8 Bit Philosophy: Is Gender Real?

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I realize this is a philosophical conundrum, relating questions of perception and personal identity, but I feel the biology of the matter sort of answers it right off. Humans (and other lifeforms) reproduce with two beings combining their DNA to produce offspring. Humans might debate this, but many animals won't be. Gender kind of outs itself in nature.

Yes, next question.

Certainly the societal roles are typically more rigid than they need to be, and you'll find plenty of exceptions to whichever roles you define. That said, the fact that you'll find differing gender roles among every culture that tend to be some variation of the 'traditional' role suggests that it's more than just a construct.

So sure, the traditional roles can be stripped down plenty and we don't need to be pushing people one way or the other. But there are differences and some form of gender role distinction isn't going to be going away.

And like the guy above is getting at, biology is what it is. Humans can debate shit all they want, at the end of the day you are what you are. Maybe that doesn't need to dictate everything about you, but is has a lot more to do with who you are than just whether you've got an an innie or an outie.

People are just who they are, they don't fit into neat little boxes with labels on them, no matter how much "society" wishes they would. Gender is just a bunch of archaic stereotypes and prejudgements based on someone's sex, it doesn't define them as a person, and people shouldn't be encouraged to think that it does.

I guess it depends how you define it. It wasn't until recently that it occurred to me that people define Gender and Sex as different things. Behavior doesn't matter so much to me but ultimately you are either Male or Female on the biological level.

To a large extent, yes. Gender IS a thing because of biology and hormones, transgenderism is also a thing because of these since hormone imbalances can affect the mind in quite a lot of ways. Just as people do not "choose" to be gay or bi, people do not "choose" to be trans, it's a part of who they are in their biology. And no, 'political lesbians' are not a thing and the people who put forward that idea are the kind who set LGBT rights back by decades.

It actually begins at birth, research has shown that newborns (So no subconscious conditioning) show statistically significant differences in behavior, with boys focusing on mechanical constructs and girls focusing on faces. This means that there are actual biological reasons behind different genders acting differently and that "Gender Roles" imposed by a society may be a falsehood altogether.

Thus, Butler has evidence which supports the counterargument but you provided no evidence to support his arguments aside from anecdotal evidence. This means that his theories must be assumed to be wrong unless properly conducted studies show otherwise.

This is a pretty good documentary on the subject actually:

I'm a big fan of this series, but Judith Butler is also one of my biggest academic influences.

It's quite risky, I think, to confuse "performativity" with "performance", even as a pedagogical tool. The implication tends to sneak in that if gender is a performance, then the possibility exists to stop performing, to stop taking on the "roles" which are assigned to us and to become whoever we are undeneath those roles. But for Butler, there is no authentic self which is not performative. Whatever person we might become by rejecting those roles is in fact another role. "Resistance" to gender is merely another kind of performance of gender itself. The "middle ground" of gender is not a site of resistance which reveals gender to be unreal or a lie, rather, it's indicative of the processes by which gender itself is made. The fact that a person can change gender and exist as a member of a different gender reveals (sometimes uncomfortably) the process by which gender comes into existence through being lived.

Thus, the question of whether gender is real is not a particularly simple one to answer for Butler. To say that gender isn't real would be to imply the possibility of some alternative which is real, a truth against which the falsehood of gender can be seen. What she's saying, and what the video is correct to pick up on, is that gender is more fluid and unstable than we would like to believe, that it's something we create (and can recreate) through the act of living it.

Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals. It's which part of the reproduction process an organism enacts.

vallorn:
Just as people do not "choose" to be gay or bi, people do not "choose" to be trans, it's a part of who they are in their biology.

There's very little concrete evidence of these things, and much of the evidence which does exist tends to contradict itself. What would you say is the biological mechanism which produces that outcome?

vallorn:
And no, 'political lesbians' are not a thing and the people who put forward that idea are the kind who set LGBT rights back by decades.

You've just raised the possibility that a woman can exclusively have sexual intercourse with women, can identify as a lesbian and yet somehow is actually not a lesbian because of invisible, undetectable quirk of their assumed "biology".

I don't really see where the authorization to make that judgement comes from.

vallorn:
It actually begins at birth, research has shown that newborns (So no subconscious conditioning) show statistically significant differences in behavior, with boys focusing on mechanical constructs and girls focusing on faces.

