Sex

Science Denialism on the Left: Sex, Gender, and Trans Identity

In The End of Gender, Debra Soh stands up for impartial research—and for LGBTQ rights.

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How biologically different are men and women?

In 2017, Google engineer James Damore sparked a controversy for writing a leaked memo arguing that women were underrepresented in tech because of innate differences, not sexist bias. Damore was fired by Google and widely attacked in the media.

Debra Soh, a psychologist and journalist whose writings have appeared in Scientific American, Quillette, Playboy, and elsewhere, came to his defense. "No, the Google manifesto isn't sexist or anti-diversity," she wrote."It's science."

Soh is the author of a new book, The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society. She tells Reason's Nick Gillespie that she's worried about the growing denial of science she sees, especially on the left. Her book is organized around what she says are misrepresentations of science that have become commonplace, such as "gender is a social construct," "sexual orientation and gender identity are unrelated," and "gender-neutral parenting works." At the top of her list is the idea that "biological sex is a spectrum." Biological sex is a function of the gametes an individual produces, which can only be either eggs or sperm; therefore, she argues, biological sex is binary by definition.

Soh also argues that sexual orientation is innate, reminding her readers that the slogan born this way was a motto of the gay rights movement. She worries about the consequences when prepubescent children undergo surgery and take hormones to change their gender: She thinks the majority of children who say they feel more like the opposite sex will grow up to be gay, not transgender.

Soh is a liberal who believes that all adults should be treated equally under the law and allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies. But she worries that activists are distorting scientific findings to fit their political views and trying to silence researchers who are making good-faith efforts to understand the human condition. Those efforts aren't just eroding academic freedom, she argues; they're undermining the scientific method, the best means we have for gaining knowledge about the world.

"Activist science, no matter how passionate or well-intentioned, is not science," she writes. "Activism has no place in scientific research."

Full interview available here.

Interview and narration by Nick Gillespie. Edited by John Osterhoudt.

Photos: Autumn Berend/CC BY-SA; Karl Mondon/TNS/Newscom; Charles Hutchins/Flickr; Eric Parker/Flickr; Ted Eytan/Flickr; Ted Eytan/Flickr

NEXT: #MeToo, #TheyLied, and Pseudonymous Litigation (II)

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  1. >>worried about the growing denial of science

    late to the party.

    1. We are doomed.

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  2. “Activism has no place in scientific research”

    Oh boy! Get ready for a shitstorm, not just from the activists but the (pseudo)scientists who have built their careers on it

    1. But activism, both the urge to evangelize and the selected vision to be promoted, are rooted in emotion. And most people can only respond emotionally.

      By definition, science is devoid of emotion, and does not tolerate feelings or preferred social outcomes. That does not stop people, including many “scientists”, from destroying objectivity with their own emotional effluence.

    2. The Shitstorm already happened. Debrah Soh is already persona non-grata on social media and has been dragged through the mud. That’s what brought her to notoriety.

      Reason is like… I’m gonna be conservative and say a year and a half late on this story?

  3. It’s interesting how those who worship SCIENCE are willfully ignorant of its past use to justify Jim Crow and sterilization laws.

    1. Science doesn’t kill/oppress people, people kill/oppress people.
      Pretty certain sterilization laws(1) and Jim Crow(2) came from supreme court justices making shit up from the bench, not the science itself.

      (1) Oliver Wendell Holmes in Buck v Bell
      (2) Melville Fuller in Plessey v Ferguson

      1. The science that gets published tells its sponsors what they want to hear, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t see the light of day (negative result). The Rockefeller Foundation was a huge fan of eugenics, helping to establish Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Rockefeller University to conduct genetic experiments that would support it, this was the best science of the day and they are still highly esteemed research institutions. California was actually one of the first states to require sterilization of the mentally unfit, following the “best”science of the day as they claim to do now. Hitler used California’s example to justify his mass sterilizations of different groups and it was because of this that eugenics fell out of favor after WW II.

        1. But how was the science wrong? Genetics control traits, and traits can be selectively bred into or out of a population. See a dog show for evidence.

          Deciding to do this with humans is a moral judgement, and some despicable episodes do not change the science of genetics. (Of course, to make people feel better, we can say so, but that’s just social engineering.)

          1. In theory, your point is astute.

            I’d counter than conscious thought is quite fallible, and the scientific understanding of multiple level consequences is in adequate to undertake such ambitious central planning of the species.

