"My dog is gender dysphoric."
July 30, 2020 at 9:28 pm #32629
Is the subject line a joke or just a falsehood or something else?
What is all this about there being more than two genders? For humans. No one makes a similar claim for dogs, cats, cattle, hamsters, wombats, komodo dragons, or axolotles.
What am I talking about?
The following are 58 gender options identified by ABC News, which may not even be exhaustive:
Female to Male
Male to Female
Actually, I think biology recognizes just two genders which are pretty easy to distinguish with absolute scientific certainty. There’s the one with two X chromosomes and the one with one X and one Y. Anything beyond that is either a flaw, like the person with one X and two Y chromosomes, or imaginary, at best a psychosocial attitude about gender, not a fact about gender.
This is not a discussion of sexual orientation. Note that homosexual and lesbian does not appear in the list.
My cat is a girl. She’s been fixed. She’s still a girl to me as is a female who’s been effectively “fixed” by her biological clock..
Your thoughts on gender are welcome here.July 31, 2020 at 12:05 am #32634
That looked mispelled to me, perhaps should be an “a” instead of an “o”, so had to look it up.
Nope, I’s wrong, it shouldn’t have an “e”.
It is a rare treat to get to proofread a post from Unseen!
I’m still wrong. Should be “axoloti”! (Who makes these rules, anyway?)July 31, 2020 at 12:17 am #32635
Your thoughts on gender are welcome here.
Merely human constructs. I’m not deciding until AI’s had enough time to figure it out and make a declaration.July 31, 2020 at 1:49 am #32637
That looked mispelled to me, perhaps should be an “a” instead of an “o”, so had to look it up. Nope, I’s wrong, it shouldn’t have an “e”. It is a rare treat to get to proofread a post from Unseen! I’m still wrong. Should be “axoloti”! (Who makes these rules, anyway?)
I thought I made a mistake once…but I was wrong. (one of my favorite classic quips)
You got me. The odd spelling is because the term is Native Mesoamerican. The “tl” ending is exactly the same as the ending of Quetzalcoatl, a Mexican god.October 28, 2020 at 3:53 am #33926
Self-identification is an important tool in understanding gender identity in humans, one which is mostly not an option with other animals. When we talk about gender, we’re talking about a really wide gamut of concepts ranging from biological sex to purely social constructs. If there is anything analogous to that in other animals, we’d have a hard time identifying it with much confidence.
Most of the 58 terms provided on that list are not mutually exclusive. A number of them mean the exact same thing as others on the list. Sure, it does amount to more than two and yes, we could add others, but the fact that we apply these terms to humans and not other animals has more to do with our ability to express complex concepts pertaining to identity rather than some foregone conclusion other animals cannot be transgender.
With regard to biology, it would be wrong to say it recognizes just two genders or just two sexes. It recognizes variability and gamuts where they exist. The idea of binary sex in humans is a one-dimensional conceptualization of a much more varied and complicated set of associated phenomena.
It’s a useful categorization, but actual biology doesn’t require such a neat and tidy delineation. Even if we strip it down to the most basic concept of gametes, it’s not like everyone is just out there with cookie-cutter copies of Xs and Ys. Those chromosomes are varied across the species and continue to mutate. And every level up you go from there from micro to macro to individual organisms to species behaviour, there is more and more complexity and variability. Increasingly, as you go, bucketing into discrete male and female categories becomes cruder and less descriptive. Still useful in a great many contexts, but it has a lot of limitations with regard to describing human traits and experiences.
October 29, 2020 at 12:32 am #33937
- This reply was modified 9 months ago by Autumn.
Most species of plants and many invertebrates are hermaphroditic (having whole or partial reproductive organs and genitalia of both sexes.) In mammals such as humans, the trait is very rare and is referred to as intersex.
It is fascinating reading. Some members of these species start off one sex and grow into another. Some are born with both sexes’ organs but still mate with partners (presumably, that makes for greater genetic diversity.) And some species can–to put it politely–do what for us is physically impossible.
Flatworms are the most interesting of hermaphroditic species. Not only do they have both sexes’ organs, but if you split them in half, they form two separate flatworms. Split just the head and the worm forms two heads. And if you cut off the head entirely, the head grows a new body.
The Jacobins, Al Qaeda, and ISIS would be dead from exhaustion long ago if humans were like that. 😁October 29, 2020 at 12:57 am #33938
I fully agree that biology is not all binary and cut-and-dried on categories. However, having 58 gender names where many are synonyms of each other does violate Occam’s Razor by multiplying categories more than necessary.
Perhaps Cis-, Trans-, Multi-, All, Nones, and Unknowns would pare down categories to manageable numbers and make it easier to understand and help everyone in medical scenarios.October 29, 2020 at 1:43 am #33942
However, having 58 gender names where many are synonyms of each other does violate Occam’s Razor by multiplying categories more than necessary.
It appears to be a rough lexicon of terms which are relevant to gender identity and expression. there is nothing particularly odd about it as that’s how we are with language.
Imagine we were talking about cars. We could refer to them generically as ‘cars’. We could refer to them by a broader category such as ‘automobiles’ or ‘vehicles’ or even just ‘machines’. We could refer to them by narrower categories such as ‘sedans’ or ‘sports utility vehicles’. We could abbreviate those terms such as ‘SUVs’. We could use colloquialisms such as ‘ride’. We could refer to them by particular features such as ‘manual’ or ‘automatic’ or ‘two-wheel drive’ or by the amount of horsepower they have.
In all that language, we’d end up with huge amounts of overlap and redundancy. We have massive variation in specificity of terms. We’d have variation in terms of what type of information is being revealed with each term. The 58 terms in the OP are kind of like that. We could strip things down to roughly five terms across two attributes:
I probably wouldn’t strip things down quite that much, but apart from the term ‘intersex’ it encompasses everything on the list. That said, given the natural tendencies of language and discourse, the overall terminology applied to gender identity and expression is going to be much much larger than just those five terms.October 29, 2020 at 2:06 am #33944
Nothing wrong with the post from my end. It reads coherant and thoughtful.October 29, 2020 at 2:22 am #33946
I wrote it thinking you had missed something in my post you had actually acknowledged. I’ve amended the content in consideration of that. Similar, but slightly different.
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