What is the difference between gender and gender norms?

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Dreiko:
So, I'm fine with agreeing that "being a man" is a meaningless thing that society created and has no value or purpose,

It's not meaningless though, and it certainly has purposes (not necessarily beneficial).

Self-identity is an important thing to one's psychological health. For some people it will include the desire to conform to others around them, so there will be something they want to conform to. In some cases that will extend to wanting others to conform to them.

evilthecat:
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.

Thank you very much for that.

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.

Sometimes i ask myself how much of that stuff is valid beyond cultural borders. I grew up in the GDR. When i was young there was always conflict between what was regarded as traditional gender roles and what was deemed as how a modern socialistic person should behave. Stay-at-home-moms were discriminated against and traditional families were alsways suspected of having a burgeous, contrarevolutionary mindset and to be probably disloyal. It was kinda tolerated for old people who grew up in other times, but the younger you were, the better you should fit the socialist ideal. Also children were suppossed to be in the care of the state from an early age on for indoctrination purposes etc.

But there still were Transpeople. The most visibly expression was from biological male transvestits. It was kind of hard for a biological women to go against the traditional female role and not end up in a state that matches the new socialist female role. And considering that the traditional female role was seen as kind of a bad thing even for women, it did not actually generate acceptance for transwomen.

Still, since 1976 the GDR allowed and provided transition surgery (of course for free because socialism) but yes, there was the issue of "valid trans" as you still had to convince your doctor that this was an appropriate measure and that you really were trans and not just a gay person who wants better equipment for sex. It also came with official changes and optionally a complete new manifactured idendity of the other sex provided by the Stasi. Theoretically any changes to official status would only happen after surgery but in practice that has not been always required.

At the same time the GDR did not look favorable at any kind of self-organisation of LBGT. They didn't like any kind of movement that is not controlled and guided by the state. Neither gay nor trans people ever were allowed to gather in a way that made their voice heard. Only the church provided a place for gays to gather. Over all i think homophobia was for more widespread than transphobia, maybe because GDR gender roles were always in flux anyway. Only in the late 80s, yhortly before the end the GDR suddenly decided to tackle homophobia, open gay bars, produce pro homosexuality education/propaganda films etc.

But as far as i know, especially social science did not work very well through the iron curtain. I am not sure what influences english speaking gender science ever had on the GDR or the other way around.

Agema:

Dreiko:
So, I'm fine with agreeing that "being a man" is a meaningless thing that society created and has no value or purpose,

It's not meaningless though, and it certainly has purposes (not necessarily beneficial).

Self-identity is an important thing to one's psychological health. For some people it will include the desire to conform to others around them, so there will be something they want to conform to. In some cases that will extend to wanting others to conform to them.

I believe that the tendency to want conform is actively harmful, actually. It robs one of one's own potential and autonomy and enslaves them to the whims of those around them who are what you'd call trend-setters.

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.

Well, possibly because reassignment surgery is statistically the most effective approach.

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?

No, wait a minute, you've changed the analogy. The arm represents the physical aspect. Pre-transition trans people don't claim to have the physical aspects of their identified sex; that's the issue.

The trans individual states that they do not have the body of their identified gender, and that this should be rectified.

The child missing an arm, likewise, believes the physical aspect should be rectified. The analogy holds.

....and only an asshole would insist on referring to someone with a prosthetic arm as "one-armed"; and only an asshole would deny that person the prosthetic on the basis that they were born another way.

Eric the Orange:

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.".

Jot me down as seconding this question. Kind of surprised nobody has answered it already.

Dreiko:
If someone with boobs claims they're a man, cool, but why does a man need more testosterone?

If your logic is "if you need drugs to feel like a man how are you a man?" then where do you stand on steroids or viagra?

Dreiko:
I believe that the tendency to want conform is actively harmful, actually. It robs one of one's own potential and autonomy and enslaves them to the whims of those around them who are what you'd call trend-setters.

Conformity is like anything: good in moderation and harmful in excess. Humans, to a large extent, like conformity: we're a form of herd animal, where conformity is natural behaviour for the group. Conformity helps with "social glue", giving people common ground and a sense of safety and companionship. When we think of our friends, we see they are usually people quite like ourselves in many ways.

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

Wow, that answered so many of my own questions... I actually feel like I can face the world (or even Lord Grummond) now.

Leg End:

Eric the Orange:

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.".

Jot me down as seconding this question. Kind of surprised nobody has answered it already.

It means the individual desires to conform with the social behaviors most associated towards the perception of that particular gender. The individual also wishes to be perceived as that particular gender through both looks and behavior by others.

