Eh?

That’s something I think many cisgender people don’t realise, or think about. We’re all born with the same template, and our hormones then decide what particular bits of the recipe our bodies should follow – so for example in the womb a rush of hormones tells us whether we should grow male or female gonads; in puberty hormones tell us whether to grow breasts or beards. But the template for both sexes remains, so if you take somebody born male, suppress their testosterone and increase their estrogen then their body (and their emotions; jeez, the emotions…) will change.

Reproductive systems aside, men and women aren’t that different: the idea that there are huge biological differences between the sexes is largely based on status preservation.

Hormones aren’t biological now?

40 comments on “Eh?

  1. “The same template”….

    Aside from all the really rather important stuff that is encoded into the X and Y chromosomes… You know, the bit of the template that determines our sex…

  2. This is a complete denial of biological reality. Brain differences in men and women are fixed in the womb, there is no evidence that simply taking hormones will change that.

    Re: ‘status preservation’.

    Norah Vincent spent 18 months ‘passing’ as a man. Hers is probably the best story of it’s kind. She discovered, somewhat to her surprise, that men don’t have easy lives. She came away somewhat traumatised by her experience, but gained a great deal of empathy for men.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/mar/18/gender.bookextracts

  3. Trans-science is pure LOL. It’s basically the white version of Afrocentrism, but instead of flying pyramids and Wakanda they have magic lady-todgers and fifty-seven genders.

    Anyway, I don’t mean to deadname, but was Carrie Marshall formerly known as Harold Bishop?

  4. “the idea that there are huge biological differences between the sexes is largely based on status preservation.”

    Or it’s based on the huge biological differences between the sexes.

    One or the other.

  5. How can taking hormones change the emotions into female emotions if there is no difference between men and women?

    Either there is no difference or there is a difference. It doesn’t depend on which is convenient for argument A, and which is convenient for argument B.

  6. Steve, it’s 58 genders this week. Report for mandatory remedial diversity re-training immediately.

  7. – sperm is common, eggs are rare
    – women have a finite zone of fertility, men don’t
    – men are physically stronger than women, to a level that very few women can beat any man in a fight.

    You can extrapolate all behaviour differences between men and women based on those 3 differences. And the behaviour differences can be huge as a result.

  8. New band name. – It’s a shame these mentalists never found The Cure

    BiG – Dammit! I knew I was forgetting people who sexually identify as Keith Chegwin

    BoM4 – Genetically*, women are closer to cats than actual people.

    It explains why they’re beautiful, mysterious, and poop in a box in the kitchen.

    *There’s no actual “evidence” for it, but it is scientific fact just as much as Carrie Marshall’s biological theories

  9. Dennis’ Law: Anyone who can use the term “cisgender” without immediately bursting into hysterical laughter is an irredeemable moron and should be completely ignored for the sake of humanity.

  10. Hormones are a social construct. A friend of mine was answered thus when she objected to some drivel in a sociology seminar.

  11. you read this drivel and when inevitably NIV turns up and tries to defend it, he can’t understand why everyone else thinks his position is moronic (at best)

  12. “Aside from all the really rather important stuff that is encoded into the X and Y chromosomes… You know, the bit of the template that determines our sex…”

    The genes that actually implement both designs is scattered across all the chromosomes. Pretty much the only thing the Y chromosome contains is the SRY gene, which triggers the formation of testes, which triggers the production of the cascade of many different hormones and enzymes, which in turn triggers all the other genes implementing the male pattern of growth all around the body. (Except of course when somethings broken and bits of the machinery don’t work.)

    “This is a complete denial of biological reality. Brain differences in men and women are fixed in the womb, there is no evidence that simply taking hormones will change that.”

    What, like at puberty? 🙂

    *Some* brain (and body) differences are fixed in the womb by exposure to hormones deriving from the hormone dihydrotestosterone, and can’t be changed thereafter. Other brain (and body) changes are triggered by the surge of testosterone at puberty. Gender identity appears to be one of those fixed at birth.

    “Either there is no difference or there is a difference. It doesn’t depend on which is convenient for argument A, and which is convenient for argument B.”

    Quite so. They’re not the only people to do that.

    “You can extrapolate all behaviour differences between men and women based on those 3 differences. And the behaviour differences can be huge as a result.”

    Black widow spiders have got the right idea…

    “Is the writer of the article thinking about and misunderstanding this?”

    That’s part of it. But there are lots of weird and wonderful ways for the sex determination mechanism to break.

    You only have to think about homosexuals. They clearly have the ‘sexual attraction’ brain module intended for the opposite sex. Or bearded ladies. Some bits are to the male design, some bits to the female.

