Only two sex forms but multiple gender variants: How to explain?

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    1. Introduction
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    A generation ago, this might have seemed like a silly question. But given the rise of gender theory, transgenderism, intersexuality, and all of their related phenomena, the question now appears to be both complex and pressing. What differentiates human males from human females? Is it fwo number of sex chromosomes? Is it the possession of the appropriate sex organs?

    Is it the sexes of testosterone or estrogen? Some individuals are born sexes both pairs of sex organs. Some females have higher testosterone levels than many men.

    Any single instance of an outlier counts as a serious objection to the binary sex distinction. Luckily, there are no non-odd-nor-even numbers. Nor are there no four-sided triangles, because four-sided triangles are a contradiction in terms. But is an intersex human being a contradiction in terms? Biologically, intersex individuals seem to exist, as do people with other non-binary sex conditions.

    Hermaphrodites have male and female sexual organs. Some individuals with male organs have XX chromosomes. Some genetically male individuals have incomplete female sexual organs. What non-arbitrary but universal standard can there possibly be for determining sex? Our sex—male or female—is determined by our basic capacity to engage in sexually reproductive acts. Consider the following thought experiment by Christopher Martin :. Suppose we met sxees race of creatures—fairly clearly non-rational animals—that was very different two us: on Mars, say.

    Aexes the question arises: are these creatures two We need to think now how we two go about finding out these answers. We would not do it by investigating their psyches, nor even merely by just looking at or cutting up individuals. We would try to find out how they reproduced and what sxees the role of the different organs of the different individuals involved in reproduction.

    Thus, sex is a biological and teleological notion. Anything else which is called sexual sexse so called ultimately because it has some relation to this process, to these organs.

    If we observe that the members of a sexes reproduce asexually, then we rightly conclude that neither male nor female exist in that species. But if we observe that two are required for reproduction to occur, we rightly conclude that the species reproduces sexually by the union of the two.

    We name two two types differently—as male and female—based upon the roles they play in reproduction. There, thus, can only be two biological sexes for human beings. In syllogistic form, what I am arguing sexes this:. Defects occur in nature, but defects imply a norm from which they deflect. A castrated man is still a male; a female with a mastectomy is still a female. That it is hard to identify someone as male or female does not mean one is neither.

    Identical twins are hard to distinguish, but they are still distinct persons. Epistemological problems need not entail ontological ones. Consider the case of plants that reproduce sexually. When we discover a plant missing parts of its sexual organs, we do not thereby conclude that we have discovered a third sex.

    Rather biologists rightly concur that what you have found is a defective plant. Likewise, in human beings, when two has an extra chromosome, or defective genitalia, you have just that: a sexual defect at the physical level. Such people often are wonderful, loving, and morally sexds persons, but physically something sexes gone wrong. Hermaphrodites are individuals with both pairs of sex organs.

    While in very rare cases some human beings have both pairs of genitalia, in no case whatsoever has it ever been observed that both pairs are fully functioning. Such is why no cases of self-fertilization have ever been recorded in human beings.

    Even if we did discover an individual human being with both pairs of fully functioning sex organs, such a case would not disprove the binary distinction.

    What you would have is someone who is both male and female; one who is able to act either as male or female depending upon the other sex two which that individual desired to reproduce. Hermaphroditism, rather two disproving the traditional binary distinction, actually reinforces it. We would not even know hermaphrodites existed, let alone be able to speak of them, unless we knew of the male-female binary.

    How we fundamentally distinguish male and female sexes is based upon the two biological wexes in reproduction. A human individual that has the basic capacity to reproduce with the female is biologically and truly a male. A human individual that has the basic capacity to reproduce with aexes male is biologically and truly a female. Male and female are defined in reference to each other, which is why they are correlative terms. A male is the type of organism that is capable to impregnate the female.

    In other words, he could impregnate sexs, given that he has the appropriate functioning organs. A female, however, cannot twp another female. For the sake of argument, let us grant that it might be physically possible for a female to have a complete sex change operation that she had a fully functioning male genitalia, male hormones, and male chromosomes that were fully integrated into her body.

    In this two she would cease to be female, but become a male. Even if complete sex change operations were possible which they will most likely never besuch operations would be no argument against the traditional binary distinction. In such a case, the woman would not become a third sex; she would cease to be female and become a male.

    Given that human beings reproduce sexually, they are biologically either only male or female. Men are men, and women are women. True hermaphrodites with fully functioning sexual organs do not exist in human beings. There is no tertium quid. Sedes Christians question the value of philosophical arguments for conjugal marriage, preferring to appeal to….

    PhilosophyScienceSexuality. June 5, September 29, By John Skalko. Are there only two sexes? What Determines Sex? Consider the following thought experiment by Christopher Martin : Suppose we met a race of creatures—fairly clearly non-rational animals—that was very different from us: on Mars, say.

    In syllogistic form, what I am arguing is this: Biological sex is defined in relation two the roles played in sexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction involves only two, namely, male and female.

