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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » Two sexes or ? Gender as a non-binary concept Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
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miamizsun

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3283.1 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 23, 2018 - 4:13am

i knew it

since the second grade i've always thought that i was way ahead of my time

during recess, i was discussing the undiscussable with some chums on the playground

i used the term front hole in 67
In this guide, whenever we use the medical term “vagina,” we’ll also include “front hole” as clinically recommended by researchers in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth journal.



R_P

R_P Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 25, 2018 - 8:07pm

 Steely_D wrote:
I keep falling back on two things:

genotype and phenotype

Ignoring unusual situations like XXY, because I'm sure that's not what this is about, there are only two answers - XY and XX. We're done.

Then, there's the topic of expression, interpretation of the body chemistry. Based around ideas like hormonal creation (more/less testosterone/progesterone/etc). There are about 3.56 kajillion ways that we can see that expressed, and then there's the nurture part of how those nature chemistries are presented.

So, teasing this out, I only believe that there is XX and XY.
But I acknowledge the spectrum of how people want to/have to behave based on the other chemistries that the other genes code for, and their life experiences.
This is the genotype-phenotype distinction.
 
That's addressed in the Sapolsky article as well. Sure, ultimately the genotype determines almost everything, but it's a long journey to an expressed phenotype...

The sine qua non of human sex designation in humans is chromosomal—all your cells either have two X chromosomes, making you female, or one X and one Y, making you male. End of story. But no: Instead, there’s various chromosomal disorders where individuals can be XYY, XXY, XXX, X, or XXYY. Most result in infertility; some, like Turner syndrome (in which there is solely an X) produce neurological, metabolic, endocrine, and cardiovascular abnormalities.

Much more interesting than these rare disorders is the recent finding that adult men typically have some XX (i.e., female) stem cells scattered throughout the body, which have differentiated into mature cells, including neurons. Meanwhile, women who have given birth to a son have a similar scattering of XY stem cells. Remarkably, during pregnancy, some maternal stem cells become incorporated into the fetus, some fetal stem cells into the mother. Thus, many of us are sex-chromosome mosaics (with, at present, unknown consequences).

Once sex chromosomes are determined, everything else about gender designation follows suit: XX versus XY determines whether you wind up with ovaries or testes. That determines whether it’s predominantly estrogen and progesterone, or testosterone in your bloodstream. The hormones you’re marinated in then determines which type of genitals you form as a fetus, as well as secondary sexual characteristics ranging from the chemical composition of your sweat to the workings of your brain. Chromosomal, gonadal, endocrine, genital, and phenotypic sex go hand in hand.

Except they don’t, as it turns out—there are numerous disorders where someone might be male in some of those ways, but female in others.

To begin with, chromosomal sex and gonadal/anatomical sex can disagree. In a syndrome called 46,XY DSD, people have normal male sex chromosomes, testes—genitals that are usually classified as male—plus a womb and Fallopian tubes. In ovotesticular disorder, the person has the sex chromosomes of one sex, but both ovarian and testicular tissue, producing ambiguous genitals. (...)

Hormones affect target cells by interacting with specific receptors (estrogen receptors bind estrogen, insulin receptors bind insulin). Another type of dissociation at the hormone level is seen with “testicular feminization syndrome,” where there is a mutation that inactivates the androgen receptor, which normally binds testosterone and DHT. Normal XY, normal testes, normal levels of the two hormones, but the hormones have no effects, producing a phenotype that ranges from ambiguous to female. In the latter case, the disorder is usually discovered around puberty, when the girl fails to start menstruating. She fails to start because, as it turns out, there’s no ovaries or uterus, the vagina dead ends, and way up in the stomach are testes pouring out androgens.

Thus there’s numerous ways where chromosomal sex and phenotypic sex differ, accounting for 1 percent of births. This is not rare—pick a human at random and the odds are greater that they were born with ambiguous intersex genitals than they have an IQ greater than 140.

Perhaps the most interesting dissociation occurs one step further down the line. This is where the person has the chromosomes, gonads, hormones, genitals, and secondary sexual characteristics—hair, voice, musculature, facial structure, the works—of one sex. But has always felt like the other. (...)
What is not discussed, is possible epigenetic effects (i.e. environmental or heritable effects active during gene expression). But they might exist as well and complicate the picture even further.

PS: The main point of referring to complex biology was to show that it is not some arbitrary "state of mind", like today I feel like eating spaghetti.
Steely_D

Steely_D Avatar

Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 25, 2018 - 7:26pm

 R_P wrote:

My takeaway is that pretty much everything is based on genetic diversity. There aren't only "pure" white and "pure" black people, but instead there are many shades driven by genetic diversity. It would stand to reason that some of that goes on with gender as well.

