Consider a heresy which contradicts the Gleischshaltung of Political Correctness: Gender is NOT a social construct, and both Gender and Sex are in fact binary.
How is this possible? Some sceptics suggest that both gender and sex are determined by chromosome status: Males are XY and females are XX. End of story.
The truth is not so simple. From my understanding of Biology: the default setting for embryonic development is female. Female fetuses can become male if two events occur:
1 – The activation of the SRY gene (controlling events such as differentiation of gonads into testes/ovaries)
2 – Testosterone Receptors bind to appropriate levels of Bio-available testosterone in utero.
So far, we have described a Binary situation:
Where can Biochemistry proceed differently? (I do not imply that “pathology” occurs anywhere during this discourse)
Sometimes, there is a transfer of the SRY gene to the X chromosome from the Y – where XX karyotypes are now expressing male determining factor
There can also be a downturn in testosterone response in two crucial stages of embryonic development:
1 – The stage where cerebral hardwiring for sexual identity changes from the female default setting to male
2 – The different stage of embryonic development where cerebral hardwiring for sexual orientation changes from the default setting of attraction to males to attraction to females.
Of course, Hormone/Hormone Receptor status & SRY expression do not operate independently of each other. So, what about non-binary situations?
At birth, the genitalia can be ambiguous. Very rarely is the newborn a true hermaphrodite, but rather the genitals may not be well-formed or the baby may have characteristics of both sexes. The external sex organs may not match the internal sex organs or genetic sex.
Often (but not always) genital ambiguity corresponds with ambiguity in sexual identity and/or sexual orientation (resulting from hormone/hormone receptor status in utero). Nature is not binary under these circumstances: there can exist ambiguities in gender/sex status, in other words a continuum.
In other words: it is indeed possible to be a lesbian trapped in a man’s body: that is no joke! Meanwhile, some of the most feminine women on our planet are (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome) AIS individuals with XY karyotypes, who do not respond to Testosterone. That said, hormone/receptor status is not always, all or nothing; some AIS individuals are “intermediate” in both Gender/Sex. Ben Barres (a famous transgender scientist who just recently succumbed to pancreatic cancer) is both a heroine and a role-model worthy of public adulation; another exception to the Biological rules cited above. She was cerebrally hard-wired to be male and not female despite her XY status.
The Biology cited above is not exhaustive but sufficient for our purposes.
OK OK, where does that leave us so far?
Everything described so far is decidedly binary and the gender-fluid exceptions to the rule are indeed real, but VERY RARE, far less than one percent of the population.
So, why are we currently witnessing a bumper-crop in gender-dysphoria in schools and campuses requiring a rethink in administration and teacher practice (not to mention a different set of washrooms in public buildings)?
I suggest, in politest terms possible, we are witnessing some public mass hysteria which is resulting in the horrible enabling of teenage angst and attention seeking, all with tragic results. I humbly admit I could be wrong on this, but I feel morally obliged to ask the question.
Many teens resort to self-injury/cutting, a sad condition (a result of teen angst) requiring intervention. Today, we now witness what I deem a similar phenomenon; i.e. pseudo-Gender Dysphoria (again, a result of teen angst). However, instead of intervention, conventional wisdom would male us codependents and enable teenage angst even to self-mutilation at an early age; all before frontal lobes are fully developed and hormones settle down. I am not saying gender-dysphoria is always unreal: I am suggesting there may be many false positives when diagnosing gender-dysphoria today.
Here in Canada, Kenneth Zucker, a renowned psychologist specializing in Sexology has taken a more conservative (and common sense) approach.
He counsels confused teens while encouraging them to wait. As a result, over 80% of these confused teens (after they calm down) discover they really were confused and 88% eventually reconcile with their birth gender. Meanwhile, a new BBC documentary, (Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?) has highlighted Doctor Zucker’s success. Of course, Canada’s moral and intellectual superiors responded by shutting down the BBC documentary on Canadian Television, not to mention shutting down Dr. Zucker’s clinic. Political Correctness will brook no compromise!
OK, let’s bring this home:
Can Sex and/or Gender be nonbinary from a scientific point of view? Yes, continua exist, but only in very rare cases: we are probably talking far less than one percent of the population. Is Gender a “Social Construct” and can it be “fluid”? The jury seems still to be out on either question, but all indications so far are: “No” on both counts?
Do these answers really change anything at a fundamental level. Decidedly no! Everyone still MUST treat each other with respect, not to mention love and compassion (that includes you too SJWs)
That all said – Primum non nocere! “first, do no harm!” Perhaps we should revisit our mad rush to mutilate youngsters, and pay heed to Doctor Zucker. Current evidence indicates the subsequent depression of Transgenders results in a 40%+ suicide rate – an instance where the cure indeed is far worse than the “ailment”. Well maybe not. At the very least, we should pause to ask the question and proceed cautiously.