At birth, a newborn infant cannot demonstrably recognize objects.. including faces. They develop the ability to recognize faces about a day or two after being born, so it is one of the first things humans are able to do but it's still not even clear how babies learn to recognize faces at all. In short, I'd really like to see that research because it sounds unbelievably suspect.

Siesta45:
Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals.

And how do we know what genitals someone has?

Uh, yes? Obviously? Gender, being your genetic sex? So Male/Female. Yes, those are real concepts.
Even the social constructs of feminine/masculine are real. The very idea that I can point to them shows that I have something to point at.
Now should gender roles be fluid and changeable is an interesting question. That's a debate question.

But asking if gender is real is like asking are churches real. It's missing the larger questions allowed.

Siesta45:
Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals. It's which part of the reproduction process an organism enacts.

I'm sorry, English isn't my first language, and I didn't understand a word of that. Could you possibly explain what you mean?

Dynast Brass:

Siesta45:
Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals. It's which part of the reproduction process an organism enacts.

I'm sorry, English isn't my first language, and I didn't understand a word of that. Could you possibly explain what you mean?

I think this person means that genders are essentially sexes/sexual roles for an organism, IE, men/males are the ones to do the spermy things with their naughty bits and women/females do the eggy things with theirs. Of course there are tons of problems with defining things that way as well.

And of course gender and genitalia have different etymology/word origin so putting emphasis on GEN doesn't make your argument anymore compelling.

Dynast Brass:

Siesta45:
Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals. It's which part of the reproduction process an organism enacts.

I'm sorry, English isn't my first language, and I didn't understand a word of that. Could you possibly explain what you mean?

He;s saying that gender is real because gender is derived based on one's genitals. Gender means which genitals one has.

Skatologist:

Dynast Brass:

Siesta45:
Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals. It's which part of the reproduction process an organism enacts.

I'm sorry, English isn't my first language, and I didn't understand a word of that. Could you possibly explain what you mean?

I think this person means that genders are essentially sexes/sexual roles for an organism, IE, men/males are the ones to do the spermy things with their naughty bits and women/females do the eggy things with theirs. Of course there are tons of problems with defining things that way as well.

And of course gender and genitalia have different etymology/word origin so putting emphasis on GEN doesn't make your argument anymore compelling.

So this person proposes to sex people like chickens... What the fuck.

Zontar:

Dynast Brass:

Siesta45:
Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals. It's which part of the reproduction process an organism enacts.

I'm sorry, English isn't my first language, and I didn't understand a word of that. Could you possibly explain what you mean?

He;s saying that gender is real because gender is derived based on one's genitals. Gender means which genitals one has.

That's provably false, as I can't imagine you'd consider a malformed or mutilated man or woman NOT male or female, right? If you want to make an argument for biology, at least have the decency to point to genetics, not gross physiology.

I think that your sex definately plays a role on what gender you have, as there are very real genetic and hormonal differences between the sexes, and i think empathy based on those differences can certainly play a part in gender identity, but i don't think they're all-consuming. They play a fairly substancial roll, nothing more, nothing less. It's like a lot of other things regarding genetics, where much of the time both lifestyle and genetics factor in, and in the end, it's how the factors come together that ultimately gives us the result.

Now, if we're talking gender, i think that it is largely a social construct formed by our various, and once-neccesary expectations of the male and female sexes, but ultimately, we could move on if we wanted to, so in that sense, it may not be real, but the effects of it certainly are real enough to shape the world in very real ways.

also, for those who might be confused. sex = whether you're physically male or female, and gender = how you identify, as a "man" or "woman", and which you identify with more on a social or cultural level.

It seems i'll have to start refering to people by sex instead of "gender" which has become a ridiculously convoluted term for the sake of making people who don't conform to stereotypes more comfortable with themselves.

Genders are scientifically real.
Gender Roles are BS.
And choosing a Gender based on Gender Roles is kind of sexist.

On the other hand
I'm more comfortable being a Khajiit than I am being human.

Dalrien:
It seems i'll have to start refering to people by sex instead of "gender" which has become a ridiculously convoluted term for the sake of making people who don't conform to stereotypes more comfortable with themselves.

