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  #51  
Old 11-14-2017, 01:30 PM
monstro monstro is offline
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
XX and XY is a biological difference.
I don't think AHunter believes these things point to one's gender. Just their biological sex.
  #52  
Old 11-14-2017, 01:45 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
This isn't true.

The collective American mindset has always allowed non-white categories to be defined based on ancestry. See the "one drop rule".
True... but

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I don't know what you mean by not having "separate words".
We don't don't have Word A which means "this is the category that you look like, your physical characteristics", and Word B which means "this is the category into which you place yourself, and into which we agree to place you if we don't dissent with that".

and...

Quote:
We speak of folks like Lene Horne, Julian Bond, Ben Jealous, Vanessa Williams, and Colin Powell as being "black" not because of their physical characteristics, but because they have relatively recent African ancestry.
But if we do not know Lena Horne, Julian Bond, Vanessa Williams, et. al, we're back to:

Quote:
It means that my eyes are communicating to me that he belongs to the same socially constructed group that I do
... and that's based on what the person looks like their observable physical characteristics, if you see what I mean.

It seems to me (as a person who isn't really in this situation) that if woud be conceptually useful to have two terms: one that refers to the race that Vanessa Williams identifies as (racial identity) and a different one that refers to the race that the majority of nonblind people from our culture would assign Vanessa Williams to on the basis of appearance if they did not know her.

Or, at least, it would be useful to a person seeking to uncouple those two factors, to open the social doors to the possibility of race being an identity that is first and foremost chosen by the self, while still being able to refer to the "altercast" (assigned-by-observers).
  #53  
Old 11-14-2017, 01:52 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by StrTrkr777 View Post
I guess where I get all tripped up in this is what does it matter?

[...]

I have known one particular guy for a long time. He owns his own florist and decorates homes at Christmas, arranges venues for weddings, etc. He has an effeminate voice and so I am sure many have assumed he was gay. I am also certain (though never discussed) that he knows people assume that about him. Now, he could be gay, he could be bi, but he is married to a woman and they have been married for a long time. They have two sons and though both are grown, he is still married to a woman.

My point is, I doubt he cares what people assume about him, as long as they treat him with respect.
Depending on how well you know him and whether you think both of you would be comfortable doing so, go ask him about the years before he had a partner and whether or not any of it mattered. Whether he thinks he would have benefitted from a shared cultural notion about how feminine guys get girlfriends, and from shared cultural notions of sexy feminine guys who are experienced as hot by some of the girls; whether he thinks he would have liked to occasionally hear advice provided to single guys who wish they had girlfriends that was not tailored exclusively towards non-feminine guys and not anchored in the notion that the pool of potential girlfriends was entirely composed of girls who wanted masculine-flavored boys as boyfriends. Ask him if any of it matters. Tell him what I've written about and ask him if he thinks it's irrelevant to anyone but the self-immersed Ahunter3.

Last edited by AHunter3; 11-14-2017 at 01:53 PM.
  #54  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:18 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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"Who?"
  #55  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:31 PM
puzzlegal puzzlegal is online now
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
...Oh, I doubt that gorilla brains or lemur brains or kitty-cat brains are any more sexually dimorphic than ours are. They might be, and it doesn't prove or demonstrate anything one way or the other, but I suspec that what's true of our brains will prove true of theirs as well.
cats and gorillas have more sexual dimorphism of their bodies than humans have, certainly with regard to typical body mass, and I bet in other ways, as well. I imagine some animals have more or less sexual dimorphism of their brains, as well.

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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
...I would never say that. I am no more in the middle of the spectrum than a typical transgender person.

I am constantly encouraged by transgender activist friends to call myself transgender. I don't, because if i did I would be spending a lot of time explaining that, no, I am not transitioning to female, am not on hormones, and do not attempt to present in such a way that observers will categorize me as female. My transgender friends say "that doesn't make you not transgender, you're transgender if your gender doesn't match the gender you were assigned at birth, end of story!" We disagree about what to call it, but yes I'm gender inverted in the same sense they are.

