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163 - Trans Ideology is a Restriction of Freedom, Not an Expansion of It, with Heather Heying

"This 'authenticity train' requires you to be a patient for life."

Evolutionary biology, gender dynamics, societal norms, chemicals, technology…there is no denying the intricate interplay between biological, psychological, technological and cultural factors in shaping human behavior and identity. Sasha and Stella welcome guest, Heather Heying to the show for a grounding conversation exploring the complexity of human behavior, the inevitability of making mistakes, the anxieties and fears prevalent among the younger generation, and the importance of understanding risk thresholds in navigating life's uncertainties.

I would prefer to trust my fear and make the mistake of trusting it when it was not appropriate than not trusting when it was appropriate.

Heather Heying is an evolutionary biologist who has conducted research on the evolution of social systems and sexual selection, from frogs to humans. She has a PhD in Biology and a BA in Anthropology, has been a visiting Fellow at Princeton University, and before that, was a tenured professor at The Evergreen State College. At Evergreen she architected curriculum that prioritized the scientific method and exploration, of both ecosystems and ideas. She has since been invited to speak about higher ed, the evolution of sex and consciousness, and the culture wars, in venues as varied as the U.S. Department of Justice, the Krishnamurti Institute, Joe Rogan, and Oxford University.

Her first book, Antipode, is based on her life in Madagascar while studying the sex lives of poison frogs. Her second book, co-authored with husband Bret Weinstein, is A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life. A New York Times best-seller, the book provides an evolutionary toolkit for living a good and honorable life as a modern ape. She also writes Natural Selections on Substack, the Field Notes column for County Highway, and co-hosts with Bret a popular weekly livestream on the DarkHorse podcast.

In this episode, Dr. Heying speaks to the evolutionary basis of reproductive strategies, the role of hormones in shaping behavior, and the complexities of navigating societal expectations. She shares insights into the interplay between biology and culture, emphasizing the importance of understanding both in shaping human experiences.

The discussion also explores how young people, especially those with limited life experience, can be heavily influenced by ideologies and beliefs propagated through social media and online platforms. Dr. Heying emphasizes the importance of gaining real-life experiences, such as travel, to broaden one's perspective and challenge narrow worldviews. Theoretical knowledge from books, lectures, or media can only go so far in providing a comprehensive understanding. Instead, direct engagement with diverse experiences, cultures, and environments is valuable and necessary to truly deepen one's understanding.

The episode also examines how forcing individuals to adhere to rigid gender roles limits their autonomy and self-expression. By imposing expectations based on gender, society constrains individuals' ability to explore their identities authentically and live according to their own values and preferences. Dr. Heying beautifully articulates that true freedom comes from embracing diversity and allowing individuals to express themselves freely, without the constraints of gender stereotypes, but also that biological sex initiates instinctual and behavioral trends designed for survival. This conversation highlights the nuanced nature of human behavior and emphasizes the need for a holistic understanding that integrates evolutionary principles with contemporary realities.

Resources & Links

Learn more about about Heather Heying and her work.

Natural Selections, Heather Heying’s publication on Substack

There are Two and ONLY Two Sexes, Heather Heying’s presentation at Genspect’s Bigger Picture Conference - Denver, USA

Antipode, by

A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life, by

and Bret Weinstein

DarkHorse Podcast

Nature Is Risky. That’s Why Students Need It from Heather Heying in the New York Times.

The Torment and Tragedy of Teenage Girls: A LetterWiki exchange between Abigail Shrier and Heather Heying

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