There are normally two sexes.
We have always taken it to mean that an animal with a penis is male and a female has a vagina. It has been so throughout the animal kingdom. A farmer birthing a calf, knows on sight that a calf with a penis will not produce milk.
It’s been a reliable system of knowing what sex a creature is. It has worked with humans too. We can tell the difference between males and females, boys and girls.
All cultures bring their children up as boys or girls.
But now, in the west, this is considered wrong by a small minority with very loud voices. We should remember they are a MINORITY, yet they have been screaming so loudly, we have given them attention.
The baby that screams the loudest gets the most milk!
So now we are able to choose our gender, no matter what sex we are born. And parents should encourage their children to decide from an early age. As you will pick up from my tone, I think it’s all quite potty!
HOWEVER, there are really strange things concerning sex and gender that show deviations from what we have considered normal.
Here is a good article from Nature showing how biology is recording the anomalies. Its called Sex Redefined.
I don’t think it redefines sex, that is a misleading headline, but it’s an interesting paper nevertheless showing how science is coming in to support the minority .
Sex can be much more complicated than it at first seems. According to the simple scenario, the presence or absence of a Y chromosome is what counts: with it, you are male, and without it, you are female. But doctors have long known that some people straddle the boundary — their sex chromosomes say one thing, but their gonads (ovaries or testes) or sexual anatomy say another. Parents of children with these kinds of conditions — known as intersex conditions, or differences or disorders of sex development (DSDs) — often face difficult decisions about whether to bring up their child as a boy or a girl. Some researchers now say that as many as 1 person in 100 has some form of DSD2.
When genetics is taken into consideration, the boundary between the sexes becomes even blurrier. Scientists have identified many of the genes involved in the main forms of DSD, and have uncovered variations in these genes that have subtle effects on a person’s anatomical or physiological sex. What’s more, new technologies in DNA sequencing and cell biology are revealing that almost everyone is, to varying degrees, a patchwork of genetically distinct cells, some with a sex that might not match that of the rest of their body. Some studies even suggest that the sex of each cell drives its behaviour, through a complicated network of molecular interactions. “I think there’s much greater diversity within male or female, and there is certainly an area of overlap where some people can’t easily define themselves within the binary structure,” says John Achermann, who studies sex development and endocrinology at University College London’s Institute of Child Health.
These discoveries do not sit well in a world in which sex is still defined in binary terms. Few legal systems allow for any ambiguity in biological sex, and a person’s legal rights and social status can be heavily influenced by whether their birth certificate says male or female.
Biologists may have been building a more nuanced view of sex, but society has yet to catch up. True, more than half a century of activism from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has softened social attitudes to sexual orientation and gender. Many societies are now comfortable with men and women crossing conventional societal boundaries in their choice of appearance, career and sexual partner. But when it comes to sex, there is still intense social pressure to conform to the binary model.
The binary model is Male or Female. It’s what most people are – either male or female.
How are we going to name a non binary model? Could we redefine sex in dogs or cows too?
I dunno – it’s a crazy planet. But the article has a solution!
So if the law requires that a person is male or female, should that sex be assigned by anatomy, hormones, cells or chromosomes, and what should be done if they clash? “My feeling is that since there is not one biological parameter that takes over every other parameter, at the end of the day, gender identity seems to be the most reasonable parameter,” says Vilain. In other words, if you want to know whether someone is male or female, it may be best just to ask.