What is the difference between gender and gender norms?

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

OK let's start off with a few quick definitions taken from google,

Gender:
either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones.

Gender Norms:
Standards and expectations to which women and men generally conform, within a range that defines a particular society, culture and community at that point in time.

If we assume these two definitions are correct, what are the differences between gender and gender norms.

For example if I were to say I am male, what would that mean other than the norms associated with male in my society/culture?

Defining it as norms is a bit too restrictive and not made with human beings in mind but more something you'd use for machine classification.

A better definition is not gender norms but gender tendencies. A proportionally higher tendency to have certain traits and adhere to certain behaviors (but with leaving open the power of the existence of human nature coming in and varying these quite a bit) is more accurate when it comes to humans.

That way, when you say you're male, you're communicating that most of your behaviors conform with the male tendencies, but aren't limited by an expectation of adhering to all of them or only to them, you're just communicating that a significant enough majority of your being fits that description.

Dreiko:
Defining it as norms is a bit too restrictive and not made with human beings in mind but more something you'd use for machine classification.

A better definition is not gender norms but gender tendencies. A proportionally higher tendency to have certain traits and adhere to certain behaviors (but with leaving open the power of the existence of human nature coming in and varying these quite a bit) is more accurate when it comes to humans.

That way, when you say you're male, you're communicating that most of your behaviors conform with the male tendencies, but aren't limited by an expectation of adhering to all of them or only to them, you're just communicating that a significant enough majority of your being fits that description.

OK, we can change it to that. But that doesn't really answer my question.

what are the differences between gender and gender norms (or tendencies if you prefer)? Are you saying their are no differences, that those two terms are synonymous?

Eric the Orange:
snip

There's a third term, which you are missing and which is needed to complete the set.

Gender Identity
Gender identity is the personal sense of one's own gender. Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. All societies have a set of gender categories that can serve as the basis of the formation of a person's social identity in relation to other members of society.

When you say you are male, you aren't referring to the gender norms of the society you live in. Instead, you are either referring to a personal sense of "belonging" to a given gender (a personal identity) or to the way you see yourself as socially positioned in relation to the society you live in (a social identity). In all likelihood, you're referring to both at once.

People still sometimes talk about gender norms as if they were universal constants of any given society, as if any society will have a single male and female "role", but that isn't actually true. Even if you're deeply conservative, your idea of how it is normal for a man to behave will be different from other men. To a certain extent, breaking gender norms isn't a huge deal. Everyone will break someone else's gender norms (and usually their own gender norms) at some point in their life. Heck, when you actually start to break down the messages about what the "gender norms" of our society are, you'll find they're riddled with contradictions and ridiculous idealizations which make them impossible to actually adhere to in entirety.

The reason we can square this is that, as humans beings, we all understand a difference between what we do and who we are. We know that behaving in "unmanly" ways doesn't actually change our gender identity, either in personal identity or how society percieves us. We also understand, on some level, that our gender identity is more than our bodies. When people lose their sexual characteristics due to disease or injury, their gender identity doesn't magically change, instead they are more likely to develop dysphoria, or a distressing awareness that their bodies don't align with how they percieve their "true" selves.

In conclusion, the reason you are seeing similarities between these terms is because they are actually part of a taxonomy. Gender is a broad category referring to all the societal information, culture and baggage around sex. Within the category of gender, there are gender norms, which are the sociological forces that tell us how gendered people should act and behave, but there are other related concepts too, like gender identity, which is the psychological consciousness of being or belonging to a particularly gender.

In fact, bridging the two is another concept, gender expression, which is the features by which a person socially signals their gender identity to the world by referencing gender norms. Personal identity becomes a social identity which is expressed using the "language" of norms, and all of these things fall under the umbrella concept of gender.

Eric the Orange:
OK let's start off with a few quick definitions taken from google,

Gender:
either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones.

Gender Norms:
Standards and expectations to which women and men generally conform, within a range that defines a particular society, culture and community at that point in time.

If we assume these two definitions are correct, what are the differences between gender and gender norms.

For example if I were to say I am male, what would that mean other than the norms associated with male in my society/culture?

I thought Gender was strictly biological, as in what sexual reproductive cell you produce. I mean where does the social/cultural aspect come into sexual reproduction, traditions aside. Meaning if a society decided to treat a male as a female his whole life, its not like he'd grow ovaries and produce eggs. Social pressure does not cause physical mutation.

Gender norms though, absolutely cultural/social and what not. But gender itself is a scientific binary, male/female with the occasional in-between mutation.

Silentpony:
I thought Gender was strictly biological, as in what sexual reproductive cell you produce. I mean where does the social/cultural aspect come into sexual reproduction, traditions aside. Meaning if a society decided to treat a male as a female his whole life, its not like he'd grow ovaries and produce eggs. Social pressure does not cause physical mutation.

The biological is nowadays (since the 50s?) called sex, not gender. There are still languages that use the same word for both but English managed to make the distinction a while ago. Gender is the cultural/social.

