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Tags gender differences , transgender

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Old 20th May 2007, 11:20 PM   #1
DRBUZZ0
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BOYS AND GIRLS ARE DIFFERENT (I can't believe I need to explain this)

Well, I'm quite surprised to find out that there are many out there who find it politically incorrect to consider sex binary. Your gender being male or female is apparently very narrow minded.

Now, there are some out there who are born into a gender which they do not feel comfortable with and simply cannot feel ok about themselves without sexual reassignment. This is tragic and I cannot imagine the difficulties such a person would face.

However, lets bare something in mind: Wanting to be another gender does not make you that gender. Having a psycological condition of the other gender does not make you that gender. You are what you are. You are male of female. It is as simple and binary as that (ALMOST all the time). And most trans-gender individuals do actually have a very clear physical and genetic gender.

Now consider that there are now sex reassignment surgury. These do not turn you into the other gender, however. At best, they can simulate the physical characteristics thereof.

For example. Lets assume a male has sexual reassignment surgury and hormone therapy:

- The genitals are altered to appear female, however they do not have the same glands or cellular structure. Orgasm is often possible, but sensations can be lost.

-The individual will not be able to reproduce and lacks all internal female structures.

- They cannot produce hormones and must be constantly monitored and managed through injections.

-Bone/pelvic structure, wider frame, thicker bones, muscle distribution, tendency to be taller are not altered at all. Other indicators, like a thick back scull plate also are not changed.

- The voice usually remains deep. Voice coaching can help simulate a female voice.

- Body hair distribution can be altered by laser or electrolysis, but the larger folicals and more course hairs remain. The skin continues to have a male-like distribution of sweat glands and other characteristics.

- Facial features can be altered with plastic surgery, but the underlying bone is usally not dramatically changed.



Thus, this does not make the individual a female. It only approximates the look of one. I'm not putting anyone down or passing a moral judgment here. I wish that such individuals could be offered a way of becoming an actual female or male. They can't. It's just not possible. At best, if it could be done before puberty, most of the male traits would be less pronounced.

The individual above is technically a sexually dysfunctional male or a eunich. They are not female in any biological sense of the word. None. They could be called a "he" or an "it." this may have bad cultural implications, but technically that would be a correct use of the word "it" to describe a form of life which does not have clear sexual structures or traits and does not have the ability to reproduce. Although, since this was by artificial means, the individual could still be considered a male.


I'd probably call them female, but that would not make them so. I'd do so to not hurt their feelings and be nice. But point of fact, that is not biologically accurate.

You could say that they are "culturally female" or "psychologically female"


Again. I'm not passing judgment or saying they "Shouldnt be female." It's just that it cannot be done.

I am a white male human with medium-light complection I cannot change this. I can't be an Asian. I cannot be a dolphin or a horse.

It's not good to say that because people like to not have their type defined or think its somehow old fashioned or narrow-minded to think there are two genders.

It's not philosophical. It's fact.


Genetic Gender

XY – Genetic Male
XX – Genetic Female

It is that simple 99.9+% of the time. On occasion it may be more complicated:

XXX – Female (Triple X syndrome)
XYY – Male (XYY syndrome)
XX(male) – Although chromosomes appear to be female the genetic information has been derived from the Y chromosome which usually indicates very severe mutation

X – Female (Turner syndrome) – Serious genetic condition which generally results in development of female traits but the fetus is often not carried to term and will have severe health problems if it is.

In most cases, genetic syndroms which result in failure to pass a chromosome or a malformed chromosome pattern will result in very severe deformations beyond sexual characteristics. Such fetuses rarely make it to full term or past infancy.


Physical:

Females and males obviously have different structures and functions. Of all births, .018% qualify as intersexed, where there is not a single gender or extremely dominant gender.


It’s important to consider this: Physical gender and genetic gender are almost always the same.

The most common differences would be the following:


Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS): XY chromosomes are present but individual appears to be female. In some cases, they may lack fully functional ovaries and the uterus may be underdeveloped. AIS individuals are usually infertile but on occasion may be able to bare children normally.

The best way of describing such an individual: Genetically Male. Physically female. (in some cases – reproductively dysfunctional, but still female)

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia – Roughly the equivalent of AIS, but in reverse. Genetic females manifest male tendencies. Unlike AIS, where the individual would lack male traits, CAH individuals may have both male and female traits. In most cases, the individual will have small but functional male genitals and could be considered a physical male.

