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Is Gender Independent of Biology?
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Posted 9/2/13
Recently a family has pursued legal action on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center against a S.C. hospital regarding their intersex son who underwent a surgical procedure to make him female. The child identifies as male despite the female anatomy that was chosen for him.
http://www.usnews.com/news/newsgram/articles/2013/05/14/parents-of-intersex-child-sue-over-unnecessary-surgery

This is another in many cases that shows humans need to be allowed to express their gender identities as the only determinant factor as to whether the person will live in this world as male or female. It's not your genitals or your chromosomes, its just that we take for granted that most of the time ones gender identity happens to align with their biology, but sometimes it doesn't and we need to be aware of that.
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Posted 9/2/13 , edited 9/2/13
Well intersex people and transgendered people are, for the lack of a better phrasing, exceptions from the rule. Most time, I'd say gender is linked to biology.
Though I could be severely ignorant on that.

Either way, it is not in our place to judge. If someone is born male but identifies as female or vice versa, they should be allowed to express themselves in the manner that they feel is appropriate without discrimination of persecution.

There's actually a manga that revolves around the issue of intersexuals that I started reading a while ago.
I think all people who are ignorant about the situstion of intersexual people should read it.
http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=3344
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Posted 9/2/13
if one wants to challenge his or her identity that is fine, but down to the genetic level you can't change that.
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Posted 9/2/13

AnimeKami wrote:

if one wants to challenge his or her identity that is fine, but down to the genetic level you can't change that.
But I see it as incorrect to use genetics alone as a catch-all, end-all for determining sex. If it was in many cases we wouldn't even need to use the term intersex, because many intersex people are genetically normal or have normal XY or XX chromosomal patterns. You cant use some sort of purely genetic code for someone with ambiguous genitalia when it's been proven that it's never been a reliable predictor of what gender the subject will identify as.

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Posted 9/2/13 , edited 9/2/13

JustineKo2 wrote:


AnimeKami wrote:

if one wants to challenge his or her identity that is fine, but down to the genetic level you can't change that.
But I see it as incorrect to use genetics alone as a catch-all, end-all for determining sex. If it was in many cases we wouldn't even need to use the term intersex, because many intersex people are genetically normal or have normal XY or XX chromosomal patterns. You cant use some sort of purely genetic code for someone with ambiguous genitalia when it's been proven that it's never been a reliable predictor of what gender the subject will identify as.



gender is purely determined by genetics.
personality is separate from genitalia.
in ANY case of gender assignment surgery for any reason, the subject should be made to wait until they are 18 and can fully understand their own sexuality and what it means to undergo this type of surgery.

people are born with tails too, but that doesnt necessarily make them a monkey.
sometimes peoples DNA even codes for a third arm or misplaced foot.
fortunately those surgeries are easy, at least until people with extra limbs start to identify as some new form of gender or something
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Posted 9/2/13
Well...

Swirly is right. Genetics does choose your gender. Personalities, however, are somewhat created by genetic traits. The rest is made largely by your environment, family history, etc. The belief of being born the "wrong" gender is more or less created by genetics, chemical balances (I don't want to say imbalance), and your environment. So, to answer the question, it's a genetic trait and an environmental trait. Is it an abnormality? No. It's just how it is.
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Posted 9/2/13
I think I agree with Syndicaidramon. I don't think they're separated but I also don't feel like people of a certain gender should be forced into any gender stereotype regardless. We may be born in one gender but who's to dictate what that entitles? For that matter what are we defining as a gender? Are we just using the standard male or female we have here in the US or are we looking at the 'third' gender that some people identify with in India or other such places?

If gender is purely genetic then how are we determining the genders? In other animal species there can be more than 'male' or 'female' gender that can dictate how they behave. Whose to say we don't operate on the same principal?

I can't say for sure but regardless I feel that we should be open to accept other people's differences especially in cases like these. Life is hard enough without the rest of us making it worse.

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Posted 9/2/13 , edited 9/2/13

firefox39 wrote:

Well...

Swirly is right. Genetics does choose your gender. Personalities, however, are somewhat created by genetic traits. The rest is made largely by your environment, family history, etc. The belief of being born the "wrong" gender is more or less created by genetics, chemical balances (I don't want to say imbalance), and your environment. So, to answer the question, it's a genetic trait and an environmental trait. Is it an abnormality? No. It's just how it is.
I didn't say that there was no genetic component to the determination of gender. In fact I'd agree it was entirely genetic because environmental factors don't come into play until after birth. But we must also be mindful of the myriad of genetic anomalies and errors that occur which is why intersex conditions and gender misalignments occur. What I'm saying is we currently don't have an accurate mapping of what these anomalies look like from an observable standpoint. All we can observe are phenotypic characteristics and what we observe is a variety of mix and matching.

I'd like to get an opinion on the article I linked. Do you, swirly_commode in particular, think it was the correct choice to surgically alter this child's genitals in the hopes he would just automatically grow up to be a happy, normal girl?

Edit: actually the environmental factor part is not correct, there are many outside factors that can affect a child in utero and even possibly be a trigger for various developmental issues.

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Posted 9/2/13
Honestly, no. My basis is off the fact that children are still trying to self id themselves at this stage. If the child was in their late teens, then yes, I would support. We have to remember, though, this could just be a phase and nothing more.
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Posted 9/2/13

JustineKo2 wrote:


firefox39 wrote:

Well...

