How would you respond to the following quote?

"It is now evident that humans cannot be characterized as a member of 1 of 2 clearly defined units: male or female."
The quote is of course from this journal article, which argues that variation in anatomy, gender identity, and sexual behavior indicates we cannot reliably categorize individuals as males or females.
journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.11…
But it does not follow that variation and overlap between two populations means the two categories cannot be reliably defined, nor that they are socially constructed.

Variation in anatomy, identity, and behavior does not make more than two sexes.
This article is one of many that utilizes the diversity of sex differences to argue that sex is not binary. But of course, this is an easy strawman: when you ignore what sex is at the ultimate level, you can claim any variation of sex-related traits disproves a binary.
But no one ever claims that people's physiology/anatomy, identity, and behavior fits into two neat boxes. There's considerable variation and overlap.

(When it comes to reproductive anatomy, these structures fit 'unambiguously' into one of two distinct forms >99.98% of the time.)

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More from @zaelefty

9 Aug
The sex binary is not "high school biology."
It's foundational to evolutionary theory.

Sexual selection pressures from the difference in gametes helped generate many of the sex differences in phenotype and behavior between males and females across all anisogamic species.
It's ironic that gender activists portray the sex binary as "high school level science," when in reality, it is the very existence of the sex binary and the subsequent sexual selection pressures that produce the variation in anatomy and physiology between males and females.
Gender activists have a narrow understanding of sex differences: descriptive but not predictive. They can describe variation in sex differences, but they're description leaves no unifying model for why sex differences exist.

This unifying model is anisogamy (the sex binary).
Read 8 tweets
16 Jul
@ftargument "Organized to support" simply means that during reproductive development, the fetus goes down one of two paths, initiated by the presence or absence of the SRY gene.
@ftargument Even if the path is disrupted, or if it is not completed, the fetus still develops towards the completion of one or the other system.
@ftargument There are plenty of cases where certain parts of the reproductive tract do not form completely, such as in cases of Mullerian agenesis, where an XX fetus is born without a complete uterus and cervix.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jul
ScienceVet's thread on the sex spectrum is one of the most shared pieces on the subject.

Let's break it down and analyze the details of his argument with peer-reviewed science.

THREAD (citations numbered).
web.archive.org/web/2020071017…
PART ONE--Defining Sex

ScienceVet's premise is that sex is not binary (either/or), but rather a spectrum comprised of variation in anatomy and physiology.

He's correct that there is indeed a spectrum of anatomy and physiology, but does this make a spectrum of sex?
He begins by defining sex as "body parts, hormones, and genetics (and more)." He says that because of this variation in body parts, hormones, and genetics, biological sex is a spectrum.

However, this variation in anatomy and physiology represents sex-related traits, not sex.
Read 52 tweets
9 Jul
So many people who share the Scientific American articles think that because there are sex differences within and between males and females, that sex is a spectrum.

This is a category error.

Anatomy and physiology is a spectrum. Sex is not.
Here is a 'spectrum' / bimodal distribution of height, which shows the sex differences within and between males and females.

The only reason there are two bell curves (not one, three, five or twenty) is because sex is binary.

Variation within males. Variation within females.
What is sex?

It's the method by which species reproduce. In anisogamic species, there are two gametes of differing size, and thus two evolved reproductive anatomies to support those gametes.

Thus, because there are only two gamete types, there are only two sexes.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jul
'Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia' is another Scientific American article using the complexities of sex determination and the diversity of sex differences to argue that sex is not binary.

Let's talk about it!

THREAD (citations numbered)
blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/stop-us…
The author writes that three subjects help explain the transgender experience: "(1) genetics, (2) neurobiology and (3) endocrinology."

True so far. Compared to the population, certain trans individuals may have unique differences in these three systems, and some might not.
The biological experience of trans individuals, like everyone else, can be affected by:

(1) genetics
(2) neurobiology (the structure and connections of the brain)
(3) endocrinology (the influence of hormones on the body)

Here, the author begins with genetics.
Read 44 tweets
7 Jul
The Scientific American article 'The New Science of Sex and Gender' uses congenital conditions of the reproductive tract (DSDs) to make arguments about gender and identity.

Let's break it down to see what they get right and what they get wrong.

THREAD.
The article begins by explaining that biology is more complex than the XX and XY. This is true. There are rare developmental variations of the reproductive tract (DSDs) which produce chromosomal, hormonal, and genital anomalies.
"Many of us are biological hybrids on a male-female continuum," they write.

As evidence of this 'continuum', they utilize an exceptional case of a 94 year old woman having XY cells, and a womb in a 70 year old man, a father of four.
Read 24 tweets

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