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The Sex Binary: What It Is and Why It Matters

My complete presentation at Genspect’s ‘The Bigger Picture’ conference in Denver, CO.

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to share my complete presentation (with Genspect’s permission), which I recently delivered at their “The Bigger Picture” conference in Denver, CO. In this presentation, I explore the radical motivations behind efforts to challenge the binary nature of sex. I demonstrate how this perspective has jumped from humanities departments to the hard sciences, and I refute the most common activist arguments purporting to show that sex is a “spectrum” or a “social construct.”

I spotlight two principal types of arguments used by gender activists to dispute the binary nature of sex. The first type, which I term sex expansionism, care characterized by claims asserting that there are more than two sexes.

This includes attempts to categorize various intersex conditions as distinct sexes, such as Anne Fausto-Sterling’s concept of “five sexes” (males, females, merms, ferms, and herms), and arguments insisting that sex chromosome combinations other than XX or XY (X0, XXY, XYY, XXX, etc.) represent unique sexes beyond male and female.

The second type involves what I call sex eliminationism. These arguments assert that males and females are not natural categories but exist only in a statistical sense.

Proponents of sex eliminationism view sex as a combination of various traits—chromosomes, genitals, hormones, secondary sex characteristics, behaviors, etc.—none of which they consider more fundamental than any other. According to this perspective, since sex is statistically defined, modifying physical traits through hormones and surgeries can literally change one’s sex. As I discuss in my talk, this forms the basis for so-called “gender-affirming care,” which aims to align one’s physical sex with their “brain sex” (i.e., gender identity).

During my talk, I discovered, somewhat to my horror, that I was not in control of my slideshow! Despite this, by using hand signals to communicate with the technician, I managed to present effectively, although some slide transitions and animations were less smooth than planned. Nevertheless, I believe it turned out really well.

If you are interested in having me deliver this talk, or a modified version of it, at your university, organization, or event, please contact me through the form linked to the button below. We can discuss the details.

I hope you enjoy the presentation!


If you find my work on this topic valuable, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription or making a recurring or one-time donation below. Your support gives me the ability to pursue this important work full-time.

Visit Genspect’s YouTube channel to view the other fantastic conference talks.


Reality’s Last Stand
Science, opinions, and reviews.
Colin Wright