Author Topic: Sex as binary or spectrum  (Read 1299 times)

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Offline DG

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2017, 08:34:52 PM »
One of the issues I had with that clip was that it doesn't appear to explain which characteristics are relevant. so if I have small hands and a young face, but a penis and testes, where do I fit on the "spectrum". Since the characteristics are defined as "opposites" there is no inherently neutral position. Since there are asserted attributes, Perhaps it would be best to have 2 spectra, independent of each other, that determine a "man" rating and a "woman" rating, where the individual is taken to "be" in which ever category they score highest. Obviously the sex is assigned at birth and the only readily apparent "characteristic" at that stage is genitals. I've not seen anyone advocating that society should wait for a person's second characteristics before assigning a 'sex' - so it seems incongruous to claim they are relevant.

The spectrum has been addressed by others above, and I have not yet been convinced that this is something other than a "range" of characteristics, the number of persons, or relative prevalence of any particular characteristic does not appear to be relevant to the existence of the range.

Yet another was the suggestion of post menopausal women ceasing to have a sex - that just didn't make sense. Why would a person "cease" to have a sex just because that person ceased to have a biological capacity - that would suggest that a man who becomes infertile due to illness ceases to be "male". This is, for obvious reasons, not comparable to a genetic makeup that is inherently infertile.

It appears to me that the whole point of this is to say that binary is easy, it works in most cases - even though it's not an complete and accurate representation of reality. I don't think anyone denies this. Some accept "near enough is good enough" other suggest "it's not good enough for all purposes" - this gets no closer to addressing those issues. 

The on-going questions relate to (a) definitions for each class (what it means to be male or female), (b) the necessity for the binary (convenience seems to be the argument for, but that's not the same as necessity), (c) the inequity of forcing people into a category when that category may have consequences to their treatment (in various contexts).

Then it gets to the point that causes me the most difficulty and consternation, if an individual identifies as "male" or "female" what does that mean (in particular, when distinct from reporting primary and secondary sex characteristics)?. I am male, because I have those primary and secondary sex characteristics, but I have no idea what it means to "feel male" or to " self identify as male". Were I to lose those characteristics (whether in a horrible accident or illness), I suspect that I would still identify as "male" out of habit, and because I don't know what the alternative would mean (aside from conforming, loosely, with stereotypical behavioral preferences associated with, but not definitive of, masculinity). No matter how much I read, I seem to be unable to grasp this concept (it seems like be like a fellow Aboriginal person trying to explain what their skin colour "feels" like - without reference to the perception of other people, or culture).
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2017, 04:13:34 PM »
DG, you're falling into the trap of conflating sex and gender.
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Offline DG

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #47 on: May 10, 2017, 06:41:59 PM »
DG, you're falling into the trap of conflating sex and gender.

That's probably true - because I don't understand why sex matters (otherwise than between a person and their medical professional and between that person and any person with which they intend to be intimate).

I don't understand why it's a discussion, why it is necessary to categorize them at all.

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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2017, 04:38:25 AM »
DG, you're falling into the trap of conflating sex and gender.

That's probably true - because I don't understand why sex matters (otherwise than between a person and their medical professional and between that person and any person with which they intend to be intimate).

I don't understand why it's a discussion, why it is necessary to categorize them at all.

My impression is that sex is more about physical/physiological characteristics, and gender is more about desired stereotypes.
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Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2017, 11:08:23 AM »
Sex is real and gender is either a mass delusion or all in your head... I mean "how you personally identify" or "a social construct."
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Online gmalivuk

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2017, 01:09:49 PM »
Social constructs are real.

If you disagree, feel free to send me all your not real assets at 1EftyGXsnxxUcZUg72iVBth5t78JWPxyaS.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 01:42:51 PM by gmalivuk »
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2017, 07:10:44 PM »
I do think that genders, aka gender roles/stereotypes will one day be looked upon as quaint and antiquated. "lol, in the olden days males and females had fashion and hairstyles and societal roles particular to their sexes, how silly we once were!"
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Sex as binary or spectrum
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2017, 11:03:55 PM »


We are disagreeing over how to interpret that segment of the video, so I don't think it's a good aspect to focus on without the creator here to clarify.  Instead let's talk about one of your stronger points (in my opinion), which is the comparison with elements viewed under a spectrometer.  You make the case that just because elements only reflect a limited number of frequencies doesn't mean that the underlying light is only those distinct ranges.  Is that acceptable?

No, I made the case that scientifically the emission spectra of elements are a spectrum by the nature of being a spectrum, despite not being an equal distribution. The emission spectrum is the light an element produces when it goes from a higher energy level to a lower energy level, not the light an element reflects. My point there is entirely about demonstrating that the definition of "spectrum" as presented in the video is neither the common understanding nor a scientific understanding.
So I guess we're​ not actually going to discuss the points I made.

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