            But eugenics is still being practiced – it’s simply a social process.
            And the traits our decadent society chooses for are probably not good for Man’s evolution

    2. Confusing lies and science is a common mistake. Just because someone says “science” supports their edeas does not mean it is true.
      You are speaking of progressives, mostly democrats, but some republicans as well. Pseudoscience is not actual science, any more than crony capitalism is actual capitalism.

      Actual science never supported either of those propositions

      Those that worship science are not those that study science, but a subset of leftist useful idiots who can be easily manipulated by claims of science from their handlers.

      1. As employed and accepted by most people, “science” is just their version of religion, with certain core faiths and preferred priests. There can be no debate with people who are just as much true believers as any religious zealot (and just as ready to go to war for their faith).

        Meanwhile, actual science deliberately questions knowledge, especially when derived from fantasy.

    3. Science is neither good nor evil. Just as a hammer is neither good nor evil. Science is a tool, without morality or any inherent nature.

      Just like a hammer can either build a house or smash a skull, the same understanding of science can be used to save lives or destroy them.

      For example, chlorine gas is a chemical weapon that has killed millions. It is also an integral part of water treatment, and has saved tens or maybe even hundreds of billions of lives. To the point that in most of the world, it is illegal to put water in a pipe without some level of chlorine.

      1. Saved tens or hundreds of millions. Sorry for the typo.

  4. Don’t Reason writers agree the alphabet people have an absolute right to whatever makes them feel most comfortable? If not, when did that change?

    1. Citation please. If a Reason writer ever said that, you should be able to find it for us, easy-peasy!

      1. THey claim it every single time they talk about the issue. No, they don’t support the government going out and guaranteeing that right with force. But they absolutely think they have a “right to feel comfortable and supported”. Name one time where reason sided with anyone who objected to this? And I don’t mean “well sure the government shouldn’t force them”. I mean said the people who objected were right to object. You won’t find one.

        1. Citation please?

          Well, at least you admit this… “No, they don’t support the government going out and guaranteeing that right with force.” Then they are using persuasion, not coercion. Totes libertarian!

          And they DO have a history of reporting shit that makes the PC people look VERY bad about associated matters!

          https://reason.com/blog/2017/10/03/brickbat-dont-ask-dont-tell#comment
          I am utterly SHOCKED to learn that NOT offending the “tranny brigade” of PC people is WAY more important than the actual happiness of trannies and potential trannies!!!

          Speaking of such things, there are biochemical, often off-label, solutions to your urges towards becoming a tranny, which MIGHT actually lead to better results! To MORE happiness, for many potential trannies! To becoming happy with your body, as it already is! Imagine that!

          1. “https://reason.com/blog/2017/10/03/brickbat-dont-ask-dont-tell#comment
            I am utterly SHOCKED to learn that NOT offending the “tranny brigade” of PC people is WAY more important than the actual happiness of trannies and potential trannies!!!”

            The article was literally not about trans people, but how absurd it was to walk on eggshells when doing research. No trans people were harmed, or even asked in the making of that article.

        2. See http://www.drugs.com/condition/gender-dysphoria.html for “Off Label” uses of drugs for suppressing “gender dysphoria”… 6 drugs listed in web link above, to include (pretty obviously) testosterone…

          Also use below as search-string…
          “Transgender woman, who claims pills for male hair-loss sparked gender change, opens up about ‘life and death struggle’”

          Concerns male-hair-loss “…drug Propecia, called finasteride, to halt the onset of hereditary baldness”, which feminized his / her body, and brought around the desire for a sex change, according to him-now-her.

          So then Propecia AKA (generic) finasteride sounds like a darned-good choice for an off-label drug use, if you are female, contemplating sex-change to male, and worrying that your marriage might not survive such a sex change… Which is a strong possibility! Try this first, to see if maybe you’d like to stay female, before you make drastic changes…

        3. Also see “The successful treatment of a gender dysphoric patient with Pimozide” at http://www.researchgate.net/publication/14365362_The_successful_treatment_of_a_genderdysphoric_patient_with_Pimozide

          Now I am, yet once again, a criminal in the eyes of the tranny brigades!

        4. But John you think government should endorse your bigotries so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable.

