Katie Couric dives into the ever-evolving topic of gender in the upcoming National Geographic documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey With Katie Couric. “The personal stories are what makes this documentary,” she said, adding that the docu explores not only individuals but also the science behind gender identity. “I like to talk to people and convey their stories…it’s a story of personal journey and the science…. I don’t think we ever truly get to know the individuals that are really having an impact on public policy.”
One critic brought up a previous interview where Couric was criticized for being insensitive towards transgender issues, which she took full ownership for. “I asked an inappropriate question on my talk show in an effort to educate the public about trans individuals, she stated. Despite the fact that the interview was pre-recorded and the contents could have been omitted for air, Couric instead “tried to use it as a teachable moment and show people there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to have these conversations.”
She added, “I had a lot to learn and still am not the world’s expert on gender issues. I certainly know a lot more having done this documentary. It is constantly evolving… we’re learning about what defines us and how we identify ourselves and factors go into that.” She continued, “I think that we can’t be afraid to make mistakes on our journey to understand more.”
Speaking on learning more about the topic as a society, endocrinologist Joshua Ford spoke on the changing attitudes in the medical field. “Gender identity being a biological phenomena, is becoming well recognized in a conventional medical community and that is important for parents to recognize, so they are actually listening to their children.” When it comes to gender identity, “there is not reversible medical intervention.”
He later added, “the medical community, like the rest of society, was very binary up until recently in terms of the thought process and also gender identity was thought to be malleable… recognizing gender identity is biological shifted the paradigm substantially. Its still a problem. Medial community is slow to change.” However, “more physicians are trying to be thoughtful and get out of the framework but we’re still needing to rewrite that framework.”
A two-hour special of Gender Revolution will premiere February 6 on National Geographic followed by a Facebook live town hall meeting hosted by Couric to continue on the conversation.