Are Male and Female Brains Biologically Different?

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Pondering
Are Male and Female Brains Biologically Different?

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/06/male-female-brains-b...

Jun 25, 2018

But Lise Eliot, a professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School and the author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain, says that anyone who goes searching for innate differences between the sexes won’t find them....

That’s a bold statement, and one science is divided on. It seems to depend on what exactly is being measured. For example, a large study in the U.K. found that many regions of men’s brains were larger than women’s, and that women on average had thicker cerebral cortices. What does that mean for how the brain works? Unclear. Another study found that “averaged across many people, sex differences in brain structure do exist, but an individual brain is likely to be just that: individual, with a mix of features,” as New Scientist reported in 2015...

Eliot blames academia and the media in part for the cycle that leads to the ongoing argument over biological brain differences. Because most scholars know that any small statistical difference between men and women will make headlines, academics, desperate for funding and attention, often focus studies on gender disparities. “You go back to data, analyze it for sex, and if you find a difference, then guess what: You have another paper,” Eliot said.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender#Scientific_studies_of_transsex...

Certain brain structures in trans women have been found to be similar to cisgender women's as opposed to cis men's, and trans men's have been found to be similar to cis men's, even controlling for hormone use, which can also cause trans people's brains to become closer to those of cis people of the same gender.

The wikipedia article is biased. If these differences exist then transgenderism could be diagnosed with a CT scan or MRI and trans people wouldn't have to go through so much nonsense to get surgery or other treatments.

I and many other people reject the notion that we are born gendered. Women are actively harmed by this theory. We have fought for centuries to prove we can do math and be firefighters. Brain differences are used to justify discrimination against us.

Brains cannot be identifed as male or female at this time.

Just as there is no physical evidence for a soul there is none for gender. As a mother and aunt I know that children are born with traits that have no means of being physically identified and are not explained by environment. I don't think any physical signs have been found for geniuses either but there must be some difference. The existence of some sort of sense of being male or female is not beyond the bounds of possibility. So far it has not been proven and can't be identified.

Women have a vested interest in proving that male and female brains do not differ significantly. Trans women have a vested interest in proving there is a difference.

quizzical

you know i dont believe women have a vested interest in proving brains do not differ. some may believe they do me not so much.

i like pink. i like frou frou. i like make up and gorgeous nails. my mom says i was not quite 6 months when i fell in love with my first dress which I grabbed as she was just walking by.

i was a forest wildfire fighter and could run up the sides of mountains in my coveralls to hook up gravity feeds better than many men on my crew.

i dirt bike, quad and love to mow lawns.

now i'm a young gma to a boy and know there's a big difference in baby boy choices to baby girl choices and my mom who has now raised 2 gens of girls and has a boy great sees the differences in choices made from the get go.

we need to be raising good humans and stop with the hand wringing and let our children be who they are.

 

JKR

I think the bell curves for many traits for the populations of men and women differ but they overlap.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I think the bell curves for many traits for the populations of men and women differ but they overlap.

I suspect that many of those traits will differ because of gender "norms" and expectations rather than because of observable differences between brains.

WWWTT

I believe the human brain is the least understood or mysterious part of the body. 

Making a big deal about subtle male vs female differences is a waste of time. 

Bacchus

There are physical differences that are easy to see. Brain, not so much

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If these differences exist then transgenderism could be diagnosed with a CT scan or MRI and trans people wouldn't have to go through so much nonsense to get surgery or other treatments.

What if someone identifies as the opposite sex, but lack those observable differences?  What if someone identifies as their birth sex, but an MRI or CT for something else shows that they're "really" a transperson?

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
If these differences exist then transgenderism could be diagnosed with a CT scan or MRI and trans people wouldn't have to go through so much nonsense to get surgery or other treatments.

What if someone identifies as the opposite sex, but lack those observable differences?  What if someone identifies as their birth sex, but an MRI or CT for something else shows that they're "really" a transperson?

That would disprove the theory that brain differences explain gender identity. Again, I am not claiming there isn't a biological reason for transgenderism. I'm just saying to date none has been found.

