Sex and gender causation: BREAK THE CYCLE

1. Sex and gender are different.

Sex and gender are not spelled alike or pronounced alike. They are two different words with two very different meanings:

According to definitions proposed by the Institute of Medicine (23), “sex” is a biological construct dictated by the presence of sex chromosomes, and in animals and humans, the presence of functional reproductive organs.  “Gender” is a cultural construct and refers to behaviors which might be directed by specific stimuli (visual, olfactory, etc) or by psychosocial expectations that result from assigned or perceived sex.

(bold and color added) In pursuit of scientific excellence – sex matters, by Virginia M. Miller. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published ahead of print February 10, 2012, doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00073.2012.

2. Sex does not cause gender.

The presence of female reproductive organs in a particular body does not mean that a person necessarily likes pink, painting her nails, talking about her feelings, and nurturing small children. Sex is not the source of “feminine” and/or “masculine” gendered expression, behavior, identity, or appearance. This understanding is fundamental to feminist politics.

3. Gender does not cause sex.

Reverse causation analysis. This is where it gets ugly.

Queer theorists and trans activists seek to unconditionally prioritize “gender identity” over physical and/or assigned sex (reproductive organs). On the basis of this “gender identity” alone– and “regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth”– they argue that all self-appointed trans people are entitled to unconditional acceptance in every space, group, and organization reserved for the sex class associated with the sex stereotypes that the trans person has voluntarily aligned themselves with via their claimed “gender identity,” expression, appearance, and/or behavior.

Feminists, on the other hand, do not believe that an individual’s subjectively asserted “gender identity” is relevant to one’s sex. Throughout history, the bodies of feminine non-compliant females have remained reproductively female no matter how convincingly or consistently they may have appeared otherwise to external observers. A male bodied person’s desire to wear a dress and hang out with women does not actually transform his body into a reproductively, or physically, female one. The mere practice of “masculine” or “feminine” expression, appearance, behavior, and/or identity does not create, destroy, nor cause changes to one’s sex (reproductive organs).

Framing “gender identity”—specifically the expression of femininity—as that which fundamentally constitutes “female” will not improve women’s social status. On the contrary, the idea that “gender identity” is the most essential and important part of being female naturalizes the oppressive social order flowing from traditional sex roles and stereotypes (compulsory heteronormativity). Arguing in favor of a causative relationship between sex and gender reinforces and legitimizes feminine stereotypes that ultimately restrict the range of gendered expression and social mobility available to females.

Any ideology that seeks to justify, evidence, or prove “sex” by reference to “gender” identity, expression, or appearance necessarily implies that gender is a natural result of sex.

It is anti-feminist.

BREAK THE CYCLE.

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31 comments

  1. Brilliant! Thank you!

  2. Mary Sunshine · ·

    Reblogged this on Female Biology Matters and commented:
    Time has come for people to understand this. Legislators sure don’t.

  3. Mary Sunshine · ·

    Thank you. Beautifully done.

  4. We need to have that graphic made into pins and buttons and bumper stickers and hand them out at GLBTQWTF events and explain to trans men that THEY WILL GET PREGNANT if they have PIV with their gay boyfriends.

  5. LOL! Yes, T injections are NOT a birth control pill. Sorry, kids. Sex matters. Whether you like it or not.

    And hey, that graphic needs to be REDONE before it goes viral. I do concepts, but lack design skillz. 😉

  6. Very well said and that is very brilliant

  7. Reblogged this on Living Kallmann’s Syndrome and commented:
    I totally agree on this one, Sex is not the same as gender. Their are some genderqueer and some transgender people who think sex and gender are the same thing. Much like oil and water don’t mix, Sex and Gender is the same thing, they don’t and should never mix. Though some genderqueer people and Transgender people do try, but fail miserably to break the cycle.

  8. Fantastic! This explanation needs to go viral! 🙂

  9. absolutely great well done !!!!

  10. This is excellent! Sex and gender are DEFINITELY different and one DOES NOT cause the other and finally, they’re NOT interchangeable. It seems to me that this premises should be essential to the ACTUAL feminist analysis.

    Nevertheless, I might have something to add about one specific passage of the text. The practice of “masculine” or “feminine” expression, appearance, behavior, and/or identity does not create functioning reproductive organs, that’s truth, but one part of the trans agenda CAN actually cause chages to one’s sex, the “sex reassignment” surgeries (or whatever they call it) CAN DESTROY functioning reproductive organs. This may be obvious – being trans a (self)destructive practice and all -, but I thought it should be addressed.