Whether I call myself transgender or not, there's not much social consciousness about people like me — who identify on the femme end of the spectrum (not the middle, thank you very much) but who do NOT wish to have their bodies "fixed". My body isn't broken. It's male. I'm male. It's my gender, not my body, that is "of the other side".
Can you just go with the umbrella "Non binary"? Or do you think that implies more masculinity than you prefer?

I have a friend who calls himself a non-gender, conforming man. He's very femme in personality, but has decided that he's comfortable with his male body, and had no plans to change it.
  #56  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:40 PM
StrTrkr777 StrTrkr777 is offline
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I am not sure I conveyed what I was intending. I am seeking to understand. I know you are not a Millenial, but this seeking to be recognized seems to apply more to Millenials than to our generation.

I am not saying that a young person doesn't need support or encouragement, or understanding or role models to guide them. And yes, those that fit more into the socially acceptable buckets will have an easier time of all that.

And possibly having a book that helps explain some of this (at least in the absence of having someone physically there) would be helpful to those going through this.

But I would say that is true in many areas. At the age of 14 our oldest revealed that she was cutting because she did not know how to handle the emotions that were going on with her. She felt she was attracted to both boys and girls and of course coming out of middle school and starting high school, and not feeling like she could really talk to anyone that understood what she was feeling, she felt trapped.

The turning point for her was getting it out to us. Her parents cared for her and wanted the best for her. Sure we did not know what she was going through, but we were able to show her that we loved her no matter.

I know not every young person has that support.

Again, I am not saying it is wrong. But I also know that young people that have limited life experience put more weight on others interactions with them, than they would later in life. From what I have seen so many teen suicides are over things that adults might find minor, but to the teen were not.

As for conversations with him on this matter. I am not that close with him. It could be that his experience is much like yours. It could be that he is gay, but based on family, religion, etc. choose to marry and just live life. It could be that those things are painful for him, or that he has moved on. There could be a lot of things, but again, we are not close enough for me to sit down and get that personal with him.
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  #57  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:46 PM
monstro monstro is offline
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
True... but



We don't don't have Word A which means "this is the category that you look like, your physical characteristics", and Word B which means "this is the category into which you place yourself, and into which we agree to place you if we don't dissent with that".

and...
No, we don't have a Word A. If people don't know what race box a person belongs to or they want to be exceedingly polite, they describe the individual based on their appearance. "She has dark brown skin with curly black hair" paints enough of a picture.

"Ethnic group" doesn't speak to a particular "look", but it encapsulates what someone may want to identify as when race doesn't work. Even if I looked like Ivanka Trump, I would still identify myself as a African American because this is my cultural group.

Quote:
It seems to me (as a person who isn't really in this situation) that if woud be conceptually useful to have two terms: one that refers to the race that Vanessa Williams identifies as (racial identity) and a different one that refers to the race that the majority of nonblind people from our culture would assign Vanessa Williams to on the basis of appearance if they did not know her.
Let's say Vanessa Williams identifies as a "Becky". That's the racial identifier that she's adopted for herself because she rejects what "black"and "white" mean, and she wants to let other Beckies it is okay to be who they are.

If I were a high school student writing a biological sketch about Vanessa Williams, I wouldn't describe her as a Becky. Because at it stands, that doesn't exist as an established social construct and no one would really know what it means. No, I would describe her as a African American woman. Not based on her appearance, but because that is the social group that comes closest to describing her cultural background and the ways in which she has been socialized (and thus influenced). It paints a picture that Becky fails to do. "African American" is meaningful even if it is imperfect. "Becky" doesn't have any meaning to anyone except for the few people who think that's meaningful.

I think "male girl" is more coherent than "becky". But is it superior to "feminine man"? Maybe one day it will be, but not now.

