Here’s why human sex is binary
Scientific American magazine made a bizarre claim to the contrary
Scientific American has a proud history as one of the world’s most distinguished magazines, predating Darwin’s On The Origin of Species and inspiring countless science enthusiasts over the centuries. What a shame, then, to see it recently fall down the rabbit hole of a pseudoscientific ideology claiming that there are more than two biological sexes, both in general and in humans specifically.
Let’s be clear: sex is binary. There are only two routes for a sexually reproducing individual’s genes to flow from one generation to the next: via either small gametes or large. There is no spectrum from sperm to egg. Individuals of any species who are shaped by evolution to reproduce via sperm are called males; those equipped to reproduce via the egg route are females.
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
Increasingly, however, it has become fashionable to argue that it’s all much more complicated than that. You fool — didn’t you know that clownfish can change sex? Did you know that a mole’s vagina seals shut outside the breeding season? Were you aware that one in 500 men has abnormal sex chromosomes?
These “gotchas” do not change the fact that there are only two types of gamete, or that humans produce at most one of them. A man is male by virtue of reproducing via sperm, irrespective of his chromosomes; the very fact that we are able to say that a clownfish has “changed sex” betrays the fact that we understand what makes the fish either one sex or the other.
In 2019, Scientific American released a graphic purporting to explain why a range of developmental conditions affecting people’s sexual organs are in fact proof that sex is a spectrum. No, we won’t elaborate what it means when we say one woman is “more female” than another. But look at all these criss-crossing arrows! Look at the colour-coding! It’s all very complicated, you see. This diagram is not intended to inform or explain: its purpose is to impress people into silence.
This week’s opinion piece in SciAm titled “Here’s Why Human Sex Is Not Binary”, written by anthropologist Agustín Fuentes, continues on this theme. Fuentes freely admits that there are only two kinds of gamete, but adds that “they are not the entirety of biology and don’t tell us all we need to know about sex, especially human sex”. But who ever said that sperm and eggs were “the entirety of biology”? And why would the fact that they aren’t mean that sex is not binary?
In his recent article “The marketplace of rationalizations“, philosopher Dan Williams argues that people want to believe not necessarily what is true but, instead, whatever aligns with their tribal allegiances and self-perception. Yet, often, we need to justify our beliefs to ourselves and others, which means there is a “marketplace” for arguments in favour of socially desirable positions. In this marketplace, Williams writes, “agents compete to produce justifications of widely desired beliefs in exchange for money and social rewards such as attention and status.”
Many people currently wish to believe, to put it crudely, that a man is a woman if he says he is; this belief is socially sanctioned, is endorsed by our institutions, and will often lead to peers seeing us as good, kind, right-thinking people. The fact that sex is observably a fixed, binary trait in humans is an impediment that would-be adherents must explain away, one way or another.
Fuentes and Scientific American are therefore filling a niche in the market that is created by trans ideology. I don’t believe Fuentes really thinks “human sex is not binary”, as his article states. He will be aware that he presumably, like the rest of us, has two biological parents, one of each sex; he will know that if he wants to reproduce, he will need to do so with an individual of the opposite sex to himself. But his ability to construct clever-sounding arguments obscuring this fact, backed up by his position of academic authority, is worth good money in the marketplace of rationalisations.
Is anthropology a science, in the sense of a physical science? No, It’s a social science, or something other than a physical science, since it relies on interpretation rather than provable hypotheses.
I don’t think we need take any more notice of Augustin Fuentes than that, whether he’s writing for Scientific American or Beano.
Very witty, indeed! Humour is so maligned by the propagandists, and yet it can be an effective tool of persuasion, too.
Manufacturing arguments to support an ideological position is propagandising. There is nothing scientific about it.
Indeed. There may be a nuanced argument about the status of Semenya the South African intersex athlete but that is not what trans ideology is about except to muddy the water. It is all about forcing public bodies and others to accept that a man must be treated as a woman simply because he says he is one and vice versa. Fundamentally it has nothing to do with biology or science.
I felt great sympathy for Semenya.
Quite right, but did you also feel any sympathy for the women athletes who ran against her and didn’t stand a chance?