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  5. The idea that someone can choose their gender, whether true or not, has nothing to do with sexual preference. Indeed, it is very hard to square the claim that a person can be “gender fluid” and choose their gender with sexual preference being genetic and akin to race rather than a moral choice. For that reason, I don’t think transgenderism is even consistent with the claims made by the gay rights movement.

    Yet, the gay rights movement has wedded itself to transgenderism. It makes no sense at all except that it just shows that the gay rights movement was never about gay rights but really about using gay rights as a means of pushing leftist politics.

    1. Or, perhaps an attempt to maintain “Most Favored Minority” status. At least here in East Coast Elitistland, no one gives a shit who you sleep with anymore, as long you show up on time and do your job.

      The loss of victimhood makes folks less interesting at parties.

      1. This right here is a big, big factor. Victimhood is as good as gold in our society. If you no longer get to play the race card, you lose a lot of power and cool points.

        1. *victim card, damn Freudian slip!

    2. I think they argue that their gender is fluid, but it’s not because they’re consciously choosing to change it. It just sort of naturally flows back and forth, up and down. I could be wrong though. They tend to make shit up on the spot, so I guess more than their gender is fluid.

    3. “Yet, the gay rights movement has wedded itself to transgenderism.”

      That may be true of political types like Tony, but the lesbians are increasingly angry about this.

  6. Add all sorts of things to that list. Climate alarmism distorts the actual science such that there are people who legitimately believe we only have a decade to save the world from complete disaster. GMO science is completely dismissed as that from KKKorporashunz despite decades of positive real world results, and the only technology shown it can help tremendously with both hunger and disease. The mask bullshit where never before did they find any evidence they stop disease until it was deemed politically necessary (around April 2020), while now every article discussing it says that it’s always been known.

    We needn’t go on, but we definitely could.

    1. Environmentalism is really the gold standard of leftwing science denial. Global Warming is just the latest and recently biggest example of it. Before that there was the millions of people who died thanks to the banning of DDT, the acid rain scare, the jihad against nuclear power and so forth.

      1. All the world’s scientists are misusing science! Only redstate.com knows the real facts!

        1. All the world’s scientists don’t agree that there is human forcing on the climate. Repeating that trope is a demonstrable lie.

          And yes, many scientists do in fact engage in non-scientific practices.

          1. You’re spreading lies deliberately. There are dumb people on this board who might believe you.

  7. Enter Tony any moment now to pontificate on the subject in some queer fashion.

  8. “Activist science, no matter how passionate or well-intentioned, is not science,” she writes. “Activism has no place in scientific research.”

    Now apply that same approach to other areas of science that have become more about activism than actual science. Like, for instance, climate science.

    1. It’s not the scientists’ fault that Republicans and their industry backers have politicized climate science. That’s blaming the victim.

      1. It’s funny that you argue from a false point of logic in order to assert a position that we should all accept that which is true. Do you not see the huge irony in this?

  9. Another wedge issue that the left hopes drives a spike in any normal person’s conservative beliefs. The more they separate us, divide us, the sooner they conquer us. It’s why the left are so evil. Makes you wonder what they will latch onto next as the shifting sand of their morality ensnares more people in the trap.

    1. We know what their next objective is. Pedophilia normalization. See Netflix’s most recent stunning and brave TV-show for an example.

    2. There have been people like you at every step of the way arguing against giving more freedom to people you’d rather see slaves, not in your schools and restaurants, not in sex-ed class, etc. It’s all so boring.

      1. Who proposed the Green New Deal? If that’s not politicizing science than what is?

        1. Well, it’s a policy idea to deal with a public problem. Are those not OK anymore?

  10. Science does not determine the definitions and usage of words. Science may establish the existence of sex chromosomes, but trans rights activists are not, on the whole, ignorant of the existence of sex chromosomes. They thank you for the concern, I’m sure.

    It’s all so cute how the faction of evolution and global warming denial have deployed a false veneration of “science” to justify their basic bitch bigotries. It feels like a minor win for the rational people, even if the pimping out of science as a concept has not led to an appreciation for what science actually is.

    How is this nonsense any different from the extremely persuasive arguments of yore that we can’t allow gay marriage because “science says the peepee goes in the in-hole”?

    If you want a good overview of the complexities of gender identity and its intersections with science, I recommend the contrapoints channel. I learned some stuff.

    1. You are nothing if not predictable.

      The right and the left are both plenty anti-science, and in the same way: when the science contradicts preferred policy, the science is to be disregarded for metaphysical reasons.

