What’s Up With Sex Today?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Gender seems to be causing problems these days. Some people feel that it is improper to use the terms “male” and “female”, and they support their argument using science.

But you can describe a human being in great scientific detail without actually describing the person at all in any useful or meaningful way. But because science is used to manipulate, especially when it appears very complicated, it’s worth paying it some attention.It’s not daunting at all. In fact, most people remember from early high school science or biology class that there are two types of  “chromosomes” that come in pairs – one is X and the other is Y.

The SRY gene on the Y-chromosome activates all the other male-associated genes, so males have an XY-chromosome pairing, and females have an XX-chromosome pairing.

That’s nearly all there is to know – except to consider what happens when things go wrong.

Note that mutations are random, not inherited, and extremely rare.

  • One example of such a mutation is a male with an extra Y-chromosome – XYY syndrome – resulting in the male having learning difficulties, being very tall, and having lots of acne.
  • Another is Klinefelter syndrome – XXY syndrome – resulting in reading difficulties, being very tall, weakness, infertility and growing breasts.
  • Even rarer than Klinefelter syndrome is De la Chapelle syndrome or XX Male syndrome, where the father’s Y-chromosome SRY gene somehow gets attached to the XX-chomosome pairing, resulting in physical male characteristics of varying degrees.
  • While these are extremely rare, there is an even more rare variant – they call it “SRY negative XX male” – the cause of which remains something of a mystery!

It’s the mutations that are causing the problems for some people; for them it means that it is impossible to define “male” and “female”. This is silly and quite misleading.

Mutations are the exceptions that prove the rule.

1024px-Sex-diff[1]

By Syko lozz – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4538118

In the vast majority of cases, females have XX-chromosomes and males have XY-chromosomes. It is silly to try to split terms and make things more complicated – for example, to suggest that you can be physically male, but a female because of an XX-chromosome pair, at the same time as genetically male because of SRY being present. This complexity is designed to confuse and confound – that a person can be defined as both male and female at the same time!

Then hormones are brought into cause further complexity – females with higher levels of male hormone are called “hormonally male”. It’s too much. It’s ridiculous.

These pseudo-science arguments detract from the message – the real argument – which is that we should be kind to people.

My arguing against pseudo-science is not an argument against being nice to people.

If a man wants to physically turn into a woman (and vice versa) that’s up to them. If a person’s sexual reference is for red-heads or people of the same gender, fine; it’s none of my business.

The problem is not about people, the problem is about systems.

We do not have systems in place to deal with this type of thing. We have tax laws based on heterosexual relationships, we have male and female bathrooms, we have greeting cards that presume babies to be boys or girls.

We do not have the etiquette to help us – what do we call someone who is transitioning from one gender to another? What is a universally acceptable term for an XX male – which bathroom should be used?

So instead of arguing for all people to be accepted, the onus ought to be on those people to help us all navigate this brave new world. The fight should be to create the etiquette and get the systems in place so that success can be possible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: