Nonbinary Systems: Looking Towards the Future of Gender Equity in Planetary Science


Gender equity remains a major issue facing the field of planetary science, and there is broad interest in addressing gender disparities within space science and related disciplines. Many studies of these topics have been performed by professional planetary scientists who are relatively unfamiliar with research in fields such as gender studies and sociology. As a result, they adopt a normative view of gender as a binary choice of ‘male’ or ‘female,’ leaving planetary scientists whose genders do not fit within that model out of such research entirely. Reductive frameworks of gender and an overemphasis on quantification as an indicator of gendered phenomena are harmful to people of marginalized genders, especially those who live at the intersections of multiple axes of marginalization such as race, disability, and socioeconomic status. In order for the planetary science community to best serve its marginalized members as we move into the next decade, a new paradigm must be established. This paper aims to address the future of gender equity in planetary science by recommending better survey practices and institutional policies based on a more profound approach to gender.

Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032
Evan L. Sneed
Evan L. Sneed
he/him or they/them

Human searching for life far from home & improving habitability on Earth