It's a desire of conformity. The exact reason why people wish to conform to any particular gender over another is an entirely personal thing and subjective per person.

Abomination:

Leg End:

Eric the Orange:

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.".

Jot me down as seconding this question. Kind of surprised nobody has answered it already.

It means the individual desires to conform with the social behaviors most associated towards the perception of that particular gender. The individual also wishes to be perceived as that particular gender through both looks and behavior by others.

It's a desire of conformity. The exact reason why people wish to conform to any particular gender over another is an entirely personal thing and subjective per person.

If that is so how do you explain the existence of atypical gender identifications like non-binary. The ideas of such things is a relatively new one and as such their isn't really any norms to conform to.

Eric the Orange:

Abomination:

Leg End:
Jot me down as seconding this question. Kind of surprised nobody has answered it already.

It means the individual desires to conform with the social behaviors most associated towards the perception of that particular gender. The individual also wishes to be perceived as that particular gender through both looks and behavior by others.

It's a desire of conformity. The exact reason why people wish to conform to any particular gender over another is an entirely personal thing and subjective per person.

If that is so how do you explain the existence of atypical gender identifications like non-binary. The ideas of such things is a relatively new one and as such their isn't really any norms to conform to.

Exactly what I said before, but inverse. A desire to not conform. "Non-binary" can mean "does not identify or care to conform" but there's always a chance they are just stating they are as a form of rebellion or... a desire to just be contrary.

Some cultures do have a third gender, but it can range from transsexuals to eunuchs. I do not know of any genuine third gender that's not either someone effectively transitioning between the two, attempting to occupy both, or refusing either. Probably because gender roles originate from the sex of individuals.

Palindromemordnilap:

Dreiko:
If someone with boobs claims they're a man, cool, but why does a man need more testosterone?

If your logic is "if you need drugs to feel like a man how are you a man?" then where do you stand on steroids or viagra?

Steroids are cheating and viagra is avarice, I guess?

There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

Silvanus:

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.

Well, possibly because reassignment surgery is statistically the most effective approach.

Most effective at doing what though?

No, wait a minute, you've changed the analogy. The arm represents the physical aspect. Pre-transition trans people don't claim to have the physical aspects of their identified sex; that's the issue.

The trans individual states that they do not have the body of their identified gender, and that this should be rectified.

The child missing an arm, likewise, believes the physical aspect should be rectified. The analogy holds.

....and only an asshole would insist on referring to someone with a prosthetic arm as "one-armed"; and only an asshole would deny that person the prosthetic on the basis that they were born another way.

I think you completely missed where I was going with this. A prosthetic arm is not an arm, it's a prosthetic arm. It may be way cooler than a regular arm (look at Sekiro, that thing seems to have no motion restrictions at all and also can shoot fire!) but it's never gonna be an arm. Depending on your level of technology or how sci-fi you go about it, it may be better or worse than an arm, but it'll always ultimately be something external to the being that it is attached to. A tool, not a part of them like their normal arm. This is why people with prosthetics still feel phantom pain despite having a new arm now, they still fill the sensation of their missing arm. If your theory was correct there'd be no missing arm to feel the pain of after attaching the prosthetic.

The kid if it's a mature kid or when it grows up will feel the same about it too. Our job is to not mistreat the kid for having one arm and one cool mech arm, not to pretend it has two normal arms and that is absolutely normal that his arm fires lasers.

Similarly, just cause you took testosterone, you're not magically a man all of a sudden, you just have a mech arm that makes you function like you feel that you should. I'm cool with being accepting about that, I just don't want to deceptively pretend that that's usual or common or that it's the same with the common vernacular usage of "being a man".

Dreiko:

Palindromemordnilap:

Dreiko:
If someone with boobs claims they're a man, cool, but why does a man need more testosterone?

If your logic is "if you need drugs to feel like a man how are you a man?" then where do you stand on steroids or viagra?

Steroids are cheating and viagra is avarice, I guess?

There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

So you would say there's a definite difference between people who use chemical assistance for a cosmetic reason ("I'm taking these steroids because I want my muscles to be bigger so I can feel like more of a man") and people who take chemical assistance for medical reasons ("I'm taking these steroids because I have a compromised immune system and need the boost they give me to stay healthy")

Palindromemordnilap:

Dreiko:

Palindromemordnilap:

If your logic is "if you need drugs to feel like a man how are you a man?" then where do you stand on steroids or viagra?

Steroids are cheating and viagra is avarice, I guess?

