mixing blue and pink smoke, symbolic of the muddled boundaries between sexes
Opinion: Biological Science Rejects the Sex Binary, and That’s Good for Humanity
Evidence from various sciences reveals that there are diverse ways of being male, female, or both. An anthropologist argues that embracing these truths will help humans flourish.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, brightstars
Opinion: Biological Science Rejects the Sex Binary, and That’s Good for Humanity
Opinion: Biological Science Rejects the Sex Binary, and That’s Good for Humanity

Evidence from various sciences reveals that there are diverse ways of being male, female, or both. An anthropologist argues that embracing these truths will help humans flourish.

Evidence from various sciences reveals that there are diverse ways of being male, female, or both. An anthropologist argues that embracing these truths will help humans flourish.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, brightstars

sexual dimorphism

group of paleolithic people around a campfire
Gene Variant Points to Starvation’s Evolutionary Legacy
Sophie Fessl | Sep 28, 2021
Ancient and modern genomes reveal that a variant of the human growth hormone receptor likely helped our ancestors survive when food was scarce.
Editor’s Picks of The Scientist’s Best Infographics of 2020
Jef Akst | Dec 15, 2020
This year’s most captivating illustrations tell stories from the micro scale—such as newborn neurons in the adult brain and bacteria in the infant gut—to the scale of entire ecosystems, including reintroduced predators and rising seas.
Infographic: Dialing Down the Glitz
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Sep 1, 2020
The gene BCO2 enables male and female members of some bird species to display dramatically different color patterns.
The Gene that Makes Female Birds Drab
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Sep 1, 2020
In some finch species, the difference between colorful males and muted females comes down to one gene, BCO2, which encodes an enzyme that degrades carotenoids.
Image of the Day: Size Matters
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff | Feb 23, 2018
The male proboscis monkey’s large nose probably evolved in response to female preference and competition between males.
Image of the Day: Rainbow Butt
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff | Jan 4, 2018
Scientists explore why male peacock spiders are so colorful. 
Image of the Day: Butterfly Wing Scents
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff | Nov 13, 2017
In Heliconius butterflies, researchers discover the importance of a male wing structure in female choice. 
RNA-based Sex Determination?
Bob Grant | Aug 20, 2014
Researchers find that microRNAs may play a role some of the sexual differences seen in fruit flies.
Faces for Fighting?
Jef Akst | Jun 10, 2014
Scientists propose that hominin facial bones evolved for protection against the powerful blows of combat.
Males Court Bearded Ladies Less
Yao-Hua Law | Nov 6, 2013
Blue badges that make female lizards less attractive to potential mates are paradoxically common.
The Ultimate Wingman
Tracy Vence | Nov 1, 2013
Differential gene expression between dominant and subordinate male turkeys could help evolutionary biologists deconstruct the roots of sexual dimorphism.