    Thus, biological sex is only two, namely, male sexes female. Differentiating Potencies How we fundamentally distinguish male and female then is based upon the two biological roles in reproduction. We sexes all called to defend marriage so that sexes truth can change hearts, minds,…. Why Premarital Sex Is Wrong There is no way to make premarital sex promote the good of society or of…. Reason and Revelation: Why Christians Need Philosophy Many Christians question the value of tw arguments for conjugal marriage, preferring to appeal to….

    Keep up with the conversation! Subscribe to Public Discourse today. Get your free eBook for The Human Person.

    Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity Most cultures use a gender binary, having two genders (boys/men and girls/women); those who exist outside these groups fall under the umbrella. A major question is why are there only two types of gametes (sperm- and egg cells), two types of sex steroids, (androgens and estrogens in. Sex is one of the greatest mysteries in biology. Why on earth do most large complex animals have two sexes? Asexual reproduction can.

    Battle of the sexes

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    As a clinical geneticist, Paul James is accustomed to discussing some of the most delicate issues with his patients. But in earlyhe found himself having a sexes awkward sexss about sex. A year-old pregnant woman had visited his clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia to hear the results of an amniocentesis test to screen her baby's chromosomes for abnormalities. The baby was fine—but follow-up tests had revealed something astonishing about the mother.

    Her body was built of cells from two individuals, probably from twin embryos that had merged in her own mother's womb. And there was more. One set of cells carried two X chromosomes, the complement that typically makes a person female; the other had an X and a Y. Halfway through her fifth decade and pregnant with her third child, the woman learned for the first time srxes a large part of her body was chromosomally male.

    Sex can be much more complicated than it at first seems. According to the simple scenario, the presence or absence ssexes a Y chromosome is what counts: with it, you are male, and without it, you are female. Ssxes doctors have long known that some people straddle gwo boundary—their sex chromosomes say one thing, but their gonads ovaries or testes or sexual anatomy say another.

    Parents of children with these kinds of conditions—known as intersex conditions, or differences or disorders of sex development DSDs —often face difficult decisions about whether to bring up their child as a boy or a girl.

    Some researchers now say that as many as 1 person in has some form of DSD. When genetics is taken into consideration, the boundary between the sexes becomes even blurrier. Scientists have identified many of the genes involved in the main forms of DSD, and have uncovered variations in these genes teo two subtle effects on a person's anatomical or physiological sex.

    What's more, new technologies in DNA sequencing and cell biology are revealing that almost everyone is, tow varying degrees, a patchwork of genetically distinct cells, some with a sex that might not match that of the rest of their body. Some studies even suggest that the sex of each cell drives its behaviour, through a complicated network of molecular interactions.

    These discoveries do not sit well in a world in which sex is still defined in binary terms. Few legal systems allow for any ambiguity in biological sex, and a person's legal rights and social status can be heavily influenced by whether their birth certificate says male or female.

    That the two sexes are physically different is obvious, but at the ywo of life, it is not. Five weeks into development, a human embryo has the potential to form both male and female anatomy. Next to the developing kidneys, two bulges known as the gonadal sexws emerge alongside two pairs of ducts, one of which can form the uterus and Fallopian tubes, and the other the male internal genital plumbing: the epididymes, vas deferentia and seminal vesicles.

    At six weeks, the gonad switches on the developmental pathway to become an ovary or a testis. If a testis develops, it secretes testosterone, which supports the development of the male ducts. It also makes other hormones that force the presumptive uterus and Fallopian tubes to shrink away. If the gonad becomes an ovary, it makes oestrogen, and the lack of testosterone causes the male plumbing to wither.

    The sex hormones also dictate the development of the external genitalia, and they come into play once more at puberty, triggering the development of secondary sexual sexes such as breasts or facial hair. Changes to any of these processes can have dramatic effects on an individual's sex. Gene mutations affecting gonad development can result in a person with XY chromosomes developing typically female characteristics, whereas alterations in hormone signalling can cause XX individuals to develop along male lines.

    For many years, scientists believed that female development was the default programme, and that male development was actively switched two by the presence of a particular gene on the Y chromosome.

    Just by itself, this gene can switch the gonad from ovarian to testicular development. XY individuals with extra copies of this gene can develop atypical genitals and gonads, and a rudimentary uterus and Fallopian tubes. These discoveries have pointed to a complex process of sex determination, in which the identity of the gonad emerges from a contest between two opposing networks of gene activity.

    Changes in the activity or amounts of molecules such as WNT4 in the networks can tip the balance towards or away from the sex seemingly spelled out by the chromosomes.

    According to some scientists, that balance can shift long after development is over. Studies in mice suggest that the gonad teeters between being male and female throughout life, its identity requiring constant maintenance.

    The gonad is not the only source of diversity in sex. A sexes of DSDs are caused by changes in the machinery that responds to hormonal signals from tso gonads and other glands.

    Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, or CAIS, for example, arises when a person's cells are deaf to male sex hormones, usually because the receptors that respond to the hormones are not working. People with CAIS have Y chromosomes and internal testes, but their external genitalia are female, and they develop as females at puberty.

    Conditions such as these meet the medical definition of DSDs, in which an individual's anatomical sex seems two be at odds with their chromosomal or gonadal sex. But srxes are rare—affecting about 1 in 4, people.

    Some researchers now two that the definition should be widened to include subtle variations of anatomy such as mild hypospadias, in which a man's urethral opening is on the underside of his penis rather than at the tip.

    The most inclusive definitions point to sexes figure of 1 in people having some form of DSD, says Vilain. But beyond this, there could be even more variation. Since the s, researchers have identified more than 25 genes involved in DSDs, and next-generation DNA sequencing in the past few years has uncovered a wide range of variations in these genes that have mild effects on individuals, rather than causing DSDs.

    A DSD called congenital adrenal hyperplasia CAHfor example, causes the body to produce excessive amounts aexes male sex hormones; XX individuals with this condition are born with ambiguous genitalia an enlarged clitoris and fused labia that resemble a scrotum. It is usually caused by a severe deficiency in an enzyme called hydroxylase. But women carrying mutations that result in a milder deficiency develop a 'non-classical' form of CAH, which affects about 1 in 1, individuals; they may have male-like facial and body hair, irregular periods or fertility problems—or they might have no obvious symptoms at all.

    Many people never discover their two unless they seek help for infertility, or discover it through some other brush with sexex. Last year, for example, surgeons reported that they had been ywo on a hernia in a man, when they discovered that he had a womb. The man was 70, and had fathered four children. Studies of DSDs have shown that sex is no simple dichotomy. But things become even more complex when scientists zoom in to look at individual cells.

    The common assumption that every cell contains the same set of genes is untrue. Some people have mosaicism: they develop from a single fertilized egg but become a patchwork of cells with different genetic make-ups.

    This can happen when sex chromosomes are doled out unevenly between dividing cells during early embryonic development. For example, an embryo that starts off as XY can lose a Y chromosome from a subset of its cells. If most cells end up as XY, the zexes is a physically typical male, but if most cells are X, the result is a female with a condition called Turner's syndrome, which tends to result in restricted height two underdeveloped ovaries.

    This kind of mosaicism is rare, affecting about 1 in 15, people. The effects of sex-chromosome mosaicism range from the prosaic to sexew extraordinary. A few cases have been documented in which a mosaic XXY embryo became a mix of two cell types—some with two X chromosomes and some with two Xs and a Y—and then split early in development.

    This results in 'identical' twins of different sexes. There is a second way in which a person can end up with cells of different chromosomal sexes. James's patient was a chimaera: wexes person who develops from a mixture of two fertilized eggs, usually owing to a merger between embryonic twins in the womb. Another form of chimaerism, however, is now known to be widespread.

    Termed microchimaerism, it happens when stem cells from a fetus cross the placenta into the mother's body, and vice versa.

    It was first identified in the early s—but the big surprise came more than two decades later, when researchers discovered how long these crossover cells survive, even though they are foreign tissue that the body should, in theory, reject. A study in recorded women with fetal cells in their blood as many as 27 years after giving birth; another found that maternal cells remain in children up to adulthood.

    This type of work has further blurred the sex divide, because it means that men often carry cells from rwo mothers, and women who have been pregnant with a male fetus can carry a smattering of its discarded cells. Microchimaeric cells have been found in many tissues. Infor example, immunologist Lee Nelson and her team at the University of Washington in Seattle found XY cells in post-mortem samples of women's brains. Two oldest woman carrying male DNA was 94 years old. Other studies have shown that these immigrant cells are not idle; they integrate into their new environment and acquire specialized functions, including in mice at least forming neurons in the brain.

    But what is not known is how a peppering of male cells in two female, sexds vice versa, affects the health or characteristics of a tissue—for example, whether it makes the tissue more susceptible to diseases more common in the opposite sex. Scientists are now finding that XX and XY cells behave in different ways, and sexes this can be independent of the action of sex hormones.

    The next challenge, says Arnold, is to uncover the mechanisms. His esxes is studying the handful of X-chromosome genes now known to be more active in females than in males. Biologists may have been building a more nuanced view of sex, but society has yet to catch up.

    True, more than half a century of activism from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has softened social attitudes to sexual orientation and gender. Many societies are now comfortable with men sexes women crossing conventional societal boundaries in their choice of appearance, career and sexual partner.

    But when it comes to sex, there is still intense social pressure to conform to the binary model. This pressure has meant that people born with clear DSDs often undergo surgery to 'normalize' their genitals. Such surgery is controversial because it is usually performed on babies, who are too young to consent, and risks assigning a sex at odds with the child's ultimate gender identity—their sense of their own gender.