Satinavian:

Silentpony:
I thought Gender was strictly biological, as in what sexual reproductive cell you produce. I mean where does the social/cultural aspect come into sexual reproduction, traditions aside. Meaning if a society decided to treat a male as a female his whole life, its not like he'd grow ovaries and produce eggs. Social pressure does not cause physical mutation.

The biological is nowadays (since the 50?) called sex, not gender. There are still languages that use the same word for both but English managed to make the distinction a while ago. Gender is the cultural/social.

Huh, I was taught it was the other-way. Gender is the genetic, sex is the cultural distinction. D'oh well, so long as we know they are separate...

evilthecat:

There's a third term, which you are missing and which is needed to complete the set.

Gender Identity
Gender identity is the personal sense of one's own gender. Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. All societies have a set of gender categories that can serve as the basis of the formation of a person's social identity in relation to other members of society.

When you say you are male, you aren't referring to the gender norms of the society you live in. Instead, you are either referring to a personal sense of "belonging" to a given gender (a personal identity) or to the way you see yourself as socially positioned in relation to the society you live in (a social identity). In all likelihood, you're referring to both at once.

For quite a long time i really could not understand what this gender idendity was supposed to be. Gender was for me only gender norms/roles/tendencies and a couple of prejudices. "Sense of one's gender" seemed like pure nonsense considering dysphoria (which i kind of undertand even if i don't have it) was treated as something separate.
Now i know that this really is different for most people and i consider myself agender.

evilthecat:
We also understand, on some level, that our gender identity is more than our bodies. When people lose their sexual characteristics due to disease or injury, their gender identity doesn't magically change, instead they are more likely to develop dysphoria, or a distressing awareness that their bodies don't align with how they percieve their "true" selves.

That is definitely not true. Every difference between men and women can be attributed to the fact men have eight times more testosterone, it's why the difference between men and women is smallest between the very young and the very old. I don't mean men and women act in very different ways(though they often do) but that their hormonal predispositions make them more susceptible for different predilections. It's why women in their fertile years have the most value both in nature and society b/c they are the ones that enable the species to perpetuate it's existence, which is the purpose of every living thing. It's men and post-menopausal women that are expendable.

You can see this confirmed in almost every statistic. Men have higher numbers of incarceration, psychiatric disease, autism, violent crime and even every eight out of ten suicides is men. You can exclude any cultural influence as it's the same in every country in the world. Men gets stigmatized for certain behaviors but it's the same moral curse on their gender that makes them more vulnerable to the above. This combination of factors make that men and women experience the world in completely different ways, it's just that the times decide which attribute is valued and which is not. The same predilection for inhibited impulse control is the same predilection for self-sacrifice which is a burden traditionally put on men in times of war or conflict. The same hormonal reason is also why men tend to be the more aggressive and women the more passive sex.

No one gender is better than the other as we all just have to deal with the biological reality of the hormonal and neurological configuration we are dealt with but this whole nonsense of 'gender as a social construct' is no more than wishful thinking of either feminist ideologues or marginal groups that deviate from the norm. Men and women have fulfilled completely different evolutionary purposes for hundreds of thousands of years and without these instinctive behaviors and 'gender as a social construct' humanity would have died out a long, long time ago.

I'd say gender is not only a biological reality set in stone for the vast majority of people, it's also the sole reason of their survival. Contemporary society has fulfilled every basic need for survival which is why it struggles for purpose and desperately tries to marginalize gender differences to to suit the needs of contemporary society like this is somehow humanity's natural habitat. But it's not and just like the ideas of gender of the 20th, 19th, 18th etc century ended up on the trash heap of history so will the ideas of our time.

All for the simple fact that 3500 years of civilization won't change hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. The west might die, but humanity will live on similarly with the ancestral tribes of old.

Eric the Orange:

Dreiko:
Defining it as norms is a bit too restrictive and not made with human beings in mind but more something you'd use for machine classification.

A better definition is not gender norms but gender tendencies. A proportionally higher tendency to have certain traits and adhere to certain behaviors (but with leaving open the power of the existence of human nature coming in and varying these quite a bit) is more accurate when it comes to humans.

That way, when you say you're male, you're communicating that most of your behaviors conform with the male tendencies, but aren't limited by an expectation of adhering to all of them or only to them, you're just communicating that a significant enough majority of your being fits that description.

OK, we can change it to that. But that doesn't really answer my question.

what are the differences between gender and gender norms (or tendencies if you prefer)? Are you saying their are no differences, that those two terms are synonymous?

I think the answer to this is actually found in the term tendency that I described.

Gender is just a black or white thing that's more of a medical fact and has no wiggle room whereas behavioral tendencies are variable and can differ greatly from many people. For example, some may find it even more manly to be engaged in feminine pursuits because it displays a greater degree of self confidence and a lack of insecurity or fear you'll be perceived as unmanly for engaging in this activity, which is actually something decidedly manly!

So yeah, you have to be in the head of the person behaving in a certain way in order to be capable of categorizing all this stuff as fitting the norms/tendencies or not. You can't just decide it by merely observing the behavior itself without context.

So the difference if you want it simplified is that gender is a strict thing that's factual and the behavioral tendencies is something inherently in flux and open to adjustment by society and individual will.

stroopwafel:
That is definitely not true.