In this case the individual would be considered a genetic female, physical male.


It is very rare that there would be no clear-cut sex. Cases of “True Hermaphroditism” are those in which the individual has traits of both male and female which are equally or nearly equally developed. In some extreme examples, “ovotestes” exist and can take on functions of male and female gonads.


In the case of a true Hermaphoridite or a birth with severely undeveloped sexual traits there is no immediate validation of being male or female. Again: This is EXCEDINGLY RARE. Most hemaphrodites can clearly be observed to be a male with female characteristics or vice versa.

In cases where the gender cannot be determined by direct observation, it would become necessary to either determine it by genetic testing or to determine the appropriate sex through observing development on a case-by-case basis.

Cases where the physical traits are ambiguous and there are genetic defects are so extremely rare they are not worth even considering.


Conclusion:

Genetic sex is always binary. Male or female. The only exception would be catastrophic and very very extreme mutations.
Physical sex is apparent and binary greater than 99.5% of the time. Only 1 in 1000 individuals will not have the same physical characteristics and genetic sex.
Physical sex is ambiguous or indeterminate in less than one in 5000 cases. Even fewer are otherwise healthy and capable of making it past infancy. Although in some cases there may be a combination of traits, not having equally developed traits is extremely uncommon.
IT IS BINARY, IN ALL BUT A VERY TINY PERCENTAGE.

And when it is uncertain it is because of a birth defect. NOT because the person psychologically identifies with one gender or the other.





=====
Sources:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/gender/spectrum.html

Wikipedia

Health Centray

http://www.intersexinitiative.org/
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Old 20th May 2007, 11:40 PM   #2
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One thing which annoys me is the loss of gender-specific job-titles. There are no-longer "policemen" and "policewomen", there are "police persons". I find this silly. I do not find any discrimination in using the correct title.

But that's just me.
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Old 20th May 2007, 11:51 PM   #3
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Buzz - what is your point?

I interpret your statement as "sex is binary, except when it isn't." Ok... All statements are true, except those which are not. So what?

What makes it politically incorrect to make your statement? What makes the opposing statement politically correct?

As to society, ramp up your numbers and see what a difference it makes. If only a half of one percent of the population is "non-binary" that means in a population of 6 billion, 30 million people are non-binary. This is a sizable and non-trivial population. Why does recognition of such a population make it politically correct?

CT
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:01 AM   #4
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The way I always heard it, sex was the anatomy and gender was the identity. Is that wrong, DRBUZZO?
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:02 AM   #5
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Agreed, the Lord has created many genders, and what's on the outside does not necessarily equate with what's on the inside. There is a multitude of possiblities along the spectrum of gender.

And its sad that the world and church and system doesn;t fully recognise this..

http://www.geocities.com/davidjayjor...sarethere.html
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
One thing which annoys me is the loss of gender-specific job-titles. There are no-longer "policemen" and "policewomen", there are "police persons". I find this silly. I do not find any discrimination in using the correct title.

But that's just me.
To be fair, Taffer and I had this discussion already in chat, and he may or may not come back to this thread to give his side, which he did very well there.

For those who have not seen it, Douglas Hofstadter did a piece on embedded sexism in language. His trick was to replace the gender issue with race. I found it brought me up short. YMMV, but it is always worth revisiting your basic assumptions.

CT
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DRBUZZ0 View Post
Well, I'm quite surprised to find out that there are many out there who find it politically incorrect to consider sex binary. Your gender being male or female is apparently very narrow minded.
Well, you could at least admit that they make a distinction between sex and gender. Disagree if you must, but it's not a good start.

Originally Posted by DRBUZZ0 View Post
The individual above is technically a sexually dysfunctional male or a eunich. They are not female in any biological sense of the word. None. They could be called a "he" or an "it." this may have bad cultural implications, but technically that would be a correct use of the word "it" to describe a form of life which does not have clear sexual structures or traits and does not have the ability to reproduce. Although, since this was by artificial means, the individual could still be considered a male.

I'd probably call them female, but that would not make them so. I'd do so to not hurt their feelings and be nice. But point of fact, that is not biologically accurate.

You could say that they are "culturally female" or "psychologically female"
Yes, that's what most transsexuals claim. I don't think any of them are under the delusion that they can change their chromosomes or organs. Calling them 'it' seems spectacularly insensitive, unless you want to claim there a genetic basis behind the pronouns used in English. As in, "ah, here's the gene responsible for the word "he"".