I get questioned about my race all the time. People want to know "what are you?" and when I tell them, sometimes they are confused by my answer because it doesn't fit what their eyes see. And that's fine. I don't expect everyone to understand why someone with a yellow complexion would call herself "black", nor do I think their understanding of this is required for them to be cool with me. I don't insist that that anyone see me as black. I just want people to give me the freedom to identify myself that way. (Again, it is one of those "What else am I?" issues for me. I ain't white or Asian or Native American. or Indian or Pacific Islander. So what else fits but black?)

As long as people give you the freedom to identify yourself the way you want to and they don't give you a hard time about it when you bring it up in the appropriate context, I don't know what else you can reasonably expect from people, to be honest.
  #58  
Old 11-14-2017, 03:21 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Let's say Vanessa Williams identifies as a "Becky". That's the racial identifier that she's adopted for herself because she rejects what "black"and "white" mean, and she wants to let other Beckies it is okay to be who they are.

If I were a high school student writing a biological sketch about Vanessa Williams, I wouldn't describe her as a Becky. Because at it stands, that doesn't exist as an established social construct and no one would really know what it means. ...

I think "male girl" is more coherent than "becky". But is it superior to "feminine man"? Maybe one day it will be, but not now.
In that case, we're on the same page

I'm trying to make a social change. I haven't done so yet, and I agree that it makes no sense to use (or expect other people to use) social constructs that aren't in use yet because, as you said, no one would know what the heck it means.

Kind of puts me in a double-bind but I'm not really about trying to get other people to use my words (not yet, anyway); at this stage it's about trying to hold people's attention long enough to convey the concepts. I'm sort of "proposing" words and terminologies as I go, I guess.
  #59  
Old 11-14-2017, 03:23 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
Can you just go with the umbrella "Non binary"? Or do you think that implies more masculinity than you prefer?
I belong to several groups of "nonbinary" people. Like "genderqueer", it's a word that applies accurately to me.

It's a bit nonspecific but so is "genderqueer" — there's a whole lot of etcetera going on in both places. Establishing more specific terms is a long-range project.

Quote:
I have a friend who calls himself a non-gender, conforming man. He's very femme in personality, but has decided that he's comfortable with his male body, and had no plans to change it.
* thumbs up *

Last edited by AHunter3; 11-14-2017 at 03:24 PM.
  #60  
Old 11-14-2017, 03:31 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by StrTrkr777 View Post
The turning point for her was getting it out to us. Her parents cared for her and wanted the best for her. Sure we did not know what she was going through, but we were able to show her that we loved her no matter.

I know not every young person has that support.
My parents made a home in which it was safe for me. I was never made to feel that my parents would have preferred a boy who wanted to play sports (etc etc) and never once did I get any of that "act like a man" stuff on the home front. They did wish I had more friends and worried a lot about my lack of social connections. And they sympathized and tried to be supportive when I was being harassed.

But they could not make it so that I had dates or a girlfriend in junior high and high school. I had to carry the decently-good self-esteem they'd helped me develop into the social world and do the best I could. At the time I felt very very alone despite their love for me.

I have the notion that telling my tale (and installing a new identity on folks' maps of possibilities) will make it easier, that I can be a part of young folks' support systems by doing so.

Last edited by AHunter3; 11-14-2017 at 03:31 PM.
  #61  
Old 11-14-2017, 06:22 PM
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If you knew that females are not the same as males, and are born that way, how would you possibly use this information?

There are a couple of use cases I can think of:
1. Making assumptions about a member of a group based on the statistics of the group.
2. Targeting your own output/product/service for things that most people in a group would like.
3. Looking for a specific type of person in groups where they are more likely to be a member of due to group statistics.

It doesn't matter if females are different on average to males, doing 1 is always bad idea. If you look at 10 properties that 95% of the group would fall in the (min,max) range of each one, at least 40% of members of that same group would have at least 1 or more of the 10 they would not fall in the 95%. That is just statistics. So even if you have stuff that 95% of women share, if you make 10 assumptions about a woman, you will likely get one wrong.