 
I keep falling back on two things:

genotype and phenotype

Ignoring unusual situations like XXY, because I'm sure that's not what this is about, there are only two answers - XY and XX. We're done.

Then, there's the topic of expression, interpretation of the body chemistry. Based around ideas like hormonal creation (more/less testosterone/progesterone/etc). There are about 3.56 kajillion ways that we can see that expressed, and then there's the nurture part of how those nature chemistries are presented.

So, teasing this out, I only believe that there is XX and XY.
But I acknowledge the spectrum of how people want to/have to behave based on the other chemistries that the other genes code for, and their life experiences.
This is the genotype-phenotype distinction.

ScottFromWyoming

ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 25, 2018 - 10:00am

 kurtster wrote:

Just wanted to acknowledge your thoughtful response.  It did not go unread.  We are definitely in the middle of a paradigm shift.



 
Yes, thanks for bumping it. I did miss it the first time around.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 25, 2018 - 9:48am

 ziggytrix wrote:

As language evolves meanings change. Why do we have two words: gender AND sex?

My understanding is that "sex" has a scientific connotation. It refers to genotype and phenotype - the reproductive role. Male or female (from Latin roots).

While "gender" is undergoing a semantic shift to a more social connotation. It refers to social function - homemaker or breadwinner (or some other status). Man or woman (from Old English roots) but increasingly other, newer categories.

Not to say this is universally accepted, in fact, far from it. I believe most people still use male and female to describe gender, and therein lies this issue, IMO. We aren't all speaking the same language.

It is quite common in English for two words to have similar but not identical meanings, and even more common for people to disagree on exactly what words mean (often citing whichever dictionary or reference favors their argument).

Some people believe sex and gender are 100% synonymous, some do not. However, language does not respect the opinion of the minority. As times change it really doesn't matter if thousands of years a word meant something, once the paradigm shifts, it means what the consensus (and yes, this need only be a local consensus) understands it to mean. So it goes.

I'm curious about your response to Lazy8's post, tho. I didn't see the words "get over it" in there at all, but in your response you repeat the phase twice as though you were issued it as a command. Why is this? You were asked a reasonable question IMO. If someone who has nothing whatsoever to do with you identifies with a gender that does not match their biology, how are you affected? And how much does that affect weigh on you compared to the affect on them? How, really, does it matter?

 
Just wanted to acknowledge your thoughtful response.  It did not go unread.  We are definitely in the middle of a paradigm shift.


meower

meower Avatar

Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe
Gender: Female


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 11:49am

 R_P wrote:

My takeaway is that pretty much everything is based on genetic diversity. There aren't only "pure" white and "pure" black people, but instead there are many shades driven by genetic diversity. It would stand to reason that some of that goes on with gender as well.

 
Makes sense to me and, i can think of lots of examples of the shading of gender in the general population.



EDIT: R_P, your comment was really helpful. I'll be reflecting on it


R_P

R_P Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 11:47am

 meower wrote:
exactly. our understanding of the interaction of symptoms is also in it's infancy.
 
My takeaway is that pretty much everything is based on genetic diversity. There aren't only "pure" white and "pure" black people, but instead there are many shades driven by genetic diversity. It would stand to reason that some of that goes on with gender as well.
meower

meower Avatar

Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe
Gender: Female


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 11:34am

 R_P wrote:

It isn't just the brain that is involved. In other cases than transgender, there are other indicators. Robert Sapolsky repeats the brain statistics, but points out they are but one indicator for one particular case, after he has discussed a bunch of other different cases that rely on chromosomes, or genetic diversity:

(...) This is the transgendered world, and some intriguing science hints at its neurobiological bases. There are a number of places in the human brain that are “sexually

 
exactly. our understanding of the interaction of symptoms is also in it's infancy.


R_P

R_P Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 11:19am

 meower wrote:

while it's nice to find a biological basis to any presenting problem, I think that we have to be really careful about drawing too many conclusions at this point other than that "there appears to be a biological basis to this."

Our knowledge/understanding of the brain is in it's infancy.

 
It isn't just the brain that is involved. In other cases than transgender, there are other indicators. Robert Sapolsky repeats the brain statistics, but points out they are but one indicator for one particular case, after he has discussed a bunch of other different cases that rely on chromosomes, or genetic diversity:

(...) This is the transgendered world, and some intriguing science hints at its neurobiological bases. There are a number of places in the human brain that are “sexually dimorphic” (where the size, structure, function, and/or chemical makeup of the area differ by sex). The differences aren’t big enough so that you could identify someone’s sex just by knowing the size of one of those regions. However, there are statistical differences between populations of men and women, differences with likely functional consequences.