The reason I felt sympathy for Semenya was that she was not deliberately cheating. I understand the women she competed against did feel cheated. I have no idea how she felt when she discovered she was actually a biological male having been raised as a girl but I imagine she was devastated. The Olympic committee made a mistake when they focused on testosterone levels opening the door for trans women. If she was disqualified for being a biological male then the issues around trans women in women’s sport would have been avoided.
All this mentally ill people should be given choice of sheers or two bricks to send them on painful but supposedly joyous journey to womanhood.
I tried to reply but:
“Awaiting for approval”
Is it even proper English?
All this people should be given choice of sheers or two bricks to send them on painful but supposedly joyous journey to womanhood.
Tried replying again but without success.
Na*s are great moderators
Thank you! Amazing how hard these days it can be to state the obvious!
“Dan Williams argues that people want to believe not necessarily what is true but, instead, whatever aligns with their tribal allegiances and self-perception.” So true –
Yes, that what Commies and Na*is wanted.
Terrible that now supposedly educated people in the West believe in woke and gender nonsense.
This is all so true, but it’s getting very tiresome re-iterating and reading about it…..but I suppose it has to be done.
It absolutely does have to be done, not least because even very young children are increasingly being taught not science, but a damaging, faith-based ideology as if it were science. If we do not address the emperor’s new clothes now, we are letting down that entire generation.
And now half the debate, which was briefly up this morning, has been removed again. If this really is about posts that get many downvotes being automatically retired for checking, that feature *really* ought to be removed. Downvotes in practice mean ‘I disagree‘, not ‘this is breaking the rules’. There is not much point in calling yourself Unherd and presenting widely varied viewpoints on controversial topics, if it is halfway impossible to add comments that the readership finds controversial.
I completely agree with you. I am with Voltaire: I may disagree with every word you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it (something like that, anyway).
Perhaps unherd should offer two options for downvoting, one meaning ‘I disagree’ and the other something more censorious. Then we’d be able to distinguish.
Come to think of it this whole up/down vote system is a throwback to the early days of social media (i.e. it’s more than a month old), it’s crude and should be reviewed as you suggest.
There is the option to “flag”. Perhaps the moderators are (to be generous) confused?
Flagging is used by some to silence. If a comment is flagged in the evening it will disappear until the next morning. Comments flagged on a Friday evening sometimes disappear until Monday morning. In the past, a great many of my comments were flagged: during the day the comments would keep disappearing and then reappearing. Eventually, after numerous emails to Unherd, this has stopped. Having been the recipient of many downvotes as well as upvotes, number of upvotes or downvotes goes up and down, I suggested to Unherd both upvotes and downvotes be recorded. I thought it would be interesting to see which were the most controversial comments – the hottest, but I received no response.
Yes, flagging is terrible and I never do it.
But I down vote and I explained why in my comment to someone else post.
So the discussion has now moved onto whether upvotes and downvotes are binary!
To be frank, I downvote when I strongly disagree with someone’s views and I explained why in the past, but I can not be bothered to do it again.
I get down votes as well, so what?
Problem I have is with disgusting, lefty moderation algorithm and/or people on here.
Go and work for BBC or Gurdian you useless muppetts…
I too assumed that “unherd” meant not a herd member, i.e., those who invite thumbs down. What am I missing? I have this question too: Heidegger said that the modern world separated itself from the ancient world by denying the existence of an extended physical universe. There are instead only impressions, images, pictures, phantasmagoria. This means no physical limitations on one’s freedom. We can change not only from a man to a woman, but from a human to a bug. Doesn’t the “trans” movement present to us the logic of modern science?
It is not only readership but woke algorithm running this site.
You can type Communism etc.
But try Na*ism or Fa**ism and it is “Awaiting for moderation” (is it even proper English?)
2 articles from Ellen in the same Unherd issue, both of which speak to different aspects of science being used like a drunk uses a lamp post – more for support than illumination. This has been a major problem in all sorts of science for quite a long time and is only getting worse. We see it in climate change, we saw it during the pandemic and we see it even more prominently in the “Social Justice” arena.