You'd think people would learn not to come for me on this stuff..

stroopwafel:
Every difference between men and women can be attributed to the fact men have eight times more testosterone, it's why the difference between men and women is smallest between the very young and the very old.

Testosterone is one of several hormones which we call androgens. Androgens are the chemicals responsible for physical masculinization, their most important function is to trigger the growth of exterior male genitals during foetal development, and also the changes men undergo during puberty.

Because testosterone is the androgen most people know about, there's a certain tendency in popular culture to romanticise it as the magical essence of manliness and to attribute all kinds of sex and gender difference to its supposed effects. This is, to put it very bluntly, some Dunning Kruger bullshit. Endocrinology is extremely complicated, and there's a lot we don't understand.

For example, there is no clear consensus on how normal levels of testosterone affect mood. There have been studies linking testosterone levels to aggression, but there are also many studies which show no connection between testosterone and aggression, at least at normal levels. Additionally, there are studies associating estrogen with increased aggression. There's a study showing a reduction of aromatase (a hormone that converts testosterone into estrogen) reduces aggression in both male and female mice, despite the fact female mice shouldn't be producing enough testosterone to need aromatase in the first place.

Psychological features, even really basic ones like aggression, are very, very unlikely to be determined by a single hormone. The reason endocrinology is extremely complicated is because, in a real body, many different hormones exist in a state of balance. There is no evidence that having more testosterone than someone else has any psychological effect at all. Taking testosterone supplements has been associated with changes in mood, but this seems to be more an effect of altering the balance of hormones within the body, rather than an intrinsic and universal effect of testosterone itself.

If you cannot be bothered to get testosterone right, why is the rest of your argument even worth listening to?

evilthecat:

stroopwafel:
That is definitely not true.

You'd think people would learn not to come for me on this stuff..

I'd think people would learn not to say stuff like "Every difference between men and women can be attributed to the fact...". Lots of large and wide ranging differences, trying to attribute them all to one solitary cause, yeah, nah.

evilthecat:
Taking testosterone supplements has been associated with changes in mood, but this seems to be more an effect of altering the balance of hormones within the body, rather than an intrinsic and universal effect of testosterone itself.

Thanks for proving my point. If mood changes are already present with administration of synthetic testosterone in grown adults what do you think the influence is of the hormone on the developing brain? *news flash* The difference between men and women.

Thaluikhain:

I'd think people would learn not to say stuff like "Every difference between men and women can be attributed to the fact...". Lots of large and wide ranging differences, trying to attribute them all to one solitary cause, yeah, nah.

It is because it is the only common denominator all men share. It's just a biological reality I really don't see how that is point of contention. When a man is castrated all male biological urges are lost and he becomes more passive and feminine. Similarly if a woman is stuffed with testosterone her behavior and even appearence will become more masculine and her sex drive explodes. Look up stories of female to male transgenders.

And like I said the differences are even obvious in grown adults that either have hormonal activity ceased or syntethically administered. While the real differences emerge during exposure of the hormone on the developing brain.

stroopwafel:

evilthecat:
Taking testosterone supplements has been associated with changes in mood, but this seems to be more an effect of altering the balance of hormones within the body, rather than an intrinsic and universal effect of testosterone itself.

Thanks for proving my point. If mood changes are already present with administration of synthetic testosterone in grown adults what do you think the influence is of the hormone on the developing brain? *news flash* The difference between men and women.

Yes, there are general differences between men and women.

But the differences between men and women biologically, is not what most people talk about with gender norms. What does it have to do with what clothing we wear? What does it have to do with our right to vote? What does it have to do with who should cook, and what they cook, and where they cook it? Such as say, a kitchen?

Plus it ignores the inconsistencies of men and women. Some women are more masculine than some men, and vice versa. And what about infertile men and women?

When it comes to the discussion of men and women, of gender identity, of sex, it is rarely ever truly about biology. It is about cultural norms and expectations, it is about equal rights, or rather the lack thereof.

And many of those who want to fall back on biology to excuse their sexism wont like it when its used against them. I mean, why not use testosterone as proof that men are rapey perverts who cant be trusted alone with women or children? I bet that would upset alot of people who want to fall back on biology to excuse their own sexism.

The whole chemical administering thing in general doesn't make sense to me. If someone who has boobs wants me to call em a dude I don't care. You shouldn't need to take testosterone if you already feel male though. I've felt male all my life and I never took anything to make that happen. I think it kinda defeats the point of saying someone was born that way if they have to take things they're literally not born with in order to achieve their purported natural state.

Dreiko:
I think it kinda defeats the point of saying someone was born that way if they have to take things they're literally not born with in order to achieve their purported natural state.

Does that apply to all other medication, though? A lot of people require medical help to retain what they'd consider normal or natural for them.

Thaluikhain:

Dreiko:
I think it kinda defeats the point of saying someone was born that way if they have to take things they're literally not born with in order to achieve their purported natural state.

Does that apply to all other medication, though? A lot of people require medical help to retain what they'd consider normal or natural for them.