Doing 2 is fine and you should use statistics to target a larger audience. That is a fact of life/capitalism. If most men like makeup women are gonna use it. If most women like men with suits, men will use that.

Doing 3 is sometimes Okay (like placing job offers in tech forums etc), but it depends if you know exactly what you are looking for, which is usually not the case.
  #62  
Old 11-15-2017, 07:02 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by molten View Post
There are a couple of use cases I can think of:
1. Making assumptions about a member of a group based on the statistics of the group.

..

It doesn't matter if females are different on average to males, doing 1 is always bad idea.
Why? Why would acknowledging that 95% of a population has trait x be "always a bad thing?" Why ignore useful and important information? "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras."
  #63  
Old 11-15-2017, 10:03 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Yeah, actually. I'm going to violate habit and agree with Darren Garrison on this one.

If there are at least statistical differences-by-population between the sexes (and I believe that there are), I am not insulted by the default expectation of people that, when encountering a male person, they anticipate man or boy behavior.

It's all about expanding people's awareness to the exceptions to the rule. So when you hear hoofbeats and see stripes, you think zebras, not horses in pinstripes.
  #64  
Old 11-15-2017, 10:40 AM
DkTrdGuy DkTrdGuy is offline
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There are gender differences. Very much so. There is a mountain of evidence no matter what some people say. Study evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, it will turn you into a believer.

Here are some good books on both subjects:

Why Women Have Sex
Evolutionary Psychology, Fifth Edition
The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality
Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Sexual Psychology and Behavior
A Mind of Her Own
The Mating Mind
The Way of Men

For a quick introductory, read James Damore's memo and follow his twitter page.

Last edited by DkTrdGuy; 11-15-2017 at 10:41 AM.
  #65  
Old 11-15-2017, 12:01 PM
naita naita is offline
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Originally Posted by DkTrdGuy View Post
There are gender differences. Very much so. There is a mountain of evidence no matter what some people say. Study evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, it will turn you into a believer.

Here are some good books on both subjects:

Why Women Have Sex
Evolutionary Psychology, Fifth Edition
The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality
Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Sexual Psychology and Behavior
A Mind of Her Own
The Mating Mind
The Way of Men

For a quick introductory, read James Damore's memo and follow his twitter page.
What a fruitful approach to discussion. Declare you are right. Dismiss people who disagree out of hand from the start, and reference a bunch of books by their title only.

And then to really show you know what you're talking about, show that your path to the "correct" understanding of the much debated and contentious field of evolutionary psychology is an engineer and his tweets.
  #66  
Old 11-15-2017, 01:10 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by DkTrdGuy View Post
There are gender differences. Very much so. There is a mountain of evidence no matter what some people say. Study evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, it will turn you into a believer.
Or not. If you're going to read that stuff, you should also read feminist critiques of it.

Sometimes scientists, like nonscientists, see what they've already been conditioned to see.
  #67  
Old 11-15-2017, 02:33 PM
Hellestal Hellestal is offline
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Or not. If you're going to read that stuff, you should also read feminist critiques of it.

Sometimes scientists, like nonscientists, see what they've already been conditioned to see.
Yes, and for every thread that suggests reading in evolutionary theory, posters should also read creationist accounts of human origins.

Non-science should always be given equal standing with science. After all, there's no reason to pay attention to scientific consensus if a non-expert doesn't believe in it.
  #68  
Old 11-15-2017, 02:53 PM
Hellestal Hellestal is offline
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And because that previous post is bound to be misinterpreted, let me put on the record now:

1) I don't know exactly what the scientific consensus is here.

2) I don't know whether the previous posters "cites" are legitimate, or full of shit.

But that simply doesn't matter here. Presumably there is a scientific consensus of some sort around this matter. That consensus? It's going to come from experts, not noobz on the side rationalizing empty cultural arguments for why they don't have to listen to scientists.