My personal theory is if boys were allowed to like girl things there would fewer gender identity issues and if there were no gender roles other than what biology dictates there would be no gender matching issues.

quizzical

all fine a good in theory pondering but my grandson at 5 months and just crawling, given a whole children's activity room full of every toy imaginable would chuck aside babies and dolls to get to the trucks.

i think babys and toddlers should have access to a variety of toys but i believe there's a preference not imposed. if kids don't want to play with something they don't. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That would disprove the theory that brain differences explain gender identity.

OK.  But I guess what I was wondering was more like if someone who identifies as the opposite sex, but lacks those observable differences, can they still request a change of gender on their driver's licence?  If they are prevented from joining a women's bowling league, would they have recourse through the HRC? 

That's the problem with a "trans gene" -- while it might demonstrate, medically and objectively, that someone was born in the wrong body, it would also demonstrate that someone else was not.

ed'd to add:  and also, it wouldn't disprove anything at all.  All it would prove is that brain differences don't explain gender identity for those individuals.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
That would disprove the theory that brain differences explain gender identity.

OK.  But I guess what I was wondering was more like if someone who identifies as the opposite sex, but lacks those observable differences, can they still request a change of gender on their driver's licence?  If they are prevented from joining a women's bowling league, would they have recourse through the HRC? 

That's the problem with a "trans gene" -- while it might demonstrate, medically and objectively, that someone was born in the wrong body, it would also demonstrate that someone else was not.

ed'd to add:  and also, it wouldn't disprove anything at all.  All it would prove is that brain differences don't explain gender identity for those individuals.

The current situation, which trans people are struggling with, is that they are diagnosed as having Gender dysphoria which is significant mental distress because one believes they are the "wrong" gender. The most successful way to treat that distress, for those who want it, is to help the individual live in the gender they believe they were intended to live as.

I don't think that would change. The current measure of "mental" illness is if something interferes with your ability to function due to mental distress you have a mental disorder. Whatever successfully alleviates the distress is the appropriate treatment. Prescribing for depression is a crap shoot. They just try different types until they hit one that works. Not very scientific.

If some means of physically identifying a population of trans people who carry an identifiable marker it would make life a lot easier for them. If there were other people also convinced they are trans gender their situation would remain pretty much the same as it is now. It would still be the most successful path for such people. I think it might be more difficult for children to transition if they didn't carry the marker. People who transitioned without the marker would have an easier time of it because once it could be diagnosed it would be considered a real thing by people in general rather than a mental disorder as it is now. People wouldn't casually ask trans people if they had the marker or not. People would assume that they do and that the trans person really is the gender they are presenting as. So, marker or not life would be made easier for trans people.

Some trans people do transition back or say that they made a mistake. They are in the minority but they exist. If there were a marker maybe people without it would be those who have regrets today or who have transitioned back.

In any case it is very hypothetical because so far there is no physical means of detecting gender and I don't believe there ever will be.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I believe that brain development is heavily affected by the interactions that we have with others in the first years of life. I also believe that most adults will interact differently with young boys and young girls, and that most if not all gender differences in different parts of the brain can be traced to this. So while I don't deny that some differences do exist, I believe that nurture plays a much larger role than nature.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

quizzical wrote:

all fine a good in theory pondering but my grandson at 5 months and just crawling, given a whole children's activity room full of every toy imaginable would chuck aside babies and dolls to get to the trucks.

i think babys and toddlers should have access to a variety of toys but i believe there's a preference not imposed. if kids don't want to play with something they don't.

Chances are that your 5 month old grandson went for whichever toy his parents were looking at, and most parents in such a situation will turn their attention to those toys which are heteronormative for the sex of their kid. These things do not happen in a vaccum, independent of nurture.

quizzical

nope no one looking at toys or even close by interacting. grandson was just busy exploring the whole toy area on own.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Gender dysphoria is not a mental illness. and it is not a disorder.

And in fact it isn't the only condition involving gender. There is also gender variance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_variance

MegB

quizzical wrote:

all fine a good in theory pondering but my grandson at 5 months and just crawling, given a whole children's activity room full of every toy imaginable would chuck aside babies and dolls to get to the trucks.

i think babys and toddlers should have access to a variety of toys but i believe there's a preference not imposed. if kids don't want to play with something they don't. 