As for the rest of your post, that's all well and good, but it's nothing like what transsexuals are claiming. They claim they have a mind that doesn't match up with their body, not that their gonads don't match their chromosomes.

The real question is, are their inherent biological differences in the minds of males and females? For example, does the process of becoming male involve changes to the brain that affect how a person thinks, and is it then possible for a man to not properly go through those changes, so he has the mind of a female? When you want to decide whether a person, as in a rational, thinking thing, is a male or female, do you look at chromosomes and gonads, or do you look at that gray stuff where the identity is?
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
One thing which annoys me is the loss of gender-specific job-titles. There are no-longer "policemen" and "policewomen", there are "police persons". I find this silly. I do not find any discrimination in using the correct title.

But that's just me.
What about police officers? firefighters? Flight attendants? Servers (wait staff)?

Hey, Dr. Buzzo, was it a Freudian slip to say , "Let's bare something in mind..." I presume we are supposed to bear it in mind, butt the topic is about the differences between boys and girls...

(yes, I meant to do that...)
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CriticalThanking View Post
To be fair, Taffer and I had this discussion already in chat, and he may or may not come back to this thread to give his side, which he did very well there.

For those who have not seen it, Douglas Hofstadter did a piece on embedded sexism in language. His trick was to replace the gender issue with race. I found it brought me up short. YMMV, but it is always worth revisiting your basic assumptions.

CT
Indeed, I feel my initial post is rather muddy. Before I comment on the link, I shall clarify my position.

When I speak, I try to do so using words which are accurate. As such, if I am talking about a male police officer, I will say "policeman", and visa versa "policewoman" for a female police officer. If there are both genders, or the gender is unimportant, I would be inclined to say "police officer". This is because I consider "-man" and "-woman" as simply a descriptor, in much the same way that one would say "male -" and "female -".

However, I understand that many people will use "policeman" as the non gender-specific noun. While I'm inclined to use "police officer", I am not immune from doing this as well. I also do not consider this sexist. Why? Because, to me at least, when used as a general term, it looses its gender-specific qualities. "Policeman" becomes just another way of saying "police officer", with no implications on gender whatsoever. This may not be the universal feeling, and some might argue that the use of "policeman" arose when only men were able to be police officers, and thus it is returning to our "sexist roots".

I would argue, in that case, that then all words with "-man" or "-men" is just as sexist by the same reasoning. Which means we should no longer use "mankind", "human", "woman", "manage", etc. This may be an extreme example, but hopefuly you can see that in many situations "-man" does not beget gender. Similarly, in languages which have genders, is it considered "sexist" (or whatever) that some nouns are masculine and some are feminine? Of course, I understand that the terms do not really have anything to do with gender.

My whole point is that, sometimes, "-man" is not a gender-specific term. I feel that people who use "policeman" because only men should be police officers are, ultimately, [rule8]ed in the head. The intention, IMHO, is what matters.

This could be a cultural thing, however. I would also use "gidday guys" even if there are females present, because it is understood to be a non gender-specific phrase.

As to the linked essay, I understand the point, but do not really agree with the implied conclusion. Sometimes specifying race is needed. And while it may seem "bad" to say "all whitekind", the fact is we do not. "Mankind" simply means "humans". It is a word which, despite its origins, now no-longer has any implied gender.

And I think it is sad that some feel the need to remove all such words from our vocabulary because of an implied sexist undertone.
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Well, I'm quite surprised to find out that there are many out there who find it politically incorrect to consider sex binary. Your gender being male or female is apparently very narrow minded.
You are not distinguishing between sex and gender, and you definitely should. Especially in discussion about intersex and transgendered individuals, the terms sex and gender are not synonymous. They are in fact polar opposites; 'sex' refers to biology and 'gender' refers to culture.

Quote:
Wanting to be another gender does not make you that gender.
Here is a nice example why conflating sex and gender is problematic. What I assume you are trying to say is that 'wanting to be another sex does not make you that sex' which is an obvious truth. But the way you are saying it suggests that a person can't possibly wear different clothing and be accepted (at least by some) as belonging to the other gender, and that's obviously false.

Quote:
And most trans-gender individuals do actually have a very clear physical and genetic gender.
They have a clear physical and genetic sex. "Physical and genetic gender" is nonsensical, because the term gender was specifically invented to talk about the cultural aspects of masculinity and femininity while keeping the biology out of it.

