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Demographics Poll: What is your sex/gender?

2

Comments

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,292
    There is indeed a difference between sex and gender, simply because we need some way of distinguishing between social constructs and customs like "women wear dresses and men wear pants" and biological realities like "women have ovaries and men have testes." Hence, sex is used to refer to the biological aspect, while gender is used to refer to the social aspect.

    Conveniently enough, this lets us avoid the debate of nature vs. nurture by simply dividing the concept into two.

    typo_tillyGenderNihilismGirdleMirandel
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303

    There is indeed a difference between sex and gender, simply because we need some way of distinguishing between social constructs and customs like "women wear dresses and men wear pants" and biological realities like "women have ovaries and men have testes."

    Why do we need it, though? Plenty of women wear pants, and nobody cares. Sure, there'll be quite more eyebrows raised if a man were to wear frilly dress, but in the end, again, who cares.

    typo_tillySilverstar
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,292
    edited December 2018
    @Ardanis: I just gave the dress thing as an example of a gender role that people today can acknowledge is simply a cultural thing. It's worth bearing in mind that there were times and places when dress codes were considered extremely important moral rules. Even today, in some places in the Middle East, breaking those rules is flat-out illegal! A lot of our ideas about men and women today are also the result of culture rather than biology--we're still working out which is which. In between dresses and gonads, we've got a lot of other differences that are less obvious to pin down.

    We've really only got three possibilities here:

    1. "The differences between men and women are strictly biological, so we don't need separate definitions for sex and gender."

    2. "The differences between men and women are strictly social constructs, so we don't need separate definitions for sex and gender."

    3. "Some differences between men and women are biological and some are social constructs, so we can use sex to refer to the former and gender to refer to the latter."

    If we look at two deer and we decide that they're not the same species, we need a different name for each species.

    ThacoBellGenderNihilismGirdle
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303
    edited December 2018
    There're also different (sometimes drastically) dog breeds, but we still call it a dog. When a friend asks what dog do we have, we say it's german shepherd or pitbull. But we don't take our german shepherd or putbull for a walk, we take our dog for a walk.

    So, I don't really see the importance of pointing out social differences. Enforcement of gender roles would be a sound argument, but 1) what's the problem nowadays with a girl who likes to play football or a boy who prefers sewing or cooking, 2) it's not like proclaiming yourself a transgender person would excuse you for breaking Middle Eastern customs either.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,870
    @Ardanis How would you define a woman? What makes a woman, not a man?

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303
    Ability to bear children and give birth, I guess?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,870
    @ThacoBell Okay, so if someone was otherwise female, but was born without a Uterus or Ovaries, they aren't a woman?

    To clarify, this is a thought exercise. I'm asking questions to put you on a certain train of thought, to see what conclusion you come to.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303
    ThacoBell said:

    Okay, so if someone was otherwise female, but was born without a Uterus or Ovaries, they aren't a woman?

    I'm not sure it's the answer you were hoping for, but - assuming we're not talking about intersex or trauma, how can they be female without appropriate biological characteristics?


    My own understanding of the problem is that traditional gender roles can be overly imposing and it's not exactly a positive thing. Indeed, I agree. The solution, however, seems pretty artificial to me - why invent new names to identify ourselves with, when we can just accept that each person is free to pursue whatever they like regardless of what genitals they possess.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,870
    edited December 2018
    @Ardanis Well, if they don't have the "appropriate" female characteristics, and they don't have the "appropriate" male characteristics, what are they? With the lack of reproductive organs to classify, how do you classify them?

    For that matter, what would you call yourself, if neither applied to you?

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303
    edited December 2018
    If physical organs are missing, then by chromosomes or hormones.

    So, if I were in accident and lost some body parts, I'd still be a male, unless I undergone further surgery. Would be rather furious if it were done without my input, but, well, what's done is done.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,870
    Hormones can be manipulated, and even chromosomes can be different due to genetic anomalies. What then?

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303
    Mixed chromosomes would mean intersex. In which case yay, can choose freely. In case of infants with such traits, I believe they often undergo surgery or hormone therapy to become one of the two. May be a little unfair indeed.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,870
    Okay, now I'm a little confused. Unless I misunderstood one of your previous comments, I thought you had an issue with someone using a non-binary term to describe themselves.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 507
    I dont this thread is fine for this forum.