My two girls went through varying stages of loving trucks, cars, building toys and froofy girly shit like barbies and princess crap. I let them explore it all with the understanding that marketing plays a key role in what parents buy (and their kids want). Gendered toys and the understanding that there is one preference or another is entirely manufactured in subliminal ways because fucking capitalism.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Gender dysphoria is not a mental illness. and it is not a disorder.

And in fact it isn't the only condition involving gender. There is also gender variance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_variance

If someone wants to alter their body to conform to their gender identity it is classified as a mental disorder. Without that designation there would be no medical treatment because it would mean there was no medical issue.

Note I am not claiming that it is, I am claiming that it is currently classified as such based on the limitations of current science which cannot identify a physical or chemical gender marker.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/new-organ-human-body-interstit...

Scientists have identified a new human organ hiding in plain sight, in a discovery they hope could help them understand the spread of cancer within the body.

Layers long thought to be dense, connective tissue are actually a series of fluid-filled compartments researchers have termed the “interstitium”. 

These compartments are found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteins.

New analysis published in the journal Scientific Reports is the first to identify these spaces collectively as a new organ and try to understand their function. 

Remarkably, the interstitium had previously gone unnoticed despite being one of the largest organs in the human body.

That we haven't identified a gender marker doesn't mean one doesn't exist but neither does it mean one does exist.

I don't believe we are born gendered.  The trans community is convinced we are. A negative can't be proven so the debate will never be over unless a trans marker is found.

6079_Smith_W

*sigh*

Here, from the doctors, if you don't want to accept it from me.

The diagnostic label gender identity disorder (GID) was used by the DSM until its reclassification as gender dysphoria in 2013, with the release of the DSM-5. The diagnosis was reclassified to better align it with medical understanding of the condition and to remove the stigma associated with the term disorder.[5][6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_dysphoria

And if you read further in the listing you will see that it is not considered an illness because it is all about having to deal with gender stereotypes, discrimination, and hatred.

 

quizzical

MegB wrote:

quizzical wrote:

all fine a good in theory pondering but my grandson at 5 months and just crawling, given a whole children's activity room full of every toy imaginable would chuck aside babies and dolls to get to the trucks.

i think babys and toddlers should have access to a variety of toys but i believe there's a preference not imposed. if kids don't want to play with something they don't. 

My two girls went through varying stages of loving trucks, cars, building toys and froofy girly shit like barbies and princess crap. I let them explore it all with the understanding that marketing plays a key role in what parents buy (and their kids want). Gendered toys and the understanding that there is one preference or another is entirely manufactured in subliminal ways because fucking capitalism.

can agree re subliminal cartoons play a large part too once kids get there. 

but with my grandson he was literally in a children's  centre just starting to crawl and be aware and there was every type of gendered toy within his crawling reach.

his room decor was not gender specific nor were his rattles and play stations. pretty much a blank slate when he encountered the toy trove.

since at least my mom's generation the family has tried not to impose gender  roles.

her sisters were a bit more stereotype but not so much. her sister built a a extension on their house and wired it and plumbed it. this was late 60s.

i had tonka toys and trains along side my cabbage patch doll as presents.

my dad's mom built fishings boats and fished off Cape Breton her whole life and yet at 80 plus she still dyes her hair and got her nose pierced.

i guess my family and life experience indicates nature and nurture are at play in how we develop as humans.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Personally, I've never had any interest in sports, huge breasts, cars, working out, or a half-dozen other "male traits" I'm supposed to have.  But I do love cooking!

What's mildly interesting about that, though, is that when I was growing up, my father did the majority of the cooking and shopping, and I can't help but think that rather than in some way "resisting" gendered male norms, I was simply doing as I imagine many boys do, and emulating my most proximate male role model.  In other words, I'm still patterning my behaviour after "male" behaviour I observed in my formative years, but that behaviour happened to be pretty non-traditional.

If I'd had a sister, I'd have been interested to see if she would have grown up to be like my mother and perhaps take up welding or some such.

quizzical

my partner loves to shop, cook, do dishes and clean the kitchen plus does his own shizzle chores. he's into participatory sports and is a dirt works environment specialist. 

nurture and nature at work same as you magoo

JKR

Pondering wrote:

I don't believe we are born gendered.  The trans community is convinced we are.

What evidence is there that "the trans community is convinced that we are born gendered?"