        1. Damned true.

          EVERYTHING, especially science, is politicized by both sides all the time.

          1. Only one side lies constantly when doing so.

            Anti-intellectualism is one of their selling points. No point in pretending that means they won’t get science wrong.

            1. You have got to be a troll. No way can a person believe that only one side is the bad side and the other side is the good side. Life is not a poorly scripted movie, you get that, right?

              1. Have you looked at life lately?

    2. Science may establish the existence of sex chromosomes, but trans rights activists are not, on the whole, ignorant of the existence of sex chromosomes.

      No, they’re not, they just want us to ignore them when they force feed a bunch of dudes into a women’s sports competition and laugh maniacally when they obliterate their real female competition.

      I don’t give two shits what you call yourself. I’ll call you Susan, if that’s what you want. But when you’re a man and you elbow your way into a female-only salon and demand they handle your genitalia or you’ll drag them in front of the Canadian Human Rights commission, then you’re going to receive some pushback.

      1. You also don’t give two shits about anarchy in sports. You’ve just latched onto it as a vaguely plausible point of contention to wedge in your bigotry.

        1. Projection much?

        2. You do understand that a lot of real women and feminists are against letting men play sports with them? You realize that women in america have spent decades fighting for universities and schools to carve out sports programs for them precisely because they cannot compete against post-puberty males? You realize that if a man can just say “i’m a woman” and win the gold this totally invalidates all the work all women have done to carve out a space for them to compete and enjoy sports?

          Enjoy this:
          https://twitter.com/ZubyMusic/status/1100348562041462784

          1. Sports will have to contend, and are contending, with this issue, no doubt about it. That’s an interesting discussion to have and one I’d perhaps like to be a part of one day should I ever acquire an interest in the very important social exercise of putting balls in things.

            I don’t see what it has to do with recognizing the individual rights of people who don’t have any interest in playing sports. Or with treating people with good manners.

            1. What rights? No one is saying they have no rights.

              1. So what are you bitching about?

            2. What’s so interesting about it? XY can’t compete in women’s sports. There, boom, done. Not interesting, and not difficult.

              1. Why do most of our sports have to be designed around male bodies?

                Or we could just abolish sports and people could find entertainment in more refined sources of entertainment that aren’t all sponsored by cell phone companies and bud light.

    3. When you’re a gender study professor and you say, publicly that there are NO differences between men and women, and you cite a medical history class you took, you’re not just ‘playing with words’. You’re claiming something that is demonstrably not true.

      1. Nobody says there are no differences between men and women, least of all people born assigned male who wear dresses.

        1. Actually plenty of these trans theorists in academia try to say that there are no differences between men and women. There’s even a phrase printed on bumperstickers used as facebook profile avatar: “Trans women are women”

          They are not. They are something different.

          1. You’ll understand if not everyone thinks that the esoteric conversations happening in obscure academic departments is not in the top 10 list of threats to civilization right now.

            There is some disagreement among trans people about these things, but generally someone who was born assigned male but wants to be considered a woman… wants to be considered a woman. The prefix trans is applied when the context requires it. Most trans women want to be so undistinguished from cis women that you’d never even think to be a rude cunt to them.

            Did you consider that spending even a minute out of your day feeling oppressed because of the mere presence of people different from you might indicate a sort of privilege? An almost decadent exhibition of it, even? Just don’t be rude to people, how fucking difficult is that?

            1. The question isn’t about just being rude to people and you know it.

              1. So what do you want out of all this?

                1. I would like to become the greatest player in WNBA history.
                  I’ll need a month or two to get back in shape

                  1. Whatever floats your boat. It’s just a game.

    4. Yes, science must have some control over the usage of words, else words are useless in communicating scientific knowledge. Using a colloquial definition of a word in a technical discussion only muddies the waters and makes understanding more difficult.

      It is also impossible to have a scientific discussion when embracing a completely anti rational philosophy.

      1. What philosophy would that be?

        Most trans rights activists just want words to be used as they traditionally are. If a person is in a dress, your best bet is to treat her as a woman. Just like it’s always been.

        1. except this person is NOT actually a woman. So other than calling her Jennifer instead of Jim, that’s about it.