  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303
    edited December 2018
    I don't see a problem with someone being intersex and describing themselves as such, or preferring to stick with one traditional sex. My concern is about separation of gender from biological sex, both because this way someone can start switching their identity at will (how would the rest know what to address them then?) and because it's a poor way to avoid undesired gender role discrimination. If anything, it probably even cements the latter further.

    ThacoBell
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,292
    That's not really the point of separating the terms. Separating the terms is just for convenience's sake. We have two different concepts--biological differences between men and women, and cultural differences between men and women--and therefore use two different terms to refer to them.
    Ardanis said:

    this way someone can start switching their identity at will

    You can do this no matter what words are being used to describe what concepts. Using sex and gender interchangeably doesn't really prevent that, nor do I see a whole bunch of people flipping back and forth and back and forth and back and forth from a male identity to a female one. Normally people make the change once.

    There might be a communication issue here, but I really don't see how using sex and gender as identical terms is related to any of the issues you've brought up over the past several posts. I don't see why it would be a bad idea to have two different words instead of two synonyms.

    I think you're trying to discuss a completely different subject from "the definitions of sex and gender."

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,629
    Ardanis said:

    My concern is about separation of gender from biological sex, both because this way someone can start switching their identity at will (how would the rest know what to address them then?) and because it's a poor way to avoid undesired gender role discrimination. If anything, it probably even cements the latter further.

    It's an odd opinion to take this side and say that it's more important for "the rest" to know what to call someone, then for those who are inter/non-binary to actually be able to choose themselves what to be. It's like saying "the rest" should still be allowed to freely use the N-word to describe a black person because how would they otherwise know how to address them even though black people find this discriminatory and abusive.

    I'm not calling you a racist, nor a sexist (apologies if it seems this way), but the way you describe your written opinion in this matter is an odd one and, I feel, based on the fact that you are probably part of the normative majority and thus unable to see the other side. In matters where you yourself are not part of the discrimination, abuse or slander (the minority), it's often better to listen and learn than to speak.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303

    We have two different concepts--biological differences between men and women, and cultural differences between men and women--and therefore use two different terms to refer to them.

    I think what confuses me is that we already have the cultural difference pretty blurred.
    Skatan said:

    In matters where you yourself are not part of the discrimination, abuse or slander (the minority), it's often better to listen and learn than to speak.

    I've been a subject to some discrimination, abuse and slander before, so it's not entirely like I can't relate, even though I can't comprehend why it should have been anyone else's problem but my own.
    That, and "listen and learn" is a very one-sided process. I'd given it a chance before and the only thing I learned was that if someone didn't repeat the mantra they must be a transphobic nazi or worse. Doesn't exactly sound to be the point, though, does it, so I made an attempt at discussion to see if I could get insight and understand something.
    But if it was indeed not the best place for that, then apologies for hijacking the thread :)

  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,320
    This is just an aside for people interested in a wealth of links, but this facebook thread cites quite a lot of academic sources on the topics discussed in this thread here! I'd link each one one by one in this thread but a) that's a lot of links and b) I think the science page admin provides good context when dropping links, for those interested in that context, so it seemed better to just link the thread.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,818
    Prolly a bit more fluid than my answer mentions, but not to a degree that I feel non-binary fits.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,138
    ThacoBell said:

    @Ardanis Well, if they don't have the "appropriate" female characteristics, and they don't have the "appropriate" male characteristics, what are they? With the lack of reproductive organs to classify, how do you classify them?

    For that matter, what would you call yourself, if neither applied to you?


    There is indeed a difference between sex and gender, simply because we need some way of distinguishing between social constructs and customs like "women wear dresses and men wear pants" and biological realities like "women have ovaries and men have testes." Hence, sex is used to refer to the biological aspect, while gender is used to refer to the social aspect.

    Conveniently enough, this lets us avoid the debate of nature vs. nurture by simply dividing the concept into two.

    Though I agree with the concept of seperating gender/sex for convenience, it takes no account of the overlap.

    To put sex down to purely observable biological realities is not correct because there's an awful lot of behavior that's down to biological realities as well.

    The debate about nuture verses nature is currently being fought with scant regard to any scientific truth. There's an agenda driving the discussion.