It's always been a convoluted term. Kind of inevitable when you bend a word that has nothing to do with sex or biology (or even living things) and force it into a role where people can suddenly interpret it as a synonym for 'sex'.

gender started as a word that only had meaning in linguistics.

Originally, words could have a gender, people could not. That would have been nonsense.
How and when that changed is hard to follow, but although that change did happen perhaps as far back as 150 years ago, gender was still a word that was rarely used in relation to people until a feminist academic took it and explicitly used it to define the difference between the social role and the biology. (eg. It is because of that academic, and the influence of their work that we have the definition that gender = social role, and sex = biology)
People like to think this distinction doesn't exist, or is new, but the fact is, 'gender' was hardly ever used to describe a person, until AFTER it had a distinct meaning from 'sex'. And it is this distinct meaning that is the main reason we even use the word to describe anything about a person on a regular basis.
Watch some old films for a moment and see if anyone ever goes around talking about 'gender'. No. You'll probably hear things like 'the fairer sex' (or, perhaps, the weaker sex, the female sex, or the like. Nobody back then would use 'gender' in any context that would involve a person)

Words. They don't always mean what a person might expect.

8 bit philosophy seems to like taking hot button issues. Identifying a shill for their own platform and vaguely concealing their own agenda while they push it. You can avoid reality but you can't avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

vallorn:
"Gender Roles" imposed by a society may be a falsehood altogether.

I think that's going a bit far. Consider what the evolutionary psychologist in the documentary you posted said about the hormones being controlled by the brain. It's really hard to separate the human brain from the human mind, as well as hard to separate the single human mind from the grouped human mind as seen in social contexts. I don't think it's so much that "Gender Roles" could be a falsehood as their reasons for existing and their modern relevance (or lack thereof) may not be what is commonly believed.

Siesta45:
Is GENder real? Yes. it is predicated upon your GENitals. It's which part of the reproduction process an organism enacts.

You've correctly pointed out that the "gen" in both those words came from the same original meaning (some word in sanskrit if I remember correctly), but it's worth noting that the words "kin" and "kind" came from that origin as well. In the evolution of the words, "genitals" came from more the "kin" side of the meaning, while "gender" literally is just a synonym for "kind".

Regarding your last statement, I'm not sure what implication that would have for people who have an external shape for their genitals that doesn't match the internal organs linking to them (as is often the case if the sex chromosomes end up lacking information).

You've left out the bit where you explain why things that stem from a culture lack validity. Also, it was our perception of pink which has changed, not our feelings towards either gender.

Wait.
You mentioned GENDER on THE ESCAPIST?!
YOU FOOL! You've unleashed a beast none can hope to stop!
RUN, little philosopher, run! People are going to hate you and call you an SJW unironically! And they'll probably mention that it is some how Anita's fault!

FalloutJack:
I realize this is a philosophical conundrum, relating questions of perception and personal identity, but I feel the biology of the matter sort of answers it right off. Humans (and other lifeforms) reproduce with two beings combining their DNA to produce offspring. Humans might debate this, but many animals won't be. Gender kind of outs itself in nature.

That is why people often use sex to refer to the biology of it XX XY and use gender to refer to the sociology of it. Sex is a thing in nature, but the fluff we build around sex is entirely our own imagination. Like there is nothing in our DNA that says pink is a XX color, or that the Y hates long hair. That is all stuff that we made up for one reason or another. Gender is about as real as we want it to be in that respect.

Dynast Brass:

Skatologist:

Dynast Brass:

I'm sorry, English isn't my first language, and I didn't understand a word of that. Could you possibly explain what you mean?

I think this person means that genders are essentially sexes/sexual roles for an organism, IE, men/males are the ones to do the spermy things with their naughty bits and women/females do the eggy things with theirs. Of course there are tons of problems with defining things that way as well.

And of course gender and genitalia have different etymology/word origin so putting emphasis on GEN doesn't make your argument anymore compelling.

So this person proposes to sex people like chickens... What the fuck.

I think you mean "What the cluck"... I'll show myself out.

kimiyoribaka:

vallorn:
"Gender Roles" imposed by a society may be a falsehood altogether.

