I’ve just been arguing with a biology graduate on Facebook who maintains that intersex people are a, quote, “genetic abnormality” and a “mistake”. He also maintains, contrary to research I have read, that gender is determined in the womb but brain sex – gender identity – is not.
To my mind an “abnormality” or a “mistake” suggests something which is incorrect, wrong, or needs to be corrected or cured.
Oh, he also likened intersex children to those born with tails, extra digits, and with eyes but blind.
Feedback please peoples.
If the word “disorder” could be read objectively, without moral condemnation or an emotional response, I would not object to it. My condition makes procreation significantly more difficult, and so is sub-optimal, disordered. Oh, OK, then. The trouble is, it can’t.
That is what you get for asking a biology person about neuroanatomy and developmental psychology. Sex, and gender are determined in vitro at different times, a few months apart. Intersex conditions, as as androgin insensitivity, or those with extra chromosomes, such as a person that I knew that was XXy, are abnormalities as much as the very commonly known choromoasomal abnormality condition of Down’s syndrome. They exist, they are technically errors in the genetic structure, but we know how to work around them and with just a little more effort the person can still have a great life if they so chose. The physical deformity comparison is wrong though as those are usually related to underlying DNA issues or expressions of older information that is not commonly expressed anymore, or indicative of some types of chemical exposure or alteration.
Hope all that helps.
Myself and a trans woman friend of mine had already covered most of this but it does help, thank you Alison.
When my friend actually made is clear she is trans woman (not a lot of people know – I’ve known her 6 years and only found out a few months ago) he claimed he was using the terms ‘abnormality’ and ‘mistake’ “in a purely objective sense”.
That of course is nonsense. Both terms are derogatory and therefore can never be objective.
I agree with you about the physical deformities and that has been pointed out to him but he refuses to move on his viewpoint. Instead stating, in a rather elitist manner, that he studied biology for six years. One wonders is he has been asleep in class all that time.
Even when I presented him with a link to peer-reviewed scientific research showing that gender identity takes place in the womb, he still arrogantly maintained that his statements stood.
Hey-ho. No telling some people I suppose.
Trans myself, but I have spent a good bit of time on psychiatry and neurology. People that believe something are worse than those that misunderstand a thing; the former is based on faith that requires no evidence, while the latter is based in evidence that needs no faith.