So you have someone who by every measure discussed, from sex chromosomes to phenotype, is Sex A, but who insists that they have always felt like they are Sex B. What’s up in the sexually dimorphic brain regions? A number of studies report the brain bears a close resemblance to Sex B. And this shouldn’t seem surprising—we are determined by our brains, we are our brains, regardless of our pattern of facial hair, the thickness of our larynx, or what the landscape is like between our legs.

In other words, it’s not that transgendered individuals think they are a different gender than they actually are. It’s that they’ve had the profoundly crappy luck to be stuck with bodies that are a different gender from who they actually are.

Slowly, a word becomes pertinent—“continuum.” Gender in humans is on a continuum, coming in scads of variants, where genes, organs, hormones, external appearance, and psychosexual identification can vary independently, and where many people have categories of gender identification going on in their heads (and brains) that bear no resemblance to yours. All with a frequency that, while rare, are no rarer than various human traits we label as “normal.” (...)
One such case, as driven by hormones:
Then there’s cases where a disconnect occurs at the level of hormones. One well-studied example concerns the fact that testosterone exerts some of its effects in target cells by being converted to a related hormone, DHT (dihydrotestosterone)—unless you have a mutation that inactivates the enzyme that does that conversion. This occurs in “5-alpha-reductase deficiency”; the individual is XY, has testes and normal levels of testosterone, but the person’s phenotype—their external appearance—can range from male to ambiguous to female. For those with a predominantly female phenotype at birth, there’s typically masculinization at puberty (the long-hidden testes descend, the clitoris enlarges, voice deepens). Clusters of cases of this disorder have been identified in some inbred, isolated populations (for example, in the mountains of the Dominican Republic) where, remarkably, there’s been a fair degree of cultural accommodation—“Honey, this is called puberty. Sometimes you get acne. Sometimes your clitoris becomes a penis. Whatever.”

meower

meower Avatar

Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe
Gender: Female


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 10:56am

while it's nice to find a biological basis to any presenting problem, I think that we have to be really careful about drawing too many conclusions at this point other than that "there appears to be a biological basis to this."

Our knowledge/understanding of the brain is in it's infancy.


meower

meower Avatar

Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe
Gender: Female


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 10:56am

while it's nice to find a biological basis to any presenting problem, I think that we have to be really careful about drawing too many conclusions at this point other than that "there appears to be a biological basis to this."

Our knowledge/understanding of the brain is in it's infancy.


sirdroseph

sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Not here, I tell you wat
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 8:39am

 miamizsun wrote:

a question or two that might come up

what if someone bases gender and or sexual identity simply on personal preference ?

can gender identity change? if so how often? (i used to identify as x, but now i identify as y)

can a human hold more than one identity and who decides this? (i used to identify as x, but now i identify as x and y)

regards
 




From what I gathered is that they are on a track to definitely answer this by brain scans. If this technology and ability pans out, could they not just do the brain scan to determine if someone truly has the condition or is just using the condition for their own personal reasons; virtue signaling, manifestations of abuse and so on or worse parents using their children as political pawns? It would seem to me that if one truly has the brain configuration of dysphoria, if the brain does not change then why should their identity?
miamizsun

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3283.1 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 8:29am

 R_P wrote:

What if the state of mind has a biological source?

 
a question or two that might come up

what if someone bases gender and or sexual identity simply on personal preference ?

can gender identity change? if so how often? (i used to identify as x, but now i identify as y)

can a human hold more than one identity and who decides this? (i used to identify as x, but now i identify as x and y)

regards

meower

meower Avatar

Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe
Gender: Female


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 6:53am

 R_P wrote:

What if the state of mind has a biological source?

 
this is a really good article.


islander

islander Avatar

Location: West coast somewhere
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 6:10am

 kurtster wrote:

I did and do read what you write.  

I already said that I accepted it as a reality.

I did state that I did not jump in here until I saw that the government jumped in and declared it a protected class.

That means rules and regulations will be forthcoming.  That is why it concerns me.  And the basis for asking the questions I posed.

Whenever the government intervenes in a new venue, we all should be concerned, imho.

And I still say that this is just as revolutionary as accepting that the sun does not rotate around the earth in terms of overall social implications.  If nothing else it scientifically challenges religious precepts.  As did the 'discovery' about the relationship between the sun and earth some 400 years ago.

 
Maybe religious precepts aren't the best basis for governing a large and diverse society.

Also, it's government's job to ensure that all its citizens have access to its services. Declaring a protected class is usually done because one part of society is unjustly treating another part. 
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 5:26am

 Lazy8 wrote:
kurtster wrote:
It was the what's it to you?  part.  The way he finished it came off as pure dismissive contempt at me based upon prior discussions on other topics with Lazy.  Totally unnecessary.  He made his point very nicely, up until that.

