Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Continuum

If you have been around the trans community you will know the gender is a continuum or a spectrum and if not binary.

I found this article on WPATH’s Facebook page…
Why Sex Is Mostly Binary but Gender Is a Spectrum
A short genetic history of one of the most profound dimensions of human identity.
By Siddhartha Mukherjee
December 29, 2016

Anyone who doubts that genes can specify identity might well have arrived from another planet and failed to notice that the humans come in two fundamental variants: male and female. Cultural critics, queer theorists, fashion photographers, and Lady Gaga have reminded us— accurately—that these categories are not as fundamental as they might seem, and that unsettling ambiguities frequently lurk in their borderlands. But it is hard to dispute three essential facts: that males and females are anatomically and physiologically different; that these anatomical and physiological differences are specified by genes; and that these differences, interposed against cultural and social constructions of the self, have a potent influence on specifying our identities as individuals.

That genes have anything to do with the determination of sex, gender, and gender identity is a relatively new idea in our history. The distinction between the three words is relevant to this discussion. By sex, I mean the anatomic and physiological aspects of male versus female bodies. By gender, I am referring to a more complex idea: the psychic, social, and cultural roles that an individual assumes. By gender identity, I mean an individual’s sense of self (as female versus male, as neither, or as something in between).
You got that?

Sex is what the doctor says when he holds you up and whacks your bottom.

Gender is what society says.

Gender identity is what you say you are.

The article goes on to discuss the genetic switch that determines external sex organs and the SRY gene. The article then starts discussing Dr. Money and David Reime and how they raised him as a girl but something inside him told him he was a boy.

Back in the 50s through even today, intersex babies were made into girls so they can have a “normal” life, well they had anything but a normal life. Doctors William G. Reiner and John P. Gearhart did a paper on “Discordant Sexual Identity in Some Genetic Males with Cloacal Exstrophy Assigned to Female Sex at Birth” and their conclusions was,
Routine neonatal assignment of genetic males to female sex because of severe phallic inadequacy can result in unpredictable sexual identification. Clinical interventions in such children should be reexamined in the light of these findings.
So there is something in the brain that tells us our gender.

The article continues…
The existence of a transgender identity provides powerful evidence for this geno-developmental cascade. In an anatomical and physiological sense, sex identity is quite binary: Just one gene governs sex identity, resulting in the striking anatomical and physiological dimorphism that we observe between males and females. But gender and gender identity are far from binary. Imagine a gene—call it TGY—that determines how the brain responds to SRY (or some other male hormone or signal). One child might inherit a TGY gene variant that is highly resistant to the action of SRY on the brain, resulting in a body that is anatomically male, but a brain that does not read or interpret that male signal. Such a brain might recognize itself as psychologically female; it might consider itself neither male or female, or imagine itself belonging to a third gender altogether.
Mother Nature doesn’t like the binary, and she is always experimenting with different combinations, some of them work and some of them don’t.

The last take away is that just because a person doesn’t have any genetic complications does mean that they are not trans and the best way to determine if a person is trans is ask.

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