Arguments claiming that "sex is a spectrum" rely on fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of biological sex
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.
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?
sex is biological. gender is a social construct. not v hard
Here is another entity plaguing Ca schools https://www.learningforjustice.org/topics/gender-sexual-identity
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
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.
Bad metaphor for your purposes contrasting motorcycle and bicycles as electric bikes are increasingly blurring the distinctions, as well as the "secondary characteristics" that arise as a consequence of them. Maybe more akin to a more fluid view of sexuality than the author is awarre of or would like to admit.
Still, I can't fathom why one needs to focus on defining what a woman is? I'll trust mental and physical health professionals, prison admissions, child psychologists, etc. to make the necessary distinctions when required, and the issue of sport is a joke. We should in fact be re-evaluating the goals of sport (could it be for individuals to push themselves to their limits, and maybe also... for fun?). No doube the commercialization of sport (as well as the hefty commercialization of our cultures and social institutions) are what necessitate these distinctions in this realm - the fact that ones material well-being and social status is intimately bound up with how we are perceived and relate to eachother in society is the underlying issue to address...
It’s a deliberate confusion spread by a regressive ideology.
That's certainly true. But I don't think this kind of topic is about arguing that sex is a spectrum, rather about taking a broader view of sex and gender, so even if sex is biologically binary in terms of whether producing sperm or egg, it is still a partial sex-determining factor. Only one factor defines all gender behavior is exaggeration. Because the view of gender is socially constructed is also true.
We have more than one view of gender now. It's almost like what your favourite definition of gender, and it's also okay. The definition of sex and gender would be never ending. Currently, gender is determined by biological and social and cultural factors, but in the future, it would be wrong.
I'm in the process of submitting a paper to F&S Reports, a journal that publishes articles on reproductive medicine, on behalf of an endocrinologist, and was horrified to see the following in their instructions for authors - academia has been well and truly captured by the pseudoscience of gender ideology: "Definitions. Sex generally refers to a set of biological attributes that are associated with physical and physiological features (e.g., chromosomal genotype, hormonal levels, internal and external anatomy). A binary sex categorization (male/female) is usually designated at birth ("sex assigned at birth"), most often based solely on the visible external anatomy of a newborn. Gender generally refers to socially constructed roles, behaviors, and identities of women, men and gender-diverse people that occur in a historical and cultural context and may vary across societies and over time. Gender influences how people view themselves and each other, how they behave and interact and how power is distributed in society. Sex and gender are often incorrectly portrayed as binary (female/male or woman/man) and unchanging whereas these constructs actually exist along a spectrum and include additional sex categorizations and gender identities such as people who are intersex/have differences of sex development (DSD) or identify as non-binary. Moreover, the terms "sex" and "gender" can be ambiguous—thus it is important for authors to define the manner in which they are used. In addition to this definition guidance and the SAGER guidelines, the resources on this page offer further insight around sex and gender in research studies."
It’s true that there are no “intermediate gametes”, but to claim that this proves there is no spectrum for gender is a non sequitur. If you are sterile, what sex are you? If you produce both male and female gametes, what sex are you? There are intersex conditions where you are sterile, or produce both gametes. The SA article gets it right.
I want to try to politely and respectfully share my experience and the experience of my community but honestly I'm upset. I have Turner Syndrome. So my chromosomes are XO. Many people with Turner Syndrome have what are called streak ovaries which means ovaries were never even really formed and in many cases are completely non-functional. Many of us do not produce any eggs. XO chromosomes = not functional or streak ovaries = not enough estrogen = no "feminization" of the body at puberty without taking artificial hormones + infertility as an adult b/c we never produced eggs. Your definition doesn't work for us since many of us never even had formed ovaries or testes so we don't fit your binary at all. There are conditions that muddy your definition even more than Turner Syndrome does - look up Ovotesticular Disorder. You do acknowledge the fact that intersex people exist and don't fit your definition. But then you kind of rush past it and say that doesn't make the definition of sex any less binary because being intersex is not most people's experience. I disagree with that logic.
Given that people with TS have a condition that we have no control over, I resent people like me being passed over quickly almost as an afterthought. We exist. People with TS make up about 1 in about 2,500 live births and there are many other intersex conditions. Sex is not as uncomplicated and binary as you would like it to be. I understand that most people aren't intersex and do have primary and secondary sex characteristics that can be classified under the male or female binary and I'm not denying that. But conditions like mine show the gray area in the human experience of sex. There are a lot of intersex people in the world. I'm not proposing a specific way to define sex. I'm just saying that disqualifying literally millions of people's experiences because "sex is binary and the rest are just genetic mistakes/freaks we don't need to worry about because they don't fit my binary definition" just isn't reality either. I know you may not have meant to come off as dismissive of the intersex experience, but from an intersex person's perspective you were hurtful. We don't fit in your binary definition at all and any definition of sex that excludes our experience is incorrect. We are not simply defective males or defective females, we have our own unique experiences and deserve respect.
Dig deeper, i.e., hidden history of Jewish laws. Visit https://henrymakow.com/2023/04/april-7---cabalists-crucify-christ.html for example. Within is the following post by Henry Makow:
"What The Torah Teaches Us About Gender Fluidity and Transgender Justice." Reform Judaism site.
Hidden Historian, Henry Makow posted: "The rabbis claim there are 'six sexes.' This is the religious basis for establishing Trans. I would suggest, based on the study of these legal texts, that the Jewish understanding of gender is neither binary nor even a grid into which every person must be forced to fit. Rather, we see gender diversity as a spectrum, truly a rainbow of possibilities for reflecting the Image of God."
RAC - Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Use the Brave.com search engine. "rabbis and gender fluidity”
"I Am Jazz" - popularized trans in America's homes on TV for years. Jazz Jennings is not her real name, it is Jaron Bloshinsky and she comes from a Jewish family.
Great article!! I used to be completely behind trans people. I am a gay man and somewhat liberal. I wanted to be kind, accepting, and inclusive. But then something happened. Trans men were saying that trans men are Men. Which I believe is saying biologically. Then I started hearing that trans men are Men so therefore I as a gay man should include them in my dating pool, and if I don't, I am transphobic. So I tried over and over to explain that I am not attracted to vaginas. So then I got called not only transphobic, but a genital fetishist instead. I next said if I could have sex with a vagina, I could just be straight, and they said I'm supposed to be attracted to a gender and not a sex. Sigh. Nothing I could say or explain got them to see my point. They just got angrier and angrier at me.
So I started to think about being trans. What does that mean for everyone? And I read up on everything I can find.
In the US, if biological sex is unambiguous 99.98% of the time then there are over 6 million people with ambiguous biological sex. Regardless whether you think of these people as part of a spectrum or something else, they exist and are proof that the primary sex characteristics are not completely binary. It doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters is whether those 6 million people are treated with dignity and respect and have agency over their own bodies. You don’t discuss gender identity at all. The “hard problem of consciousness” has not been solved. Our brain is even more of a mystery than our body. Our brains know how to develop secondary sex characteristics in the body and at least at one point knew about development of primary sex characteristics as well. All humans begin development at the same point and become either male or female or Intersex. It would be illogical to assume that gender identity did not develop the same way and that for the same reason some have ambiguous biological sex they have ambiguous gender identity. You have not made a successful argument here.
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.