Many comments posted here are largely meaningless, self-satisfying sophistry (intellectual masturbation). The subject of this piece is not some complex philosophical conundrum but a simple scientific fact. Grow up.

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So, what determines your sex is: if you have ovaries you're female, testes you're male, but on rare occasions there is ambiguity about whether you're male or female, e.g. maybe you have ovotestes. Do people ever e.g. have one ovary and one testis?

Anyway, let's consider the case of those trans women who undergo a full medical transition using this criterion. They no longer have their testes.

Does this mean they are no longer male? Note that if we did say they are no longer male, we still cannot claim they're female under this criterion because they haven't acquired ovaries, so what sex are they in this case? Are we to say the have no sex?

However, I think we can say they are still male because they were born male and developed the way they did because they're male and removal of the testes does not undo that. All the surgery and hormone therapy is achieving is to make the male externally resemble a female. What makes you male or female is thus down to whether you develop testes or ovaries in the first place, not what might happen to your body via surgery or unfortunate accident or illness subsequently. Would you agree?

This does then raise the question: Suppose medical technology was such that we could give trans women functional ovaries and wombs, etc in future. Would we regard that as a genuine change of sex, despite the prior male developmental history?

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sex is biological. gender is a social construct. not v hard

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Here is another entity plaguing Ca schools https://www.learningforjustice.org/topics/gender-sexual-identity

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Gender-identity is also (necessarily) binary, because when gender identity is not determined by sex it leads to definitional (and legal) contradictions: https://michaelkowalik.substack.com/p/gender-identity-on-trial

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I am intersex. I have swyers syndrome with MGD. I was one of the lucky, to be born intersex in the 1980s and dodge the ubiquitous genital mutilation surgery that has plagued many of my peers. I was fortunately, heteronormative in appearance enough for it to be negligible. I actually didn't even find out about the genotype difference until I was 32 years old and was required to undergo genetic testing at my psychiatric clinic.

Since I learned about my difference, I've noticed that a LOT of transgendered people are intrinsically cruel to me out of jealousy. They consider my condition enviable because it would justify their gender dysphoria. Some have told me that I'm too ugly to actually be a girl (again, jealousy- I'm not terrible looking).

I find it intensely twisted that anyone would WANT to be a complete genetic freak. (Along with being Swyers, I am also a redhead..among other weird weird things). For me, I've always considered myself a woman (and still do). I've never considered adopting myself as a man because I've always existed as a woman. A Y chromosome isn't going to shatter my understanding of who I am.

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This is as nonsensical as the people you are criticising. For starters, modelling sex as a spectrum does not in any way conflict with recognising sexual dimorphism as a real phenomenon, let alone with the recognition that there is no overlap between people who produce viable sperm and people who produce viable eggs. Your argument on this point is a mere straw man.

Secondly, observing a similarity between the sex spectrum view and the view of playground bullies is not an argument, it is merely poisoning the well. You may not like it (since you are clearly some sort of progressive extremist), but the playground bullies are simply correct in a manner that is obvious to anybody with common sense. Biological maleness and biological masculinity are so strongly intertwined that it makes complete sense to regard a more masculine male as being more male than an androgynous male. At no point did you even offer a counterargument to this view, you basically just called it antiquated and politically incorrect. If that is how you construct arguments, you have no basis to complain when people further to the left in turn accuse you of being antiquated and politically incorrect; that is simply brazen hypocrisy on your part.

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So what sex is the person who got kicked out of the women's Olympics for having XY chromosome who later got pregnant and gave birth through natural means?

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I wonder why this is so important to you.

What's your agenda?

Is it issues related to transgender sports? I'm sure more complicated conflicts have been resolved.

Who is put at risk with the adoption of the notion that gender identity, behavior, and psychology is on a continuum? That's the question to answer here. Whose axe are you grinding?

The "binarification" of this issue has roots deep in antique notions of the importance of reproduction in the survival of The Group. This is obviously not operative in the same way as it was 3000 years ago right?

Back in ancient Rome, baby boys were left to die because breeding women was the priority. Surely we have evolved more nuanced views of gender roles by now?

I think the idea of sexual gradation is a threat to you, representing the "dominant narrative" - it causes discomfort just because it's novel and unusual compared to the status quo. If this were a court of law and I was lawyering, I'd be asking: "What, pray tell, is the harm being done?" and I'd answer the rhetorical "None."