Anybody can make up an argument that's compelling to them personally, and their closed-minded friends, about all the reasons they can ignore scientific evidence from people who actually study the matter directly. That is, and will always be, a totally bogus way of approaching this issue. Lots and lots and lots of scientists are feminist. (I imagine the majority of them.) They might have good scientific arguments in favor of one theory, instead of the other. They might disagree with the consensus. The consensus might even be wrong.

But ignorant people on the sideline don't get a vote. And they sure as hell don't get to impugn an entire scientific community based on their favorite ideological readings and blogs.
  #69  
Old 11-15-2017, 03:27 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Hellestal View Post
And because that previous post is bound to be misinterpreted, let me put on the record now:

1) I don't know exactly what the scientific consensus is here.

2) I don't know whether the previous posters "cites" are legitimate, or full of shit.

But that simply doesn't matter here. Presumably there is a scientific consensus of some sort around this matter. That consensus? It's going to come from experts, not noobz on the side rationalizing empty cultural arguments for why they don't have to listen to scientists.

Anybody can make up an argument that's compelling to them personally, and their closed-minded friends, about all the reasons they can ignore scientific evidence from people who actually study the matter directly. That is, and will always be, a totally bogus way of approaching this issue. Lots and lots and lots of scientists are feminist. (I imagine the majority of them.) They might have good scientific arguments in favor of one theory, instead of the other. They might disagree with the consensus. The consensus might even be wrong.

But ignorant people on the sideline don't get a vote. And they sure as hell don't get to impugn an entire scientific community based on their favorite ideological readings and blogs.
Feminist studies scholars aren't ignorant noobz. They've shifted scientific consensus a few times with their critiques. They've made the science community more aware of their own biases including in primatology and related fields which is what we're discussing here.

The study linked in the 2nd paragraph of the OP, meanwhile, is pretty consistent with the scientific consensus but it goes into more depth and makes a more explicit conclusion, which is not that there are no biological sex differences at the brain level but that the differences that do exist take this form:

there are no brain structures that are found in all (or nearly all) male brains and absent from all (or nearly all) female brains, or vice versa.

there is a shitload of variation in each sex, with many observable features and structures present in one brain and not in another; within the framework of that wide range of variation, there are certain "constellations" of features that are somewhat more common in male brains than in female brains, and others that are somewhat more common in female brains than in male brains.

all of the feature constellations that are more common in male brains than in female brains are absence in some male brains and present in some female brains; and all of the feature constellations that are more common in female brains than in male brains are missing from some female brains and can be found in some male brains.

Their conclusion is that there does not exist a "male brain and a female brain" in the vernacular sense of them being fundamentally different.
  #70  
Old 11-15-2017, 04:13 PM
Hellestal Hellestal is offline
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Feminist studies scholars aren't ignorant noobz. They've shifted scientific consensus a few times with their critiques. They've made the science community more aware of their own biases including in primatology and related fields which is what we're discussing here.
This is a good post, thank you for putting the effort into it.

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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
The study linked in the 2nd paragraph of the OP, meanwhile, is pretty consistent with the scientific consensus
I have no way of knowing that, just as I have no way of directly knowing whether the cite-dump from the previous poster is consistent with the consensus. And I'm pretty sure you have no way of knowing that either.

Even in economics, I'd be reluctant to judge the consensus on any given matter by a string of papers or my own feeling from talking with economists. The problem is that people cite a load of literature that backs up their view, while ignoring the other string of literature that argues a different perspective. There can even be multiple in-groups, each participating in a sort of circle-jerk of citations as they continually reference each other's works. When this happens, it's easy to cite an entire tradition in the literature, without that tradition necessarily representing a majority viewpoint. Or sometimes, even a sensible viewpoint.

The best way to judge a consensus in these cases is a large-ish random-ish sample. There is a loss of sub-sub-sub-specialization from casting a wide net, but sometimes sub-sub-sub-specialization is just a self-selected group of people who happen to be very wrong as they high-five each other at conferences. (Or maybe this problem is worse in econ than in other fields. I can easily believe that.)

