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To be unhappy about this transgender loose application of science?

(102 Posts)
Highlight775 Fri 01-Dec-17 15:28:00

Now don't get me wrong, I am 100% on board with the idea of gender and sex being different things and that gender is primarily a social construct as its per formative not characteristic.

HOWEVER, I have recently undergone a Diversity training course in work where we were informed that "there are more than two sexes" and that people are often born as "a woman in a mans body" and vice versa and that there are numerous different variations. I get that can be true from a gender role perspective, but when this point was raised we were told no, its a biological reality as well. Apparently this is due to extra XX and XY chromosomes being present in some people in configurations such as XXY, XXX etc.

Now my issue here is that configuration of chromosomes is only a characteristic of sex in mammals (and not even all mammals at that). It seems we are redefining an entire classification system used in a huge area of natural science on the basis of what exactly?

If it was really true that there are "more than two sexes", surely this is something that biologist would have identified years ago?

user1487064897 Fri 01-Dec-17 16:08:34

The question I would ask was if there are more than 2 sexes what are the names of the other ones?
Also people with intersex conditions are still either one sex or the other it's not easy to tell.

10kToBe Fri 01-Dec-17 16:12:43

This is the second time in a week I’ve heard about this “there’s more than XX and XY,” after never hearing about it before. This is it, isn’t it? This is how they’re going to overrule science. This is the final thing we have in our corner, that there are two sexes, scientifically, and now this is how they’re going to overrule it.

Shit.

HermioneWeasley Fri 01-Dec-17 16:16:44

Where do you work and who was delivering that (inaccurate) training? I’d complain, it’s bollocks.

Highlight775 Fri 01-Dec-17 16:20:33

I work in the public sector so its difficult to 'object' to this kind of thing without consequences. Its the new thing to buy into all of this lock stock and barrel.

As I said I have no problem with trans people, but I've spent a significant proportion of my life studying sciences (not biology though) and it really grates me that this sort of nonsense is just getting 'smuggled through customs' with the things that are necessary.

MadeinBelfast Fri 01-Dec-17 16:54:25

I was taught that Y defines maleness so XY or XXY would be male whilst XX or XO would be female. My research knowledge is out of date but there was some evidence that when more than 1 X chromosome was present the 'extra copies' of that chromosome would be silenced so genetically XXY would act like XY. It would seem odd to try and explain XXY as another sex if that is the case.

FuzzyCustard Fri 01-Dec-17 16:54:55

In the good old days when I did genetics people with XXY (I think) had Kleinfelter's Syndrome and one of the other configurations was Turner's Syndrome (I think - rusty). So they weren't defined as a different sex but a chromosomal condition.

DoublyTroubly Fri 01-Dec-17 16:55:20

I thought that it was pretty common knowledge that, in some very rare cases, people are born with XXY or only X chromosomes which obviously makes sex ambiguous. There are also various other conditions that can cause unusual amounts of hormones (eg causing females to have extra testosterone) which can make sex ambiguous in terms of sports

pointythings Fri 01-Dec-17 16:55:25

Well, it's fact that there are different combinations than XX and XY. Nothing to argue with there, just look up Klinefelter Syndrome and Williams Syndrome. These are genetic medical conditions and they do alter the way biological sex manifests. Intersex syndrome is also a biological reality.

The implications of the above for how someone identifies in terms of male, female or otherwise are far less clear and far more determined by culture. I don't think we are handling those implications particularly well at the moment. Someone with the above genetic conditions isn't conventionally male or female in the purely biological sense - if they were, they would be XX or XY and they aren't. So you could argue that there are more than two sexes.

It's not unusual for non-European cultures to identify more than the two genders that we do - there's plenty of ethnographical literature on that and it isn't controversial.

Being transgender is about someone being unhappy with what and who they are and striving to change it. There is some overlap with the medical conditions described above, but there are no simple answers.

On the whole I think gender training in the workplace is something that needs to be handled with great care and nuance, and it doesn't seem that happened here. It only seems to have caused more controversy and confusion, which is sad.

PerfectlyDone Fri 01-Dec-17 16:57:35

The conditions with more than 2 sex chromosomes are vanishingly rare and really have very little to do with the current gender/trans/'woman in man's body' debate.

V poor training.

Surely there was a feedback form.
There's always a feedback from IME <sigh>
I'd feed back vigorously.

