Monday, July 28, 2014

Gender bender

From Google's Ngram viewer, the percentage of books published in the US, by year, that contain the term "sexes" and that contain the term "genders". Both terms are plural to facilitate the making of an apples-to-apples comparison (the verb form of "sex" thus being excluded).

If sex/gender is more than just a social construction, perhaps it can still be reduced to little more than a surgical construction? Just don't look at brain scans, musculature, waist-to-hip ratio, height, vocal inflection...

Oh yeah, you're a woman trapped in a man's body, are you? Prove it!:

As the concerns of gays and especially lesbians get trounced by trannies, one wonders what even more marginal, less consequential group's hyperbolic concerns will displace those of the gender benders.


BehindTheLines said...

Forgetting all about trannies, I use "gender" because we have only 2 words to describe 3 things:

1) the physical act of making love
2) the fact that most languages have words that have masculine or feminine forms
3) the term for the fact that males and females are different

Most people use "sex" for the first thing and "gender" for the second. The controversy is which one to use for the third. My belief is that the first thing "sex" comes up a lot in conversation, whereas only linguistic professors talk about the second thing "gender" often. Therefore, we should use "gender" to distinguish males and females in order to preserve the word "sex" for the act.

Dan said...

It is the 'transgender' issue, perhaps more than any other, that makes it difficult for me to have any respect for the intellectual foundations of the left and the university classes.

Gender is encoded in DNA, is tied to a reproductive role according to the presence of testes or ovaries, and the possibility of any mammal changing genders is manifestly zero. This is a one-inch-high intellectual hurdle, because the reality is so straightforward.

It seems to be an issue of little practical consequence -- there is no person that I personally know who has decided to 'change genders.'

On the other hand, it shows that the left is as anti-science as it is possible to be. Compared to the more difficult and nuanced topics of human racial differences, global warming or quantum physics, this is elementary stuff: there is an easy correct answer, and the entire left is on the wrong side of it.

If leftists will uniformly give a politically desirable answer rather than the correct answer on something so simple, there is no reason to trust a leftist on any part of pure science. Leftists are okay with applied science/Engineering, because the requirement that things must work keeps one honest.

Anonymous said...

This is probably the fault of the Jews as well I assume?

JayMan said...

I've said for a while that the word "gender" is largely superfluous.

Anonymous said...

The word gender was devaluated for use in this context by John Money, the serial child mutilator who believed gender is entirely conditioned and not the result of inborn sex differences.

Though John Money's human experimentation was utterly repellant, the most relevant thing is that he had to commit fraud to support his theories - to support his new construct of 'gender.'

If you do the obvious and reject a construct rooted in pseudoscience, you're left with just sex.

In life sciences, gender and sex are used interchangeably. There is no difference.

As for 'transgenders' there is either a genuine DSD present (at least broadly defined) or there isn't and the individual needs psychiatric help not hormones or surgical correction.

Its interesting that in East Asia where they're moving towards revaluation of GID as a non-psych condition, there is no real objection to treating GID as a valid concept. Then again its treated as a disease there, there is also no celebration of 'gender nonconformism' or 'lesbians in men's bodies'.

Anonymous said...


"Gender is encoded in DNA".

No, SEX is encoded in DNA. Gender is psychological, social and now legal.

Recognizing that there are people who have a mismatch between their biological sex and their psyches is not a political matter. It is simply a fact that this condition exists. This is not a negation of science; it's a real phenomenon. Our bodies may be male or female, but clearly our sense of being male or female does not always automatically follow from our DNA. What on earth does this have to do with "the intellectual foundations of the left"? Nothing.

As with everything else about humans that is not yet understood, there will be a cause found someday for this condition.

You may not know anyone who has decided to change genders - at least you may not be aware of knowing anyone - but that doesn't mean it's of little consequence, because there are a substantial number of people who are in this situation.

Your viewpoint is very narrow and simply wrong. It's perfectly true that no one can change sexes. A transgender woman is a castrated male who takes hormones. She is still genetically male, but socially and legally she is a woman, because we have come to understand her situation. If that's too hard for you to wrap your tiny mind around, then you should try a little harder. It's really not that difficult to comprehend. You're the one who has to stop seeing everything through political blinders.

Dan said...

Anonymous @ 7/31/14, 1:28 AM,

You have no idea how much I look down on you as my intellectual inferior.

