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Canada cancels female scholar who believes in biological sex

Didn’t even pay her for prepared presentation, professor says 

The Canadian government “no-platformed” a sociology professor for her views on biological sex, the scholar alleges.

Alice Sullivan, a professor of sociology at University College London IOE’s Social Research Institute, said her talk “Why do we need data on sex and gender identity?” was canceled at the last minute and her honorarium was denied.

“I find it quite shocking that a national Department of Justice would act to shut down a discussion about data collection on sex which clearly some members of the department were keen to have. Why are those who oppose data collection on sex so unwilling to have a conversation?” Sullivan told The College Fix via email recently.

Sullivan said her talk conflicts with the Canadian government’s data collection, which “defaults to ‘gender’ instead of sex.”

Her presentation, which was scheduled for International Women’s Day on March 8, would have “discussed the value of collecting data on both, rather than avoiding data collection on sex.”

However, after she sent her slides to the department for translation into French, Sullivan said the person who invited her suddenly called to cancel the event.

The department person “said she was not authorised to give … any explanation, but indicated that … we both knew what the reason was,” Sullivan told The Fix.

The same person said her honorarium of $999 Canadian would not be paid since the department “did not want any record of me on their books,” Sullivan said.

When asked for a contact from whom Sullivan could receive a written explanation, the person refused to provide any information, she said.

A spokesperson for the department’s Communications Branch told The Fix via email that Sullivan’s event was “cancelled in favour of promoting an event offered by the Canada School of Public Service” that “aligned more closely with the theme of the International Women’s Day 2024 – Investing in Women and Accelerating Progress.”

But Dennis Hayes, a visiting professor at the University of Buckingham, told The Fix via email Sullivan “has been demonised because she shows in her analyses of sociological data that it is difficult to give a proper account … unless biological sex is a criterion.”

Academics for Academic Freedom, which Hayes leads, added Sullivan to its list of banned speakers as a result of the cancellation. The list includes speakers who were banned, threatened, or persecuted for their beliefs.

Sullivan has been on the list before. AFAF also included her in October 2023, March 2023, and April 2020 due to protests and speech cancellations that claimed she has “transphobic” views on sex and gender.

In the October incident, Sullivan and other academics faced a sit-in and protests related to the launch of a book they wrote about sex and gender, The Fix reported.

In the UK, Hayes told The Fix no academic dare publicly state that there are only two sexes because doing so would lead to attack from diversity staff and even potential job loss. He said “gender-critical academics” like Sullivan “frequently appear” on the Banned List because they refuse to “self-censor.”

As another example, Hayes pointed to a February case in which an employment tribunal found that Professor Jo Phoenix of Open University had been unlawfully dismissed because of her gender critical views.

“More academics need to stop self-censoring and speak the truth. Alice, Jo and our AFAF branches are doing just that,” Hayes said.

MORE: College protesters stage unsuccessful sit-in against trans-critical book launch

IMAGE: IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society/YouTube

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Mary Mobley is a student at The Master's University majoring in political studies with an emphasis in constitutional law.