Good science relies on the acceptance that it won’t get it completely right and therefore should always be open to question. The issue here though is this really has nothing to do with biological science but is all to do with underpinning a dangerous dogma which leaves real women and children vulnerable. There are plenty of reasonable compromises which could be reached to the satisfaction of a wide swathe of the population which don’t rely on biological science to determine, just some common sense and reasonable discussion. Unfortunately both of those have been sadly lacking in the trans “debate”.
I terminated my long standing SciAm subscription a few years ago because it was becoming increasingly in thrall to various lobbies which have nothing to do with science.
If I want pseudo-scientific nonsense, I can see it for free on my laptop.
Many of the arguments the Left makes today remind me of the arguments creationists used to make on the right. Stupidity doesn’t take a side.
Wow! These comments have been heavily censored. Has Unherd been cowed by the transgender lobby?
Does the down vote signify no? Half the conversation has disappeared.
Anthropologists are widely considered a joke, and for good reason.
Since the Woke assault on institutions, the new Scientific American is neither scientific nor particularly American.
Isn’t this just the latest battleground in the endless war between the state and the family?
Well said. Thank you Ellen.
Adults get to customize their meatsuit as they see fit and are free to present as whatever sex they wish.
However, changing sex is impossible. Men remain men and women remain women regardless of how they choose to appear.
Sexual preferences vary and genetic abnormalities occur but don’t change the binary nature of sex.
There’s nothing wrong with the ScAm chart, just the way it’s being used.
Proclamations by magazines and institutions against ‘binary’ sex automatically make null, void and just plain stupid – not be paid attention to anymore. When the Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson proclaimed, she did know ‘what a woman was” – she went into the ‘stupid’ column.
It also seems clear to me that binary sexual reproduction is the most effective stable way of producing evolutionary biodiversity using dna. Give me science over ideology any day.
It is ironic that “science is real” is one of the mantras of the modern day progressive, yet they are actively working to make science an unscientific conduit for irrational ideology.
Urgh I can never get over how backwards we are getting with trying to be progressive about this topic- if you follow the link to the article, an argument they use is that producing ova or sperm doesn’t necessarily tell you about how good a person will be at childcare, their ‘home making inclinations’, their tendency to gossip….
I guess this sort of thing can’t be seen as sexist anymore as if you don’t like being spoken to in that way you shouldn’t self identify as as the sex you are, right?
In the attempt to draw attention away from physiology, all we’re doing is bringing back all the old sexist stereotypes we spent so long trying to get away from….
I tell you what- I’ve had an epiphany- my aversion to housework must mean I’m a man now!!!!
Your initial point is very well made – human reproduction involves sperm and egg, no ifs, no buts. Bravo!! However, to defend SciAm a little bit here, it is as if, like gender activists, they are talking about the way that someone’s particular sexuality is influenced biologically, which, therefore, affects someone’s attitudes to their self-perceived sexuality. Crucially, they are not talking about the primary function and purpose of sex (as you do) which is human reproduction – and not human entertainment!
By the way, it seems that the SciAm article came out in 2017, not 2019.
Bravo, Ellen! This makes good sense. Your steadfast clarity is timely in the present debate.
Ironically, however, there is non-binary element of this controversy. It crossed my mind as I was reading your presentation above.
To whit: the disagreements about “gender”. . . While sex is undeniably binary, the apparent panorama of gender “identities” in human society is evidence enough to concede that gender and sex are two entirely different classifications.
Sex is, as you argue so convincingly above, a function of biology. Gender, however, is a function of perception, a duality that establishes characteristics of male behaviour/appearance as masculine. . . and female behaviour/appearance. Individuals who choose to blend the two sexes within their own personhood do so to satisfy their own desires and manifest their own statement of identity in a wild and wacky world.
The gender panorama is not my cup of tea, and I think that is true for most men. But for the sake of harmony in humankind, we can tolerate the gender-blenders. Give them some space. No big deal. Life, liberty and the pursuit of whatever floats your boat.
So we can all get along in a free society, in Britain or in America, or wherever. Peace be unto them.
Yes to the principle. The question is how much space we are willing to give, and to whom. Not as much space as they would want to have, I am pretty sure, but that is the kind of thing that needs sorting out.
