Letter to the Editor: School of Social Work Faculty’s response to Professor Yenor

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Guest opinion courtesy of Boise State’s faculty of the School of Social Work. 

Social Workers challenge social injustice.
Social Workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person.

These ethical principles from the preamble to the Code of Ethics of the National
Association of Social Workers (NASW) guide the faculty of the School of Social Work
in their rejection of the opinions of Professor Scott Yenor as published in “Sex,
Gender, and the Origin of the Culture Wars: An Intellectual History.”

The faculty of the School of Social Work fully support the right to free speech,
including those of Professor Yenor, with whom we strongly disagree. It is the
consequences of his speech that are of great concern.

In the words of Voltaire, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Photo courtesy of Randy Magen.

We believe Professor Yenor’s words are an attack on the beliefs and identity of many
students, faculty and staff at Boise State University, as well as people in our community.

In this instance, Professor Yenor’s free speech rights clash with the values of our
social work profession, in addition to Boise State University’s expressed shared values of
caring and respect.

Where Professor Yenor idealizes a world with, “male supremacy and traditional
socialization toward gender scripts… the proprietary family and the dependence of
women and children on the family,” we see intimate partner violence, sexual assault,
oppression, rejection and hatred.

The faculty of the School of Social Work promote human rights and acceptance. We
affirm our support of people who hold feminist beliefs; the right of people to be
cisgender, transgender, or gender fluid; and the rights of people regardless of their
sexual orientation or gender identify.


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