For something to be natural you had to have been that way at some point and know that you're not that way any more and need to get back to it. If you've never had male levels of testosterone in your system you have no idea how that feels, you just think that that's what your normal way is but that's by definition not it and if you don't feel male enough without needing to take hormones that means something. Whatever you wanna call it, taking hormones is the actual opposite thing of being your natural or true self, it's more like gender plastic surgery. It's like trying to reach your unrealistic ideal self.

stroopwafel:
Thanks for proving my point. If mood changes are already present with administration of synthetic testosterone in grown adults what do you think the influence is of the hormone on the developing brain? *news flash* The difference between men and women.

You missed my point, which is that hormones within the real human human body don't exist in isolation.

There was a little internet drama a while back when the Buzzfeed Try Guys had their testosterone levels tested for a video, at which point every far right commentator who ever failed high school biology went apeshit and started talking about how they had the testosterone levels of 80-100 year old men, and thus that they were clearly weak feminized beta men. These also tend to be communities where men openly encourage each other to take steroids as a form of HRT simply because they have quote/unquote low testosterone and thus need more testosterone in order to ensure they remain real men.

Hypogonadism is the condition where a person's body doesn't produce enough sex hormones, which in the case of male bodies can include testosterone. It's associated with some quite serious and debilitating symptoms, and is something which usually needs to be followed up on medically because it can be a sign of serious medical complications like cancer. If you don't have those symptoms, then it's extremely likely that whatever testosterone level you have is normal. There is no evidence that differing levels of normal testosterone determine your level of physical masculinization or your psychological characteristics, it doesn't determine whether you are or are not the mythical and elusive "chad". On the contrary, chasing high levels of testosterone can permanently damage your body and leave you with permanent hypogonadism (or, because aromatase converts excess testosterone into estrogen, it can cause you to become physically feminized, because again, hormones are complicated).

Androgens on their own don't really do much or predict anything, what's much more important is maintaining the overall balance of hormones in your body.

Again, testosterone is an androgen. Its function, along with the other androgens, is to physically masculinize the body, both in foetal development and during puberty. This masculinization does affect the entire body, and that includes the brain. The brains of men are usually slightly larger and less dense than those of women due to the steroidal function of androgens. There's a lot of speculation about other differences between the brains of men and women and what they mean, but at this point we are getting to the point where these supposed neurological differences are so small that we don't have accurate enough equipment to actually measure them. It can't be entirely ruled out that there are vague, aggregate neurological differences in the brains of men and women, but again, (beyond a few obvious ones) they are so small that we are left debating their existence or their significance.

The idea that every single difference between men and women's societal role and behaviour can be traced back the impact of foetal androgens on the brain would be truly, truly laughable even if it couldn't be easily debunked simply by looking at the fact that gender norms change enormously both cross-culturally and over time. If these differences are the product of our neurology, then clearly our neurology has changed (which is ultimately what people who ascribe to your position usually end up believing, around the time they get really into InfoWars).

Dreiko:

For something to be natural you had to have been that way at some point and know that you're not that way any more and need to get back to it.

I can see the logic, but I don't think it's terribly solid.

For instance, having two arms is generally natural. If a child is born missing an arm, you would-- i suppose-- say that is the child's "natural" state, and yet, they may well have an experience much closer to the regular human experience if they had a prosthetic.

Why is the latter less natural, even though it's the state of normalcy for most people?

Silvanus:

Dreiko:

For something to be natural you had to have been that way at some point and know that you're not that way any more and need to get back to it.

I can see the logic, but I don't think it's terribly solid.

For instance, having two arms is generally natural. If a child is born missing an arm, you would-- i suppose-- say that is the child's "natural" state, and yet, they may well have an experience much closer to the regular human experience if they had a prosthetic.

Why is the latter less natural, even though it's the state of normalcy for most people?

People only care about natural when it supports their own bigotry. I doubt they want to give up their cars and electricity and synthetic materials.

evilthecat:

stroopwafel:
Thanks for proving my point. If mood changes are already present with administration of synthetic testosterone in grown adults what do you think the influence is of the hormone on the developing brain? *news flash* The difference between men and women.

You missed my point, which is that hormones within the real human human body don't exist in isolation.

There was a little internet drama a while back when the Buzzfeed Try Guys had their testosterone levels tested for a video, at which point every far right commentator who ever failed high school biology went apeshit and started talking about how they had the testosterone levels of 80-100 year old men, and thus that they were clearly weak feminized beta men. These also tend to be communities where men openly encourage each other to take steroids as a form of HRT simply because they have quote/unquote low testosterone and thus need more testosterone in order to ensure they remain real men.

Hypogonadism is the condition where a person's body doesn't produce enough sex hormones, which in the case of male bodies can include testosterone. It's associated with some quite serious and debilitating symptoms, and is something which usually needs to be followed up on medically because it can be a sign of serious medical complications like cancer. If you don't have those symptoms, then it's extremely likely that whatever testosterone level you have is normal. There is no evidence that differing levels of normal testosterone determine your level of physical masculinization or your psychological characteristics, it doesn't determine whether you are or are not the mythical and elusive "chad". On the contrary, chasing high levels of testosterone can permanently damage your body and leave you with permanent hypogonadism (or, because aromatase converts excess testosterone into estrogen, it can cause you to become physically feminized, because again, hormones are complicated).