There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

So you would say there's a definite difference between people who use chemical assistance for a cosmetic reason ("I'm taking these steroids because I want my muscles to be bigger so I can feel like more of a man") and people who take chemical assistance for medical reasons ("I'm taking these steroids because I have a compromised immune system and need the boost they give me to stay healthy")

Indeed, they are not doing it to "be who they feel they should be" on a cognitive or feelings-based sense. They are just taking medicine to survive from an actual physical illness.

If someone for some reason needs to undergo gender surgery to save their live (some weird complication with someone born a hermaphrodite that requires surgery or something along those lines for example) that's completely different to someone just doing it to feel better about themselves. If there's an actual medical cause like a diagnosis of autoimmune disease that completely changes things.

Dreiko:

Palindromemordnilap:

Dreiko:

Steroids are cheating and viagra is avarice, I guess?

There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

So you would say there's a definite difference between people who use chemical assistance for a cosmetic reason ("I'm taking these steroids because I want my muscles to be bigger so I can feel like more of a man") and people who take chemical assistance for medical reasons ("I'm taking these steroids because I have a compromised immune system and need the boost they give me to stay healthy")

Indeed, they are not doing it to "be who they feel they should be" on a cognitive or feelings-based sense. They are just taking medicine to survive from an actual physical illness.

If someone for some reason needs to undergo gender surgery to save their live (some weird complication with someone born a hermaphrodite that requires surgery or something along those lines for example) that's completely different to someone just doing it to feel better about themselves. If there's an actual medical cause like a diagnosis of autoimmune disease that completely changes things.

Well then to use your definitions, if drugs for physical illness are fine then what about drugs for mental illnesses? If someone can take steroids so they can better fight infections, what about taking anti-depressants so they can better fight depression? Where does that fall on your scale of okay things?

Tis a shame that Politics got thrown out because I could point to my old thread on this same topic as a starting place for you get off the ground in the conversation.

Palindromemordnilap:

Dreiko:

Palindromemordnilap:

So you would say there's a definite difference between people who use chemical assistance for a cosmetic reason ("I'm taking these steroids because I want my muscles to be bigger so I can feel like more of a man") and people who take chemical assistance for medical reasons ("I'm taking these steroids because I have a compromised immune system and need the boost they give me to stay healthy")

Indeed, they are not doing it to "be who they feel they should be" on a cognitive or feelings-based sense. They are just taking medicine to survive from an actual physical illness.

If someone for some reason needs to undergo gender surgery to save their live (some weird complication with someone born a hermaphrodite that requires surgery or something along those lines for example) that's completely different to someone just doing it to feel better about themselves. If there's an actual medical cause like a diagnosis of autoimmune disease that completely changes things.

Well then to use your definitions, if drugs for physical illness are fine then what about drugs for mental illnesses? If someone can take steroids so they can better fight infections, what about taking anti-depressants so they can better fight depression? Where does that fall on your scale of okay things?

I am against treating psychology like a hard science the same way you treat immunology. There's too many unknowns and there's too much over-medication or pathologization of the regular spectrum of human behaviors like with medicating willful children. Thanks to mistaking the two for equivalent.

A lot of these things often have unknown sideffects or a shopping list worth of them. I've even heard of anti-depressants making someone more suicidal when it's the opposite thing of what they should be doing.

In the context of this topic, I think the suggested cure is worse than the disease basically, on top of causing the societal ill of forcing people to live the lie of pretending it is not. Mass delusions are not good.

Dreiko:

Palindromemordnilap:

Dreiko:
Indeed, they are not doing it to "be who they feel they should be" on a cognitive or feelings-based sense. They are just taking medicine to survive from an actual physical illness.

If someone for some reason needs to undergo gender surgery to save their live (some weird complication with someone born a hermaphrodite that requires surgery or something along those lines for example) that's completely different to someone just doing it to feel better about themselves. If there's an actual medical cause like a diagnosis of autoimmune disease that completely changes things.

Well then to use your definitions, if drugs for physical illness are fine then what about drugs for mental illnesses? If someone can take steroids so they can better fight infections, what about taking anti-depressants so they can better fight depression? Where does that fall on your scale of okay things?

I am against treating psychology like a hard science the same way you treat immunology. There's too many unknowns and there's too much over-medication or pathologization of the regular spectrum of human behaviors like with medicating willful children. Thanks to mistaking the two for equivalent.

A lot of these things often have unknown sideffects or a shopping list worth of them. I've even heard of anti-depressants making someone more suicidal when it's the opposite thing of what they should be doing.

In the context of this topic, I think the suggested cure is worse than the disease basically, on top of causing the societal ill of forcing people to live the lie of pretending it is not. Mass delusions are not good.

Cool, but not really the parameters of what we were talking about. Do you think someone taking drugs to help deal with their depression is somehow less of a person?