Looking at the ideology behind the debate saves a lot of time arguing over minutiae and semantics. Tell us - why exactly do you care?

If you have to continue down this path, go excavating inside your cranium and tell me where exactly is the binary dividing line between your flatworm ganglia and your neocortex.

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this focuses on a single aspect of a subject as complex as humans themselves. all this says is “sex is whether you possess eggs or sperm in your body” which is a gross oversimplification. that issue regulates exactly one thing: whether your sex cells are eggs or sperm. all the rest : sense of identity, secondary physical characteristics, what a person finds arousing, self concept, self perception, are in play.

yes, there are large and complex issues that arise with the concept of “spectrum” - deal with them with the respect and assiduousness of other complex human issues and don’t trivialize or politicize via this sort of reductionism.

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"It is crucial to note, however, that the sex of individuals within a species isn’t based on whether an individual can actually produce certain gametes at any given moment. .... Yet it would be incorrect to say that these individuals do not have a discernible sex, as an individual’s biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of evolved reproductive anatomy (i.e. ovaries or testes) that develop for the production of sperm or ova, regardless of their past, present, or future functionality."

I really do wonder how you can possibly make that claim since it is flatly contradicted by the standard biological definitions for the sexes endorsed by Lexico, Google/OED, Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster, biologists Jussi Lehtonen and Geoff Parker (FRS, writing in the Journal of Theoretical Biology), and philosopher of biology Paul Griffiths:

"female: Of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which can be fertilized by male gametes."



You see ANYTHING there about structure-absent-function? Or is it all about the possession of functional gonads as "necessary and sufficient conditions"?

"Female gametes are larger than male gametes. This is not an empirical observation, but a definition: in a system with two markedly different gamete sizes, we DEFINE females to be the sex that produces the larger gametes and vice-versa for males (Parker et al. 1972) ...."



"Nothing in the biological definition of sex requires that every organism be a member of one sex or the other. That might seem surprising, but it follows naturally from DEFINING each sex by the ability to do one thing: make eggs or make sperm. Some organisms can do both, while some can't do either [ergo, sexless]."


Given that sex is all about reproduction, it's rather odd - at best, if not profoundly antiscientific - to say that some organism - any organism of any sexually-reproducing species, for that matter - has a sex if it can't actually reproduce. That IS what the Lexico definition specifices - it's all about "reproductive functions"; diddly squat in this definition or in the ones on the individual sexes about any structure-absent-function as being sufficient criteria:

"sex: Either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions."


You have any credible journal articles, any encyclopedias and dictionaries that endorse that rather unscientific structure-absent-function definition of yours? You look to be trying to create your own rather idiosyncratic, irrational, illogical and quite unscientific definitions, presumably because you think people will be "offended" by the logical consequences of them - i.e., some third of us, at any one time, are sexless. Sure isn't intellectually honest.

You may wish to read Griffiths' essay at Aeon for details:

“Human societies can’t delegate to biology the job of defining sex as a social institution. The biological definition of sex wasn’t designed to ensure fair sporting competition, or to settle disputes about access to healthcare. …. On the other hand, whatever its shortcomings as an institutional definition, the concept of biological sex remains essential to understand the diversity of life. It shouldn’t be discarded or distorted because of arguments about its use in law, sport or medicine. That would be a tragic mistake.”


What you're peddling is little short of outright Lysenkoism - the "deliberate distortion of scientific facts or theories for purposes that are deemed politically, religiously or socially desirable."

You may also wish to re-read Del Giudice, this passage in particular:

"On a deeper level, the ‘patchwork’ definition of sex used in the social sciences is purely descriptive and lacks a functional rationale. This contrasts sharply with how the sexes are defined in biology. From a biological standpoint, what distinguishes the males and females of a species is the size of their gametes: males produce small gametes (e.g., sperm), females produce large gametes (e.g., eggs; Kodric-Brown & Brown, 1987)"


What you're peddling also "lacks a functional rationale" and is little better than "the ‘patchwork’ definition of sex used in the social sciences [that] is purely descriptive". Which Del Giudice clearly, and quite justifiably, rails against. Well done ... 🙄

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