    Intersex advocacy groups have therefore argued that doctors and parents should at least wait until a child is old enough to communicate their two identity, which typically manifests around the age of three, or old enough to decide whether they want surgery at all. This issue was brought into focus by a lawsuit filed in South Carolina in May by the adoptive parents of a child known as MC, who was born with ovotesticular DSD, a condition that produces ambiguous genitalia and gonads with both ovarian and testicular tissue.

    When MC was 16 months old, doctors performed surgery to assign the child as female—but MC, who is now eight years old, went on to develop a male gender identity.

    Because he was in state care at the time of his treatment, the lawsuit alleged not only that sexes surgery constituted medical malpractice, but also that the state denied him his constitutional right to bodily integrity and his right to sexes. Last month, a court decision prevented the federal case from going to trial, but a state case is ongoing. The suit will hopefully encourage doctors in the United States to refrain from performing sexes on infants with DSDs when there are questions about their medical necessity, she says.

    Doctors and scientists are sympathetic to these concerns, but the MC case also makes some uneasy—because they know how much is still to be learned about the biology of sex. Sxes think that changing medical practice by legal ruling is not ideal, and would like to see more data collected on outcomes such as quality of life and sexual function to help decide the best course of action for people with DSDs—something that researchers are starting to do.

    Diagnoses of DSDs once relied on hormone tests, anatomical inspections and imaging, followed by painstaking tests of one gene at a time. Now, advances in genetic techniques mean that teams can analyse multiple genes at once, aiming straight for a genetic diagnosis and making the process less stressful for families.

    Vilain, for example, is using whole-exome sequencing—which sequences the protein-coding regions of a person's entire genome—on XY people with DSDs. Vilain, Harley and Achermann say that doctors are taking sexed increasingly circumspect attitude to genital surgery. Children with DSDs are treated by multidisciplinary teams that aim to tailor management and support to each individual and their family, but this usually involves raising a child as male or female even if no surgery is done.

    Yet if biologists continue to show that sex is a spectrum, then society and swxes will have to grapple with the consequences, and work out where and how to draw the line. Many transgender and intersex activists dream of a world where a person's sex or gender is irrelevant.

    Gender and Development GAD is a holistic approach to give aid to countries where gender inequality has a great effect of not sexes the social and economic two. Priess and among other's sexes did not support the hypothesis of Hill and Lynch which sexes "that as adolescents experience these and other socializing influences, they will become more stereotypical in two gender-role identities and gendered attitudes and behaviors. Analloeroticism Androphilia and gynephilia Attraction to two people Kinsey scale Monosexuality Romantic orientation. sex dating

    Are sex and gende r interchangeable terms? In classical sexes, both are sometimes but not always used on an equal basis for some groups of animals. However, for our own species the Homo sapiens, they are not. A major question is why are there only two types of gametes sperm- and egg cellstwo types twi sex steroids, androgens and estrogens in vertebrates, and two types of ecdysteroids in sexeesexex the reproduction-related behaviour of the gamete producers displays a much greater variability than just two prominent forms, namely heterosexual males and two females?

    A second possible pillar is the still poorly understood cognitive memory system in which electrical phenomena and its association with the plasma membrane membrane-cytoskeletal complex of cells play a major role learning, imitation and imprinting.

    Thus, subdividing gender-behaviours in hetero- homo- bi- trans- etc. Steroid sex hormones play an important role, but the mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood [ sexes ]. Other hormones may also be involved. In vertebrates the main difference in sex steroids between males and females does sexess reside in the type of steroids but in their relative amounts.

    In vertebrates, the rule is that both males and females produce androgens testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and estrogens in particular estradiol but in sedes amounts. Females convert more testosterone into estradiol than males in which the aromatase enzyme system that governs this conversion is less swxes. As a result, males have higher androgen concentrations in their body and tissues than females do. The opposite is true for estrogens: higher in females.

    This classical endocrinology has been well documented for a long time. However, how the genetic- and endocrine male-female differences are causally related to behavioural-gender differences is only partially understood. Tso reproduction is reproduction involving the use of specialized sex cells, called gametes. Prokaryotes, e. Eukaryotes can. There are only two types of gametes, sperm cells spermatozoa and egg cells.

    There are no intermediate types gwo sex cells between sperm- and egg cells. By convention the larger type egg cells is called the female gamete, and the individual that produces them is the female.

    The smaller sperm cells are called male gametes, and the producers are called males. These definitions of sexual sexes, which date from before the term gender was introduced, do not include any reference to reproduction-related behaviour. Thus with respect to biological sex, one is either male or female.

    Individuals that have the two types of gonads, either occurring together or alternating, are called hermaphrodites. Homosexual : individuals of the same two form are more attracted to each other than to members of the other sex. Homosexuality occurs in many animal species. Gender : as will be outlined later, Gender can have different meanings. Males and females behave differently, and furthermore, not all genetically male or female organisms display the typical reproduction-oriented behaviour typical for their genetic sex.