Palindromemordnilap:
Cool, but not really the parameters of what we were talking about. Do you think someone taking drugs to help deal with their depression is somehow less of a person?

This assumes we accept, in the analogy you are drawing, that being trans is a state of depression or mental sickness.

You also used the term "less of a person", when personhood is not a metric that is being measured when discussing trans people.

Abomination:

Palindromemordnilap:
Cool, but not really the parameters of what we were talking about. Do you think someone taking drugs to help deal with their depression is somehow less of a person?

This assumes we accept, in the analogy you are drawing, that being trans is a state of depression or mental sickness.

You also used the term "less of a person", when personhood is not a metric that is being measured when discussing trans people.

No, this isn't an analogy or metaphor, I'm actually asking if he thinks needing anti-depressants makes you less of a person. His initial statement was that if a trans man needed testosterone to be a man then they were not really a man. So I'm seeking what exactly the boundaries of this "taking medication means you aren't really what you think you are" belief is

Palindromemordnilap:

Abomination:

Palindromemordnilap:
Cool, but not really the parameters of what we were talking about. Do you think someone taking drugs to help deal with their depression is somehow less of a person?

This assumes we accept, in the analogy you are drawing, that being trans is a state of depression or mental sickness.

You also used the term "less of a person", when personhood is not a metric that is being measured when discussing trans people.

No, this isn't an analogy or metaphor, I'm actually asking if he thinks needing anti-depressants makes you less of a person. His initial statement was that if a trans man needed testosterone to be a man then they were not really a man. So I'm seeking what exactly the boundaries of this "taking medication means you aren't really what you think you are" belief is

It's a strange parallel to draw. Being depressed has nothing to do with being a person or not.

The correct parallel to draw would be that if a depressed person needed antidepressants to not be depressed then they were not really not depressed.

It's so strange that you'd conflate an attribute of a person to be what makes them a person or not, or even needing medication for it.

Abomination:

Palindromemordnilap:

Abomination:
This assumes we accept, in the analogy you are drawing, that being trans is a state of depression or mental sickness.

You also used the term "less of a person", when personhood is not a metric that is being measured when discussing trans people.

No, this isn't an analogy or metaphor, I'm actually asking if he thinks needing anti-depressants makes you less of a person. His initial statement was that if a trans man needed testosterone to be a man then they were not really a man. So I'm seeking what exactly the boundaries of this "taking medication means you aren't really what you think you are" belief is

It's a strange parallel to draw. Being depressed has nothing to do with being a person or not.

The correct parallel to draw would be that if a depressed person needed antidepressants to not be depressed then they were not really not depressed.

It's so strange that you'd conflate an attribute of a person to be what makes them a person or not, or even needing medication for it.

If you don't think having depression can make you feel like less of a person then you have clearly never suffered depression so good for you buddy :)

Dreiko:

There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

Exactly, it's pathetic. Good looks will fade and so will libido as the years go by. People who cling on to lost youth only look more desperate trying to deny reality and are probably at risk breaking down as well as they realize the futile endeavour of trying to prevent the inevitable. Women want to stay beautiful and men wants to stay 'virile' but both are lost causes in the passage of time.

stroopwafel:

Dreiko:

There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

Exactly, it's pathetic. Good looks will fade and so will libido as the years go by. People who cling on to lost youth only look more desperate trying to deny reality and are probably at risk breaking down as well as they realize the futile endeavour of trying to prevent the inevitable. Women want to stay beautiful and men wants to stay 'virile' but both are lost causes in the passage of time.

So is literally every single thing. Therefore, everything is valid, as far as things you decide to fill your time with.

Dreiko:

I am against treating psychology like a hard science the same way you treat immunology. There's too many unknowns and there's too much over-medication or pathologization of the regular spectrum of human behaviors like with medicating willful children. Thanks to mistaking the two for equivalent.

Firstly, let's be clear on the differences between psychology, clinical psychology and psychiatry:

1) Psychology is the science of how the mind works, and despite the relative difficulties in variability and unknowns, it's still a science.
2) Clinical psychology is the therapeutic application of psychology.
3) Psychiatry is a branch of medicine, rather than science: and that's where giving people drugs to control their behaviours come in (although in some countries clinical psychologists also have prescribing powers).

A lot of these things often have unknown sideffects or a shopping list worth of them. I've even heard of anti-depressants making someone more suicidal when it's the opposite thing of what they should be doing.