Androgens on their own don't really do much or predict anything, what's much more important is maintaining the overall balance of hormones in your body.

Again, testosterone is an androgen. Its function, along with the other androgens, is to physically masculinize the body, both in foetal development and during puberty. This masculinization does affect the entire body, and that includes the brain. The brains of men are usually slightly larger and less dense than those of women due to the steroidal function of androgens. There's a lot of speculation about other differences between the brains of men and women and what they mean, but at this point we are getting to the point where these supposed neurological differences are so small that we don't have accurate enough equipment to actually measure them. It can't be entirely ruled out that there are vague, aggregate neurological differences in the brains of men and women, but again, (beyond a few obvious ones) they are so small that we are left debating their existence or their significance.

The idea that every single difference between men and women's societal role and behaviour can be traced back the impact of foetal androgens on the brain would be truly, truly laughable even if it couldn't be easily debunked simply by looking at the fact that gender norms change enormously both cross-culturally and over time. If these differences are the product of our neurology, then clearly our neurology has changed (which is ultimately what people who ascribe to your position usually end up believing, around the time they get really into InfoWars).

If people really want to use natural hormones as their basis for sex, there would probably be more trans people than less, since way more low-testosterones men should be acting like the women they are and low-estrogen women should be doing men's work. Clearly menopause is just women naturally becoming men.

Silvanus:

Dreiko:

For something to be natural you had to have been that way at some point and know that you're not that way any more and need to get back to it.

I can see the logic, but I don't think it's terribly solid.

For instance, having two arms is generally natural. If a child is born missing an arm, you would-- i suppose-- say that is the child's "natural" state, and yet, they may well have an experience much closer to the regular human experience if they had a prosthetic.

Why is the latter less natural, even though it's the state of normalcy for most people?

You need to keep in mind that I'm not the one making the argument about things being their true selves, I'm just working within that argument's confines to show it to have faults. It is the people who claim that being the other sex is their natural being and that their body is an error that you have to ask why it is that they have to be their natural selves when that entails a whole lot of invasive stuff that can be harmful and hasn't even been tested for long enough.

The child with a prosthetic doesn't have two arms, it has...one arm and one prosthetic arm. When someone takes hormones, they don't, however, claim to be women with more testosterone, they claim to actually have two arms, they claim to be men. This is the issue here. If the kid with one arms feels he has two, he doesn't need a prosthetic now does he? That'd make him have two arms and a third, prosthetic arm too. If someone with boobs claims they're a man, cool, but why does a man need more testosterone?

Dreiko:

Silvanus:

Dreiko:

For something to be natural you had to have been that way at some point and know that you're not that way any more and need to get back to it.

I can see the logic, but I don't think it's terribly solid.

For instance, having two arms is generally natural. If a child is born missing an arm, you would-- i suppose-- say that is the child's "natural" state, and yet, they may well have an experience much closer to the regular human experience if they had a prosthetic.

Why is the latter less natural, even though it's the state of normalcy for most people?

You need to keep in mind that I'm not the one making the argument about things being their true selves, I'm just working within that argument's confines to show it to have faults. It is the people who claim that being the other sex is their natural being and that their body is an error that you have to ask why it is that they have to be their natural selves when that entails a whole lot of invasive stuff that can be harmful and hasn't even been tested for long enough.

The child with a prosthetic doesn't have two arms, it has...one arm and one prosthetic arm. When someone takes hormones, they don't, however, claim to be women with more testosterone, they claim to actually have two arms, they claim to be men. This is the issue here. If the kid with one arms feels he has two, he doesn't need a prosthetic now does he? That'd make him have two arms and a third, prosthetic arm too. If someone with boobs claims they're a man, cool, but why does a man need more testosterone?

What is a man then? Is it someone with a penis? Is that all it takes? Or is it someone who 'acts like a Man'?

Reality is sticking too close to the letter on either of those definitions is going to leave you with tons of ambiguous edge cases.

Its really just better to go with 'If it makes them happy and doesnt hurt anyone, why be mad about it'?

Saelune:

Its really just better to go with 'If it makes them happy and doesnt hurt anyone, why be mad about it'?

I have to agree with this. Life's too short (unless you're worried about the way extended lifespans are economically unsustainable) to spend it trying to make someone else's life shitter for no reason. (Being a prick isn't a good reason, BTW.)

Saelune:

Dreiko:

Silvanus:

I can see the logic, but I don't think it's terribly solid.

For instance, having two arms is generally natural. If a child is born missing an arm, you would-- i suppose-- say that is the child's "natural" state, and yet, they may well have an experience much closer to the regular human experience if they had a prosthetic.

Why is the latter less natural, even though it's the state of normalcy for most people?