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
What evidence is there that "the trans community is convinced that we are born gendered?"

Isn't that exactly what someone born with a male body claiming "I was born female, then incorrectly assigned male" is saying?  In what other way could they be born female?

WWWTT

MegB wrote:

quizzical wrote:

all fine a good in theory pondering but my grandson at 5 months and just crawling, given a whole children's activity room full of every toy imaginable would chuck aside babies and dolls to get to the trucks.

i think babys and toddlers should have access to a variety of toys but i believe there's a preference not imposed. if kids don't want to play with something they don't. 

My two girls went through varying stages of loving trucks, cars, building toys and froofy girly shit like barbies and princess crap. I let them explore it all with the understanding that marketing plays a key role in what parents buy (and their kids want). Gendered toys and the understanding that there is one preference or another is entirely manufactured in subliminal ways because fucking capitalism.

Yep! I’m actually starting to get my kids to watch more children’s programming on TVO because there’s no commercials and in particular toy commercials 

Before they would mostly watch YTV Treehouse and others with commercials and they would get all excited about new toy commercials about robots hot wheels LEGO fingerling (a little monkey that fits on your finger and costs over $20, in two  days it gets tossed into the toy bin and forgotten with the rest) etc etc. 

My eldest boy used to even get pissed off at me if I got up to go into the kitchen and I missed a commercial on tv he just saw about some toy or another. 

We never have this problem when we watch commercial free programming. We still watch programming on other stations with toy commercials, but I’m starting to have to explain to my kids about the evils of consumerism, and believe it or no, they’re starting to get it!

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering wrote:

"I am claiming that it is currently classified as such based on the limitations of current science which cannot identify a physical or chemical gender marker."

That is totally bizarre! In the absence of science they classify it anyway?

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

Pondering wrote:

"I am claiming that it is currently classified as such based on the limitations of current science which cannot identify a physical or chemical gender marker."

That is totally bizarre! In the absence of science they classify it anyway?

If a person is emotionally distressed to the point where it interferes with their functioning it is defined as mental illness.  Once all physical causes are ruled out the individual is interviewed. Their particular set of reported symptoms then determines diagnosis and treatment.

As there is no evidence of a physical disorder gender dysmorphia is classified as a mental illness. If it were not trans people could not get any medical treatment because there is nothing medically wrong with the bodies of trans people. What would be the justification for medical treatment?

6079_Smith_W

No it isn't, Pondering. To repeat: Gender dysphoria is NOT a mental illness. That is not how it is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

There are people who are driven to depression, stress or suicide by their experience of sexism or racism. It doesn't make being female or Indigenous a mental illness. It is the society around them which is sick. It is no different in this case.

For that matter there are still people who insist that being anything but straight is also a sickness, or a choice which someone can change at will. They are also ignoring medical evidence.

 

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

No it isn't, Pondering. To repeat: Gender dysphoria is NOT a mental illness. That is not how it is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

There are people who are driven to depression, stress or suicide by their experience of sexism or racism. It doesn't make being female or Indigenous a mental illness. It is the society around them which is sick. It is no different in this case.

For that matter there are still people who insist that being anything but straight is also a sickness, or a choice which someone can change at will. They are also ignoring medical evidence.

I'm not going to quibble over semantics

DSM

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

At this time being trans gender is not a physical deformity.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering,

The fact that something is classified in the DSM does not necessarily give it any scientific or legitimate validity as a mental disorder.

In the past, heterosexuality was simply a medicalized term to refer to people who are attracted to people of the opposite sex. It was not a medical condition. But homosexuality was considered a psychiatric problem in need of treatment. The psychiatric community took a social viewpoint about gay people  and medicalized it as a mental illness in order to try to treat it or eliminate it. 

The psychiatric community did the same thing with women and hysteria. If women got angry or upset, psychiatry medicalized it as a mental illness in need of treatment which was to surgically remove their uterus. Today the surgery is still called a hysterectomy because men figured that it was the uterus that made women hysterical.

in both cases, the medical community was wrong in their beliefs but it has never stopped them from adding new diagnoses to their DSM which are also biased and inherently misguided. These labels do a lot of damage and cause a lot of harm and it seems that the psychiatric community has no intentions of learning from their past mistakes.

the fact that something is listed in the DSM does not necessarily make it a legitimate mental illness.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

Pondering,

The fact that something is classified in the DSM does not necessarily give it any scientific or legitimate validity as a mental disorder.

