Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Susan Castagnetto

Reader 2

Rima Basu

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Rights Information

2019 Karina M. Bucciarelli


This thesis explores what to have distorted scientific knowledge claims due to socially constructed conceptions of gender. Using the paradigm example of the explanation of human fertilization misrepresenting knowledge as it maps on stereotypes about the passive female and the active male onto the scientific participation of the egg and the sperm. Exploring arguments presented by feminist epistemologists, I argue that in order to produce knowledge free of distortions due to problematic social conceptions we must engage in a specific epistemological framework with three main components: 1) critically and systematically examine the subject of knowledge in relation to the object of knowledge, 2) make efforts to diversify inquirers as the perspectives of marginalized identities are important to informing where dominant narratives are failing to be objective and 3) actively acknowledge the role that values play in inquiry and promote feminist values. The framework presented is specifically applicable to knowledge distortions present in scientific inquiry but, importantly, can also inform individual epistemic relationship.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.