I should correct myself: I have known one guy who went around as a woman, while I was a student at Cornell. Socially, this person was very far from being a woman, although he tried. As far as I could tell even the least of guys looked down on him, and would not be caught dead socializing with him *that way*. The most unattractive biological women were more desired than him. I was occasionally shocked by who my horndog friends would bring home but this individual was not persued by even the most frustrated desperado, as far as I know.

I say this not as a matter of hate, but as a statement of the reality. In liberal Ithaca, he has plenty of affirmers but all the affirmation in the world could not give him what he most craved, which was the attention of heterosexual men. The affirmers did him no favors. He was often suicidal.

The best way to deal with this is humor, if you have any ;-)

Lots of people 'accept', but hardly anyone accepts 'that way' (because attraction runs very deep) and this leaves many people stuck in a disaster.

Dan said...

Anon @ 7/31/14, 1:28 AM wrote:

"A transgender woman is a castrated male who takes hormones."

Hoo boy. That is some serious hate speech. Misgendering is violence.

Anonymous said...

I notice the Anon poster who insists gender is unrelated to sex, doesn't comment upon my post about the origins of the construct.

If we were to insist for some daft reason that the construct isn't superfluous, it wouldn't matter. Gender though defined as not in the DNA would have a relationship to sexual development and therefore to both genes and brain structure. The sense if being male or female would stilk, indeed, follow indirectly from peoples DNA (or if not, then from development within the womb subject to externalities.)

You kind of admit this by saying a cause will be found someday for the condition. Such a statement would be absurd without reference to a biological basis.

Why on earth should the social and legal be divorced, conceptually, from the biological? Its a circular argument rooted in the concept of 'gender'.

Audacious Epigone said...

That South Park episode is definitely worth a watch if you're able to free up 20 minutes of your time.

Anonymous said...

TBH this approach of using Google Ngram is flawed because it doesn't account for changes in word usage. People like Robert Plomin have pointed out biologists have begun saying 'gender' as a synonym of biological sex.

This follows naturally from the introduction of the word 'gender' (in its modern usage coined in the 60s) into mainstream discourse. To a biologist who understands human behaviours as reflecting biology, separating gender from sex is simply nonsense. Its silly to take one aspect of sexual dimorphism and conceptualise it as unique.

Ergo biologists who are used to the normalised word gender and aren't politicised against it, still feel a need to synonymise gender with sex.

And thus the rise in usage is actually taking us back to normal. Synonymising gender with biological sex is essentially the same as rejecting usage of gender altogether because the construct gets abandoned.

Anonymous said...

Can you link to the South Park episode please?

Dan said...

Here is the whole thing, which was excerpted earlier...

Anonymous said...

Its not available in the UK but TBH South Park isn't that funny. A song repeating 'uncle fucker' isn't my idea of wit. There's a North American school of 'humour' that thinks something is funny, because they imagine it pisses someone else off, somewhere. Kind of like 'the man' in the 60s this someone, somewhere, is an imaginary figure.

I can vaguely remember the scene where the tranny demands the right to have an abortion despite not being able to get pregnant in the first place.

In that episode there was some unusual depth to the observation. Both pro-choice and transgender movements hide behind the progressive language of empowerment but are obsessed with the self - both are actually individualistic laissez faire arguments that ignore the rights of other individuals, and the empowerment they talk about leads to obnoxious and bullying behaviours. Their demands are so contemptible to the rest of us for their self-centredness and their hypocrisies.

Of course as libertarians themselves the South Park creators probably couldn't push the observation to its logical conclusion. Libertarianism itself condenses down to 'fuck you, dad!'

Conservative-leaning HBD people are also pretty impotent in World War T. Repeating the existence of the Y chromosome and expressing squick over a plastic surgery, isn't really a proactive response like the one radical feminists are pushing.

Audacious Epigone said...


The response I've increasingly come to see as the best one on offer, and the one I'll offer again here is: Breed.

Audacious Epigone said...

Re: biologists and the natural sciences generally, thanks, definitely something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Saying 'breed' doesnt fight the transgenders on their own terms.

Besides, people like McCloskey and Conway do breed - first. Their ability to do so as functioning normal males is why its bullshit to say theyre 'trapped in the wrong body'. Its also why their lives feel so unpleasant to us, demanding rights and pronouns for themselves but abandoning their families (or even worse, knowing the stigma will cause their own kids to be bullied.)