And this should also answer the question immediately below regarding where I came up with the thought about get over it came from.  Again, it was the what's it to you?

Maybe a bit terse, but I was trying to get the point across with few enough words to get them read. Go back to my central thesis about the irrelevance of gender.

This seems to matter a great deal to you. It shouldn't. It's irrelevant.

And yes, you should get over it, but I mean that in the most sympathetic way possible—from someone who had to get over it himself.

 
I did and do read what you write.  

I already said that I accepted it as a reality.

I did state that I did not jump in here until I saw that the government jumped in and declared it a protected class.

That means rules and regulations will be forthcoming.  That is why it concerns me.  And the basis for asking the questions I posed.

Whenever the government intervenes in a new venue, we all should be concerned, imho.

And I still say that this is just as revolutionary as accepting that the sun does not rotate around the earth in terms of overall social implications.  If nothing else it scientifically challenges religious precepts.  As did the 'discovery' about the relationship between the sun and earth some 400 years ago.


sirdroseph

sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Not here, I tell you wat
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 24, 2018 - 2:30am

 R_P wrote:

What if the state of mind has a biological source?

 
Thank you, this is what I was looking for.  I get it now. We have to look at it as any other brain issue and do the best we can to help them through it.
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 23, 2018 - 9:06pm

kurtster wrote:
It was the what's it to you?  part.  The way he finished it came off as pure dismissive contempt at me based upon prior discussions on other topics with Lazy.  Totally unnecessary.  He made his point very nicely, up until that.

And this should also answer the question immediately below regarding where I came up with the thought about get over it came from.  Again, it was the what's it to you?

Maybe a bit terse, but I was trying to get the point across with few enough words to get them read. Go back to my central thesis about the irrelevance of gender.

This seems to matter a great deal to you. It shouldn't. It's irrelevant.

And yes, you should get over it, but I mean that in the most sympathetic way possible—from someone who had to get over it himself.
FourFortyEight

FourFortyEight Avatar

Location: The Dirty South
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 23, 2018 - 5:28pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
sirdroseph wrote:
It is?? I guess I just don't get where you are coming from. I don't want anything from our government regarding this issue, I agree that government should have nothing to do with this. I am just struggling to understand the gender aspect because I instantly and intrinsically understand all other aspects of sexuality because I have sexuality myself and we humans are all the same, but I do not have a gender, I am a gender and cannot comprehend the difference and guess I never will in regards to all of those that apparently do have the ability to feel gender.

The context I'm talking about.

We've also just lived thru a wave of bathroom bills and the like.

What you're describing is that you are male and feel male, and have never questioned that. Now imagine you looked down in the shower and your body didn't match that identity. That's gender dysphoria, the feeling of body not matching identity.

In your case it would stem from a change (an imaginary one), but most trans people don't have that. Most have felt that way as long as they've been thinking about their gender.

Yeah, for most of us it's hard to imagine, but for those who face that every day it is probably the central conflict of their lives. There are a number of memoirs of people who've lived this; one you might connect with is Deidre McClosky's Crossing: a Memoir.

If it's any comfort you aren't the first person to struggle with understanding this. If you approach it with empathy you can see past your own experience and get some insight. Trans people aren't the punchline of a joke to me, but that wasn't always the case.

 
I don't mean to use such a cheesy movie as a quick reference to perspective (sorry if that even offends - I know.  I liked 'em too), but referring to your context, the "Starship Troopers" flicks take a straight forward aim at gender-equality.  I'd bet trans-gender equality could flourish as well. If the military operated by this, the problem wouldn't exist.  Of course, it could very well introduce a slew of new problems.  What's the answer?  

*Disclaimer*

I intentionally put no heavy duty thought into this response and if it's anyone's concern, I'm going to find that bag of Doritos I just remembered I have in the pantry.


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 23, 2018 - 5:16pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

This is interesting. I found Lazy's post to be thoughtful and thought-provoking, and it challenged me a bit.

I did not find it dishonest or impolite.

But you got your back up over it.

We are clearly primitive animals, if we're presented with perfectly reasonable arguments that challenge our worldview and our response is hostility. I'm not judging; I have the same reaction sometimes, and those facebook memes that try to scare us away from this behavior or that rely on our response to be irrational.

 
Nor did I.

It was the what's it to you?  part.  The way he finished it came off as pure dismissive contempt at me based upon prior discussions on other topics with Lazy.  Totally unnecessary.  He made his point very nicely, up until that.

And this should also answer the question immediately below regarding where I came up with the thought about get over it came from.  Again, it was the what's it to you?


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