Quote:
The individual above is technically a sexually dysfunctional male or a eunich. They are not female in any biological sense of the word. None.
I don't understand what point you are trying to make. I don't think anyone is disputing this.

Quote:
They could be called a "he" or an "it." this may have bad cultural implications
The use of gendered pronouns is a good example of 'gender': the cultural implications of what is considered masculine and feminine.

Quote:
Although, since this was by artificial means, the individual could still be considered a male.
I fail to see why one needs to consider whether the 'means' were 'artificial' or not. It would also not be biologically correct to consider someone a male that has lost all or most male biological sex characteristics.

Quote:
I'd probably call them female, but that would not make them so. I'd do so to not hurt their feelings and be nice.
That's very nice of you.

Quote:
But point of fact, that is not biologically accurate.
"Biological accuracy" has a very low priority when treating other people in gender specific ways; people are not routinely subjected to medical tests to verify their biological sex.

Quote:
I can't be an Asian.
"Asian" is a cultural designation. If you live in a society that is willing to accept you as asian, then you can be asian when you want to.

Quote:
I cannot be a dolphin or a horse.
Dolpins and horses differ quite a bit more anatomically from humans than human males and human females do.

Quote:
It's not good to say that because people like to not have their type defined or think its somehow old fashioned or narrow-minded to think there are two genders.

It's not philosophical. It's fact.
Again a good example of you confusing gender with sex. It is not that hard to see that the gender dichotomy is a philosophical distinction; all one has to do is imagine a culture that does not make any philosophical distinction between masculine and feminine; where there is no difference between boys and girls in clothing, naming conventions or cultural expectations. That in such a society there are still two biological sexes is irrelevant to the issue of gender.

Quote:
Genetic sex is always binary. Male or female. The only exception would be catastrophic and very very extreme mutations.
Don't make claims that something is always true if you are going to list the exceptions. It means you are contradicting yourself.

Quote:
Only 1 in 1000 individuals will not have the same physical characteristics and genetic sex.
Physical sex is ambiguous or indeterminate in less than one in 5000 cases.
Just because something is rare does not make it irrelevant. You are concentrating on physical sex characteristics, but people who claim that "your gender being male or female is very narrow minded" are people who argue that (cultural!) gender should not be tied so rigidly to physical sex characteristics. They are generally not disputing obvious anatomical differences.

Quote:
And when it is uncertain it is because of a birth defect.
Depends on how you define 'birth defect'. One might also call it an 'anatomical variation' if it causes no discomfort.
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
What about police officers? firefighters? Flight attendants? Servers (wait staff)?
Of course. But consider the following exchange:

"A police officer was raped today."
"Was it a male police officer or a female police officer?"
"It was a male police officer."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

and:

"A policeman was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

It should be clear that there was no sexist undertone in the second exchange, and using gender-specific nouns simply added specificity to the exchange.
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:46 AM   #12
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I realise that this will probably get me into some trouble. I hope I do not give the impression of sexist behaviour, as that is obviously not my intention. I hope I have explained myself clearly to show why I use those words.
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Old 21st May 2007, 12:51 AM   #13
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Oh, and excuse the treble post, but re: the OP: Never call someone "it". It is highly insulting. They are either their sex (genetics), or their gender (society), but not 'neither' or 'both'.
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
I would argue, in that case, that then all words with "-man" or "-men" is just as sexist by the same reasoning.
They are not necessarily sexist, but most of them are 'gender-loaded'. That does not imply a moral judgement on its use, but it does imply that it has an effect on how people think about the concept the word stands for.
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
They are not necessarily sexist, but most of them are 'gender-loaded'. That does not imply a moral judgement on its use, but it does imply that it has an effect on how people think about the concept the word stands for.
I understand that. I am also of the belief that instead of removing the words, we should educate people. That way, we can keep the vocabulary, and people will not see the "gender load".
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
Of course. But consider the following exchange:

"A police officer was raped today."
"Was it a male police officer or a female police officer?"
"It was a male police officer."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

and:

"A policeman was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

It should be clear that there was no sexist undertone in the second exchange, and using gender-specific nouns simply added specificity to the exchange.

