all 25 comments

[–]kwallio 13 insightful - 1 fun13 insightful - 0 fun14 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Not only is this mostly a repeat question you seem to be having problems distinguishing between secondary sex characteristics and sex determination. They are not the same thing at all, pick up a book or do a google search or something. You aren't as intelligent or knowledgeable as you think.

Saying that sperm = man and egg = woman is a pretty wobbly position.

Says who dumbass.

Post-menopausal women do not produce eggs

So? Neither do pre-pubertal girls, its call human development jackass. Women pass through a second phase of sexual development called menopause which men don't have. Its not a disorder and doesn't "desex" older women. Its phase of life. God you are such a dummy.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don’t think there are like true hermaphrodites in humans (as in people’s capable of doing both reproductive roles). Also, people with DSDs don’t have anything to do with trans people and it’s dishonest to pretend they do. I feel like for your second question you are misunderstanding what defines sex. Just because someone can sterilize themselves and take on certain characteristics with hormones doesn’t actually change sex. Like, if I could have had gene therapy or gone through some other process that made it where I was able to naturally carry my husband’s child because my body made eggs and has the necessary parts, I feel like there would be a different conversation, but that’s not where we are. We can change some phenotype stuff (although you already sort have to be a little abnormal for your natal sex to really make that work well), but it can’t change our reproductive capacity.

[–]SilverSlippers 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Sex is what gametes your body has developed to produce. This has been discussed on here before. Even if your organs are non-funtional or removed, your body developed in utero to produce one type of gamete. That is your sex. Secondary sex characteristics are not sex. They are feature that typically show up alongside sex, but they are not what determines your sex.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN2-YEgUMg0&t=1s

[–]Catbug 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

What does the reproduction of seahorses, plants, clownfish, or anything else have to do with human reproduction?

How does babby form? Is it a egg and a sperm or is there some spectrum of gametes?

If a man loses his nuts in a tragic tractor accident, he did not lose the genetic coding for his reproductive potential. Sex is the reproductive role you are coded to play, infertile people are still genetically coded to produce either sperm or ova.

[–]VioletRemihomosexual female (aka - lesbian) 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Funniest part with most plants, clownfish and seahorses, is that they are STILL binary. And there is no third sex in nature. There other ways to reproduce, like potatoes can, rainworms or starfish, when you cut them in half and they will grow into two clones.

[–]Catbug 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It’s so bizarre to even bring other species reproduction in to the debate. I’ve seen clownfish and seahorses a fair bit as shoddy evidence that humans aren’t male and female because of hermaphroditism/males carrying young.

[–]kwallio 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Biologist here. The only organisms that I know of that have more than 2 sexes are single celled organisms like yeasts - yeast (like the brewers yeast) have something like 26 mating types (=sexes, more or less). I can't think of a single multicellular organism that has more than 2 sexes. There are a few species that are all female species that reproduce by parthenogensis and some species that are all hermaphrodites (pond snails for example) but none have more than 2 sexes.

[–]VioletRemihomosexual female (aka - lesbian) 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I would like to insert here a joke about this means that someone are being one-cell organism seems, but that would be rude ;)

[–]loveSloaneMale seahorse 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There’s so many recent posts that just answered all of this lol

[–]slushpilot 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Q1: Why don't hermaphrodites show that in other sexually reproducing species sex is not a binary?

Not a binary as opposed to what?

You can cut a worm in half and both halves will live... so why can't we do that with humans?

Hermaphrodites only show that sex is still binary—but that in some species both sex organs exist together. These animals inseminate each other, similar to plant pollination. It still takes two.

You won't find a hermaphrodite species that has male individuals separate from female individuals, just as you won't find a human that is both male and female in the same body.

Q2: Why is sex not a bimodal distribution?

This sounds like wordplay on what "binary" or "bimodal" means and conveniently mixing up what you want to apply these terms to.

Digital computers are binary. Digital logic is the purest mathematical example of a "binary" you can find. You can work out the theory in black & white on a chalkboard, and irrefutably show that there are exactly two states to work with. Your computer has millions of transistors in it that all work in concert using binary logic—which proves the theory in practice, beyond any doubt.

You can plot a digital signal on an oscilloscope. In a perfect theoretical world, it would show a square wave with 90° corners where the voltage switches from 0 to 1. But that's not what we see: if you look at the edge of the transitions, it ramps up and ramps down because of the quality of the physical device it's built on. It has some overshoot and waviness. It's noisy.

When you build a computer that works on physical things like the voltage levels of electrical signals, or reversing the polarity of magnetism, or the presence/absence of an optical signal, you can run into more severe imperfections. Does a bad sector on your hard disk which can't be reliably read as a "1" or a "0" because of weak magnetization imply that the theory of binary logic needs to be revised? Does it mean the concept of discrete "1" and "0" is actually a bimodal spectrum? Of course not.

