden administration making it a “top priority” to promote gender ideology within government agencies. 

“Gender ideology is designed to disconnect us from fundamental truths of reality — knowable to everyone — and replace our comprehension of these truths with made-up ideas like ‘gender identity,’ Richards told CP. 

“This ideology is incompatible with our most basic knowledge of biology, such as the sexual binary of male and female. Sex involves the fusion of two different gametes, along with two corresponding reproductive systems and body plans — male and female,” he continued. “This is the basic reproductive strategy of the plant and animal kingdoms. We know this scientifically, but of course, everyone knows this at some level, even if they don’t know the details of reproduction.” 

The conservative policy expert urged biologists who might be fearful of retaliation to still speak out against gender ideology, warning that if they fail to do so, their “children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences.” 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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