You need to keep in mind that I'm not the one making the argument about things being their true selves, I'm just working within that argument's confines to show it to have faults. It is the people who claim that being the other sex is their natural being and that their body is an error that you have to ask why it is that they have to be their natural selves when that entails a whole lot of invasive stuff that can be harmful and hasn't even been tested for long enough.

The child with a prosthetic doesn't have two arms, it has...one arm and one prosthetic arm. When someone takes hormones, they don't, however, claim to be women with more testosterone, they claim to actually have two arms, they claim to be men. This is the issue here. If the kid with one arms feels he has two, he doesn't need a prosthetic now does he? That'd make him have two arms and a third, prosthetic arm too. If someone with boobs claims they're a man, cool, but why does a man need more testosterone?

What is a man then? Is it someone with a penis? Is that all it takes? Or is it someone who 'acts like a Man'?

Reality is sticking too close to the letter on either of those definitions is going to leave you with tons of ambiguous edge cases.

Its really just better to go with 'If it makes them happy and doesnt hurt anyone, why be mad about it'?

Like I explained above, how you act is something that's inherently in a state of flux and varies because of human nature. At the same time, if we are to agree that being a man is a defined thing, we have to by definition be exclusionary to all the things that it is not, such that we can be free to actually isolate what it actually is.

I think that at the bare minimum, if you need the help of modern medical science in order to feel like you're a man and without it you can't truly feel that you are one, that's already way too far deeply into the "things that are not a man" category. This isn't one of those gray cases but pretty clearly delineated.

And yeah, I don't get being mad about this sort of thing either. I'm not mad when people claim the earth is flat either, I just kinda shake my head and move on.

stroopwafel:

That is definitely not true. Every difference between men and women can be attributed to the fact men have eight times more testosterone, it's why the difference between men and women is smallest between the very young and the very old.

Utter bollocks, frankly. It's so wrong I don't even know where to start.

...but that their hormonal predispositions make them more susceptible for different predilections.

Do they? Because I think you'll find the science on this is not clear at all.

It's men and post-menopausal women that are expendable.

Theoeretical gibberish. If men and post-menopausal women were "expendable", evolution would have led to them dropping dead much earlier instead of wasting valauble resources that could go to useful people.

Men have higher numbers of incarceration, psychiatric disease, autism, violent crime and even every eight out of ten suicides is men.

1) Men do not have higher rates of psychiatric disease, women do. However, certain specific mental illnesses do have their own disparities between sexes.

2) Autism is massively under-reported in women, in large part because research has been so focused on men for so long that female autism is poorly understood and often not recognised.

3) What does any of that mean? How do hormones explain it all?

You can exclude any cultural influence as it's the same in every country in the world.

All cultures may be different, but perhaps all cultures have similarities, too.

Incidentally, in China for instance, the suicide rate is higher in women. Are you sure there are no cultural factors at play?

There are so many ways to look at a gender and they're all subjective depending on the gender norm of the society the individual is a part of or identifies with the most.

A gender norm is a cultural thing. A gender identity is a personal thing. I would argue there is also potentially a gender "perspective" as to what the average member of your culture would view the individual as, since that will likely have an effect on the experience of the individual within that society.

Ultimately they mean as much as the culture they are a part of considers gender to be important.

How one perceives themselves, how society perceives the individual, and to what standards that society expects the gender norm to behave.

So really, the entire thing is subjective. Might as well debate as to how long a piece of string is.

evilthecat:

When you say you are male, you aren't referring to the gender norms of the society you live in. Instead, you are either referring to a personal sense of "belonging" to a given gender (a personal identity) or to the way you see yourself as socially positioned in relation to the society you live in (a social identity). In all likelihood, you're referring to both at once.

OK what does it mean to belong to a certain gender?

To me it sounds like you are signaling "this is what I am comfortable with. This is what I prefer.". but that feels like it turns around and runs into the same question. Why do you prefer that way? What is it about your chosen gender that makes you feel that way? Because, to me, all I can see of gender is gender norms. So to me that sounds like "these are the set of gender norms that I feel most in line with.".

I want to be clear I have no problem with trans, non-binary, agendered, ect people. How you choose your own form of social expression is up to you, and if it makes you happy I'm all for it. (I feel I need to make that point as I see some poeple have turned this thread into a discussion about that).

I guess a certain amount of personal background may be helpful. I'm autistic, and of the many possible symptoms of that is, I guess what I'd call a difficulty understanding basic social ideas that come naturally to others. This is one such concept so I am trying to wrap my head around the idea.

Dreiko:

Saelune:

Dreiko:

You need to keep in mind that I'm not the one making the argument about things being their true selves, I'm just working within that argument's confines to show it to have faults. It is the people who claim that being the other sex is their natural being and that their body is an error that you have to ask why it is that they have to be their natural selves when that entails a whole lot of invasive stuff that can be harmful and hasn't even been tested for long enough.

The child with a prosthetic doesn't have two arms, it has...one arm and one prosthetic arm. When someone takes hormones, they don't, however, claim to be women with more testosterone, they claim to actually have two arms, they claim to be men. This is the issue here. If the kid with one arms feels he has two, he doesn't need a prosthetic now does he? That'd make him have two arms and a third, prosthetic arm too. If someone with boobs claims they're a man, cool, but why does a man need more testosterone?