....

the fact that something is listed in the DSM does not necessarily make it a legitimate mental illness.

This is why I keep saying the jury is still out. Pretty much everything in the DSM is unscientific in the sense that many mental illnesses do not have a physical marker or measurable hormonal imbalance. That is why they are called mental illnesses. The first condition to defy the label was epilepsy. Then it was discovered that epilepsy drugs can treat depression. That still didn't turn depression into a physical malady. 

If it is in the DSM it's classified as a mental disorder. Many transgendered people would like it removed. Many want it to stay.

The problem with removing it is trans people could no longer get treatments of any sort covered by insurance. Being a sex you don't identify with is not a physical condition. If it is neither a mental nor physical condition then treatment is elective.

It's a catch 22 for trans people.

Homosexuality was taken out because not all homosexuals are bothered by being gay. They are fine with it. They don't need medical treatment therefore for them it isn't a disorder, mental of physical. It has been shown that conversion therapy doesn't work. The only other therapy available is self-acceptance so for those who are bothered so much that it interferes with their functioning self-acceptance is the treatment of choice or possibly abstinence if self-acceptance doesn't work.

The whole mental health field is very wishy washy and unscientific. If no nerological or hormonal problems are detected and someone is mentally disturbed to the extent that it interferes with their life it is a mental disorder. Which mental disorder is determined by the basket of symptoms as described by the patient.

If someone has gender dysphoria but is perfectly comfortable living without surgery or hormonal treatment or treatment of any sort then they do not have a mental disorder.

For a mental state to classify as a disorder, it generally needs to cause dysfunction.[7] Most international clinical documents use the term mental "disorder", while "illness" is also common. It has been noted that using the term "mental" (i.e., of the mind) is not necessarily meant to imply separateness from brain or body.

According to DSM-IV, a mental disorder is a psychological syndrome or pattern which is associated with distress (e.g. via a painful symptom), disability (impairment in one or more important areas of functioning), increased risk of death, or causes a significant loss of autonomy; however it excludes normal responses such as grief from loss of a loved one, and also excludes deviant behavior for political, religious, or societal reasons not arising from a dysfunction in the individual.[8][9]

DSM-IV precedes the definition with caveats, stating that, as in the case with many medical terms, mental disorder "lacks a consistent operational definition that covers all situations", noting that different levels of abstraction can be used for medical definitions, including pathology, symptomology, deviance from a normal range, or etiology, and that the same is true for mental disorders, so that sometimes one type of definition is appropriate, and sometimes another, depending on the situation.[10]

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) redefined mental disorders in the DSM-5 as "a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual's cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.”[11] The final draft of ICD-11 contains a very similar definition.[12]

Very wishy washy.

Science is searching for physical markers for all kinds of things especially but not exclusively mental disorders. When something is diagnosed as a mental disorder it does not mean that it isn't a physical disorder. It just means physical markers haven't been found. The only other alternative is mental disorder so it is classified as such by default.

 

 

JKR

Why not accept the subjective experience transgendered people have of themselves?

quizzical

why not accept the subjective experience of biologically born women? 

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

If it is in the DSM it's classified as a mental disorder. Many transgendered people would like it removed. Many want it to stay.

The problem with removing it is trans people could no longer get treatments of any sort covered by insurance. Being a sex you don't identify with is not a physical condition. If it is neither a mental nor physical condition then treatment is elective.

It's a catch 22 for trans people.

No it is not a disorder because it is in the DSM.  And you just made the rest of that up. Would you please stop?

If you want to believe trans people are mentally ill there is obviously nothing I can do to change your mind. There are plenty who also hold that false belief. Same goes for the belief in female hysteria, and that being gay, lesbian or bi is a sickness. 

But the problem with telling outright lies after being set straight is that others might be inclined to take what you say seriously. And your claim is not true.

If you are interested, maybe start here for a more detailed look at what it really says (and examples of several other conditions which are in the DSM, and are also not illnesses).

https://genderanalysis.net/2017/08/being-transgender-is-a-mental-illness...