I think that's going a bit far. Consider what the evolutionary psychologist in the documentary you posted said about the hormones being controlled by the brain. It's really hard to separate the human brain from the human mind, as well as hard to separate the single human mind from the grouped human mind as seen in social contexts. I don't think it's so much that "Gender Roles" could be a falsehood as their reasons for existing and their modern relevance (or lack thereof) may not be what is commonly believed.

The issue is that hormones are produced by many things and interact in a complex soup. The liver, ovaries, testes and many other glands and tissues all produce or regulate the hormone levels in the human body so to say that it's all down to the brain is a little oversimplified. I agree that separating the human brain from the human mind is tricky, but ti's only tricky in the same way that separating a computer program from the hardware it's running on is tricky. You change the hardware in some way and that will heavily affect the program. The difference for humans is neuroplasticity where our "Hardware" is constantly shifting to create new memories and associations between them.

Then again, I've always preferred picking out the individual over the group but people do act differently alone than they do as a group which is why group psychology and sociology are separate to psychology.

However, maybe I was overdramatic, but I did couch my point with a "May be" since not proving something does not disprove that it exists, Newton thought that Light was particles, then everyone thought it was a wave for a good while, and now we know it's both. So a theory which seemed wrong can be proven right with evidence in time. I'm going to keep an open mind on this as much as I can but as far as my vision sees, the evidence for gender being more socially imposed than biologically determined in some way is not looking good.

Objectable:
Wait.
You mentioned GENDER on THE ESCAPIST?!
YOU FOOL! You've unleashed a beast none can hope to stop!
RUN, little philosopher, run! People are going to hate you and call you an SJW unironically! And they'll probably mention that it is some how Anita's fault!

Considering the content of the thread so far, let me know when that happens.

nomotog:

FalloutJack:
I realize this is a philosophical conundrum, relating questions of perception and personal identity, but I feel the biology of the matter sort of answers it right off. Humans (and other lifeforms) reproduce with two beings combining their DNA to produce offspring. Humans might debate this, but many animals won't be. Gender kind of outs itself in nature.

That is why people often use sex to refer to the biology of it XX XY and use gender to refer to the sociology of it. Sex is a thing in nature, but the fluff we build around sex is entirely our own imagination. Like there is nothing in our DNA that says pink is a XX color, or that the Y hates long hair. That is all stuff that we made up for one reason or another. Gender is about as real as we want it to be in that respect.

But all that is about looks and preference and about how these aspects are universal. That isn't gender. Girly men and buff women do not the other sex make. When someone says they're a woman in a man's body or vice versa and they're serious about it, their appearance is only the surface of the issue they face. Their biology is what's important. To change genders, you need to physically alter parts of your body AND the body chemistry. If it's only the mentality your changing, then a man is still a man, but he's decided to go homosexual, say. Essentially, I saw this, and I imagined two dogs in heat during the lecture, and realized that the nature of the beast defeated the argument right off. It's an interesting topic, but I can't agree.

"Should the category of boys and girls even exist?"

These people can't be for real can they? Do others take this seriously when they gloss over the biological foundation that humans are sexually-dimorphic and that, yes, women and men are comparably different in many ways objectively through the lense of biological sciences? "Gender fluidity" has arisen out of the cultural creation of the distinction between sex and gender. "Gender is a social construct" is a statement in itself a social construct. One of the setbacks to this discussion is that in some camps people believe that identity > biological sex. That if one calls oneself a "male" they are male regardless of the more concrete facts.

My head hurts...

It's kind of sad to realise that while most 8-bit philosophy videos explain (partially or wholly) opposing ideas from several different thinkers this subject only gets the one thinker. Makes it feel like political propaganda more than philosophical debate.

vallorn:

I think that's going a bit far. Consider what the evolutionary psychologist in the documentary you posted said about the hormones being controlled by the brain. It's really hard to separate the human brain from the human mind, as well as hard to separate the single human mind from the grouped human mind as seen in social contexts. I don't think it's so much that "Gender Roles" could be a falsehood as their reasons for existing and their modern relevance (or lack thereof) may not be what is commonly believed.