This is an old suspicion, generally found unsupported by the evidence. Inasmuch as it may exist, it's because depression (in simple terms) involves both low mood but also low motivation, which to an extent operate through different brain pathways. Antidepressants can affect both pathways, the problem is that they may improve motivation more than mood, particularly in early usage. That motivation increase might include the motivation to carry out suicide, which before they weren't. But that's theory - like I said, it's unproven.

A lot of psychiatric medications - particularly antidepressants and certain stimulants like modafinil - are surely overprescribed. But this isn't really a problem with the field of psychology. It's got roots in society (why are so many people unhappy?) and a lot of it is about healthcare systems: that psychological treatment - which is theoretically the first line treatment - is undersupported in many countries, pressure from drugs companies pushing their wares, pressure on doctors (often from patients themselves), etc.

Dreiko:
There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

We think Viagra (sildenafil as the generic name) and we think about randy Hugh Hefners still trying to get their rocks off at 70, but I'd suggest underneath is a lot of valuable treatment.

Some people may have impotency due to medical conditions (or the drugs they are taking to control medical symptoms), there's no reason they shouldn't have anti-impotence drugs to help them. In terms of age, potency does decline with age and it might seem trivial to the average 20- or 30-something, but actually there's no reason at all older men and their partners should have to do without sex. The partners thing is important, because in many cases it's not just men getting their jollies: a couple might want to have sex to have children. And for many couples, sex may also be important to their relationship, so it's reasonable to help the relationship instead of sneering at them for requiring some pharmacological assistance.

Agema:

1) Psychology is the science of how the mind works, and despite the relative difficulties in variability and unknowns, it's still a science.
2) Clinical psychology is the therapeutic application of psychology.
3) Psychiatry is a branch of medicine, rather than science: and that's where giving people drugs to control their behaviours come in (although in some countries clinical psychologists also have prescribing powers).

I'd say psychology is more about the attempt to explain human behavior and psychiatry is more about the attempt to explain psychological pathology. Both aren't really science. Any research done one the subject is constantly refuted and revised with most studies not even being able to be replicated. Psychology is best understood from an intuitive level but from a scientific level(which they have tried for many years now to give it more legitimacy) it's garbage. It's why there are so many hack psychologists as they may understand the 'science' but lack the intuition(and more importantly the life experience). Most studies on psychotropic pharmacological applications are done, no surprise, by the pharmaceutical industry and they are, no surprise, garbage as well. Though it fills their pockets with billions ofcourse which is the point.

I'd say the only form of psychology that has some scientific merit is evolutionary psychology as it actually tries to contextualize human behavior within the emergence of it's ancestral origin. Human behavior and it's underlying emotional framework as sociometer for adaptation of the (social) environment and the evolutionary pressures from which it originates. A lot can be distilled from that.

Palindromemordnilap:

Dreiko:

Palindromemordnilap:

Well then to use your definitions, if drugs for physical illness are fine then what about drugs for mental illnesses? If someone can take steroids so they can better fight infections, what about taking anti-depressants so they can better fight depression? Where does that fall on your scale of okay things?

I am against treating psychology like a hard science the same way you treat immunology. There's too many unknowns and there's too much over-medication or pathologization of the regular spectrum of human behaviors like with medicating willful children. Thanks to mistaking the two for equivalent.

A lot of these things often have unknown sideffects or a shopping list worth of them. I've even heard of anti-depressants making someone more suicidal when it's the opposite thing of what they should be doing.

In the context of this topic, I think the suggested cure is worse than the disease basically, on top of causing the societal ill of forcing people to live the lie of pretending it is not. Mass delusions are not good.

Cool, but not really the parameters of what we were talking about. Do you think someone taking drugs to help deal with their depression is somehow less of a person?

That's an odd question, since I never said anyone was less of a person to begin with, so obviously the answer is no.

People don't take anti-depressants to be "more of a person" like how people take testosterone to be "more like a man". That's an ass-pull if I've ever seen one lol. Unlike with being a man which has measured traits, being a person is not a scientifically defined thing that you can add or remove things from. It's a philosophical definition, completely divorced from these issues.

To me, self-aware consciousness is what makes someone a person. (yes I'm all for robot rights in my scifi stories :D)

It is within the parameters of being a person to be delusional about some things and our job as a society is to point that out and fix it, not to go along with it. It doesn't make you less of a person to need help. Nobody's an island.

Agema:

Dreiko:

I am against treating psychology like a hard science the same way you treat immunology. There's too many unknowns and there's too much over-medication or pathologization of the regular spectrum of human behaviors like with medicating willful children. Thanks to mistaking the two for equivalent.