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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
but it goes into more depth and makes a more explicit conclusion, which is not that there are no biological sex differences at the brain level but that the differences that do exist take this form:

there are no brain structures that are found in all (or nearly all) male brains and absent from all (or nearly all) female brains, or vice versa.

there is a shitload of variation in each sex, with many observable features and structures present in one brain and not in another; within the framework of that wide range of variation, there are certain "constellations" of features that are somewhat more common in male brains than in female brains, and others that are somewhat more common in female brains than in male brains.

all of the feature constellations that are more common in male brains than in female brains are absence in some male brains and present in some female brains; and all of the feature constellations that are more common in female brains than in male brains are missing from some female brains and can be found in some male brains.

Their conclusion is that there does not exist a "male brain and a female brain" in the vernacular sense of them being fundamentally different.
Here is a very important fact:

A difference in mean traits is fundamental difference.

If group A has a mean floating at some point, and group B has a mean floating at some different point, then there is a reason that those means are pushed apart by the group difference. That is true regardless of the presence of extensive, or even overwhelming overlap between the groups. This is one of the deep problems people tend to have with statistical descriptions of information. I can tell a group of people that, say, US men have an average height of 5'10" while US women have an average height of 5'4", and someone will point out that their cousin (a woman) is over six foot. No question they're telling the truth, but it does not affect the calculation of the mean.

Literally any statistical description of a distribution (apart from the full distribution itself) will crunch out some individual variation. Summary stats don't deal with individuals. They're inherently dehumanizing, precisely because they're trying to describe populations as a whole rather than any individual within that population. This can rub people the wrong way. And it's absolutely right to rub people the wrong way, when some chucklehead relies on group means rather than much more relevant individual evidence staring them in the face during a conversation. When individual evidence is available, there is no point to relying on the group mean anymore.

And yet, when we're talking about the characteristics of groups, and any potential difference between two groups, summary stats about the group as a whole are deeply and unavoidably relevant and important. If people are wanting all "male" brains to be one way, and all "female" brains to be another way, then that's like expecting that all men be over 5'8", and all women under 5'6". That's not how it works. The presence of extensive overlap does not negate the fact that the mean is pushed apart by inherent causal factors.

My limited understanding is that is exactly the case going on here. That is further bolstered (I believe, based on the same limited understanding) by the studies of the brains of transgender people whose brains are on average different from the average of cis people who are assigned the same way at birth. Again: the presence of overlap does not negate the fact that there is a difference in mean. There is a reason that the mean is different, regardless of the overlap.

And most important: it is possible to appreciate the fact -- if it is a fact -- that the overlap is much more significant than the tails, while also appreciating that the bulk of the distribution is centered at different places.
  #71  
Old 11-15-2017, 04:21 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Your final sentence is completely in accord with my own gut-level understanding of the actual state of sex differences.

As I've said before, there's a genuine difference by populations but also a larger difference within each population and a lot of overlap, hence there are a substantial number of exceptions in each sex that fit the general description of the other more closely than they fit the general description of their own.
  #72  
Old 11-15-2017, 05:55 PM
Corry El Corry El is offline
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Well, I don't presume there are biological differences between genders either. "Male girl" is just as arbitrary as "black guy", IMHO.
The *sexes* male and female have biological differences, that's not debatable. Some dictionaries now have adopted a definition for 'gender' along the lines "the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)." But if the parenthetical phrase is applied, then *by definition* 'gender' doesn't refer to biology. (By older definition 'gender' refers to words, like those preceded by 'le' v. 'la' in French and not to people directly).

Although maybe you mean 'I don't presume there are (systematic practically important) biological differences between (the brains of the) [sexes]". I don't know if that's true.