You passing on falsehoods is also a problem because we still have people believing in conversion therapy for LGBT people. People in this province are lobbying the government to do something about that and ban it, yet here on this site we are actually having to deal with those same false claims that LGBT people are mentally ill.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/saskatchewan-lgbt-conversion...

You aren't helping fight this bigotry, and belief in fake therapies that do nothing but harm. You are actually supporting those lies by trying to undermine accepted psychiatric practice, and ignoring what it very clearly says in their manual.

Please stop.

 

 

JKR

quizzical wrote:

why not accept the subjective experience of biologically born women? 

How is their subjective experience of themselves not being accepted?

JKR

To me, equating trans identities with mental illness seems very close-minded.

quizzical

JKR wrote:
quizzical wrote:

why not accept the subjective experience of biologically born women? 

How is their subjective experience of themselves not being accepted?

by transgender women insisting they're women and stating that women who insist womanhood is lived biological and social experiences are spreading  hate.

 

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Why not accept the subjective experience transgendered people have of themselves?

My subjective experience is that I was not born with a gender identity. I was just born with a vagina. Thereafter I was conditioned by society to exhibit feminine traits through role-modeling and approval which was acceptable to me. I knew I was a girl in the same way I knew that a chair is a chair. I didn't feel like a girl or not feel like a girl. I was taught what boys and girls are. That is my lived experience.

You want me to let other people tell me I was born with a gender identity even though there is no evidence of it. 

6079_Smith_W

Sorry, but others have just as much right to see things the way they want it as you do. Some people see gender as a part of us, and some reject it as nothing but a patriarchal construct. There isn't much you can do about that.

Now if someone wanted to force you to accept their view that you have a gender identity that would be kind of rude - about as rude as trying to force a trans person to accept that they are something they are not. Or for that matter any of us who do see gender as a part of our being. But I don't see that anyone is trying to force that on you.

Maybe it is time for a bit of detente on this issue.

JKR

quizzical wrote:

JKR wrote:
quizzical wrote:

why not accept the subjective experience of biologically born women? 

How is their subjective experience of themselves not being accepted?

by transgender women insisting they're women and stating that women who insist womanhood is lived biological and social experiences are spreading  hate.

 

Isn't that subjective experience not of themselves but of others?

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Why not accept the subjective experience transgendered people have of themselves?

My subjective experience is that I was not born with a gender identity. I was just born with a vagina. Thereafter I was conditioned by society to exhibit feminine traits through role-modeling and approval which was acceptable to me. I knew I was a girl in the same way I knew that a chair is a chair. I didn't feel like a girl or not feel like a girl. I was taught what boys and girls are. That is my lived experience.

You want me to let other people tell me I was born with a gender identity even though there is no evidence of it. 

I think it is perfectly correct that you were not born with a gender identity as you are the one in a position to make that determination. I think others are also in a position to make that subjective determination for themselves.

quizzical

JKR wrote:
quizzical wrote:

JKR wrote:
quizzical wrote:

why not accept the subjective experience of biologically born women? 

How is their subjective experience of themselves not being accepted?

by transgender women insisting they're women and stating that women who insist womanhood is lived biological and social experiences are spreading  hate.

 

Isn't that subjective experience not of themselves but of others?

huh?

get back to me when they "subjectively" experience menstruation, ovulation pain, ovarian cysts, pregnancy, having to make choice decisions, death as a result of pregnancy, birthing, PMS, endometriosis,  polycystic ovarian sydrome, numerous other medical issues pertaining to women specifically,  and sexual aggression /assault and murdered at the rate of women...plus plus. 

don't care whether transwomen believe themselves to be 'women' or not,  the reality is they are transgendered and cannot know what experiencing womanhood is. just i cannot know what it is to be transgendered and what they must go through to be comfortable in their body.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Please stop. 

You are wrong and you are encouraging prejudice against mental illness. I followed your link. That transitioning is the only successful treatment doesn't mean that being trans gender is a physical condition.

I said that conversion therapy doesn't work. I said that the only known successful treatment for people who have gender dysphoria is to transition to whatever extent they are comfortable with. You need to read more carefully.

https://www.thehastingscenter.org/how-and-why-to-take-gender-identity-di...