To be blunt, If everyone was able to decide their own gender and expect all others to bow to their wishes life would be tough. So I say have your thoughts on your gender but do not expect me to pander to to what you want, Gender as has been pointed out is just a thought, best you keep it to yourself.
This goes to the heart of the mistake made by the trans community. They should have stuck to the obvious multiplicity of genders, gender not being scientifically defined but socially. But that would have denied the possibility of a man becoming a woman, and that is what the trans zealots wanted, and what they offer to gender confused teens. this is a tragedy and i am inclined to blame cowardly politicians who should have made the law 100% clear on this sex/gender distinction.
Unfortunately some of the “gender benders” as you put it want the world to accept their sex has changed not their made up gender. This is problematic for equality between the sexes, and doubles dow nn on sexist stereotypes. Women cannot identify out of their oppression by pretending to be men or non binary; you cannot acquire male privilage, you are born with it. Men should not be allowed to access the rights ringfenced for the protection and advancement of women in society by simply announcing they are one. What is gender? What does it mean to be a woman or a man beyond your binary sex? In short: it is now a big deal when men can just say “I’m a woman”.
Male privilege? Yes, the privilege of doing the most dangerous jobs in society, and having a suicide rate three times that of women’s.
Things were much simpler when gender was just something German nouns had.
Unfortunately, the space a lot of them want is in the girls changing rooms.
Tolerate the idiots, yes, but not to the extent that this deranged hocus pocus is being taught as facts to kids in schools.
This article could do with a little more of the hard science that proves that sex is binary. The last paragraph – though or course correct in its conclusions – does read somewhat like a non-sequitur without more detail on the science.
No, the science is absolutely clear. What the article could do with is an acknowledgement that questions like who gets which pronouns or allowed in which dressing rooms or prisons are *not* directly linked to reproductive biology, and therefore in principle open to some flexibility – if we want that.
Yes I realise the science itself is unequivocal. The problem is that the article is too light on it. It needs more, specifically why the various claims supporting gender as a spectrum are nonsensical.
Which such claims are nonsensical. Gender is a spectrum, sex is not.
‘Gender’ is a linguistic concept. Sex is a biological one.
Gender isn’t really even a spectrum. As currently used, it seems to signify one’s feelings about one’s biological sex, as informed by social stereotypes and conventions about the proper norms for that sex. As such, it is really one facet of personality and group dynamics, and there are probably as many genders as individuals: possibly more. Trying to map it onto a spectrum – or even, by factor analysis, onto multiple spectra in many dimensions, seems hopeless.
What more do you need than it takes one large gamete and one small gamete to make another human and that those who typically produce large gametes differ phyiscally, with relative consitency, from those with small ones?
Indeed; the thing that makes it binary is that there are no medium-sized gametes. There is no spectrum or fluidity.
Semenya has undescended testes (small gametes), there fore “her” Geneotype is XY(male) but her Phenotype presents as female because she has no p***s or s*****m. However “she” has no ovaries (large gametes), no uterus or fallopian tubes or cervix. Also missing is the top half of a true vagina as all she has is a short vagina and a vulva which if the testes had developed properly would have produced the normal external male genitalia. If she did not have high levels od male hormone she should be treated as a woman.
A man is capable of producing small gametes and fertilising an egg unless there is a medical problem but can never produce eggs and become pregnant. Semenya was never capable of getting pregnant but due to medical problems could never reproduce.
I did not know any of that stuff and I am having double whiskey after reading your post.
To me key question is:
Is her condition giving Semenya unfair advantage in women sport?
If so, she should not be allowed to compete.
There is in many of us a yearning, myself included, for this to be as straight-forward as the Article states. Surely it’s as simple as men have an X and Y, Women 2 X chromosomes etc etc. Couldn’t be any clearer surely could it?
But then you read a bit more and it’s not always quiet so simple – There are several syndromes that create sex differentiation abnormalities. Females with only one X chromosome have Turner syndrome. Triple X syndrome occurs in females with an additional X chromosome. These are known as super females and tend to be similar to females with two X chromosomes. Men who are born with two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome have Klinefelter syndrome. These men apparently tend to be very feminine and can even have high-pitched voices. XYY syndrome occurs when men have an extra Y chromosome. These are known as super males and tend to produce much more testosterone than typical males.
One also suspects medical science and understanding of the Genome, and even more so the neuronal architecture in the Brain, still pretty basic. Who knows what we might come to understand in the future?
Just adds to the desire to continue to be sensitive, kind and where poss non-judgmental. And I’d add I’ve known a number of Trans people for number of decades. They live their lives decently, quietly and do not care for the minority at the extreme advocating more militant rights. Their many female friends would not want them to suddenly forced back into male changing rooms for example. We sometimes think all this stuff just recently started. It’s existed since time immemorial.
On the biological front it may not be quite straightforward, but it really is pretty clear – and the various syndromes you talk about are a side issue, IMHO. If you can get pregnant without medical help you are female, and if you can produce viable sperm, you are male. For those who can do neither, you measure all possible relevant parameters, chromosomes, hormone levels, sex organs, bone and brain structure, etc. etc. Plot the result on a very large 26-dimensional piece of paper (or use principal component analysis) and you will generally find that the individual is clearly much closer to either male of female. There will be a few individuals where it really is not clear which sex they mostly belong to but that does not invalidate the distinction between male and female – any more than the existence of the DUKW invalidates the distinction between cars and boats. None of this is going to change with improvements in genome science or medicine.
Socially it is much more flexible, and the definition of ‘woman’ is not a useful place to start – because it pushes you towards all-or-nothing answers. Who should be allowed women’s sports teams, prisons, pronouns, changing rooms, shortlists, refuges, or campaign organisations is something we are free to decide in each case, without being slaves to either biology or self-identification. Whether someone like Caster Semenya should be allowed in women’s elite competitions is an open question, but it should not depend on which definition of ‘woman’ you choose, and it does not have to be consistent with the pronouns you use for her or the prison you would send her to.
My favourite example is the word ‘mother’. Adoptive mothers count as mothers for most purposes, even if they have never given birth, and no one sees any problem with that. With a bit of pragmatism we might do something similar for the word ‘woman’.
The problem is who is to decide. The definition of an adoptive mother is clear-cut, as is the reproductive definition of sex.
Indeed – but that is always the case. Social norms are decided by society, generally by the dominant majority, but how else could it be?
The trans lobby have never been the majority but they have definitely dominated the discussions and silenced detractors by using threats and emotional blackmail. The definition of male and female was never a social norm, it was the recognition of a biological reproductive fact, one that has never been seriously questioned until now.
The definition of ‘male’ and female’ was never a social norm. But the rights, responsibilities, behavioural norms, dress, pronouns, speech codes etc. seen as appropriate to each *are* social norms. It makes no sense to say that men can get pregnant or women have penises. But there is nothing necessarily impossible in deciding that someone who is capable of being pregnant could be referred to as he, given (some of) the rights and responsibilities seen as appropriate to men instead of women, and generally be treated as a man in some parts of society. There are anthropological examples (e.g. Montenegrin herders) – even if they are rare.
If we stick to definitions we either have to say that you are whatever you say you are (as the trans lobby wants) which gives ridiculous results. Or we have to say that everything about the way you are treated in society is detemined by your genitals, which I think is unnecessarily rigid. It is an unfortunate fact that there are people who do not fit the whole package that normally goes together to make a woman, notably how they identify. Given that fact we can consider whether some of those people can be allowed to opt for the role that does not match their biology, not across the board but in some clearly defined contexts, and what conditions we want to put on that acceptance. Then instead of hammering each other with “Trans women are women!” “No, it is all biology!”, we can look at individual questions and see what accommodations we are – and are not – willing to make to make things easier for some people.
I have my own limits. Competitive sports and prisons should go by biology, and self-ID is out, since the barrier to changing over must be high enough to keep out the troublemakers. Also I would give no ground to those claiming to be non-binary – it is one thing to ask to adopt an existing role that you are not seen as suitable for, but another to demand that everybody else invent a completely new social role just so so they can adapt to your unique personality.