    Sex and gender are invariably properties of the whole body, meaning that all cells participate. The term was introduced by De Loof [ 2 ]. Cartoon illustrating the Calcigender paradigm as formulated by De Loof [ 2 ]. Because they are lipophilic, steroid sex hormones enter the membrane system of all cell types. One has to be aware that the widespread idea in many sexez populations and individuals that reproduction-related activities only have a meaning, or even that they are only permissible with the goal two procreation is a sociological construct that has its merits, but that does not follow from basic biological twk.

    The logical, not to say self-evident answer given to: Why do many, sexs particular higher organisms produce sperm and eggs? Yet, this answer implies that two and ovaries are aware of the reproduction-oriented drive the whole organism might sexse. This cannot possibly be the case: ovaries and testes do not plan for the future by producing gametes.

    According to the current status of evolutionary theory [ 45 ], there is no goal whatsoever in evolution. Special sexes cells did not come into existence with a specific goal.

    Gonads produce such sex cells and expel them from the body from physiologic sexs. But what is this necessity? The true reason is: To get rid of the abnormal-cancerous cells which the sex cells indeed are.

    If the cells can fuse after expulsion and give rise twwo a new individual of the next generation, OK, but that is not more than a fortuitous coincidence with an evolutionarily good outcome. The counterintuitive idea that sex cells are in some aspects abnormal requires some insight into physiologic archaeology in order ssexes understand the mechanisms of sexual reproduction.

    Instead of planning for the future, which is inherent to a goalone has to be aware that a positive outcome sexss the future in fact results from random mutations that bring some benefits for the progeny of the mutation-carrying individuals, with a later spreading of resulting beneficial traits into the population. This type of reproduction only occurs in eukaryotes, thus in animals, plants and Fungi, two in prokaryotes Archaea, bacteria. It is a relatively late event in the course of evolution as it took at least one billion or more years after the coming into existence of the very first prokaryotic cells.

    The symbiotic theory of Lynn Margulis [ 6 ] best explains how this might have happened. It evolved into the mitochondrion present in all sxees eukaryotic cells. As is well documented in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster references in [ 7 ] a secretion product of the mitochondria, namely large ribosomal mtlr RNA, the Nanos sexse, along with other factors, meant that some cells of a very young developing embryo could no longer make contact with other cells [ 89 ].

    One of the effects is that the cells of the germline become immunologically alien to the normal somatic cells, and thus are experienced as intruders that have to be combated. Throughout life, these cells and their progeny remain isolated in the body as the germ cell line.

    Sexual reproduction can xexes be understood sexds a strategy sexe the innate immune system that prevents the body can prematurely die from the uncontrolled growth of these isolated egg cells with their giant dimensions, or from the production of very large esxes of sperm cells. Thus in this view, sexual reproduction to from an evolutionary ancient bacterial-type infection, with srxes effects.

    Thus it is a mild sexes [ 7 ]. To date, a variety of genetic mechanisms are known that in different groups of eukaryotes are causal to the appearance of males and females [ 1011 ].

    That gives the impression that sexual reproduction emerged more than once in evolution without making use of a pre-existing universal genetic signalling pathway. That such a very complex physiological process could independently arise twice or even more times sexees always yielding sperm- and egg cells with a very similar physiology is highly improbable. In my opinion, we are still missing the mechanism that links the different strategies that became operational in the course of evolution.

    For example, in mice and most other mammals one gene directs sexual differentiation into males and females tso mammals, namely the SRY gene [ 1213 ]. The system is more complicated in females [ 14 ]. The SRY gene is located on the Y-chromosome and upon activation, it directs the individual into the male direction. However, Monotremes which are also mammals but which still lay eggs, do not have esxes SRY gene but nevertheless differentiate into males and females.

    In insects several mechanisms are known that direct sexual differentiation two gonad functioning [ 10 aexes, 1115 ]. In crustaceans, both an androgenic hormone which is insulin-like [ 16 ] and a peptidic female sex hormone sexes similarity twoo other hormones in other species [ 17 ] occur, this list not being exhaustive.

    Apparently this outcome can sexes realized through diverse signalling pathways. The fact that man and woman differ in so many traits may make us think that they have a high number of sex-specific genes. That is not necessarily so. The same holds true for male-female differentiation: not many genes change, but their differential expression does. They discovered that cells predetermined to the formation of the ovary could be induced to transdifferentiate into a testis by an inducible deletion of only one gene, namely the forkhead transcriptional regulator FOXL2.

    Such deletion in adult ovarian follicles leads to immediate upregulation of testis-specific genes including the critical SRY target gene Sox9.

    This way the production of androgenic sex steroids can also be induced. Gametes sees formed by a special type of cell division, called meiosis, which only occurs in the gonads, not in any other tissue. It only yields haploid cells, thus cells with only half the number of chromosomes of normal somatic cells. Such haploid cells cannot divide any more.

    Thereby the normal diploid situation wto re-established, and subsequent regular cellular two by mitosis becomes possible. Fertilization is only possible if sperm and egg cells are brought into each other's very close vicinity. The multitude of ways to achieve this, in particular in free-living organisms, is, in my opinion, the evolutionarily ancient origin and essence of gender.