As a wizened gender rights advocate, I know better than to assume the activists making the most noise are actually representative of “the community” they insist they represent. So, while American transgender activists have lately been fairly unified and very vocal about the need to remove “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), I know that not all trans people agree.

Medicalization is, after all, a complex experience. Even while being labeled as “mentally disordered” can be a stigmatizing experience, it is also the case that the inclusion of GID in the DSM has functioned to provide financial and institutional support for medical, surgical, and psychological care for some transgender people.

If it is in the DSM it is currently classified as a mental disorder. That's the whole reason some trans activists want it removed.

As a wizened gender rights advocate, I know better than to assume the activists making the most noise are actually representative of “the community” they insist they represent. So, while American transgender activists have lately been fairly unified and very vocal about the need to remove “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), I know that not all trans people agree.

Medicalization is, after all, a complex experience. Even while being labeled as “mentally disordered” can be a stigmatizing experience, it is also the case that the inclusion of GID in the DSM has functioned to provide financial and institutional support for medical, surgical, and psychological care for some transgender people.

https://www.thehastingscenter.org/how-and-why-to-take-gender-identity-di...

Yup, mental disorders are stigmatized. That isn't a reason to deny their existence it is a reason to fight the stigma.

This cannot be compared to homosexuality because homosexuality doesn't require medical treatment and being trans gender generally does.

That's the catch 22. Without some sort of medical diagnosis medical treatments are considered elective. There is nothing identifiably physically wrong with the body of a transgendered individual.

You have your facts wrong. So right back at you, please stop. I'm not the one passing on falsehoods.

JKR

quizzical wrote:

huh?

get back to me when they "subjectively" experience menstruation, ovulation pain, ovarian cysts, pregnancy, having to make choice decisions, death as a result of pregnancy, birthing, PMS, endometriosis,  polycystic ovarian sydrome, numerous other medical issues pertaining to women specifically,  and sexual aggression /assault and murdered at the rate of women...plus plus. 

don't care whether transwomen believe themselves to be 'women' or not,  the reality is they are transgendered and cannot know what experiencing womanhood is. just i cannot know what it is to be transgendered and what they must go through to be comfortable in their body.

I agree that we should respect each other's differences and limit our discrimination of one another.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Why not accept the subjective experience transgendered people have of themselves?

My subjective experience is that I was not born with a gender identity. I was just born with a vagina. Thereafter I was conditioned by society to exhibit feminine traits through role-modeling and approval which was acceptable to me. I knew I was a girl in the same way I knew that a chair is a chair. I didn't feel like a girl or not feel like a girl. I was taught what boys and girls are. That is my lived experience.

You want me to let other people tell me I was born with a gender identity even though there is no evidence of it. 

I think it is perfectly correct that you were not born with a gender identity as you are the one in a position to make that determination. I think others are also in a position to make that subjective determination for themselves.

Of course they are. I believe that was their subjective experience. I have no reason not to. What I don't accept is claims that their subjective experience proves the existence of biological gender identity as fact. People claim after death experiences prove the existence of God. That they were welcomed by dead relatives. I believe they believe that. I don't believe it actually happens. I can't disprove it so maybe it does happen.

Gender is not assigned at birth. Visual sexual organs determine the biological sex of the baby which is recorded, nothing more.

To me it is important to keep a distinction between factual knowledge rooted in science and subjective experience or opinion.

Our knowledge of the brain is in its infancy. We have no idea what we are going to discover. Can't even imagine it.

There is no way I can claim that people aren't born with a gender identity as fact but the reverse is also true. In both cases all we have is subjective experiences and theory not factual knowledge. The onus is always on those who claim somthing exists to prove it before it become commonly accepted as factual.

It's a shame the stigma against mental disorders is so strong it's taken as an insult. It interferes with reasoned discussion.

Paladin1

x

JKR

Do individuals determine their own gender or is it at least to some extent out of their control?

6079_Smith_W

@ Pondering

Actually it is directly comparable to the experience of gay, lesbian and bi people, and of women because all these groups have been treated as mentally ill by bigots, including bigots within our medical system until they got their shit together and stopped pathologizing normal behaviour.