The trans lobby is indeed trying to bully all of us into accpeting a totally weird world to suit their own peculiar attitudes. We should fight that, but I’d say it would be nicer (and maybe more likely to win) to consider some kind of accommodation rather than insists of total victory – or defeat.
You sound like you are living in Victorian England. I think women have proved they can take on the roles which were traditionally assigned to/ occupied by men. It was a necessity during WWII demonstrating that in the vast majority of occupations biological sex is not a limitation.
That is pretty far from what I actually meant. If we are to talk about this, we have to find some kind of word to use. I’d say it was an observational fact that we have different expectations, stereotypes, rules for of interacting, tolerance for behaviours etc. for men and women. That is how we know how to behave towards others, and what to expect from them. The rules have changed a lot over the centuries, but we still deal differently with people depending on their sex – at least on this planet. Do you deny that? I call those differences a ‘social role’. What should I say instead?
If social norms are decided by society how does cancel-culture fit into this picture? Social Norms are created by those who shout the loudest. Look at modern politics and the sickening reality of the prolific populist nihilist policies in so many countries. Nepotism and self interest abound in the Senate, in the Halls of Westminster et al, not the common good.
So what do we do about the word ‘man’?
Ideally I would roll it back to 50 years ago, where no one complained about sentences like “Man does not live by bread alone” – but that is probably not what you are asking 😉
There is no need to do anything about the word ‘man’ (or ‘woman’ for that matter), beyond accepting that exactly who is covered depends a little on context. Is there a need to make particular accommodations for trans men? Prisons ought to go by sex, I suppose, and for dressing rooms you would want to limit it to people who had made some permanent commitment and keep the sightseers out. But in general, if someone is willing to behave and fit in as a man I’d be happy to go along. And I have met definitely cis butch lesbians who would certainly qualify.
I personally have never had a problem with the word man being a general term for a member, and a derivative, of the word humanity. I thought it was ridiculous when Haringey council wanted to call manholes personholes but I guess they were paving the way for the transgender lobby.
I suspect that’s an urban myth.
Derek Hutton, former Deputy Leader of Liverpool Council (and a leading fig- ure in the Trotskyist Militant Tendency), ‘the London Left are more concerned about black mayors and gay rights than about building homes’ and ‘more con- cerned that we called … a manhole cover a personhole cover, than they ever were about real issues’.
Not my words
‘the definition of ‘woman’ is not a useful place to start – because it pushes you towards all-or-nothing answers.’
An all-or-nothing answer is infinitely more useful than an everybody-gets-to-choose-their-own-truth answer.
Hmmmm – did you use the word “abnormalities” there? Isn’t that the whole point?! What’s “normal” versus “abnormal”? And for the most part what’s normal is capable of reproductive success and what’s abnormal tends to be nature’s ‘mistakes’. The objective of this whole gender movement is to pretend that there’s no such thing as “abnormal” because they think there’s a stigma to it. But its just a word – and the meaning is clear and fits, whatever “stigmas” people get worked up about. These “not so simple” situations are abnormal. Sympathize all you want, pat yourself on the back for your compassion if it makes you feel good about yourself, but you don’t get to change the language: they’re still “abnormal” within the plain meaning of the word.
Yes, but the recent thing is the jumping on the bandwagon. I have no way of confirming my figures but I would guess that for every ‘genuine’ case there are 50 band-wagon-jumpers who just want attention. Or criminals who want to be treated in a better way.
Unfortunately, the new ‘gang’ have taken over and there is no longer any common sense around.
Unless you can describe how the outside world can tell the difference between a ‘genuine case’ and someone ‘jumping on the bandwagon’, to all intents and purposes there is no difference.
Even if you cannot prove it, you still make a distinction between people who are mentally ill and people who pretend to be mentally ill. Or between rapists and people who are falsely accused.
But there’s no women who have a Y chromosome, and no men without a Y chromosome. Whatever other combinations they may have, sex is still binary simply by virtue of whether or not you have a Y chromosome
You are right that sex is unquestionably binary – there are no medium-sized human gametes – but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. It is really the presence, not of a Y chromosome but of a functional SRY gene which induces the embryological processes leading to maleness, and while this gene is nearly always found on the Y chromosome, sometimes (de la Chapelle syndrome) it is found on an X. The resulting XX individual is developmentally male but infertile. On the other hand XY individuals in whom the SRY gene is blocked for whatever reason develop as females.