          No, this person can’t shower in the women’s locker room.
          No, this person can’t live int eh women’s barracks (a real issue in the military that Trump reversed as one of his first acts)
          No, this person can’ compete on the women’s team.
          No, this person can’t avoid the draft (i’m against the draft but no, this is not how to get out of it).
          No, this person doesn’t qualify for “women-owned” business loans, or scholarships slated for women.
          No, this person can’t demand the salon worker wax their balls.

          Note that the above are all real cases of real things demanded by so-called trans folks. It’s riduclous.

          Call yourself a new name and wear a dress all day, i have no problem with it. But how far does the world need to go to pretend with you? The answer is, not beyond common courtesy.

          1. But just above you said there aren’t any rights issues at stake.

            Is there anything you’re actually bitching about other than you not wanting to feel uncomfortable for the half hour it takes to get accustomed to the existence of trans people?

          2. I will repeat the point that the goal of most trans people is to be able to pass as their new gender. So do you think it’s actually less awkward for someone who looks every bit s woman to use a men’s restroom? Is there any way they could possibly win with you provincial sex-morality-obsessed micro-tyrants?

            1. If the owner wants to let them, no problem.
              But no, yo don’t get to just force people to.

              Same for sports, military, other things wehre actual real world outcomes depend on your sex. You can’t just claim to be a woman and now it’s real.

              It’s not real. It’s in your headand that’s fine and I’ll call you Jennifer if you want but no, you can’t force the world to bend around you fantasy.

              I like how you mentioned bathroom use when that is of course the least interesting and least contested elment of it all.

              The rest of those things are listed are indeed things trans have demanded.

              Sorry you’re not a woman, you’re a man dressed as a woman now fill out your selective service card. See how easy that is? No one’s rights are violated.

              1. So you just want to define trans people out of existence and obliterate their identity because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Just what I thought.

                1. Yet avoiding the alleged discomfort of trans people is the whole purpose of pretending sex differences do not exist.

                2. And what you are advocating for defines “male” and “female” identities out of existence and reduces them to mere fashion choices.

                3. You’re being childish.

                4. Here let me explain it asshat:

                  XX does not equal XY.

                  When a rational culture digs them up in 10,000 years, they will use SCIENCE and identify the skeletal remains as being that of a man or woman based on the straightforward genetic combination above.

                  Unless the person has a genetic anomaly such as Klinefelter syndrome or Turner syndrome, that is biological, scientific fact. You can talk around it all you want, but the pseudo-science to rationalize it is nonsense.

                  What people want to do, wear, and who they sleep with as consenting adults does not change the above. If they want to modify their genitals, then by all means go ahead. It is your life and you can do what you want.

                  But they need to stop forcing other people to have to modify their world view to accommodate theirs and their choices. If my daughter wants to play HS sports, she shouldn’t have to potentially increase her injury risk because some male wants to proclaim himself female.

                  All through the Human Genome Project was the anticipation of finding the “gay” gene – and it never materialized. So they just moved the goalpost. (That’s a sports reference.)

                  Oh, and just because you don’t like sports doesn’t make you any loftier of a person than those who do – you will deny that you meant that, but the condescending inference was overpowering.

                  1. Trans people are aware of how chromosomes work. Science has no domain over how we label social expressions of gender, however. All this imposition of Judeo-Christian sexual hangups is no less stifling because you found a group of people you’re uncomfortable with. Get over it. There’s no excuse for rudeness.

        2. Except that “woman” is not defined by wearing a dress. “Dress” is more defined as being an article of clothing that a woman may wear.

          That is part of the problem, and contradictions of transgender ideological stances. It defines the sexes based on their cultural stereotypes rather than the other way around.

          1. Apparently all Scots are women now because they like to wear skirts.

            1. Ah, the “no true Scotsman” fallacy! Nice try.

        3. The bizarre philosophy that believes that because words can only approximate the truth based on agreed upon definitions, that proves there actually is no underlying truth.

          1. Nobody is called a woman because someone has lifted up her skirt to check. It’s a social construct first and foremost.

            1. No. It is a physiological difference that the subsequent cultural social constructs are built upon.

              1. And who do you propose to enforce this norm?

                1. What does that even mean?

                2. There is also the issue that the activists you are defending are trying to create a new social norm and have it defended by the state.

            2. 100% false. It’s so false, there’s not even a scintilla of truth to it.

            3. Congratulations – that’s your new dumbest post on the topic.

              Yeah, you believe in science…

        4. Tony, how much effort does it take to be so deliberately stupid and dishonest?

    5. “basic bitch bigotries”

      Too easy.

