Ian Copeland Is Confused About the Biology of Sex
Despite Copeland’s call to ‘Bring the Facts,’ his own position was not grounded in facts but in authority.
Biology is under siege by activists attempting to undermine basic, long-standing, and universal principles of what constitutes a male and female. These are not merely academic debates; the view that emerges victorious from these debates will have pervasive and profound impacts on society. This includes issues such as the rights of women and girls to access female-only spaces like bathrooms, dressing rooms, rape shelters, and jails/prisons, and the integrity of female sports. It also affects the debate over so-called “gender-affirming care,” which seeks to alter the bodies of sex-nonconforming children so that their physical features align with their self-proclaimed “gender identity.”
Fortunately, science is firmly on the side of sex realists like myself. The setbacks we’ve experienced in recent years are not due to the weakness of our position, but rather stem from a climate of fear pervading academia, which silences dissent. Those who challenge the prevailing narrative of gender ideology—namely, that biological sex is a social construct or exists on a spectrum—are often targeted, harassed, and publicly branded as transphobic bigots. Proponents of this ideology understand that their biggest threat is open and honest debate. This is why, for the past five years, I have been dedicated to educating the public on this topic and openly engaging with gender ideologies whenever possible.
Last week, an opportunity to engage sex pseudoscience publicly presented itself. Ian Copeland, self-described as a “PhD Level Geneticist” despite having no peer-reviewed scientific publications, and a “Debunker of Nonsense,” announced he would host an X Space to defend the view that “sex is not binary.” This announcement came after Copeland posted various misleading statements about sex biology on X. For instance, he asserted that “Sex (like all traits) is not binary” and that “All traits are on a spectrum.” He seemed to think that a BBC Earth article discussing the sex-changing abilities of the Asian sheepshead wrasse (Semicossyphus reticulatus) supported his claims.
A day later, he stated that “sex is a genotype classification,” arguing that the existence of sex chromosome aneuploidies (atypical combinations of sex chromosomes other than XX and XY) proves the non-binary nature of biological sex.
The X Space, titled “Bring the Facts: Sex Is Not Binary, Sorry to Burst Your Bubble...,” was scheduled for January 19 at 3:45pm. I joined the Space the moment it opened to request a speaking slot, ensuring I was not far back in the queue. My promptness paid off; I was the first on stage and the first to address Copeland’s deep misunderstandings about the biology of sex.