What is a man then? Is it someone with a penis? Is that all it takes? Or is it someone who 'acts like a Man'?

Reality is sticking too close to the letter on either of those definitions is going to leave you with tons of ambiguous edge cases.

Its really just better to go with 'If it makes them happy and doesnt hurt anyone, why be mad about it'?

Like I explained above, how you act is something that's inherently in a state of flux and varies because of human nature. At the same time, if we are to agree that being a man is a defined thing, we have to by definition be exclusionary to all the things that it is not, such that we can be free to actually isolate what it actually is.

I think that at the bare minimum, if you need the help of modern medical science in order to feel like you're a man and without it you can't truly feel that you are one, that's already way too far deeply into the "things that are not a man" category. This isn't one of those gray cases but pretty clearly delineated.

And yeah, I don't get being mad about this sort of thing either. I'm not mad when people claim the earth is flat either, I just kinda shake my head and move on.

The problem is, gender roles are so ingrained into the world, it can never really be erased totally. I often wonder, if no one ingrained gender roles and gender norms into me, how different would I be? I honestly dont know.

But it is just unfair to doubly hinder trans and gender fluid people because people who hate us found a conflicting loophole that is just used as an excuse to deny us our happiness. Maybe it is hypocritical to intentionally conform to gender 'norms' while decrying them, but the game was stacked against us from the start, and wouldnt be such a big deal if everyone else didnt keep demanding we justify ourselves to them.

Also lets not compare societal constructs with objective fact. 'Being a man' could have meant anything, and it has meant many things over the course of history. Once pants were exclusively for men, then they made pants for women. Once pants were barbaric! No self-respecting man would wear pants instead of a toga. Once men wore stockings and heels and wigs, cause those were men's things, but not anymore.

For a long period of time boys were put in dresses cause it was just easier, and that extended into the end of last century.

But the Earth just is not flat.

stroopwafel:

Thaluikhain:

I'd think people would learn not to say stuff like "Every difference between men and women can be attributed to the fact...". Lots of large and wide ranging differences, trying to attribute them all to one solitary cause, yeah, nah.

It is because it is the only common denominator all men share. It's just a biological reality I really don't see how that is point of contention. When a man is castrated all male biological urges are lost and he becomes more passive and feminine. Similarly if a woman is stuffed with testosterone her behavior and even appearence will become more masculine and her sex drive explodes. Look up stories of female to male transgenders.

And like I said the differences are even obvious in grown adults that either have hormonal activity ceased or syntethically administered. While the real differences emerge during exposure of the hormone on the developing brain.

Firstly, women aren't passive. Society tells them to be passive but they certainly are not. If the case was they were passive, then society would not have needed laws banning them for public spaces, joining groups or the workforce. SOME women are passive, and SOME men are passive. It's not caused by hormones. Secondly, some women have massive sex drives, more than the average man. It's similar to heights, while there is a difference between men and women, a lot of women are above the average man. Thirdly, excess testosterone decreases sex drive and makes you impotent. And decrease the size of testes. It also increases aggression. A balanced level of testosterone in you body causes LESS aggression than having too much.

Now, if I remember studies on transgender women, an issue with a study was that they assumed the person had the same level of self-worth before and after the reassignment surgery. Which was a bad assumption, becuase, if they dislike who they are, that will affect their libido. Once they felt like they were in their own body, their desire for sex dramatically picked up. But testosterone is very important for women's libido I doubt this would be the same study, so maybe they took this into account with your study. IDK.

You could also go Cultrual Marxist with this, and just wonder why anyone worries about gender and genitalia at all. As far as I understand, they don't see it as important and just want to deal with individuals and their wants and needs. They find the whole transgender thing a bit weird too.

Since some people seem to be pretty confused about this: This is what it means to be a man. Hope that clears everything up.

does youtube embed work or is it still down?

Satinavian:
For quite a long time i really could not understand what this gender idendity was supposed to be. Gender was for me only gender norms/roles/tendencies and a couple of prejudices. "Sense of one's gender" seemed like pure nonsense considering dysphoria (which i kind of undertand even if i don't have it) was treated as something separate.
Now i know that this really is different for most people and i consider myself agender.

So, I'm going to drop the pedagogical stance and give my actual, real opinion rather than just regurgitating the current clinical consensus, because I don't actually think the current clinical consensus is perfect.

The concept of gender identity is very much something which grew out of early research into gender-variant and intersexed people in the 70s and 80s by researchers like the now infamous Dr. John Money. Although they're often misrepresented as some kind of radicals, these researchers were part of a conservative scientific establishment whose primary concern was turning people into "normal" adults, meaning heterosexual, gender-conforming men and women. The concept of gender identity was originally a gatekeeping concept, it allowed "valid" trans people (those poor gender-normative people who had just been "born in the wrong body") to be separated from the people who were too non-conforming, and who were thus written off as fetishists and sexual perverts. This was also where people started to become preoccupied with the idea that trans people had neurological differences from cis people, because if they did, if you could spot the valid trans people by looking at their brains, it would be very convenient.