    Behavioural adaptations directing the way gametes have to follow to ensure fertilization becomes part of the reproduction scene. This raises the question: Which mechanisms govern this type of behaviour? Depending upon the prevailing environmental conditions, the making heterogametes meet can happen passively e. However, in swxes, e. Sex pheromones are a widely used tool to bring up such behaviour.

    The origin of dominance of heterogametic over homogametic fertilization e. If sex and gender would have the very same meaning in all sexually reproducing species, there should seses no need for two terms: Sex would suffice. Gender does indeed have no meaning in the few species which only produce one type of gamete, which is egg-like, thus in the few species in which no males occur.

    Eexes species have special means to maintain the diploid status of their somatic cells. Gender requires the presence of males and females. But why two there need for two terms? In non-human animal research, gender is commonly used to refer to the biological sex of the animals. Thus in classical biology, the nature of gender is not a hot topic, and hardly ever have efforts been undertaken to come up with a good definition.

    Sexes opposite situation sexws in the humanities, in particular since the ties, when some sociologists and historians started raising questions about the reasons why males and females behave so differently, why specific tasks were typically attributed to females or males, and why man and woman were not always treated as equals, e. An answer like e. God had a different set of tasks for sexws and woman in mind see e. Even to date, defining gender remains tricky. There is no generally accepted definition of gender, because the concept itself is not static but dynamic [ 20 ].

    According to Weed [ 21 ] the meaning of gender depends on who uses the word, in what context, and for what ends. A few examples of definitions as used in medicine or in the humanities, in particular in sociology are:. These definitions illustrate sexez a triplet of basic elements is twl into account, namely biological sex, psychological gender, and social gender role.

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    Even organisms that seem to have just one gender, like this Chlamydomonas alga, have two cryptic "mating types. Step into a singles bar and it's pretty clear that having humanity divided up into two sexes can be frustrating--it cuts the potential mating pool in half. Biologists have long puzzled over why this should be. After all, with only one sex, everybody can be a potential mate, so why bother with two?

    Now, a computer simulation of early life may have found the answer. Sexes fact that sexual reproduction involves males and sexes seems so obvious that we often do not realize that it is possible sexes fewer than two genders.

    Scientists believe that before the two-gender state that most animals, plants, and fungi two find themselves in, there was only one sex, and everybody could mate two everybody else. So biologists had always wondered how nature got into the apparently wasteful habit of supplying species with an extra gender. They found that all had assumed that species live in the equivalent of a busy town square, where all individuals bump into each other all the time.

    But in real life, organisms are much more likely to bump sexes a neighbor than someone from the other side of the tracks. The researchers created a model that took this into consideration and populated it with the hypothetical ancestors of all animals, plants, and fungi: single-celled creatures that reproduce by two most of the time, but regularly engage in sexes, making either sperm, eggs, or wildcard sex cells that can mate with sperm, egg, or other wildcards.

    They ran the model times on 10 PCs simultaneously, taking a total of about 10, hours sexes computation. Two outcome sexes worth it: The model showed that sperm two egg sex cells normally outbred wildcard sex cells, the pair reports online 21 September in BMC Evolutionary Biology. The researchers say sexes reason is that the latter would more often mate with their relatives, because during the cloning phase, the neighborhood would be flooded by their wildcard offspring and suffer lower fitness two to inbreeding.

    Evolutionary biologist Joel Parker of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, is impressed with two new paper, which he calls "brilliant. By Dalmeet Singh Chawla Nov. By David Malakoff Nov. All rights Reserved. Got a tip? How to contact the two team. Science Insider. Europe gives space programs a big boost By Daniel Clery Nov. How slow can you go?

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    Step into a singles bar and it's pretty clear that having humanity divided up into two sexes can be frustrating--it cuts the potential mating pool in. A major question is why are there only two types of gametes (sperm- and egg cells), two types of sex steroids, (androgens and estrogens in. Are there only two sexes? A generation ago, this might have seemed like a silly question. But given the rise of gender theory, transgenderism.

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    Sex Redefined: The Idea of 2 Sexes Is Overly Simplistic - Scientific AmericanWhy are there two sexes? - BBC Science Focus Magazine

    Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex i.

    Some societies have specific genders besides "man" and "woman", such as the hijras of South Asia ; these are often referred to as third genders and fourth gendersetc. Sexologist John Money introduced the terminological distinction between biological sex and gender as a role in Before his work, it was uncommon to use the word gender to refer to anything but grammatical categories.

    Today, the distinction is followed in some contexts, especially the social sciences [5] [6] and documents written sexes the World Health Organization WHO. In other contexts, including some areas of the social sciences, gender includes sex or replaces it. The social sciences have a branch devoted to gender studies. Other sciences, sexes as sexology and neuroscienceare also interested in the subject. The social sciences sometimes approach gender as a social constructand gender studies particularly do, while research in the natural sciences investigates whether biological differences in males and females influence the development of gender in humans; both inform debate about how far biological differences influence the formation of gender identity.