  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,292
    edited January 10
    I'd question the idea that there's an "agenda" relating to this issue. There's a political divide on the issue, in the sense that conservatives are more likely to place more emphasis on nature and liberals are more likely to place more emphasis on nurture when it comes to gender identity, but it's not like there are a whole lot of public policies (or even private policies, like in a business or nonprofit) that depend on a specific definition of sex or gender. It's not a "liberals need sex and gender to be this way in order to justify the Gender Identity Act of 2014 and conservatives need sex and gender to be that way in order to oppose the Gender Identity Act of 2014" kind of a thing.

    The closest thing to a real policy issue is the "can transgender people use X or Y bathrooms" question, and to my knowledge, the only actual legislation that has resulted from that debate are a few small, local laws that aren't really enforceable to begin with.

    The debate over "sex vs. gender" is more of an definition quibble by random folks on the Internet than a competition of two actual policy agendas.

    GenderNihilismGirdleThacoBell
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 3,370

    I'd question the idea that there's an "agenda" relating to this issue. There's a political divide on the issue, in the sense that conservatives are more likely to place more emphasis on nature and liberals are more likely to place more emphasis on nurture when it comes to gender identity, but it's not like there are a whole lot of public policies (or even private policies, like in a business or nonprofit) that depend on a specific definition of sex or gender. It's not a "liberals need sex and gender to be this way in order to justify the Gender Identity Act of 2014 and conservatives need sex and gender to be that way in order to oppose the Gender Identity Act of 2014" kind of a thing.

    The closest thing to a real policy issue is the "can transgender people use X or Y bathrooms" question, and to my knowledge, the only actual legislation that has resulted from that debate are a few small, local laws that aren't really enforceable to begin with.

    The debate over "sex vs. gender" is more of an definition quibble by random folks on the Internet than a competition of two actual policy agendas.

    Get rid of 'X or Y' bathrooms. Problem solved. I understand unisex bathrooms work well in other countries so why not in the US?

    gorgonzola
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,138
    Balrog99 said:

    I'd question the idea that there's an "agenda" relating to this issue. There's a political divide on the issue, in the sense that conservatives are more likely to place more emphasis on nature and liberals are more likely to place more emphasis on nurture when it comes to gender identity, but it's not like there are a whole lot of public policies (or even private policies, like in a business or nonprofit) that depend on a specific definition of sex or gender. It's not a "liberals need sex and gender to be this way in order to justify the Gender Identity Act of 2014 and conservatives need sex and gender to be that way in order to oppose the Gender Identity Act of 2014" kind of a thing.

    The closest thing to a real policy issue is the "can transgender people use X or Y bathrooms" question, and to my knowledge, the only actual legislation that has resulted from that debate are a few small, local laws that aren't really enforceable to begin with.

    The debate over "sex vs. gender" is more of an definition quibble by random folks on the Internet than a competition of two actual policy agendas.

    Get rid of 'X or Y' bathrooms. Problem solved. I understand unisex bathrooms work well in other countries so why not in the US?
    Why should women have their preference forsingle sex bathrooms/changing rooms ect. overuled to pander to a tiny minority?

    I could understand after surgery, but as a woman I don't want to have men wandering around pretending they are women. And that's where it's heading with rules/laws about "self identification".
    And then we are told, by men, it's not agenda driven......purleese.

    If ever there was an example of mansplaining or male privilege, it's men deciding that they get to decide they know what a woman is and they can just be one.

    Ardanis
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,292
    @UnderstandMouseMagic: The women's preference you cite is not supported by data. According to a Gallup poll, a majority of people overall would prefer that transgender people should use the bathrooms corresponding to their sex at birth, but a majority of women specifically believe the opposite. 52% of women polled supported transgender people using bathrooms based on their gender identity; only 40% supported transgender people using bathrooms based on biological sex.

    Which position is correct is a more complicated issue, but as far as "women's preference" goes, a majority of women support transgender people choosing which bathroom they wish to use.

    I'm guessing this is because there's a strong political difference between Republicans and Democrats, and Democrats skew female while Republicans skew male: Republicans favor transgender people using bathrooms based on their sex at birth 71% to 25%, while Democrats favor transgender people using bathrooms based on their gender identity 63% to 29%.

    GenderNihilismGirdleThacoBellOrlonKronsteen
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 3,370

    @UnderstandMouseMagic: The women's preference you cite is not supported by data. According to a Gallup poll, a majority of people overall would prefer that transgender people should use the bathrooms corresponding to their sex at birth, but a majority of women specifically believe the opposite. 52% of women polled supported transgender people using bathrooms based on their gender identity; only 40% supported transgender people using bathrooms based on biological sex.