      1. As in not interesting. Christian paternalistic moralistic scaredy-pants nonsense that has been shoving its hysterical “I get all the power because I say so” doctrine down everyone’s throats for centuries.

        1. What does that have to do with the fact that humanity is sexually dysmorphic and there are real, measurable, statistical differences physiologically and cognitively between the sexes?

          1. shh, he’s a science denier. you can’t reason with them.

          2. On the whole that’s true. So what do you want out of this debate? To force all trans people to start dressing like you want them to?

            1. I want some recognition by the activists that there are some reasonable limits to what they can compel the rest of society to play along with.

              1. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. If you’d prefer to live in a less tolerant society, there are plenty to choose from.

    6. “Science does not determine the definitions and usage of words.”

      Right, that is technically in the realm of logic. Thanks for reminding us that progressives are fundamentally illogical people.

      1. Logic has very little to do with how languages evolve.

        1. Yup, that square peg wasn’t smashed into the round hole by an angry mentally deficient man-child, it “evolved” into it.

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  12. > Biological sex is a function of the gametes an individual produces, which can only be either eggs or sperm; therefore, she argues, biological sex is binary by definition.

    Well yes and no. There are two kinds of “biological sex”. There is the the sex at the cellular level. Which is the egg or sperm thing. But it’s not just two. Very rare individuals can produce both, or neither.

    But the other kind is biological development. Does one have testicles and a penis, or ovaries and a vagina. Now it’s much more complicated because intersex individuals actually exist. People born with elements of both. Hermaphrodites, for example. Usually these individuals have their sex “assigned” by the physician at birth, but not always. There have been cases in the past where a couple discovers that one of them discovers on their wedding night that they are not the gender they always thought they were. Yes it’s rare, but not unheard of.

    It’s because of intersex individuals that the scientific answer is NOT as clear cut as one would hope. It’s not a “spectrum”, but neither is it an absolute binary. The politics on both sides are wrong.

    Then you get to the genetics. Because while there is a very strong correlation between the genes and gametes produced, it’s not 100%. There are indeed XX males who were born with testicles and XY females who were born with ovaries. That’s because it’s not the genes that determine sex, but the hormones at a very specific time during embryonic development. It’s very rare, but happens enough that it’s thrown the Olympic Committee for a loop a few times.

    So while the left is wrong that gender is wholly unrelated to sex, and merely an ephemeral social construct that one can pick from a list of 70 choices, neither it is that absolutely true everyone in the boys gym is male and everyone in the girls gym is female.

    This does NOT mean people can just pick and choose their gender and demand that the world must honor their choice. But neither does it mean people there aren’t people who fall outside the rigid categories the social conservatives demand.

    1. People born intersex are a vanishingly small minority that don’t justify redefining our entire understanding of what sex is. They are best understood as aberrations in biological reproduction that occur because all biological processes are imperfect. The existence of a tiny handful of abnormalities doesn’t negate the reality of a sex binary that exists for 99.9% of humanity.

      1. The existence of a tiny handful of abnormalities doesn’t negate the reality of a sex binary that exists for 99.9% of humanity.

        And it certainly doesn’t require a complete re-ordering of public life as relates to sportsball competitions– to give just one example.

      2. A transgender person is not necessarily an intersex person, and the social requirement that you not be a rude asshole doesn’t go away just because there’s something in life you don’t understand.

        1. You don’t get to demand that I conform to your definition of what is a “rude asshole.” I treat everyone with courtesy and respect (therefore not a rude asshole), but I refuse to indulge in their lack of sanity (therefore you would label me a rude asshole). But you’re not king of the world, Tony.

          1. Your ignorance and provincialism is definitely not an excuse for rudeness.

            Do you often deliberately offend the mentally ill?

      3. Humans don’t have 2 hands and 10 fingers! (8 fingers and 2 thumbs, for you pedantics out there)

        Some people are born deformed, so we shouldn’t define human physiognomy in such a way.

        If humans have 2 eyes used to see, does that mean a blind man isn’t human???

      4. I was NOT advocating any political policy. Merely pointing out that actual bona fide exceptions exist to the absolute binary rule. It doesn’t mean getting rid of gendered toilets or anything like that.