Firstly, let's be clear on the differences between psychology, clinical psychology and psychiatry:

1) Psychology is the science of how the mind works, and despite the relative difficulties in variability and unknowns, it's still a science.
2) Clinical psychology is the therapeutic application of psychology.
3) Psychiatry is a branch of medicine, rather than science: and that's where giving people drugs to control their behaviours come in (although in some countries clinical psychologists also have prescribing powers).

A lot of these things often have unknown sideffects or a shopping list worth of them. I've even heard of anti-depressants making someone more suicidal when it's the opposite thing of what they should be doing.

This is an old suspicion, generally found unsupported by the evidence. Inasmuch as it may exist, it's because depression (in simple terms) involves both low mood but also low motivation, which to an extent operate through different brain pathways. Antidepressants can affect both pathways, the problem is that they may improve motivation more than mood, particularly in early usage. That motivation increase might include the motivation to carry out suicide, which before they weren't. But that's theory - like I said, it's unproven.

A lot of psychiatric medications - particularly antidepressants and certain stimulants like modafinil - are surely overprescribed. But this isn't really a problem with the field of psychology. It's got roots in society (why are so many people unhappy?) and a lot of it is about healthcare systems: that psychological treatment - which is theoretically the first line treatment - is undersupported in many countries, pressure from drugs companies pushing their wares, pressure on doctors (often from patients themselves), etc.

Dreiko:
There is such a thing as aging gracefully. Viagra is like the male equivalent of botox and other beauty surgeries, it's done by people who want to pretend they're still a kid to the point it's unseemly.

We think Viagra (sildenafil as the generic name) and we think about randy Hugh Hefners still trying to get their rocks off at 70, but I'd suggest underneath is a lot of valuable treatment.

Some people may have impotency due to medical conditions (or the drugs they are taking to control medical symptoms), there's no reason they shouldn't have anti-impotence drugs to help them. In terms of age, potency does decline with age and it might seem trivial to the average 20- or 30-something, but actually there's no reason at all older men and their partners should have to do without sex. The partners thing is important, because in many cases it's not just men getting their jollies: a couple might want to have sex to have children. And for many couples, sex may also be important to their relationship, so it's reasonable to help the relationship instead of sneering at them for requiring some pharmacological assistance.

In the context of the post my reply was quoting, it was about medicating people with antidepressants, so that should inform you of which thing of the three items you list I'm referring to.

Your example of the medically impotent person is basically the exception that proved the rule, I'm fine with saying everyone except such cases is the one who I'm deeming unseemly. (same as the hermaphrodite gender surgery being actually useful example I provided earlier)

Dreiko:

Your example of the medically impotent person is basically the exception that proved the rule, I'm fine with saying everyone except such cases is the one who I'm deeming unseemly. (same as the hermaphrodite gender surgery being actually useful example I provided earlier)

'Medical impotence' doesn't really exist though. Age is a determining factor and something completely natural people just have to accept. In all other cases it's either psychological or physical. In younger people(like for example with obesity) it can be a risk factor for impending heart disease. In people that are in other ways unhealthy it can be vascular sclerosis, nerve damage or an endocrinological disorder. In other words 'impotence' is mostly just a symptom of an underlying health disorder.

For most younger people the reason is psychological though. Maybe they couldn't get it up once(completely normal) and became nervous and then, yeah, they can't get it up next time. Or maybe it's media brainwashing or some standard they think they need to live up to. Or simple insecurity. Lots of reasons that make a physically healthy man unable to relax and, ehm, rise to the occasion.

stroopwafel:
I'd say psychology is more about the attempt to explain human behavior and psychiatry is more about the attempt to explain psychological pathology. Both aren't really science. Any research done one the subject is constantly refuted and revised with most studies not even being able to be replicated. Psychology is best understood from an intuitive level but from a scientific level(which they have tried for many years now to give it more legitimacy) it's garbage. It's why there are so many hack psychologists as they may understand the 'science' but lack the intuition(and more importantly the life experience). Most studies on psychotropic pharmacological applications are done, no surprise, by the pharmaceutical industry and they are, no surprise, garbage as well. Though it fills their pockets with billions ofcourse which is the point.

Okay, just so you know here, I teach pharmacology and neuroscience at a UK medical school; my wife is a practicing clinical psychologist. We would both not agree with that assessment.

I would say if you want to talk about unknown variables and replicability, what you're accusing psychology of is true also of biomedical sciences. If you want to say biomedical sciences aren't science either, you go for it and let's see how far that goes.

https://www.pnas.org/content/115/11/2628
https://hub.jhu.edu/2017/11/07/fixing-replication-crisis-in-science/
http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/replication-crisis-biomedicine-what-kind-crisis

Science is a series of accepted processes - in experimental terms, take a sample operating under certain conditions ("control"), and then compare that to a similar "test" group with a change in a set condition, then measure and compare. Empiricism in action. If psychology is following this process - and the vast majority of it is - then it is science. The fact that there are also unknowns at play is to an extent irrelevant. Replicability is usually a process issue (often insufficient n values for statistical security), not a fundamental flaw in the field itself.