(Yes I'm aware of quantum computers and qubits which operate on statistical probabilities between 1 and 0. But that's a different theory outside of digital logic: it has no binary axioms.)

Q3: how come they are not less of their sex for losing those abilities and are not of a different sex category after the removal of all genitalia?

I leave you with this:

Plato was applauded for his definition of man as a featherless biped, so Diogenes the Cynic plucked the feathers from a cock, brought it to Plato’s school, and said, “Here is Plato’s man.”


I'm not sure why you're so overly concerned with any of this. It's a bit obsessive to dwell on the rarest exceptions and abnormalities when everything else in your personal experience shows that sex is binary. Ask yourself how many people you've ever met or heard of that you honestly couldn't tell me were born as exactly one or the other sex, such that even their doctor couldn't tell. Then ask yourself who are these people arguing about whether sex is bimodal: you know for a fact their own sex is also just one or the other. They are looking to justify their social issues by trying to find a "gotcha" in biological exceptions that they don't even qualify as.

[–]DistantGlimmer 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

"So then it seems "those that produce eggs are women" or "those that produce sperm are men" is incorrect,"

Yes that's incorrect as the correct way to say it is only women produce ova and only men produce sperm. It's not a necessary condition but it is a distinguishing feature.

The rest is just a rehash of stuff I've answered on here before (presumably from you) you seem kind of hung up on these questions. Biological sex is really not that complicated no matter what TRAs say.

[–]Omina_SentenziosaSarcastic Ovalord 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Hermaphrodites don' t exist in the human race. Explain to me why the hell should we use other species who function in a different way to describe the way we function. Clownfishes breathe underwater: does that mean we should do it as well? Or is it just that our species is not built for that and theirs is? No? We should probably fix that by implanting some gills!!!!!! I am sure some lunatic transhumanist would be willing to do it, so why not???? It would be rude and unkind to think that it' s complete bullshit!!!!!

Even if they existed, they wouldn' t prove that sex is not binary: they would still produce two gametes, at most they would prove that a singular person can be both a man and a woman, but not that there is something else outside the binary.

You know what it' s needed to prove that sex is not binary? A category of people able to produce a third gamete that can interact with one or both existing gametes in order to produce offspring. Good luck finding that!!!! You are going to win a nobel for the most important discovery in human history, given that by doing it you will have found the next stage of evolution!

Or an alien, but that would still not prove human sex is nothing but a binary, so fingers crossed for our own less interesting version of the X-Men!!!!

As for the ridicoulous idea that only people who produce eggs are women (and only the ones who produce sperm are men), the answer is, once fucking again, that it' s not the production itself that defines sex, but the belonging to the category that produces that fucking gamete. An 8 years girl belongs to the category female even if she doesn' t produce eggs, a menopausal woman belongs to the category female even if she doesn' t produce eggs, a woman without ovaries belongs to the category female even if she doesn' t produce eggs. A male doesn' t belong to that category because his inability to produce eggs doesn' t come from age, illnesses or choices, it comes from the fact THAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO PRODUCE SPERM!!!!!!!

Individuals like you sound like you are trying to catch up with a joke that everyone else has understood several billions years ago. Quite literally billions years ago. I wonder how the fuck the human race has managed to survive all these years if sex is such a weird, nebolous thing! These mental wanking you people are doing in order to throw some idiotic gotchas at us are as pathetic as they are depressing. It' s verbal/written vomit and nothing else, and the only thing they prove is that you lot are desperately trying to find the most stupid comparisons/justifications because even you know how idiotic you position is.

Jesus fucking Christ!!!!!

[–]worried19 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'm not a biologist, but if we're talking about sex in humans, then we need to speak about human reproduction.

I don't get why people constantly bring in other species. They're not relevant to the conversation. We're not slugs or seahorses, we're human beings.

[–]Britishbulldog 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Female: went through the developmental pathway in the womb to produce the internal structures evolved to produce eggs and carry a baby.

Male: went through the developmental pathway in the womb to produce the internal structures evolved to produce sperm.

Whether these internal structures work or have been removed is irrelevant. Using other species is frankly irrelevant- hermaphroditism only occurs in distantly related organisms. And no-one mention DSDs- they’re called disorders for a reason. Intersex people are not relevant to the debate. That’s like saying people don’t have ten fingers because of polydactyly sufferers.

-Biology masters student

[–]BayHorseGender Critical 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

1 - Why don't hermaphrodites show that in other sexually reproducing species sex is not a binary?

Why does my perroquet being able to fly not prove that humans can fly?

2 - Why isn't someone less of a male or less of a female if they can not produce sperm or egg, have removed all genitalia in surgery, have big or small breasts, have less or more body and facial hair, etc?