        But I do want accuracy in science, and don’t want it to bend to the whims of political power. Sex is not strictly binary, and 0.01% is actually a positive number. It’s an issue common enough that it’s hit the Olympics Committee at least twice. It does NOT mean there must be 70 legal genders, but it does mean that “other” might be a valid category on legal forms for those rare individuals.

        Note that this is DIFFERENT from “transgender”. I am not talking about people born male who want to be female, or anything like that. I’m talking about actual ambiguous biological sex as it exists in actual bona fide medical texts.

    2. The existence of intersex persons does not prove that sex is not binary outside of such chromosomal and developmental abnormalities. And they certainly do not justify suggesting that sex is “assigned” to people who do not have such abnormslities.

    3. Soh recognizes the existence of intersex people (as other critics of the new paradigm have).

      Douglas Murray points this out by specifically referring to intersex individuals– but lamenting that transgender activism ‘leapfrogged’ over that issue and turned it into a political cage match with anyone and everyone able to ‘declare’ their gender, and society having to bend towards it.

      Here’s a talk by Deborah Soh on the topic. Again, Reason’s at least a year late on this issue, so this is an old talk.

    4. And what is the driving force behind the appropriate hormonal release? The configuration of the sex chromosomes; i.e., the blueprint.

      Careful, you’re treading dangerously close to labeling trans people as the result of abnormal developmental physiology…and they insist that it is a normal variant.

    5. It definitely is binary.
      Mutants happen.

    6. Very rare individuals can produce both, or neither.

      Incorrect and this demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the links in genetics and biology and the underlying binary nature. Idiocy of using exceptions to redefine norms aside; while the components of the genital sets can be mixed, the sets are still relatively conserved and analogous structures aren’t duplicated, especially not functionally. People born with four gonads is an exceedingly rare event in-and-of itself (indeed it’s exceedingly rare across the animal kingdom). For an intersex individual to develop four gonads, even non-viably, is between statistically indistinguishable from impossible and biologically impossible.

      Assuming the intersexing is or will take place, it’s still in general accordance with the underlying biological constraints. It’s somewhat akin to breeding a horses and a donkeys. While you can get a mule *or* a hinny, there aren’t 70 different possible outcomes. You absolutely cannot get a purebred horse or a purebred donkey, you don’t get a horse with long ears, you don’t get one horse and one donkey, you don’t get a mule with the front legs of a horse and the back legs of a donkey. Moreover, in the rare case where a mule is viable, you equally don’t get a transhorse or a transdonkey.

      The idea of rejecting binary sex as a social construct is retarded on its face as it would require the rejection of it in species where it’s observed despite any apparent presence or even capability of social construction. It’s like rejecting 0 and 1 as binary representations of digits because fractions exist, only worse because there isn’t any sort of domain for applied intersex human biology like there is for applied fractions.

      1. Moreover, in the rare case where a mule is viable, you equally don’t get a transhorse or a transdonkey.

        Viable for reproduction that is. One species has 63 chromosomes, the other has 64, you don’t mix them and get 95 chromosomes or 63.5 chromosomes.

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  13. “leftwing SJWs are distorting science to fit their political views”

    WHAAAAAAA????

  14. What’s her evidence that sex attraction-preference in humans is inborn?

    1. I didn’t hear her quote or read her data but it’s out there and pretty well known. It’s not necessarily fixed as there is an obvious behavioral component but there is/can be a bias that’s induce in utero. The correlations across multiple factors and methods indicate that it is/can be “induced” prior to birth.

  15. The Orwellian phrase “trans women are women” comes to mind.

    If trans women are women, why do you have to put trans in front?

    It’s because “women” is Newspeak for “anyone who acts like a woman including those who aren’t actually women”

    Ironically, it requires traditional notions of how men and women behave to get to this twisted pretzel logic.

    So.. women are those who dress and talk like women and feel ‘feminine”, based on traditional views of what that means! Incredible.

    What do you call women are are just born as women, feel like a women on the inside, and act like women? (Yes I know in the circles of these wackos they call is CIS but that’s the whole point. You need to make up new words for old concepts, and change the meaning of the old words, in order to achieve the confusion required to buy into your nutty ideas. )

    1. You could just address people as they want to be addressed, like anyone whose parents taught them basic manners.

      You don’t generally inspect anyone’s genitals before deciding which pronoun to use, and I bet you almost never run a DNA test either.