In terms of intuituion, the whole point of science is to eliminate intuition. There may be an earthquake, and you can just intuit that there's an angry earth god shaking the ground to punish unbelievers. People's behaviour is manifestly not random - there's a whole load of cause and effect going on. Behaviour is however complex. Any science has had to stumble through incomplete or erroneous theories because the complexity of the system was not fully understood, be it physics, chemistry or anything else. Newtonian physics was wrong about space and time: it doesn't make Newton a charlatan and physics mere mysticism. Science peels back that ignorance, layer by layer. It should always be replacing what has been asserted before if it is making progress. And the less that is known and more complex the system, the faster the turnover is likely to be.

Intuition to some degree may be more applicable to therapy; however that is intuition informed by and builds on a large body of knowledge which has in large part been amassed by scientific study.

I'd say the only form of psychology that has some scientific merit is evolutionary psychology as it actually tries to contextualize human behavior within the emergence of it's ancestral origin. Human behavior and it's underlying emotional framework as sociometer for adaptation of the (social) environment and the evolutionary pressures from which it originates. A lot can be distilled from that.

Evolutionary psychology is a type of theoretical science, very different from the sort of empirical, experimental science (as above).

It's essentially some guy in a room reading evidence of how people behave (gleaned, of course, from the same psychological studies you are dismissing as not being science) and explaining behaviour in terms of effectively unprovable theories about how they think humans should behave according to some unprovable notions about how environment causes behaviour (which if based on anything at all, will be the sorts of psychological studies you're dismissing as not being science).

Thus I have quite a low opinion of evolutionary psychology: from my position as a scientist, it looks like the worst sort of breeding ground for presenting opinion rather than fact.

Dreiko:

Your example of the medically impotent person is basically the exception that proved the rule, I'm fine with saying everyone except such cases is the one who I'm deeming unseemly. (same as the hermaphrodite gender surgery being actually useful example I provided earlier)

Why is it "unseemly" to have sex when in later life? I just don't really get that.

It seems to me you may as well argue old people shouldn't want to go on hikes if they've got a dicky knee or play pool if their eyesight degrades, despite either being treatable, because they should just grow old gracefully.

Agema:

Dreiko:

Your example of the medically impotent person is basically the exception that proved the rule, I'm fine with saying everyone except such cases is the one who I'm deeming unseemly. (same as the hermaphrodite gender surgery being actually useful example I provided earlier)

Why is it "unseemly" to have sex when in later life? I just don't really get that.

It seems to me you may as well argue old people shouldn't want to go on hikes if they've got a dicky knee or play pool if their eyesight degrades, despite either being treatable, because they should just grow old gracefully.

It's not unseemly to do anything you still can do, I'm talking about refusing to accept that this stage of your life is over, that's unseemly. If a 90 year old can still function as well as a kid, that's awesome. Medicating your way into something you can't do and pretending you can do it when you really can't though, that's unseemly.

Going on hikes at an old age is awesome, being carried on a pagoda up a mountain and pretending you went on a hike when you tell the story to your friends is unseemly.

Agema:

Science is a series of accepted processes - in experimental terms, take a sample operating under certain conditions ("control"), and then compare that to a similar "test" group with a change in a set condition, then measure and compare. Empiricism in action. If psychology is following this process - and the vast majority of it is - then it is science. The fact that there are also unknowns at play is to an extent irrelevant. Replicability is usually a process issue (often insufficient n values for statistical security), not a fundamental flaw in the field itself.

In terms of intuituion, the whole point of science is to eliminate intuition. There may be an earthquake, and you can just intuit that there's an angry earth god shaking the ground to punish unbelievers. People's behaviour is manifestly not random - there's a whole load of cause and effect going on. Behaviour is however complex. Any science has had to stumble through incomplete or erroneous theories because the complexity of the system was not fully understood, be it physics, chemistry or anything else. Newtonian physics was wrong about space and time: it doesn't make Newton a charlatan and physics mere mysticism. Science peels back that ignorance, layer by layer. It should always be replacing what has been asserted before if it is making progress. And the less that is known and more complex the system, the faster the turnover is likely to be.

Intuition to some degree may be more applicable to therapy; however that is intuition informed by and builds on a large body of knowledge which has in large part been amassed by scientific study.