The issue is that hormones are produced by many things and interact in a complex soup. The liver, ovaries, testes and many other glands and tissues all produce or regulate the hormone levels in the human body so to say that it's all down to the brain is a little oversimplified. I agree that separating the human brain from the human mind is tricky, but ti's only tricky in the same way that separating a computer program from the hardware it's running on is tricky. You change the hardware in some way and that will heavily affect the program. The difference for humans is neuroplasticity where our "Hardware" is constantly shifting to create new memories and associations between them.

Then again, I've always preferred picking out the individual over the group but people do act differently alone than they do as a group which is why group psychology and sociology are separate to psychology.

However, maybe I was overdramatic, but I did couch my point with a "May be" since not proving something does not disprove that it exists, Newton thought that Light was particles, then everyone thought it was a wave for a good while, and now we know it's both. So a theory which seemed wrong can be proven right with evidence in time. I'm going to keep an open mind on this as much as I can but as far as my vision sees, the evidence for gender being more socially imposed than biologically determined in some way is not looking good.

Considering the content of the thread so far, let me know when that happens.[/quote]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the plasticity of the brain decreases as humans age doesn't it? Meaning that the formative years are actually just that, there are examples of how one hemisphere of the brain compensates if the other loses function or is lost entirely, however I believe that those examples all involve rather young people. This can easily encourage the interpretation that gender does indeed exist, however there is also hormones to consider. A hormonal imbalance might change the reactions we have to certain stimulus which could, hypothetically, be perceived as veering from common gender roles. I would probably conclude that gender does exist, and that it is both nature and nurture since the sexes are geared towards different roles in society ad those roles will invariably shape the individual. Sex would be a bit more vague seeing as physical attraction is almost entirely hormonal and chemical which makes it subject to greater fluctuations than something dependent on neuroplasticity.

But what the heck do I know, I only did a couple of classes on the stuff and follow what I perceive as a reasonable track of thought.

slo:
Yes, because David Reimer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

What about David Reimer?

Are you telling me that if I take a person with no genitals who has to urinate through a hole in their belly button and will be relentlessly teased and mocked for it, constantly monitor and punish them for any form of behaviour which contradicts my deeply insulting view of femininity and force them to act out a submissive role in mock sex acts with their brother they might somehow develop the idea that being socially female is not something they want.

I'm sorry, I'm afraid I must stitch my skull together now because my mind has been blown. I mean, what could possibly have given them that idea?????

Obviously though, biology wins.. even though David Reimer actually had no testes and was therefore hormonally indistinguishable from a female-bodied person. It must be biology, right?

As an outsider to the whole notion, I find the endless search for "evidence" that what we do socially is the product of essential biological mandates to be somewhat.. neurotic, for want of a better word. Where does this need actually come from, what produces it, why are cases like that of David Reimer held up as paragon examples even when the basic facts of the case have to be altered to make them mean what people need them to mean, while the incredibly vast weight of gender ambiguity in the world around us goes ignored?

Jacques Lacan, who was one of Butler's biggest influences, suggested that preserving a stable sense of self requires us to reject the possibility of alternatives. To be male, we have to reject or cut out the possibility of us ever being female. This serves to conceal from ourselves the actual instability of our own identities by dodging any difficult epistemological questions about how we come to know our own identities in the first place, about how we actually arrive at the point of looking in the mirror and saying "I'm a man" or "I'm a woman".

If I ask the question "does gender exist" and someone answers "well, men on average tend to have better spatial awareness than women", that may or may not be true, but actually it isn't an answer to the question, because the question was not "do men (on average) have better spatial awareness than women", it was "does gender exist". To answer the question in that way relies on the preexisting assumption that it does, and that assumption is presumed to be self-justifying. Who are these men in the first place, why does the fact that they may or may not have better spatial awareness (on average) constitute the basis of a meaningful social distinction? In what way is that basis reflected in the conditions of emergence for the category of gender itself?

In my experience, people have a remarkable investment in not answering these questions.

vallorn:

It actually begins at birth, research has shown that newborns (So no subconscious conditioning) show statistically significant differences in behavior, with boys focusing on mechanical constructs and girls focusing on faces.