      Maybe a trans person doesn’t pass too well (generally a principal source of anxiety for the trans person). Maybe you’re genuinely confused. So just figure it out and get on with your life. Otherwise you’ll be using pronouns that seem perfectly applicable to the situation. Deliberately misgendering a person just makes you a rude asshole, and there is no excuse for rudeness.

      1. That’s not the issue though is it.

        It’s that a segment of the so-called “Trans” community wants more than just to be called by a different name and you know it.

        1. So the thing that so big a threat to civilization that I have to hear about it from you people on a constant basis for years on end is… a segment of trans activists. What do you think that segment of a segment wants, again? Describe some real tyranny and I’ll be right there with you.

          And I’ll get to it once I’m done being concerned with the Team dividing society up along various lines of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and citizenship status for scapegoating purposes. Christian white and hetero supremacists have done more harm to civilization than a segment of a segment of trans people, historically speaking, but I promise not to ignore the threat completely, just in case.

          1. your persecution complex is getting the worst of you.

            1. You’re the one who somehow thinks your freedoms are under threat by trans people, dude.

              1. No. That’s not at all what I said or what I think. You are projecting.

              2. One of the things that J. K. Rowling was castigated for was defending a lesbian’s right not to be accused of bigotry for not wanting to be romantically involved with a person who has a penis.

                When your sexual preference gets you accused of bigotry, how are your rights not threatened?

                1. Bigotry is refusing to consider counter arguments.

                  In the case of this article refusal to consider and recognize science.

                  Bigotry has nothing to do with what you want or feel.

                  Being accused of bigotry by people who don’t know what it means is laughable, I know.

                  1. Aww how cute, an openly vile bigot is comforting a slightly less vile closeted bigot.

                    1. Laughable

                    2. What’s laughable is a hillbilly Nazi like you sitting around lurking the Reason forums hitting refresh and hoping someone replied to your creepy post that literally no one agrees with.

                    3. Haha

                      It’s funny because you’re stupid.

                    4. Resorting to ad hominems is a sure sign of someone who has nothing to add to an argument.

                      Therefore, go away now.

                2. Look at what you’re responding to and who fouled the discussion with ad hominems.

                  What exactly have you added to my comment?

          2. The only thing as stupid as a Trumptard is a libtard.

            That’s the only thing you’ve illumniated today.

  16. People have been saying faggots are retards for years.

    1. I refuse to placate bigoted gender ideologues.

  17. Now do GMOs and nuclear power.

    Or astrology, which the left loves.

    Or eugenics, which still crops up.

  18. Burn the witch!!!!

  19. . Welcome to the Soviet Union.

    Hail Trofim Lysenko, Hero of the Soviet Union. Remember Him?

    Lysenkoism says, “Genes Don’t matter. Genes are nothing.”

  20. “Activist science, no matter how passionate or well-intentioned, is not science,” she writes. “Activism has no place in scientific research.”

    Amen to that!

  21. Her interview on Rogan last week was pretty good.

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  23. Science denial is not the domain of any given ideology but of ideology itself. The left had Lysenko; the right has creationism, climate-denial and the belief in race. Anti-vaxxers are usually on the political left, but since CoVid turned up the Parler forum is suddenly overrun with anti-vaxxers for Trump.

    The issue of gametes sounds clear enough as it divides sex into male, female and various forms of sterility such as immature, undeveloped or castrati, plus the odd very rare case like a tetragametic chimera. However, declaring this ex cathedra as the only valid definition for “gender” is not an act of science, and at best the expression of an opinion about words. It can also differ wildly from other valid divisions such as chromosomal, cultural and neurological.

    When it comes down to it, if someone’s neurology or even their preference steers them towards gender reassignment and the technology allows it then it is not for advocates of scientism or for the state to obstruct their right to be so steered.

    1. SRS is mutilation and sterilization.

      Doctors following the Hippocratic oath will only perform the surgery on the most disturbed individuals.

  24. Your gender is determined by your chromosomes. If you have a Y, you’re a guy. It’s that simple. You can live however you want. It’s no one’s business and I don’t understand why so many people seem to care what consenting adults do in their own bedrooms. The flip side of that is trying to force people to use the pronouns you want them to. This is equally outrageous. You’re a guy who feels like a girl? Fine. Doesn’t change the fact you have a penis. You can ‘identify’ as the Queen Of England for all I care but that doesn’t mean I have to address you as ‘your majesty.’

  25. Certainly is a pervert, isn’t it? Of course she has every right to practice perversion.

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