I know you're just trying to illustrate a point here, so I'm not trying to ascribe evil sexist intentions to your post here

But. . .why did you need the clarification in your first exchange? Why would the conversation not just go,

"A police officer was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

Otherwise there's a reading of the first exchange that places it in a very sexist light (not that I think that was your reading of it).
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
I would argue, in that case, that then all words with "-man" or "-men" is just as sexist by the same reasoning. Which means we should no longer use "mankind", "human", "woman", "manage", etc. This may be an extreme example, but hopefuly you can see that in many situations "-man" does not beget gender.
Quite correct. In fact, the word "man" did not originally have any gender significance: it is the root of the old Anglo-Saxon wifman (woman) and waepman (man). It meant "person". "Manage", "history", etc., have nothing whatever to do with the noun "man" or the pronoun "his".

I find PC-language uses more and more words to say less and less. "There's a person on the phone for you." "Is it a man or a woman?" "I told you, it's a person."

Why on earth does it matter if a job title indicates the sex of a person fulfilling the role? How does that demean or belittle the person? How are the titles "waiter" or "manager" more prestigious that "waitress" and "manageress"?
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
Of course. But consider the following exchange:

"A police officer was raped today."
"Was it a male police officer or a female police officer?"
"It was a male police officer."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

and:

"A policeman was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

It should be clear that there was no sexist undertone in the second exchange, and using gender-specific nouns simply added specificity to the exchange.
I don't understand why the gender of a rape victim is important. Why could the exchange not go like:

"A police officer was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

Which has absolutely no sexist overtones.
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
They have a clear physical and genetic sex. "Physical and genetic gender" is nonsensical, because the term gender was specifically invented to talk about the cultural aspects of masculinity and femininity while keeping the biology out of it.
Well, strictly, the term "gender" was invented to talk about linguistic differences. The fact that Indo-European languages divide genders by sex is not a universal rule.

Using "gender" to describe cultural/psychological sex identity is a co-option of the word.

Which isn't to say it's an invalid usage of the word, but don't try to say that's what the word was invented for.
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:45 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by DRBUZZ0 View Post
Well, I'm quite surprised to find out that there are many out there who find it politically incorrect to consider sex binary. Your gender being male or female is apparently very narrow minded.
I know you are referring to me, because you said so in chat, and just cant seem to let this go. I think my user name is proof enough that I am far from a pc nazi, but if you want to make a fool of yourself in front of even more people, be my guest.

the problem I had with you is that you said that you would never consider a transexual a 'real woman', and you contradict yourself at the bottom of your post anyway. you think the correct term for such people is not 'he' or 'she', but 'it', and then refused to consider the biological reasons transexualism occurs or view it as a valid part of the biology of sex.

Looking at this thread, other posters said everything much better than I could, so i am just replying to a few things.

Originally Posted by DRBUZZ0 View Post
It is very rare that there would be no clear-cut sex.
NOPE.

http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency

Quote:
To answer this question in an uncontroversial way, you’d have to first get everyone to agree on what counts as intersex —and also to agree on what should count as strictly male or strictly female. That’s hard to do. How small does a penis have to be before it counts as intersex? Do you count “sex chromosome” anomalies as intersex if there’s no apparent external sexual ambiguity?1 (Alice Dreger explores this question in greater depth in her book Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex.)
Here’s what we do know: If you ask experts at medical centers how often a child is born so noticeably atypical in terms of genitalia that a specialist in sex differentiation is called in, the number comes out to about 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 births.
Quote:
Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female
one in 100 births
there are many detailed statistics there. you said later that being intersexed is 'rare', but that 1 in a few thousand is not a rare condition, considering how many people are born.




Quote:
The individual above is technically a sexually dysfunctional male or a eunich. They are not female in any biological sense of the word. None. They could be called a "he" or an "it." this may have bad cultural implications, but technically that would be a correct use of the word "it" to describe a form of life which does not have clear sexual structures or traits and does not have the ability to reproduce.
evidence? I have not heard of 'it' being used as any sort of biological term (outside of you saying it earlier of course).

I think that many people find the term 'it' extremely offensive when referring to a person.

Quote:
You could say that they are "culturally female" or "psychologically female"
how is psychology completely seperate from biology? its an especially important question when there has been an established link between this specific behavior and anatomy of the brain.

http://www.transgendercare.com/medic...n_sex_diff.htm

http://www.tgcrossroads.org/news/archive.asp?aid=770


its a complex issue with many, many factors. just like the genes and sex organs dont always match up the gender identity of a person doesnt always match up with the other factors. its just one more piece.