    Which position is correct is a more complicated issue, but as far as "women's preference" goes, a majority of women support transgender people choosing which bathroom they wish to use.

    I'm guessing this is because there's a strong political difference between Republicans and Democrats, and Democrats skew female while Republicans skew male: Republicans favor transgender people using bathrooms based on their sex at birth 71% to 25%, while Democrats favor transgender people using bathrooms based on their gender identity 63% to 29%.

    If I were transgender I'd use the one with the shortest line...

    semiticgodArdanisThacoBell
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,730
    edited January 10
    i don't know how the things are in usa, in italian language we don't have a so well established difference between sex and gender, we use sex both for the biological and the psychological/social/legal aspect.

    but i want to elaborate something.
    modern western societies are dominated by the sexual aspect of the life, you find sex in movies, television, advertising, in both subliminal and esplicite ways. let's compare how a western woman uses cosmetics and chose what to dress, it is done mainly to be sexy. we are so much in that thing that we are not even aware about it. compare it to the way an indian woman (in a rural not westernized environment) does, she uses cosmetics and wears her sari to be beautiful, not to be sexy. beautiful like a sunset is beautiful, not beautiful cause she irradiates sexual signals.
    we are so much in this kind of things that for us beautiful is becoming a synonymous of sexy, we tell things like: "wow, that sport car is really sexy!"
    how can a piece of metal and plastic designed to carry around people and eventually to be a status symbol be sexy?
    i had few trips in rural india, trips each one lasting few months, and each time i come back to italy i noticed how i was flooded with a constant input of sexual signals, from the media, from the people in the streets and even from my female friends. without my female friends being even aware of it, is so deep in our modern culture that we are not even conscious of it. people working in the advertising business are well aware and use the thing almost constantly. in about a month or so i get used again to the western way and stop to notice it.

    on the other side the western societies have a lot of problems about sex, it is everywhere, but we are not even allowed to expose our bodies to the sight of the other people. if is summer and i feel hot or feel not comfortable wearing dresses why i am not allowed to show my body, my genitals? it is regarded so not polite that i am arrested if i do it in the street or at the seaside out of special areas where is allowed. why?
    is so natural, no other animal feel the urge to hide his genitals. if we look at the reactions of a little baby, before he/she is conditioned by our culture, we notice almost no difference between having him seeing adults naked. he can be surprised that they have hairs on the genitals, but surprised in the very same way he is surprised when he discovers something new.

    so the bathroom problem imo is only a sub product of this distorted way, both the left and the right way of approaching the problem are distorted, cause the problem is not if a person has to go in a bothroom reserved to people of his own sex or his own gender. the problem is the taboo we have about showing to other people some parts of our bodies while living in a sex dominated society.
    cause normally we go in a bathroom to piss and poop, very natural things that everybody, pope and queen included, does, and to wash ourselves, thing that involves showing to others parts of our bodies that we are conditioned to not show.

    i agree with @Balrog99 , unisex bathrooms are a perfect solution.


    EDIT: as the bathroom problem is due to people showing some parts of their bodies to other people i think that the sex is more relevant than the gender, unless surgery has changed the body. but as i told before both should not be relevant imo, unisex bathrooms should be the solution.

    ArdanisBalrog99GenderNihilismGirdle
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,644
    Everyone needs to pee, does it really matter where? As long as they keep the facilities clean I would have no objections.

    GenderNihilismGirdlegorgonzola
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,303

    According to a Gallup poll, a majority of people overall would prefer that transgender people should use the bathrooms corresponding to their sex at birth, but a majority of women specifically believe the opposite. 52% of women polled supported transgender people using bathrooms based on their gender identity; only 40% supported transgender people using bathrooms based on biological sex.

    Wonder if I'll get away entering a women's bath and claiming I'm genderfluid and feeling like a woman today :blush:

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,292
    Ardanis said:

    According to a Gallup poll, a majority of people overall would prefer that transgender people should use the bathrooms corresponding to their sex at birth, but a majority of women specifically believe the opposite. 52% of women polled supported transgender people using bathrooms based on their gender identity; only 40% supported transgender people using bathrooms based on biological sex.

    Wonder if I'll get away entering a women's bath and claiming I'm genderfluid and feeling like a woman today :blush:
    If you used those exact words, people would know you were screwing with them.

    GenderNihilismGirdleThacoBell
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