Idiotic crap.
angry

Barnaclesbrother Fri 01-Dec-17 18:00:10

Actually it’s not as simple as XX is female and XY is male. Occasionally you can be XY but the Gene on your Y chromosome which make you develop into a male and produce testosterone etc doesn’t work, or you make testosterone but the cells don’t respond to it. Or XX but an enzyme defect pushes you to make testosterone A female wouldn’t usually make. Overall affects about 100 babies a year in UK. Sometimes it’s easy to decide what gender to rear the child, other times not so easy because the presence or absence of testosterone in the womb also affects brain development and it can be hard to predict how the child will think about themselves

PleaseDontGoadTheToad Fri 01-Dec-17 18:03:45

Barnaclesbrother that's like saying humans aren't bipedal species because some people are born with only one leg.

PleaseDontGoadTheToad Fri 01-Dec-17 18:04:38

@Barnaclesbrother

*a bipedal species

Seniorcitizen1 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:05:13

It is nonesense - there are 2 sexes male and female. That’s all - dont care what these diversity training people say - they are wrong wrong wrong

ArcheryAnnie Fri 01-Dec-17 18:05:50

This is just another case of trans issues appropriating from intersex issues - something that many intersex individuals and organisations have repeatedly asked trans activists not to do.

EnidColeslaw771 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:14:13

What does that mean a woman trapped in a man's body? What makes you a woman if not your sexed body? If you have a man's body you're a man.

Barnaclesbrother Fri 01-Dec-17 18:15:12

Just a response to comments that even people with intersex conditions are one or the other, or that a Y chromosome defines maleness. It’s usually so but not always.
Also it’s sometimes portrayed that gender identity is nothing more than
Choice, but we are still learning about how our brains develop and I sometimes wonder if people will look back of some threads in 20 years time in horror and shame at what was said.

EnidColeslaw771 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:18:06

So do you believe in male brains/female brains barnacle? Or male/female souls? What is it that's trapped? What bit of people is not their body?

sagamartha Fri 01-Dec-17 18:31:28

There's also the world of epigenetics at the moment - and how other things influence chromosomes, gene expression etc. There is much we don't know - but we don't know what we don't know.

Barnaclesbrother Fri 01-Dec-17 18:32:23

Not sure I believe in souls at all! Male and female brains maybe, probably along a spectrum from very male to very female and everything in between. And what’s causing more people to feel their gender identity is something other than typical.... probably multifactorial... chemical exposures/ hormone exposures, a general trend or change in society, some it’ll be a phase, or a bandwagon to jump on, for others I’m sure it’s 100% genuine, and how horrible it must be.

VioletHaze Fri 01-Dec-17 18:38:19

Turner's Syndrome only has 1 X chromosome (I have this). I don't think it was ever presented to me as a different sex - I have a womb but no recognizable ovaries, was able to carry a child but had to have IVF to have the LO implanted, and had to take hormones to start puberty and still take them. I thought it was just a variant on female, but I guess it could be something else.

Not super bothered either way. But that's my experience.

Uokbing Fri 01-Dec-17 18:41:21

Barnacles so what is it that makes a MTF transgender person know they are a 'woman' ?

It can't be hatred for their male genitals because most of them don't get the chop. And an increasing number of them seem to be keeping their rather male facial hair etc in the name of 'widening the band with of what it is to be a woman'. Surely if they are so sure they are a woman, a beard would be the first thing to go? So what is it that makes them 'know' that they are a woman? I don't get it?

And even if it is hatred for their physical body, that is not transgender 'female in a male body', that is 'body dysmorphia' which is what many people with anorexia also suffer from. It's a medical condition which needs therapy.

sagamartha Fri 01-Dec-17 18:47:40

And even if it is hatred for their physical body, that is not transgender 'female in a male body', that is 'body dysmorphia' which is what many people with anorexia also suffer from. It's a medical condition which needs therapy

Not really. It's way more than that. It's about how people see you and perceive you. It's far more than the physical body.

If it's a medical condition, what causes it? If it's got something to do with chromosomes, genes, epigenetics etc - that affects the brain and possible gives it something that may be more typically found in a brain of the opposite sex, what does that mean?

(and yes - there are words like may and possibly in there)

sagamartha Fri 01-Dec-17 18:49:37

t can't be hatred for their male genitals because most of them don't get the chop. And an increasing number of them seem to be keeping their rather male facial hair etc in the name of 'widening the band with of what it is to be a woman'. Surely if they are so sure they are a woman, a beard would be the first thing to go? So what is it that makes them 'know' that they are a woman

I don't get why someone who claims to be MTF would keep their beard. Why they would want to be seen by society as 'male'?

CorrectingBigots Fri 01-Dec-17 18:51:20

Uokbing

What makes you know you are a woman?

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