Quote:
I am a white male human with medium-light complection I cannot change this. I can't be an Asian. I cannot be a dolphin or a horse.
this is silly. reminds me of gay marriage debates -"next thing you know, people will be marrying horses!!!111".
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Old 21st May 2007, 01:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by politas View Post
I don't understand why the gender of a rape victim is important. Why could the exchange not go like:

"A police officer was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

Which has absolutely no sexist overtones.
Because we crave extra information? A grim desire to have an image in our mind of the act being described?
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Old 21st May 2007, 02:02 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mashuna View Post
I know you're just trying to illustrate a point here, so I'm not trying to ascribe evil sexist intentions to your post here

But. . .why did you need the clarification in your first exchange? Why would the conversation not just go,

"A police officer was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

Otherwise there's a reading of the first exchange that places it in a very sexist light (not that I think that was your reading of it).
I understand. And it probably would go that way, but yes, I was just using it for illustration. What about if there were two different rapes, on of a policeman and one of a policewoman? The clarification about which one you are talking about would be required, would it not?

But yeah, contrived example.
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Old 21st May 2007, 02:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by politas View Post
I don't understand why the gender of a rape victim is important. Why could the exchange not go like:

"A police officer was raped today."
"Oh. That's horrible!"

Which has absolutely no sexist overtones.
It might not be important, but what if you wanted to know? Or what if, as above, there were different rapes? Or what if you were talking about male-rape only?

The point is, in some situations, one needs to clarify with a gender. And thus, why not use the gender-specific name for it? It's not sexist at all to specify if someone is male or female. IMHO of course.
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Old 21st May 2007, 02:14 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
I understand. And it probably would go that way, but yes, I was just using it for illustration. What about if there were two different rapes, on of a policeman and one of a policewoman? The clarification about which one you are talking about would be required, would it not?

But yeah, contrived example.
Fair enough

Just to beat the example into the ground, what if there were two different rapes, both of policewomen, one black and one white? You'd just identify by name, wouldn't you? There'd be no need to have official terminology to distinguish between officers on the grounds of race, so why have it on the grounds of sex?
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Old 21st May 2007, 02:24 AM   #25
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de-lurking for this comment

Originally Posted by nails3jesus0 View Post

Quote:
I am a white male human with medium-light complection I cannot change this. I can't be an Asian. I cannot be a dolphin or a horse.
this is silly. reminds me of gay marriage debates -"next thing you know, people will be marrying horses!!!111".
I thought the same thing.
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Old 21st May 2007, 02:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mashuna View Post
Fair enough

Just to beat the example into the ground, what if there were two different rapes, both of policewomen, one black and one white? You'd just identify by name, wouldn't you? There'd be no need to have official terminology to distinguish between officers on the grounds of race, so why have it on the grounds of sex?
Actually, I would say (with perhaps not these words) the "black policewoman" and the "white policewoman". I do not consider descriptions such as these to be racist, or whatever. And if I knew their names, I would use them fullstop.

Although, that being said, I would still tend to say "Samantha, the policewoman". Because she is just that, a policewoman and not a policeman. Or perhaps "policeofficer", depending on... well, how I feel I suppose.
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Old 21st May 2007, 02:47 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
Actually, I would say (with perhaps not these words) the "black policewoman" and the "white policewoman". I do not consider descriptions such as these to be racist, or whatever. And if I knew their names, I would use them fullstop.

Although, that being said, I would still tend to say "Samantha, the policewoman". Because she is just that, a policewoman and not a policeman. Or perhaps "policeofficer", depending on... well, how I feel I suppose.
I've muddled my point slightly, so I'll try to clarify. My key concept in the other post was that there wouldn't be a racial element to the official description of the officer. I see that in the same light as removing policeman and policewoman, and replacing the term with police officer.
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Old 21st May 2007, 03:15 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by politas View Post
Well, strictly, the term "gender" was invented to talk about linguistic differences.
You are quite right of course. Maybe I should have said that the way the term is used that is relevant to this thread was invented to distinguish between the biology of sex and the cultural aspects of what is considered masculine and what feminine.

The term was in fact co-opted from linguistics, because it was obvious that something called 'feminine' is not necessarily female, and something called 'masculine' not necessarily male, but that it rather depends on cultural attitudes.
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Old 21st May 2007, 03:26 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
I would argue, in that case, that then all words with "-man" or "-men" is just as sexist by the same reasoning. Which means we should no longer use "mankind", "human", "woman", "manage", etc.
Interesting point you should be aware of - cricket chicks call themselves "batsmen". While batting, anyway.

Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
Oh, and excuse the treble post, but re: the OP: Never call someone "it". It is highly insulting. They are either their sex (genetics), or their gender (society), but not 'neither' or 'both'.
Yeah, it's a great insult, I do it all the time!
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Old 21st May 2007, 03:35 AM   #30
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This will probably get me in trouble, but I've always had an issue with people who undergo gender reassignment because they feel they are 'a man/woman trapped within a woman/man's body'.

You are born as you are born, and I can't help but feel that any feeling of being 'trapped' as the wrong gender must stem from a deeper psychological issue. As DRBUZZ0 pointed out, even those who undergo the gender reassignment are not actually changing their sex...they just look rather a bit different from how they used to look.

Normally, when somebody has a psychological issue, we (society) try to treat them. A person who suffers from the delusion that they are someone who they clearly are not (Elvis, say, or Charlemagne) would be medicated and sent for counselling, in the hope that they would be rehabilitated. Society would frown upon anyone who reinforced the idea that the person was in fact Elvis or Charlemagne, as it would be inhibit the recovery of the delusional person.

So why, when a person suffers from the delusion that they are in fact of the opposite gender to the sex they were born, do we not only condone the reinforcing of this belief, but actually offer surgery and treatments that will make the person physically more like those of the opposite sex? Why do we reinforce this particular delusion?

In an effort to be more politically correct and open-minded, it seems we are condoning the reinforcement of one particular kind of delusion, and one can't help but remember the Monty Python skit from The Life of Brian: "You want to have babies? Where's the foetus going to gestate, you going to keep it in a cardboard box?"

When it is impossible to confer all the benefits of actually being a woman (such as the ability to fall pregnant and have children) onto a biological male, and visa versa for a biological female, can it really be said that we are doing more than reinforcing a gender confused person's delusion by offering the consmetic surgery?

Should we not, in other words, treat this as we would treat any other delusion?

* Mobyseven dons a flame retardant outfit.


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Old 21st May 2007, 03:37 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Mashuna View Post
I've muddled my point slightly, so I'll try to clarify. My key concept in the other post was that there wouldn't be a racial element to the official description of the officer. I see that in the same light as removing policeman and policewoman, and replacing the term with police officer.
Ah, ok, I see your point. I don't agree with it, but that's ok.
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Old 21st May 2007, 04:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
One thing which annoys me is the loss of gender-specific job-titles. There are no-longer "policemen" and "policewomen", there are "police persons". I find this silly. I do not find any discrimination in using the correct title.
Funny how language determines what is perceived to be discriminatory and what not.

In my native language, all nouns have a gender; it is impossible to use a genderless job title. Therefore, local PC fans claim that phrases such as "police officer" are discriminatory, because "officer" is a masculine noun and thus discriminates against women that work for the police.

For reasons of political correctness, they say, one should always use either "policeman" or "policewoman", depending on the actual sex of the person, and avoid generic nouns and plurals as those words' gender may mismatch the sex of the individual persons referred to.
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Old 21st May 2007, 04:09 AM   #33
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Most people have addressed this nicely so far, but I'll contribute, even if just to add my weight to the numbers.

I don't think any person who undergoes gender reassignment is out to pretend that they are genetically different. They might wish they could change their chromosomes, but aside from perhaps some who psychologically have such delusive beliefs, most transexuals don't seriously think that they have changed their karyotype.

However, why should this reflect their association with a set of behaviours? If an XY karyotype feels more comfortable associating with what society describes as female behaviour, what stopping somebody from describing them as female? For all intents and purposes - for what it matters to most individuals - this nomination makes no difference to how they interact in society. Ok, so they might not be able to perform the reversed reproductive roles, but many individuals who never swap their gender identity can't perform such reproductive roles, and their gender status isn't rebuked.

Think carefully before you try to squeeze faulty logic into a narrow gap in between biased gut-reactions.

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Old 21st May 2007, 04:22 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Mashuna View Post
Fair enough

Just to beat the example into the ground, what if there were two different rapes, both of policewomen, one black and one white? You'd just identify by name, wouldn't you? There'd be no need to have official terminology to distinguish between officers on the grounds of race, so why have it on the grounds of sex?
Because the rape itself would likely be different between a male and female officer, and to empathise we need to visualise.