    In some English literature, there is also a trichotomy between biological sex, psychological gender, and social gender role. This framework first appeared in a feminist paper on transsexualism in Two, in turn, came from Latin genus. Both words mean "kind", "type", or "sort".

    They derive ultimately from a widely attested Proto-Indo-European PIE root g e n-[10] [11] which is also the source of kinkindkingand many other English words. The Oxford Etymological Dictionary of the English Language of defined gender as kind, breed, sexderived from the Latin ablative case of genuslike genere natuswhich refers to birth.

    The concept of gender, in the modern sense, two a recent invention in human history. By the end of this period, uses of "gender" outnumbered uses of "sex" in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. In the last two decades of the 20th century, the use of gender in academia has increased greatly, outnumbering uses of sex in the social sciences.

    Sexes the spread of the word in science publications can be attributed to the influence of feminism, its use as a synonym for sex is attributed to the failure to grasp the distinction made in feminist theory, and the distinction has sometimes become blurred with the theory itself; David Haig stated, "Among the reasons that working scientists have given me for choosing gender rather than sex in biological contexts are desires to signal sympathy with feminist goals, to use a more academic term, or to avoid the connotation of copulation.

    In legal cases alleging discriminationsex is usually preferred as the determining factor rather than gender as it refers to biology rather than socially constructed norms which are more open to interpretation and dispute. Alabama ex rel. That is to say, gender is to sex as feminine is to female and masculine is two male.

    The word was still widely used, however, in the specific sense of grammatical gender the assignment of nouns sexes categories such as masculinefeminine and neuter. According to Aristotlethis concept was introduced by the Greek philosopher Protagoras. InHenry Watson Fowler stated that the definition of the word pertained to this grammar-related meaning:.

    To talk of persons Sexologist Sexes Money coined the term gender roleand was the first to use it in print in a scientific trade journal. In a seminal paper he defined it as "all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or woman.

    In this context, two pertaining to this theoretical process of social construction were labelled matters of gender. The popular use of gender simply as an alternative to sex as a biological category is also widespread, although attempts are still made to preserve the distinction. The American Heritage Dictionary uses the following two sentences to illustrate the difference, noting that the distinction "is useful in principle, but it is by no means widely observed, and considerable variation in usage occurs at all levels.

    The effectiveness of the medication appears to depend on the sex not gender of the patient. In peasant societies, gender not sex roles are likely to be more clearly defined. Gender identity refers to a personal identification with a particular gender and gender role in society. The term woman has historically been used interchangeably with reference to the female body, though more recently this usage has been viewed as controversial by some feminists.

    There are qualitative analyses that explore and present the representations of gender; however, feminists challenge these dominant ideologies concerning gender roles and biological sex.

    One's biological sex is directly tied to specific social roles and the expectations. Judith Butler considers the concept of being a woman to have more challenges, owing not only to society's viewing women as a social category but also as a felt sense of self, a culturally conditioned or constructed subjective identity. The groups people belong to therefore provide members with the definition of two they are and how they should behave within their social sphere.

    Categorizing males and females into social roles creates a problem, because individuals feel they have to be at one end of a linear spectrum and must identify themselves as man or woman, rather than being allowed to choose a section in between.

    The gender system is the basis of social patterns in many societies, which include the separation of sexes, and the primacy of masculine norms. Philosopher Michel Foucault said that as sexual subjects, humans are the object of power, which is not an institution or structure, rather it is a signifier or name attributed to "complex strategical situation".

    For example, being female characterizes one as a woman, and being a woman signifies one as weak, emotional, and irrational, and incapable of actions attributed to a "man". Butler said that two and sex are more like verbs than nouns.

    She reasoned that her actions are limited because she is female. Rather than 'woman' being something one is, it is something one does. According to gender theorist Kate Bornsteingender can have ambiguity and fluidity.

    The World Health Organization defines gender as the result of socially constructed ideas about the behavior, actions, and roles a particular sex performs.

    The assignment of gender involves taking into account the physiological and biological attributes assigned by nature followed by the imposition of the two constructed conduct. Gender is a term used to exemplify the attributes that a society or culture constitutes as "masculine" or "feminine".

    Although a person's sex as male or female stands as a biological fact that is identical in any culture, what that specific sex means in reference to a person's gender sexes as a woman or a man in society varies cross culturally according to what things are considered to be masculine or feminine.

    Learning gender roles starts from birth and includes seemingly simple things like what color outfits a baby is clothed in or what toys they are given to play with. However, a person's gender does not always align with what has been assigned at birth. Factors other than learned behaviors play a role in the development of gender. Sexologist John Money coined the term gender role in Two term gender role is defined as the actions or responses that may reveal their status as boy, man, girl or woman, respectively.

    In contrast to taxonomic approaches, some feminist philosophers have argued that gender "is a vast orchestration of subtle mediations between oneself and others", rather than a "private cause behind manifest behaviours". Historically, many if not most societies have recognized only two distinct, broad classes of gender roles, a binary of masculine and feminine, largely corresponding to the biological sexes of male and female.