That's the whole contradiction. In psychology you have a hypothesis that is not only value based but also subjectively observer sensitive with it's relative significance dependent on time and circumstance and as such intuitive by nature. It's not some natural objective phenomenon you try to research. Why do you think those that created some of psychology's most fundamental building blocks like 'ego', 'oedipus complex', 'subconsciousness', 'personality types' etc were intuitive thinkers by default? Because psychology is not a hard science that can be measured by math and numbers no matter how hard they try to make psychology more 'scientific' that way. Psychology just like philosophy and sociology belongs to the realm of humanities not science. Intuition will always be more important in understanding those processes than you would in eg physics with determining the speed of light in a vacuum being independent of the motion of all observers. When they try to give psychology 'scientific' legitimacy by enabling a mathematical approach it always falls flat as almost none of the conclusions can be reproduced even under equal conditions with test and control group parameters left intact.

In particular the studies done by the pharmaceutical industry to measure efficacy of their drugs(primarily the psychotropical variant) for therapeutic applications have been proven to be hogwash by independent researchers.

Evolutionary psychology is a type of theoretical science, very different from the sort of empirical, experimental science (as above).

It's essentially some guy in a room reading evidence of how people behave (gleaned, of course, from the same psychological studies you are dismissing as not being science) and explaining behaviour in terms of effectively unprovable theories about how they think humans should behave according to some unprovable notions about how environment causes behaviour (which if based on anything at all, will be the sorts of psychological studies you're dismissing as not being science).

Thus I have quite a low opinion of evolutionary psychology: from my position as a scientist, it looks like the worst sort of breeding ground for presenting opinion rather than fact.

No it doesn't. It's regular psychology that tries to prescribe how humans should behave but it's evolutionary psychology that tries to explore the conditions and selective pressure from which human behavior and emotion originates in the first place. That already gives it more scientific merit.

Dreiko:
It's not unseemly to do anything you still can do, I'm talking about refusing to accept that this stage of your life is over, that's unseemly. If a 90 year old can still function as well as a kid, that's awesome. Medicating your way into something you can't do and pretending you can do it when you really can't though, that's unseemly.

Going on hikes at an old age is awesome, being carried on a pagoda up a mountain and pretending you went on a hike when you tell the story to your friends is unseemly.

What has that got to do with viagra? It's not something that helps you lie about your sex life better.

Dreiko:

Going on hikes at an old age is awesome, being carried on a pagoda up a mountain and pretending you went on a hike when you tell the story to your friends is unseemly.

That's a terrible analogy, because the person is still doing all the "hiking." For your analogy to make any sense, it would have to involve a team of people in the bedroom, providing manual thrusting assistance on the man using the viagra. And then the man brags about being a stallion who could thrust all night, ignoring the team of people helping him. Which is just stupid, just like this analogy.

But, to make your terrible analogy make more sense, it would be better to say it's like someone who has a disability, using a prosthetic to allow them to continue hiking up the mountain, after they've reached a point where their sole physical, biological capability is no longer enough. They are still the person doing all the grunting and the sweating, they just have some help from science to keep performing.

Dreiko:

Most effective at doing what though?

Improving quality of life, by most measures that have been tested.

I think you completely missed where I was going with this. A prosthetic arm is not an arm, it's a prosthetic arm. It may be way cooler than a regular arm (look at Sekiro, that thing seems to have no motion restrictions at all and also can shoot fire!) but it's never gonna be an arm. Depending on your level of technology or how sci-fi you go about it, it may be better or worse than an arm, but it'll always ultimately be something external to the being that it is attached to. A tool, not a part of them like their normal arm. This is why people with prosthetics still feel phantom pain despite having a new arm now, they still fill the sensation of their missing arm. If your theory was correct there'd be no missing arm to feel the pain of after attaching the prosthetic.

I don't see how this is meaningful to the debate at all. Something being introduced later to an organism-- be it a prosthetic, or a transplanted organ-- does not somehow delegitimise it.

It performs the function it is intended to, and feels right to the user. Ditto a transplanted organ. To quibble that its not a "true" arm-- as if one's state at birth is somehow sacred-- seems meaningless.

Similarly, just cause you took testosterone, you're not magically a man all of a sudden, you just have a mech arm that makes you function like you feel that you should. I'm cool with being accepting about that, I just don't want to deceptively pretend that that's usual or common or that it's the same with the common vernacular usage of "being a man".

Why on earth is "usual or common" relevant?

Testosterone does not "magically" do anything; it amends body morphology to be more in line with the individual's sense of self. It's the gender identity people are asking others to respect, not a chemical.

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