  11. Thanks for reading, FTV. This IS the ACTUAL feminist analysis! Sex>/<gender is so obvious and elementary to feminism that I think a lot of us take this understanding for granted. It's incredibly difficult to have a discussion of any kind when the terms are used interchangeably. It is critical to the conversation that we, as feminists, insist on keeping the concepts of sex and gender separate AT ALL TIMES.

    Yes, surgical procedures included under the umbrella of SRS or Gender Correcting Surgery, or whatever the preferred description of the day is, are destructive of (some) reproductive organs. But I don't consider that– getting surgery– a "masculine" or "feminine" BEHAVIOR (expression, appearance, and/or identity).

  12. Thank you very much for doing this. I have one request: would you please remove the reference to “assigned sex.” Sex is not assigned (unless one believes in a Great Assigner in the sky.) Using the phrase “assigned sex” thus muddies the explanation by using the language (“assigned”) that trans use in their twisted “logic.” Sex is the product/result of nature.

    Thanks again!

  13. fmnst, thank you for reading. I understand your concern and agree with you that it may “muddy” the conceptual waters, but the reference to CAFSRAB (coercively assigned the feminine sex role at birth) and CAMSRAB (coercively assigned the masculine sex role at birth) is intentional–not just pandering to trans language. Its purpose is to demonstrate the inclusion of INTERSEX people in my analysis–who ARE “assigned” one sex and its corresponding gender (or the other sex/gender match). Intersex is a primary DERAIL for all trans-related conversations BECAUSE they cannot tell the difference between sex and gender. In order to avoid the moronic derailing of “but what about the intersex?”, I must incorporate that possibility into my analysis. Additionally, I make a distinction between the experience of being socially marked as a female from birth, and bodily reality of reproduction and reproductive processes (like, you know, my period).

    And here,

    Queer theorists and trans activists seek to unconditionally prioritize “gender identity” over physical and/or assigned sex (reproductive functioning).

    The purpose of *this* sentence is to highlight that (I know that) some people are BOTH intersex AND trans-identifying. For example, an intersex person “assigned” the female sex role at birth (yet NOT physically or reproductively female), but who subsequently claims a male or masculine “gender identity” would also be looking to prioritize “gender identity” over their assigned sex at birth.

    I hope that clarifies, but please let me know if you have other questions.

  14. Oh, and “assigned sex” is the term used by the LAW in the sentence directly following the one I quoted in my comment above.

  15. I completely agree with all three of your main points — 1. Sex and gender are different; 2. Sex does not cause gender; 3. Gender does not cause sex — but not with the precise definition of sex, nor with your further argument.

    As to the definition: rather than sex being a biological construct ‘dictated by’, it is more accurate to state that it is ‘indicated by’ the presence of… (etc). For any attempted more specific definition of sex, there are always anomalies. Trans bodies are just one set of such anomalies.

    As to your further argument (following point 3), this is based on a false premise. Queer theorists and trans activists do not seek ‘to unconditionally prioritize “gender identity” over physical and/or assigned sex’. In particular, trans people do not prioritize gender identity; they prioritize sex, seeking to reconcile the incongruity between self-knowledge of their sex (albeit contrary to certain biological indicators) and their morphology. This has no relevance to their gender identity at all (see point 2). A trans person can be of any gender expression — masculine, feminine, androgynous, butch, femme, neutral, genderqueer, whatever — the same as any other person.

    Furthermore, the ‘on the other hand’ in the second paragraph of point 3 is extraneous. Queer theorists and trans activists mostly stand together with radical feminists on issues of sex and gender, and especially on the negative consequences of sex/gender stereotyping. The only point of contention, therefore, is your insistence on your own strict definition of what indicates a person’s sex.

    As to that: well, there are numerous theories (often relating to biology) about trans, but any proposed aetiology remains, at best, unproven. So, while we can all have our opinions, there are no actual facts here to be (or not to be) entitled to as yet. The only thing which can definitely be said is that (see point 3 again) trans people’s sex is not caused by gender identity.

  16. The only point of contention, therefore, is your insistence on your own strict definition of what indicates a person’s sex.

    You contend that “sex” means something other than reproductive functioning, yet, reproduction is the only CONSEQUENCE of sex that truly matters. Hormones, chromosomes, body hair, genitals=who cares. Redefining sex at the expense of erasing the reproductive reality of the female sex is 100% OFF THE TABLE.

    Queer theorists and trans activists do not seek ‘to unconditionally prioritize “gender identity” over physical and/or assigned sex’.

    Did you read the blog post immediately previous to this one? Please do. I speak of THE LAW. Legal definitions of “gender identity” have substantially failed to place ANY conditions whatsoever on what “gender identity” means, but it is always framed as REGARDLESS OF SEX. As in, forget sex (who cares about that??), GENDER IDENTITY FIRST.