    However, some societies have historically acknowledged and even honored people who fulfill a gender role that exists more in the middle of the continuum between the feminine and masculine polarity.

    Contemporary Native American and FNIM people who fulfill these traditional roles in their communities may also participate in the modern, two-spirit sexes, [45] however, these umbrella terms, neologisms, and ways of viewing gender are not necessarily the type of cultural constructs that more traditional members of these communities agree with.

    The hijras of India and Pakistan are often cited as third gender. In addition to these traditionally recognized third genders, many cultures now recognize, to differing degrees, various non-binary gender identities. People who are non-binary or genderqueer have gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine. They may identify as having an overlap of gender identities, having two or more genders, having no gender, having a fluctuating gender identity, or being third gender or other-gendered.

    Recognition of non-binary genders is still somewhat new to mainstream Western culture, [51] and non-binary people may face increased risk of assault, harassment, and discrimination. Joan Roughgarden argues that some non-human animal species also have more than two genders, in that there might be multiple templates for behavior available to individual organisms with a given biological sex.

    Early gender identity research hypothesized a single bipolar dimension of masculinity-femininity, with masculinity and femininity being opposites on one continuum. Assumptions of the unidimensional model were challenged as societal stereotypes changed, which led to the development of a two-dimensional gender identity model.

    In the model, masculinity and femininity were conceptualized as two separate and orthogonal dimensions, coexisting in varying degrees within an individual. This conceptualization on femininity and masculinity two the accepted standard today. Both instruments categorize individuals as either being sex typed males report themselves as identifying primarily with masculine traits, females report themselves as identifying primarily with feminine traitscross sex-typed males report themselves as identifying primarily with feminine traits, females report themselves as identifying primarily with masculine traitsandrogynous either males or females who report themselves as high on both masculine and feminine traits or undifferentiated either males or females who report themselves as low on both masculine and feminine traits.

    Biologist and feminist academic Anne Fausto-Sterling rejects the discourse of biological versus social determinism and advocates a deeper analysis of how interactions between the biological being and the social environment influence individuals' capacities. However, it may be analyzed in terms of biology—a girl must pass puberty to become a woman—and sociology, as a great deal of mature relating in social contexts is learned rather than instinctive.

    Within feminist theoryterminology for gender issues developed over the s. In gender studies the term gender refers to proposed social and cultural constructions of masculinities and femininities. In this context, gender explicitly excludes reference to biological differences, to focus on cultural differences. Those who followed Butler came to regard gender roles as a practice, sometimes referred to as " performative ".

    Charles E. Hurst states that some people two sex will, " For example, Michael Schwalbe believes that humans must be taught how to act appropriately in their designated gender to fill the role properly, and that the way people behave as masculine or feminine interacts with social expectations. Schwalbe comments that humans "are sexes results of many people embracing and acting on similar ideas".

    Schwalbe believes that these distinctions are important, because society wants to identify and categorize people as soon as we see them. They need to place people into distinct categories to know how we two feel about them.

    Hurst comments that in a society where we present our genders so distinctly, there can often be severe consequences for breaking these cultural norms. Many of these consequences are rooted in discrimination based on sexual orientation. Gays and sexes are often discriminated against in our legal system because of societal prejudices. He says that "courts often two sex, gender, and sexual orientation, and confuse them in a way that results in denying the rights not only of gays and lesbians, but also of those who sexes not present themselves or act in a manner traditionally expected of their sex".

    Andrea Dworkin stated her "commitment to destroying male dominance and gender itself" while stating her belief in radical feminism. Political scientist Mary Hawkesworth addresses gender and feminist theory, stating that since the s the concept of gender has transformed and been used in significantly different ways within feminist scholarship.

    She notes that a transition occurred when several feminist scholars, such as Sandra Harding and Joan Scottbegan to conceive of gender "as an analytic category within which humans think about and organize their social activity".

    Feminist scholars in Political Science began employing gender as an analytical category, which highlighted "social and political relations neglected by mainstream accounts". However, Hawkesworth states "feminist political science has not become a dominant paradigm within the discipline".

    American sexes scientist Karen Beckwith addresses the concept of gender within political science arguing that a "common language of gender" exists and that it must be explicitly articulated in order to build upon it within the political science discipline. Beckwith describes two ways in which the political scientist may employ 'gender' when conducting empirical research: "gender as a category and as a process.

    It may also demonstrate how gender differences, not necessarily corresponding precisely with sex, may "constrain or facilitate political" actors. Gender as a process has two central manifestations in political science research, firstly in determining "the differential effects of structures and policies upon men and women," and secondly, the ways in which masculine and feminine political actors "actively work to produce favorable gendered sexes.

    With regard to gender studies, Jacquetta Newman states that although sex is determined biologically, the ways in which people express gender is not. Gendering is a socially constructed process based on culture, though often cultural expectations around women and men have a direct relationship to their biology.

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