Female : Pertaining to the sex class that produces large, immobile gametes.

Male : Pertaining to the sex class that produces small, motile gametes.

One's sex class has nothing to do with their secondary sex characteristics and doesn't change if someone can't produce gametes, be it because they're too old, too young, are infertile, or have been castrated.

3 - Saying that sperm = man and egg = woman is a pretty wobbly position. If we were to make a similar argument about other classifications, it would be: Backbone (the feature) = mammal (the category). Except that isn't true. Any number of vertebrates could have backbones, and so the presence of a backbone does not indicate one is a mammal.

This comparison does not hold up. You're comparing a wrong definition of "mammal" with the correct definitions of "male" and "female".

[–]IAmSatan 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Active SRY gene = male.

Inactive/absent SRY gene = female.

[–]FlanJamnot GC or QT 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Not a biologist so I have no idea the language academics would use to classify this stuff. But from a layman perspective, saying "sex is binary with intersex outliers" and saying "sex is bimodal with a small number of intersex in the middle of the spectrum" seems like essentially the same idea, just framed differently. And idk, maybe academics could argue why one is more technically correct than the other. But overall this debate just seems kinda pedantic to me.

I will note however, saying sex is a spectrum can get a little awkward. Because then you'd have to concede a woman who gets a mastectomy becomes less female, or conceded a transwoman is less female than a natal woman. And that just seems like a really awkward way of thinking about it, not to mention it can be pretty offensive when presented to a layman.

[–]kwallio 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

OP is conflating secondary sex characteristics with sex determination. For example in humans women have breasts (a secondary sex characteristic) but both males and females alike have breast tissue, just in males it doesn't develop into breasts. Secondary sex characteristics do, in fact, follow a bimodal distribution. But sex determination is pretty much binary and usually depends on whether someone has ovaries or testes and produces eggs or sperm (aka primary sex characteristics). OP conflates the two and is pretending that secondary sex characteristics (aka a bimodal distribution of such) and sex determination (aka gonads etc, more or less a binary) are one and the same. OP is arguing dishonestly (or ignorantly) and deserves no respect.

[–]Genderbender 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (7 children)

Google defines sex as either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions. Main implies more than two.

[–]kwallio 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Main implies more than two.

It doesn't actually, you know.

Are you developmentally disabled in some way? This is probably one of the most idiotic things I've ever seen, and I am on tumblr.

[–]Genderbender 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

If you say that something is true in the main, you mean that it is generally true, although there may be exceptions. Tourists are, in the main, sympathetic people.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/in-the-main

And your comment is ableist.

[–]kwallio 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Ok fine, you are fucking stupid.

[–]Bootsinmyshoes30[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Google would be wrong then. Not everything on google is right.

[–]Bootsinmyshoes30[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

By the way, when I say I'm asking questions from GC I mean I want GC and only GC to answer my questions, don't answer my questions when you're a "gender bender" or whatever TRA you call yourself.

[–]emptiedriver 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

No category of anything is absolute, if you want to be an utter perfectionist. How can we be sure anyone is REALLY a human, or a mammal, or alive, or an adult, or mentally competent... Some of them have looser edges than others, but we live in a real world, not an ideal one, so even though children can understand the difference between a man and a woman, between a dog and a cat, sometimes philosophers have trouble trying to clarify the analytic definitions of exactly how we know for sure when things do or don't fit into categories.

Sex happens to be a category that's pretty reliable, though. It has a use, and both halves are needed, so it's pretty clear which side you belong to. You were born with a body that produces one or the other part of a child. Your body changes over time, but to suggest that because you have produced all of your eggs you are now no longer a woman is a bizarre misunderstanding of womanhood. You put forth about 400 eggs over the course of your life - eventually they finish but it's a journey, and your relationship to being female may shift but it doesn't mean you are now a man. YOu're a post-menopausal woman. THat's a standard part of being a woman.

I don't really know what the equivalent relation to sperm is with men, but it certainly seems like men and their penises/balls can be understood as experiencing something. Ok, some people cut things off, change things, alter their bodies: that won't change what they began with and are reacting to, ie, if they are transitioning from being male because they disliked it, then they still had a relationship to that penis that is much more intimate than someone like me who simply has no idea what it would be like to have a penis. That would mean they are a transsexual by my thinking, Male-toFemale meaning actually male, presenting as female. I am happy to recognize them as female in social scenarios as long as it doesn't interfere with legal, medical, statistical, competitive, professional or potentially dangerous or unjust situations. But basic facts remain.

If you want to call that a third sex, I think it's sort in the realm of making electric powered wheelchairs compete against track events. It's just kind of a different deal altogether - not really a "sex" anymore since it isn't reproductive, technologically enhanced and open to desires of the users, and completely unconvincing as any kind of proof that nature has more vague sex definition (or has evolved wheels...)