If I said a policewoman was raped, a man might think "oh how awful" and his visualisation of the act would be the forced penetration of her vagina. A woman would have a different reaction because she can understand penetration and therefore imagine herself in the same situation. I'm not saying the man would be less upset, but his empathy is from a different place. He's probably thinking "what if that was my wife or sister" rather than "what if that was me".

But if I said a policeman was a raped, everything about the reaction changes. Rape of a male by a female is rare because men tend to be physically stronger and it's difficult to maintain an erection under such circumstances. So you're more likely to assume the policeman was anally penetrated by another man. Most men do not engage in anal penetration, so a violation of this sort tends to elicit a very strong reaction from those who hear about it, particularly men. Rape of women is common. Rape of men is rare.

So it is very relevant to specify a gender when giving the news, because the visualisation is very different in each case.

Doesn't apply to race though.
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Old 21st May 2007, 04:28 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Earthborn
They have a clear physical and genetic sex. "Physical and genetic gender" is nonsensical, because the term gender was specifically invented to talk about the cultural aspects of masculinity and femininity while keeping the biology out of it.
I think the word gender is actually somewhat slippery. It was originally a synonym for sex, but has been reinvented by the cultural and gender studies folks to mean what you say. From the dictionary:

2 a : SEX *the feminine gender* b : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex

I wouldn't be so hard on people if they use it to mean sex. That said, the new meaning is certainly useful.

I think, then, that the word transgender becomes a problem. We also need transsex.

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Old 21st May 2007, 04:33 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Thabiguy
For reasons of political correctness, they say, one should always use either "policeman" or "policewoman", depending on the actual sex of the person, and avoid generic nouns and plurals as those words' gender may mismatch the sex of the individual persons referred to.
What do they recommend when referring to generic policewo/men/peeps, with no specific ones in mind?

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Old 21st May 2007, 05:10 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
Because the rape itself would likely be different between a male and female officer, and to empathise we need to visualise.

If I said a policewoman was raped, a man might think "oh how awful" and his visualisation of the act would be the forced penetration of her vagina. A woman would have a different reaction because she can understand penetration and therefore imagine herself in the same situation. I'm not saying the man would be less upset, but his empathy is from a different place. He's probably thinking "what if that was my wife or sister" rather than "what if that was me".

But if I said a policeman was a raped, everything about the reaction changes. Rape of a male by a female is rare because men tend to be physically stronger and it's difficult to maintain an erection under such circumstances. So you're more likely to assume the policeman was anally penetrated by another man. Most men do not engage in anal penetration, so a violation of this sort tends to elicit a very strong reaction from those who hear about it, particularly men. Rape of women is common. Rape of men is rare.

So it is very relevant to specify a gender when giving the news, because the visualisation is very different in each case.

Doesn't apply to race though.
Good point, so I'll widen the example slightly to make my point more applicable . In the case where the effect itself is different according to gender, we may need to specify the gender in order to empathise. If there was a racist attack, we'd probably want information about the race of the officer involved. But this doesn't mean we need to build these descriptions into the official title of the person involved.
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Old 21st May 2007, 05:23 AM   #38
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Buzz, this is the same topic you had a meltdown in the chatroom over that got you banned for a day (eta: in chat, not on forum). What is your point? Did you just need to soapbox it more?

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Old 21st May 2007, 05:36 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by nails3jesus0 View Post

I think that many people find the term 'it' extremely offensive when referring to a person.
Only one thing to add here - "it" is not really offensive, and doesn't necessarily objectify the person. It is simply that there is no pronoun to describe someone who has yet to be identified by a sex. Example: Bubblegum cigars at a baby's birth say "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!"

I am under the impression that Buzz is not using the term as an offensive one, but simply because there is no other word.
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Old 21st May 2007, 05:39 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
It was originally a synonym for sex, but has been reinvented by the cultural and gender studies folks to mean what you say.
I don't think that is true.

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I wouldn't be so hard on people if they use it to mean sex.
I'm not so hard on people in a discussion where the distinction doesn't matter. But I don't think the issues in this thread can be meaningfully discussed without clearly making the distinction.

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I think, then, that the word transgender becomes a problem. We also need transsex.
I don't see how the word 'transgender' becomes a problem. Both words are used, but they do not mean the same thing. A transgender tries to assume the behavioral and cultural traits typically associated with opposite sex, a transsexual tries to take on the physical characteristics associated with the opposite sex.
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