Anyway, from WebMD:

Gender dysphoria used to be called “gender identity disorder.” But the mismatch between body and internal sense of gender is not a mental illness. Instead, what need to be addressed are the stress, anxiety, and depression that go along with it.

https://www.webmd.com/sex/gender-dysphoria#1

Again, just because one might become depressed because of an experience of sexism and racism doesn't make being a woman or a person of colour a mental illness either.

And from a 2010 paper which recommended the changes to DSM which were made:

There was consensus that a transgender identity is not pathology. Gender variant individuals are not inherently disordered; rather, the distress of gender dysphoria is the psychological problem.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15532739.2010.509202

Encyclopedia Brittanica:

Although gender nonconformity is not a mental disorder, GD is characterized by clinically significant mental anguish.

https://www.britannica.com/science/gender-dysphoria

If you have any legitimate and current source that says otherwise I'd be interested in seeing it.

One current source, other than yourself, that gender dysphoria is a mental illness. And of course having a mental illness should not be a stigma, but claiming that someone is sick because of their identity, without any evidence, is itself very stigmatizing rhetoric.

Of course I can't stop you from spreading these same falsehoods that we hear from the conversion therapy crew - that LGBT people are sick, and I can't stop you from holding these opinions, but I will continue to point out that you are not telling the truth, and that all the evidence says otherwise. 

Paladin1

I don't agree with your initial premise Pondering but I do really respect how open you appear to be about the possibility of being wrong.

quizzical I'm inclined to side with you on this debate and find myself agreeing with everything you're saying in the thread.

Having boys and girls I was curious to see what toys they would lean towards. My daughter played with cars trucks and toy guns but soon moved to more feminine toys except for a lot of neutral sciency stufff.  I didn't push her one way or the other, I'm more than happy to let her put make up on my face or paint my nails.

It didn't bother me one but when my son would play with my daughters dolls, pink barbie car or anything like that but at a very early age he seemed drawn to toys that many might suggest are more boyish.  I think a lot of it may have to do with external exposures to "girl and boy" toys but I still agree with you that theres something hard-wired there from birth.

Misfit Misfit's picture

If you look at cartoon commercials, girl toys are hot pink and show only girls getting excited about them. Boy toy commercials only show boys having fun with them. Children watch these commercials and internalize the signals that are being messaged to them about what toys are appropriate for them to play with.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

I don't agree with your initial premise Pondering but I do really respect how open you appear to be about the possibility of being wrong.

quizzical I'm inclined to side with you on this debate and find myself agreeing with everything you're saying in the thread.

Having boys and girls I was curious to see what toys they would lean towards. My daughter played with cars trucks and toy guns but soon moved to more feminine toys except for a lot of neutral sciency stufff.  I didn't push her one way or the other, I'm more than happy to let her put make up on my face or paint my nails.

It didn't bother me one but when my son would play with my daughters dolls, pink barbie car or anything like that but at a very early age he seemed drawn to toys that many might suggest are more boyish.  I think a lot of it may have to do with external exposures to "girl and boy" toys but I still agree with you that theres something hard-wired there from birth.

Paladin, it doesn't matter whether you, specifically, guided your children to gender-accepted toys. The rest of the word does it for you. Kids are sponges. They pick up these notions even when the adults around them are seemingly neutral - in fact, none of us are. We're conditioned, we pass that along without even realising it before they're mobile or verbal. If you didn't (and you may have while attempting to be neutral), then it was or could have been any combination of: grandparents, other parent, extended family, babysitter/daycare worker, other kids, librarian, total stranger encountered in public places, television, story books, etc. All of these things influence senses of how the world is structured and what identity you're supposed to adopt.

That said, there is precious little difference to how male and female brains operate, and there's no definitive measure by which a transgender person is biologically the opposite sex. That doesn't mean they shouldn't transition, or that they're not entitled to respect, support and appropriate medical treatment. It just means that there's a lot we don't yet know about it.

6079_Smith_W

Yup, and that some people seem really identified with gender and others not so much.

As for the notion that it is all a construct, well so is most everything, from culture to religion to politics. So what? The problem to me seems not so much that these models exist, but that people are often forced into them. There are plenty of examples of gender in culture that doesn't have all that baggage. 

I agree that kids soak it up like a sponge, but no, you can't tell what they are going to soak up, especially not based on their biological sex.

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