A lot of the ideas we have about gender identity, I think, are the legacy of this desire among trans people to be deemed medically valid, because to gain access to medical support (or indeed societal acceptance) you still have to get through the process. Thus, we still talk about gender identity like it's some intrinsic feeling of feeling being a man or a woman on the inside or being born in the wrong body when actually experiencing like that is very rare.

In reality, I think the things that make up our gender identity are internalized stereotypes. I don't think anyone feels like a man or a woman 24/7, but they like the associations they get from being percieved as a man or a woman. If you misgender people, even cis people, they will often think you're insulting them because what you're essentially saying is the steps they have taken to socially position themselves as a man or a woman are inadequate, and again, most people like those associations, stereotype or no.

We're still filling in the language of gender, because right now there are no words for a lot of the experiences agender or demigender or genderfluid people are going to have. Even those words will be dismissed by some as "made up tumblr genders" (as opposed to all the real genders out there) but they are an attempt to fill in the gaps of things that would previously just be written off as "confusion". I think that's what conservatives hate, they want us to be confused, they want our experiences to be dismissed as merely confusion or perversity, they don't think we should be able to talk about our experiences the way they can. Talking about your experience of gender is a right exclusive to the valid. They might accept you as valid if you say you were born in the wrong body or that you have this deep interior sense of being a man or woman, but long term we're going to have to develop a better language, a more complete language and a more nuanced language, and when that happens we'll be able to talk about ourselves in a way everyone can understand, without needing to resort to a "big" idea of gender identity.

I'm not saying that gender identity isn't real or isn't an important concept, just that people often look for some kind of almost magical significance in it, like a person really does have this deep interior essence of pure mannness or womanness which they are completely conscious of. I think we had to adopt that to survive and appear valid in a hostile world, but it's not going to last.

Saelune:

Dreiko:

Saelune:
What is a man then? Is it someone with a penis? Is that all it takes? Or is it someone who 'acts like a Man'?

Reality is sticking too close to the letter on either of those definitions is going to leave you with tons of ambiguous edge cases.

Its really just better to go with 'If it makes them happy and doesnt hurt anyone, why be mad about it'?

Like I explained above, how you act is something that's inherently in a state of flux and varies because of human nature. At the same time, if we are to agree that being a man is a defined thing, we have to by definition be exclusionary to all the things that it is not, such that we can be free to actually isolate what it actually is.

I think that at the bare minimum, if you need the help of modern medical science in order to feel like you're a man and without it you can't truly feel that you are one, that's already way too far deeply into the "things that are not a man" category. This isn't one of those gray cases but pretty clearly delineated.

And yeah, I don't get being mad about this sort of thing either. I'm not mad when people claim the earth is flat either, I just kinda shake my head and move on.

The problem is, gender roles are so ingrained into the world, it can never really be erased totally. I often wonder, if no one ingrained gender roles and gender norms into me, how different would I be? I honestly dont know.

But it is just unfair to doubly hinder trans and gender fluid people because people who hate us found a conflicting loophole that is just used as an excuse to deny us our happiness. Maybe it is hypocritical to intentionally conform to gender 'norms' while decrying them, but the game was stacked against us from the start, and wouldnt be such a big deal if everyone else didnt keep demanding we justify ourselves to them.

Also lets not compare societal constructs with objective fact. 'Being a man' could have meant anything, and it has meant many things over the course of history. Once pants were exclusively for men, then they made pants for women. Once pants were barbaric! No self-respecting man would wear pants instead of a toga. Once men wore stockings and heels and wigs, cause those were men's things, but not anymore.

For a long period of time boys were put in dresses cause it was just easier, and that extended into the end of last century.

But the Earth just is not flat.

So, I'm fine with agreeing that "being a man" is a meaningless thing that society created and has no value or purpose, but then I am left wondering why it is that people cling to that meaningless label to the point of undergoing invasive medical procedures that are unnecessary to their bodily health while at the same time acknowledging its hollowness. It just doesn't make sense.

Some people may feel threatened when you tear this all down but that's just the ones who have given too much of themselves to the labels that apply to them. It's the same thing with feminine behaviors, something only the insecure would mind. I'm confident enough in being "me" so whatever way in which external sources choose to define and label that I won't care either way. I genuinely don't mind whichever way you choose to go with this argument, I'm just sitting here analyzing what is said and pointing out logical flaws.

Whichever way it falls, if you wanna organize society in a beneficial way, you gotta remove illogical components and hypocritical elements in your thought patterns. Merely saying "we had the deck stacked out against us" isn't enough. Just because you're unfairly treated that doesn't automatically make everything you come up with correct or useful. If anything, adversity can make someone less capable of coming up with truly useful things cause they are forced to expend more of their energy to deal with all of their day to day troubles as opposed to someone with a relatively easy life. (though of course the latter person will have a greater tendency to overlook issues due to lack of first hand experience, the ideal is a balance, you'd definitely not treat that latter person as by definition being correct despite logical fallacies though)

Marik2:
does youtube embed work or is it still down?


Still down.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here