Race differences seem to me a poor analogy because in that case it's debatable whether there are any practically important systematic biological differences by group genetic background*. Again with the male and female sexes that's not debatable, whereas if we create a different categorization 'gender', then it's non-biological by definition, but doesn't mean the factual biological differences between the sexes disappear. What's subject to debate is whether any behavioral differences between the sexes are ('strictly', 'largely', etc) biological.

*for example, people of certain group backgrounds being more, or even virtually only, subject to certain diseases. That's not a 'social construct'; it's just that it's a small part of a big picture of the physical plus social meaning of 'race'.

Last edited by Corry El; 11-15-2017 at 05:57 PM.
  #73  
Old 11-15-2017, 05:56 PM
molten molten is offline
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Why? Why would acknowledging that 95% of a population has trait x be "always a bad thing?" Why ignore useful and important information? "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras."
The problem is that most traits don't even have 95% coverage of the group. Also people don't fully identify with the members of any specific group.

The first issue is that you are insulting the person. If I tell someone I am from X or my age is Y and they would assume that I am or am not religious or are or are not married based on the majority of those groups, even if that is the case, I would take that as an insult, and many people (not all), will, and justifiably so.

In most cases you don't know why a person would make the specific assumptions that they do on you and often you assume the worst case (stereotyping, which is exactly what this is).

Here is another problem: most people belong to many groups, so lets say you know age, gender and if someone is a gamer or not. Now some trait may be more likely with gamers and the same one can be less likely with females, if you meet a gamer girl, how do you know the attribute of which group will dominate?

The last problem which I mentioned before is this: you don't usually assume just one trait, you assume several, in which case you are bound to be wrong with some at a very high rate even if the coverage is as high as 95% of the members of a group.
  #74  
Old 11-16-2017, 06:23 AM
Ale Ale is offline
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Like monstro, I identify as a woman. I was assigned female at birth, I have female body parts. I'm also butch enough that I'm often more comfortable hanging out with guys than with girls. Because yes, there are statistical tendencies in the brain characteristics of men and women, but my brain tends more towards the "typically male" side on several of those characteristics.

My observation is that few people neatly fit completely into either binary. Most men have some "female characteristics" and most women have some "male characteristics". But most of us, at least in my generation, feel comfortable identifying with the sex we were assigned at birth, regardless of exactly how masculine or feminine we are.

I think that's easier for women of my generation, actually, because we weren't told it was wrong to have masculine traits. We were told to judge each person by his character, not by his skin. Whereas boys with feminine traits were told not to be "sissies", despite that "we're all equal" noise in the background. Still, I know some men who have a lot of feminine traits and are comfortable being men.

I'm not certain the current trend towards classifying everyone into finer and finer buckets will turn out to be helpful. But perhaps is an improvement over denigrating boys who are "girly".
Regarding the last paragraph, IMO it's social Balkanization, and about as helpful as the geo-political one.
  #75  
Old 11-16-2017, 08:08 AM
puzzlegal puzzlegal is online now
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Regarding the last paragraph, IMO it's social Balkanization, and about as helpful as the geo-political one.
Yes and no. I see more fights about whether this or that group is welcome to shelter under the "queer" umbrella than I see actual conflict between different finely divided sexual minorities. So I don't think it has quite the right impact of Balkanization.

But I don't think it's sustainable, either. Most of the folks who sit comfortably in one of the cis categories aren't going to spend the mental energy to keep track of all the classifications. The Kinsey scale has survived in large part because it is simple, and even so, there are a lot of complaints about the invisibility of bisexuals. So it seems to impose more overhead than a lot of people are willing to deal with.
  #76  
Old 11-16-2017, 08:26 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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But I don't think it's sustainable, either. Most of the folks who sit comfortably in one of the cis categories aren't going to spend the mental energy to keep track of all the classifications. ... So it seems to impose more overhead than a lot of people are willing to deal with.
Yes, it reminds me of the parodies of people ordering coffee from Starbucks giving long and elaborate instructions.
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