    Beyond the law, have you heard of ‘ladysticks‘? Have you heard that some women have penises and that females should get the fuck over that? That lesbians are BIGOTS if we don’t want to have sex with trans women? Have you heard that discussions of women’s reproductive rights (you know, because of our SEX) are leaving trans people out? Because their “gender identity” is somehow relevant to our SEX-BASED rights?? And that SRS/GCS is just as important as the female right to reproductive control? If you haven’t, this is precisely the bullshit that I’m talking about. Gender cannot create reproductive functioning. It is IRRELEVANT to any and all discussions of biology/physical reality/sex.

    ENOUGH WITH THE CONFLATION.

    Queer theorists and trans activists mostly stand together with radical feminists on issues of sex and gender, and especially on the negative consequences of sex/gender stereotyping.

    No. No, they do not. Or I wouldn’t be branded all over the internet as a transphobe for suggesting MINIMAL limitations on the legal definition of “gender identity” such that not ANY man in a dress can claim that he has a RIGHT to invade SEX-segregated spaces for females. This, according to the loud majority of trans people on the internet, is UNREASONABLE and HATEFUL.

  17. Thank you. I get so aggravated when people use these two words interchangeably.

    I tell people I have a personality, not a gender identity. I am female, but the ideas of “femininity” and “masculinity” are non-concepts to me.

    I’ve heard trans people say that it’s all between the ears. If that’s so, then why is it necessary to surgically change the body to give it the cosmetic — but non-functional — appearance of the other sex? What can they do now that they couldn’t do previously do with their intact bodies? For the FTM especially, they can’t even get a working penis, let alone a fertile one.

    They have a terrible confusion on just what it means to be female or male. It’s not about the culturally assigned roles associated with each sex — its the biology. For all else, we’re all simply human.

    I think if more people clearly understood the difference between biological sex and cultural gender, fewer would choose to have the irreversible surgery that permanently destroys the ability to sire or bear children just to have an outer body that merely simulates and mimics the appearance of the other sex. Seems like a pretty poor tradeoff to me.

  18. […] as it is inaccurate to use “gender identity” as a replacement for sex, homosexuality and gender non-conformity–though both violations of heteronormative […]

  19. ” Sex is not the source of “feminine” and/or “masculine” gendered expression, behavior, identity, or appearance. And vice versa for bodies with male reproductive organs (sex:male).* ”
    Excellent post; I especially love that part of it.
    I am male and never liked the masculine lifestyle role being pushed on me by society and family. And so for awhile I felt I had to go the transsexual route, but got repulsed away from the transsexual views over time and am now fine with being myself (feminine/androgynous male) without a need for false bodily change.

  20. LOVE this! It is direct, to the point, and incredibly clear, without alot of convoluted theorizing or pages one must wade through to get there. I’m a Butch Dyke, I’m all womon, and I’m ALL FEMALE. I don’t want a ‘sex change’ or to be assumed “you just want to be a dude” and pushed out of womonhood. I don’t like pink, raising children, or most feminine things. Yet there’s parts of me that are womonly, parts that are not…..and I have all my female reproductive organs, though for me, femaleness goes so much deeper than that….the organs, our Sacred Bloods, our Sacred Yonis are just the start. THANK YOU for clarifying this, cuz I don’t want to be pushed further out of womonhood because I don’t conform! I never have, never will, but I am STILL ALL WOMON! And yes, I very much value my WBW space as well, and connecting with other likeminded bio-females!
    -In Sisterhood,
    -FeistyAmazon

  21. P.S. May I post this to my blog? DykesforDykes??? I will give you full credit! Thanks.

  22. Hi Feisty, thank you so much! Yes, of course, please do! It always my great honor to be “reblogged” by feisty amazons. 😉

  23. FeistyAmazon · ·

    I might have to also quote your April 27th retort, about the ‘ladysticks’ and such, and the whole ‘cotton ceiling’ debate! I love brilliant Female Minds! I reblogged this, and also added you to my blogroll(which I keep private, vs list on my site). I have some catching up to do to see what other tidbits you have! I think we are getting more and more a groundswell of support as more and more women, feminists and Lesbians get sick of what the trans agenda has done and threatens to do to our communities, much less our very womonhood and of course all our womyn only spaces(much less wbw spaces)!

    Here is my blog address(at least my blogger one). I have one on WordPress, but haven’t developed that one much.
    http://masteramazon.blogspot.com/
    It is called: DykesforDykes.
    -in Sisterhood,
    -FeistyAmazon

  24. […] RIGHT to question ideologies which, when put into practice and written into laws, FURTHER ENTRENCH SEX-ROLE STEREOTYPES WHICH HARM […]

  25. Does this really help, to separate “gender” from “sex” it’s the Trans ideology.

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