Sex is not an “either, or” kind of thing

June 6, 2014

For the non-transgendered majority, sex is a binary thing. People are either male or female, and that is often as far as it goes for many folks. Uninitiated commenters may try to make sex about biological “facts” or, perhaps more crudely, what’s in a person’s pants. But science has finally caught up with what transgendered people have been telling us all along: It’s not that simple.

In this link from Slate, Jillian Keenan casts light on the ignorance behind a polemic against transgendered people issued from conservative writer, Kevin Williamson. Williamson pressed the standard, binary argument, but Keenan points out that science has transcended this kindergarten understanding of biology.

Genetics are not always enough to determine someone’s biological sex. There are exceptions to the standards some people use to label and sort everyone else, and the most important sex organ is not what’s in our pants, but rather what’s under our hats. It is the combination of genetics, hormones, and brain composition that determine sex.

Members of the majority, binary population (like Williamson) would do well to learn about the issue rather than speaking against what they do not understand. Ignorance is not bliss; it can be hurtful.

Read Keenan’s commentary here: Sex Is Complicated

posted by Corbin Lambeth

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