Swirly is right. Genetics does choose your gender. Personalities, however, are somewhat created by genetic traits. The rest is made largely by your environment, family history, etc. The belief of being born the "wrong" gender is more or less created by genetics, chemical balances (I don't want to say imbalance), and your environment. So, to answer the question, it's a genetic trait and an environmental trait. Is it an abnormality? No. It's just how it is.
I didn't say that there was no genetic component to the determination of gender. In fact I'd agree it was entirely genetic because environmental factors don't come into play until after birth. But we must also be mindful of the myriad of genetic anomalies and errors that occur which is why intersex conditions and gender misalignments occur. What I'm saying is we currently don't have an accurate mapping of what these anomalies look like from an observable standpoint. All we can observe are phenotypic characteristics and what we observe is a variety of mix and matching.

I'd like to get an opinion on the article I linked. Do you, swirly_commode in particular, think it was the correct choice to surgically alter this child's genitals in the hopes he would just automatically grow up to be a happy, normal girl?



i believe i said in my post that they should have waited untill the kid can decide for itself. those types of surgeries should be outlawed on people who arent even old enough to understand gender roles and sexuality. i think its completely ridiculous that little boys are claiming to be trans or born the wrong gender simply because pink is their favorite color and they like to play with barbie. youre sexual identity isnt determined by what toys you play with as a kid. lopping off your peen in favor of a vag because a 12yo wants to play with boobs, wear scarves and listen to show tunes should be against the law untill the kid is old enough to make the choice for himself and understand what the choice actually means.
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Posted 9/2/13

swirly_commode wrote:


JustineKo2 wrote:


AnimeKami wrote:

if one wants to challenge his or her identity that is fine, but down to the genetic level you can't change that.
But I see it as incorrect to use genetics alone as a catch-all, end-all for determining sex. If it was in many cases we wouldn't even need to use the term intersex, because many intersex people are genetically normal or have normal XY or XX chromosomal patterns. You cant use some sort of purely genetic code for someone with ambiguous genitalia when it's been proven that it's never been a reliable predictor of what gender the subject will identify as.



gender is purely determined by genetics.
personality is separate from genitalia.
in ANY case of gender assignment surgery for any reason, the subject should be made to wait until they are 18 and can fully understand their own sexuality and what it means to undergo this type of surgery.


Ugh, that's generally true for gender to be determined by chromosomes, but gender identity =/= sexuality. It's different from your born gender, and sexuality doesn't play a role in whether you're trans or not.

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/85/5/2034.full

The leading theory from what I've researched on my own is that the brain didn't fully masculinize or feminize properly in the womb for trans people. His brain identifies itself as a man as mine identifies as a woman due to our brain structure. It's within acceptable biological error as far as I'm concerned, and we shouldn't be given as much crap about it as we do.
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Posted 9/2/13
Sex is biological.

Gender is a social construct.

They are NOT interchangeable terms.
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Posted 9/2/13 , edited 9/2/13
[quote="merriam websters"]Definition of GENDER

1
: sex 1
2
: the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex


apparently they are interchanegable
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Posted 9/2/13 , edited 9/2/13
I've had people ask me about gender being a social construct. If one is identifying as female, for example, they are identifying with social characteristics we impose on ourselves as humans. There are behaviors and social norms associated with being female that women and girls conform with that have nothing to do with their physiology. So the question often goes how is gender identity nothing more than subscribing to this social patterning? How can you validate just "feeling like your female?"

From the standpoint that gender identity is also an innate, immutable characteristic, the fact that we have societal gender roles, expectations and typified behavior reflects even more the importance for humans to be able to express their gender identity through their appearance and behavior. If we didn't have clearly defined gender roles and expectations, however trivial they may be, gender non-conformity would not be an issue. Gender as a social construct, if it truly is, does not invalidate an independent self-identified gender, instead it reinforces the need to self-identify, and quantifies one's own perception of "I am male" or "I am female."


firefox39 wrote:

Honestly, no. My basis is off the fact that children are still trying to self id themselves at this stage. If the child was in their late teens, then yes, I would support. We have to remember, though, this could just be a phase and nothing more.
Referring also to what swirly_commode said, I disagree that adulthood is the time to wait till to determine what decisions should be made regarding one's sex and gender. Young children are constantly being impressed upon them how to behave, dress and what is appropriate for them based on their biologically assigned gender. Perhaps the problem is that we as a society place too much emphasis on this, because I think by the time someone has reached adulthood they've already been so indoctrinated into the male way or life or female way of life, that it's really difficult to deal with a problem that could have been addressed long ago for some young people. Why can't parents, teachers, anyone involved with the development of a child just be more accepting and aware of those that happen to have been born into the wrong sex. If you say it's legitimate that an adult can make this choice to correct their bodies, why not a child if it's causality originates from the time of birth? You can't reverse most of the post puberty secondary sex characteristics, but if you can prevent them beforehand isn't that a prescription for much happier individuals who have concerns about their own body?
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Posted 9/2/13
Sex and gender are different. Period. Anyone who has actually studied gender should understand that. Sex is biological and gender is societal. In practice, they are related but they are not chained together. The idea that your gender is decided at birth according to your genitals is ignorant. In some cultures there are even more than two genders.

One of the biggest flaws in the genetics = gender argument involves people who are intersex, possessing both "male" and "female" sexual characteristics. What gender are they then? This is where the essentialism falls apart.

If someone says they are a gender, they are that gender. Most of the time, it will not affect YOU in any way more important than their right to expression.
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