    “he can’t understand why everyone else thinks his position is moronic (at best)”

    Of course I understand! It’s because ‘everyone else’ is a moron.

    There was a time when society was outraged at the idea of women wearing trousers. The first women to try it often got arrested. But then the rules changed, and suddenly it was the people who still thought it should be banned who everyone thought were moronic. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    In 2013, a bylaw requiring women in Paris, France to ask permission from city authorities before “dressing as men”, including wearing trousers (with exceptions for those “holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”) was declared officially revoked by France’s Women’s Rights Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

    Monsieur Chauvin would laugh.

  13. “Hey, I got in before NiV.”

    Obviously! I’m not the one who starts these conversations.

    But I’d hate to disappoint, after you’d all gone to so much trouble to invite me…

  14. Women in trousers generally don’t give me the horn.

    Not that I’m planning, much less do I have the seminal capacity, to rebirth ‘Western’ society. Just that my creaking carcass is slightly less, ahem, tumescent in the face of such a challenge when all the gals look like boys.

    Winning!

  15. But I’d hate to disappoint, after you’d all gone to so much trouble to invite me…

    Serious question: do transsexual vampires worry about undeadnaming?

  16. “Serious question: do transsexual vampires worry about undeadnaming?”

    🙂

    “I see Non-Intelligently Verbose has shown up again.”

    Of course. Tim puts these posts up deliberately to start these arguments. It attracts lots of traffic, lots of comments, which no doubt helps his advertising stats. And everyone else enjoys a good argument/rant, too!

    It would be rude not to show up after everyone has organised a party specially for me!

    “It’s like saying ‘Candyman’ three times in a mirror.”

    Which is no doubt why you all keep on doing it every couple of weeks. You’re not stupid. After the first 20 or 30 times you did it you must have noticed the pattern…

  17. “which no doubt helps his advertising stats”

    A small hint. This blog doesn’t carry google ads…..

  18. ‘We’re all born with the same template…’

    No we are not! The template is DNA which is unique to an individual, which is why DNA evidence in criminal trials is so compelling.

    Half of an individual’s DNA comes from mother, the other half from father when their DNA divides (meiosis) in the sex glands to produce two non-identical halves. It is a zillion, zillion to one chance that parental DNA will divide to produce the same non-identical halves ever again.

    This is why we are all different and is how evolution works.

  19. “No we are not! The template is DNA which is unique to an individual, which is why DNA evidence in criminal trials is so compelling.”

    Sort of. Human genomes are between 99.6% and 99.9% the same. However, that 0.1% to 0.4% variation is a percentage of the 3.2 billion base pairs in the genome, and therefore consists of around 20 million base pairs difference.

    So yes, all the templates are slightly different, but at the same time they’re over 99.6% the same (i.e. 3.187 billion base pairs that are identical), and it’s this identical bit that does most of the work defining how humans work.

    But that wasn’t what the author was talking about. What they meant was that everybody – both men and women – has genes for almost the complete design of *both* body plans, male and female, in their genome. It’s just a question of turning some genes on and some genes off. Men have at least one copy of every single gene that women have. Women have a copy of almost every gene that men have. There is a single gene, the SRY gene, that is the master switch-flipper that flips all the other switches on or off to activate or de-activate all the other genes individually in every cell across the whole the body.

    The point is that men contain the complete assembly instructions for a female body in their genome. (As different from any given female body as one female is from another, but still ‘the same’ in being female.) If some of the switches get jammed on, or off, (or the hormonal signals that trigger some of those switches are introduced artificially,) then some of those assembly instructions can activate.

  20. But that wasn’t what the author was talking about. What they meant was that everybody – both men and women – has genes for almost the complete design of *both* body plans, male and female, in their genome.

    Ok, but none of that means that men and women aren’t different or that a dude can turn himself into a chick if he takes the right hormone cocktail.

  21. “Ok, but none of that means that men and women aren’t different or that a dude can turn himself into a chick if he takes the right hormone cocktail.”

    Agreed.

  22. According to a quick Google, we share 99% of our DNA with chimps.

    Does who’s mean that with the correct hormone cocktail, we could identify as and become chimps?
    At which percentage, NiV, does it becomes impossible to change what your Dna makes you appear to the outside world to be?

    Reality is that which, when you close your eyes, doesn’t go away.
    -Philip K Dick

  23. “Does [that] mean that with the correct hormone cocktail, we could identify as and become chimps?”

    No.

  24. Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas, so if you believe strongly enough, you can become a banana. There is living proof of this concept in Ely.

  25. “Reality is that which, when you close your eyes, doesn’t go away.”

    Reality is an invention of the Right to confuse people.

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