Needham High Using Biology Class To Teach Students About Changing Genders

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What should schools teach in high school biology class?

At Needham High School, biology class students learn that people can change their biological sex and are told to not use “gendered terms,” according to the school’s lesson plan, which is a slideshow. 

The lesson on gender tells students that “humans are socially conditioned to view sex and gender as binary.” It also tells them to use “language that removes gendered terms to talk about bodies” to make sure “people with diverse (a)sexualities, (a)genders, bodies, and (a)romantic orientations are included and respected.”

A later slide in the lesson differentiates between anatomical sex and gender, saying they are not the same. 

Here is how it defines anatomical sex:

“Sex (sometimes called biological sex, anatomical sex, or physical sex) is comprised of things like genitals, chromosomes, hormones, body hair, and more. But one thing it’s not:  gender.”

And here is how it defines gender identity:

“Your psychological sense of sense. Who you, in your head, know yourself to be based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender.”

Additionally, the lesson uses “non-human examples” of gender variation. These include clownfish, the common reed frog, and amborella (a plant).

The slides note that both the clownfish, common reed frog, and amborella can change sexes. It includes a slide that features pictures of the two animals and the plant.

When animals that can changes sexes change their sex, their reproductive system also changes. All clownfish, for example, are born male, but have the reproductive organs of both sexes; some become female later in life and can reproduce as females. The clownfish differs from a biologically male human identifying as a woman because a male human cannot give birth under any circumstances.

Massachusetts Family Institute communications director Mary Ellen Siegler told NewBostonPost that the Needham High School gender content is an example of a destructive agenda being pushed in public schools.

“In schools across MA, harmful transgender ideology has moved beyond being promoted in select student sponsored clubs to now being actively taught across the curriculum,” Siegler said by email. “MA schools have been overtaken by special interest groups intent on promulgating radical social theories, and the Needham school district is no exception. These facts are troublesome enough, but to think that transgenderism is now being taught as ‘science’ takes the concern to a whole new level. Biological sex is immutable. To teach students otherwise is a lie and not science. This is not education. It is indoctrination.”

Needham Public Schools superintendent Daniel Gutekanst sent NewBostonPost a statement via email defending the curriculum. He said:

The materials in question are a component of a unit taught on genetics.  We continually review our curriculum and programs, including the science lesson referenced, to ensure accuracy and alignment with local and state standards. The Needham High School science curriculum, like all Needham High School programs, is based on three components:

We are proud of the programs we offer all students and continue to work hard to ensure all science curriculum materials and resources are accurate and appropriately reflect the needs of a diverse student body and the standards, values, and high academic expectations of the Needham community.


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