See eg the highly informative Paradox Institute materials (videos and transcripts) on this and related topics.
Just adds to the desire to continue to be sensitive, kind and where poss non-judgmental.
It ishould be possible for one to be ‘sensitive, kind and … non-judgmental’, but not in preference to or at the expense of engaging one’s critical faculties.
J Watson has correctly summarized what has been taught in Human Genetics for decades. However, the situation has changed in the social sphere since trans activists are trying to overthrow the norms and traditions of providing safe women-only spaces and activities. Allowing wannabe women into these spaces is asking for trouble with a small but significant number of perverts/rapists, as we have seen in various prisons.
‘Changes in the social sphere’ affect genetics in the same way that closing your eyes means that other people can no longer see you.
I was reading a few minutes ago of two paedophiles in a US women’s prison who are men identifying as women. These men were convicted of violently raping, abusing, assaulting and filming one of these men’s 7 year old daughter. There are 30 transgender people in this one prison, so not a small number. The article throughout refers to she and her. I had no problem previously with considered transgender people. I cannot support the lunacy that has developed now.
Would you argue that because people are born with limb differences that humans are not bipedal?
I would also like to implore your trans friends to start caring about the militants because they will destroy genuine trans people’s rights while trying to colonise womanhood entirely.
You make an interesting point.
But let us examine the difference between practical and absolute reality.
Practically speaking, we are a binary species; we are male or we are female. And — as the author notes, that distinction is matched by an equivalent gamete distinction between sperm and egg. Those are the only two possibilities and it will be only the combination of those two possibilities which creates new life.
Genetically, anatomically, physiologically, neurologically, bio-chemically those same binary distinctions are regularly & consistently expressed and understood as the difference-makers between male & female. But — in an absolute sense — we will also find (as you note) any number of variations & exceptions scattered throughout any large population which can, speaking absolutely, ‘obscure’ the practical truth that we are and will always remain a binary/male-female species. We understand at the intellectual level, that there is such genetic/biological variation (the aberrations to the rule) …but at the practical reality level there are still only men & women. XYY men are still men; triple X women are still women.
What we here describe, in other words, is the difference between what a Geneticist or Biologist might detail in their academic investigation of human sexuality as that sexuality is reflected in the cellular and sub-cellular level ….and what the other 7B of us would recognize as we each live our lives within the world. In that practical world, which is always built around consistent realities, and common understandings, there are only men and women….each with their own recognizably unique anatomy, physiology, etc. The fact that there are aberrational differences which can and do exist within each being does not change the equivalent fact that we only see, recognize, and understand, grossly, male & female.
So let us speculate that we discover, within the next 500 years, that the neuronal architecture within the brain can be so extraordinarily examined and analyzed as to reveal not just your standard, run-of-the-mill male but 1000 neuronal variations on male which can be tracked (as in I am a Male Type 205) …and an additional 1000 variations for female. And that these 2000 variations become a spectrum stretching between the male & female poles. So what? We still remain, male or female and our species life continues to depend, absolutely, upon sperm & egg.
You speak, quite reasonably of being sensitive, kind, and non-judgmental. Who would disagree? But equally we would require of every micro-minority (of any and every type) within the general population, that they too behave with an equivalent sensitivity, & kindness…and that they withhold judgment, recognizing that ‘there, but for the grace of God, go I’.
What this means in a practical sense is that all of us micro-minorities (and everyone’s a member of one m-minority or another) must recognize that the world is designed, appropriately so, to fit the mass-majorities and the Big Numbers. This means countertops sit at a 36″ standard….office chairs are built to hold up to 250 lbs….glasses are made with two lenses and two temples…stair risers are 7″ tall, and men, whose only pronouns are he, his & him, are required to use male rest rooms.
If we, all of us, seek to be sensitive, kind & non-judgmental then only the spoiled adolescent will require ‘special’ treatment, special pronouns, special restrooms, and special access to sports that their sex would otherwise prohibit.
Join the discussion
To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.
Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.Subscribe