I know exactly which study you're referring to here (by Baron-Cohen) and the results have been thoroughly debunked by multiple sources. To start with, the study was critically flawed: it wasn't blind, and both the subjects parents and those performing the experiment knew the purpose, which infants were male and which were female, and the (intended) result. Baron-Cohen's own graduate students used the mobile, and analysis of his recordings showed that they - intentionally or otherwise - moved it faster and more vigorously for male infants. Secondly, the results have been widely misreported: it wasn't the case that female infants stared more at faces and male infants the mobile; both stared at faces more than the mobile, but male infants stared at the mobile slightly longer than female infants, which stands to reason, since the experimenters made it a more attractive object for the male infants (because they knew what outcome their PI, with his "male-brained" vs "female-brained" theory of autism, expected/desired). When asked to respond to these critiques of his experimental procedure, Baron-Cohen declined to defend his results, and instead slandered his detractors as "agenda-driven" and "feminists."

This is similar to the study that purported to show that young infants were "hard-wired" to prefer female faces as almost all infants did so; yet, when it was performed by young infants with primary caregiver fathers, they overwhelmingly preferred male faces (surprise, most primary caregivers of infants are women). The fact of the matters is that very young infants/newborns can't even distinguish between living and non-living objects (see: mirror neurons), to say that there are ingrained differences between male and female infants before even the most minute cognitive development has occurred is absurd and almost certainly agenda-pushing (see: Baron-Cohen, above).

evilthecat:

slo:
Yes, because David Reimer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

What about David Reimer?

David Reimer, his life and his death give us enough clues to conclude that gender is probably real. And that we probably shoud not repeat such a twisted experiment any time in the future.

evilthecat:

slo:
Yes, because David Reimer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

What about David Reimer?

Are you telling me that if I take a person with no genitals who has to urinate through a hole in their belly button and will be relentlessly teased and mocked for it, constantly monitor and punish them for any form of behaviour which contradicts my deeply insulting view of femininity and force them to act out a submissive role in mock sex acts with their brother they might somehow develop the idea that being socially female is not something they want.

I'm sorry, I'm afraid I must stitch my skull together now because my mind has been blown. I mean, what could possibly have given them that idea?????

Obviously though, biology wins.. even though David Reimer actually had no testes and was therefore hormonally indistinguishable from a female-bodied person. It must be biology, right?

As an outsider to the whole notion, I find the endless search for "evidence" that what we do socially is the product of essential biological mandates to be somewhat.. neurotic, for want of a better word. Where does this need actually come from, what produces it, why are cases like that of David Reimer held up as paragon examples even when the basic facts of the case have to be altered to make them mean what people need them to mean, while the incredibly vast weight of gender ambiguity in the world around us goes ignored?

You know you can reply to people without all the hostility. Tends to led to more productive chats in my experience.

1) He did have testes. They were removed at 22 months.
2) Testosterone production begins in the brain. Hypothalamus releases a hormone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonadotropin-releasing_hormone which then hits the pituitary gland to sex organs. So your assertion that the subject was hormonally indistinguishable from a female is baseless. Unless you have documentation of his blood work with measured levels of his hormones. For all we know his body could have been trying to generate testosterone but simply lacked the organs to do so.

slo:
David Reimer, his life and his death give us enough clues to conclude that gender is probably real.

How so?

Firstly, what is gender? Secondly, what is the basis of ontological reality? Thirdly, under what conditions could gender be observed as ontologically real? Fourthly how does David's life actually meet these conditions? Fifthly, can all theoretically consistent possible alternatives be eliminated?

ethurin:
2) Testosterone production begins in the brain. Hypothalamus releases a hormone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonadotropin-releasing_hormone which then hits the pituitary gland to sex organs. So your assertion that the subject was hormonally indistinguishable from a female is baseless.

Unless you can demonstrate that sex differences in the hypothalamus (which themselves have to be produced prenatally in this case) are capable of compensating for the absence of functioning testes, it really isn't. "Female" is a spectrum, not a fixed point. Some women produce a relatively large amount of testosterone (through excercise, for example), it doesn't magically cause them to develop a male gender identity. If gender identity is essential, it must therefore be linked to something essentially different between men and women.

I will concede that it wasn't a completely serious point, just a reflection on the ludicrousness of some of the "god of the gaps" thinking requires to sustain essentialism. The need to appeal to unknown and unobserved features of biology which must exist even if they're invisible is pretty weird, to be honest.

As for snark, I apologize. That is something I could stand to improve on.

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