Genders and Gender roles

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Ari
Posts: 725
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:09 pm UTC
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Ari » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:54 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:You are aware that the employment of the disabled declined after the ADA, right? [Source]


Keep in mind this is a special case, as in some cases disabilities actually do lower economic productivity, and this was simply a pay mandate rather than involving any sort of government assistance. Probably a good example of how not to carry out a law intended to help people who are clearly in the minority, even among specific types of employment. Equality for LGBT and intersex people isn't such a big issue, as it should only very, very rarely impact any sort of employer negatively in a financial sense.
"Hey %*&^er, offensive communication works fine so long as you do it respectfully." :D
"I am so quoting that out of context at a later date."

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:28 pm UTC

Ari wrote:How do you explain people with both sexual organs,


One is non-functioning. True hermaphrodism doesn't exist in humans. Modified genitalia does, i.e., a clitoris will resemble a penis, or a modified vagina will have formed.

The person will either produce sperm, or ovum. Not both. Or they'll produce neither. In any case, if they are X, XX, or XXX, they are female. If they are XY, XYY, XXY, they are male. Sexually.

On the feminism-workforce thing, I am very pleased to see women finding themselves in high ranking positions. I am still displeased to find that the average cost of living for a man is higher. Ladies may still be making 80-some odd cents to my dollar, but health insurance and such is still biased against men.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:45 pm UTC

Ari wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:But a feminist isn't allowed to chose to primarily concern herself with her children. Gotcha. Makes perfect sense....You're Free! To do as I tell you! Get the fuck out the house! I don't care if you chose to be there, get the fuck out!


Please be careful here, I think you're putting words in my mouth. I said if they're only concerned with their children and have no outside interests, calling themself a feminist (note I said nothing about supporting feminism) is a bit hypocritical. Kinda like people who think excercise is good but don't take advantage of it? ;) Or someone who lies to you, but tells you honesty is good? It seems relatively uncontroversial to me.


Could sit around and argue for hours about this, but there's really no point in it... So, simply put, I disagree. While this may be accurate in some cases, it's not something you can blanket statement and move on. And yeah, I was drawing your words out to a conclusion you didn't reach. Sorry about that.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:Actually, most rape is premeditated. Like Belial said, it's not usually the jumping out of bushes kind, but further than that most rape is planned. This fact shows that there's not really much you, as a potential rape victim, can do to prevent rape except stay away from rapists.

All I'm saying is that the behavior of the victim has little effect on whether or not she is raped.


Interesting -- is that true or not?

How would you test it? Would you check if rapes are uniformly distributed over the population? And how do you detect (potential) rapists with sufficient accuracy?
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Jessica » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

@Izawwlgood: Women with AIS look female. They are born with a vagina, a clitorus etc. Since most people don't do genetic testing at birth to test for sex, the person's Sex (in everything except genetics) is female. Calling someone like that a male would be an insult to them. I'm not saying that genetically they're not male, just that for pretty much every other measure of sex, they are female.
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

btilly
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:08 pm UTC

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby btilly » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:@btilly: Infertility comes in many ways shapes and form. Surely you are not suggesting that a woman who has had a hysterectomy is no longer female because she is infertile? Sex is binary. If I lop my equipment off, I am infertile, but am still male.

No. I am suggesting that talking about what an infertile woman is reproductively doesn't make any sense, because she can't reproduce. I would still call her female - I just wouldn't argue for it on the basis of what she is reproductively.
Izawwlgood wrote:If someone is born XY but their testicles did not descend and they were surgically reassigned to appear as a woman, they are still male, they've just got women bits. Thats the distinction that was tossed around a bit between gender and sex. I don't argue that the individual may identify their gender as a woman. But reproductively, i.e., sexually, they are male.

You misunderstand something critical here. About one person in 20,000 has XY chromosomes but grows up female due to a condition known as CAIS (Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome). There is no surgical intervention involved. External physical appearance and behaviour mark them as females, and typically unusually attractive ones at that. (Though names are never named for privacy reasons, researchers claim that multiple supermodels and at least two successful Hollywood actresses have CAIS.)

You can learn more about this condition and see some pictures of people with it at http://www.secondtype.com/ais.htm.
Izawwlgood wrote:It isn't putting a fine point on it, its having the right definitions for the discussion. If you disagree that sex is not binary, argue it.

What can I say? Biologically sex is not binary. There are a variety of natural conditions in people that create people whose sex is disputable and reasonable people can disagree on them. Sure, you can argue that XX is female and XY is male, but what do you do with someone who has an extra chromosome and is XXY?

Furthermore simplistic rules tying gender to chromosomes completely fall apart when you look across species. The link between genetics and gender changes across species, sometimes vanishing entirely. For an extreme example there are a number of types of fish and at least one type of frog that change gender. Over a lifetime they will be both mother and father. And at least one species of bass, Serranus tortugarum is both at once - it can release both eggs and sperm within the same minute!

None of this is to say that male and female are not normally easy to distinguish. As the saying goes, the existence of evening does not mean that day is the same as night. But neither should the dramatic difference between day and night blind us to the fact that there are times in the evening which cannot be easily categorized.
Some of us exist to find out what can and can't be done.

Others exist to hold the beer.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:21 pm UTC

btilly, Gharbad already raised the point of AIS individuals appearing to be, and functionally being female, and pointed out that they would be offended at being called male. So I'm going to try and be careful with this:

If you are reproductively unable to produce ovum, which these individuals are, you are not genetically matched to your gender (in this case, i'm not trying to say that those who don't produce ovum are NOT women, i.e., menopausal women or women who don't ovulate need not apply here). AIS individuals are gendered female. They are reproductively sterile, but genetically male. They are sterile due to not producing gametes for reproduction, but if you were to somehow make a clone of them that had a functioning androgen receptor, the clone would be male.

Sex, is, binary (for mammals). There is no inbetween, you are either reproductively a male, or reproductively a female. You can have women bits and be genetically male, identify as a woman (gender), but your genome would identify you otherwise.

btilly wrote:when you look across species.


Hermaphrodism exists in other species. Of that i'm certainly not arguing. Also, just as female is the original state of a fetus in humans (i think mammals, but that may not be true), in many insects it is the male state that is original, requiring another chromosome to make individuals female. That said, true hermaphrodism does NOT exist in humans. Those who are born with a modified penis and a modified vagina do NOT have both testicles and ovaries, or more specifically, sperm and ovum!

So sex is binary, gender is not. (again, in my opinion)
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
neon
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:27 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby neon » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Ari wrote:How do you explain people with both sexual organs,


One is non-functioning. True hermaphrodism doesn't exist in humans. Modified genitalia does, i.e., a clitoris will resemble a penis, or a modified vagina will have formed.


Apparently not quite true, the article, True Hermaphroditism and Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis in Young Children, isn't loading for me though. And I seem to remember reading about at least one individual alive who had functional male and female sexual organs.

Vaniver wrote:Ok. But is the importance of a question determined by how much people like the question, or how relevant its answer is?


Your original answer was ignorant and race baiting.

Vaniver wrote:I must confess I'm confused. You don't agree that rights are more important than comfort, but then imply that our system is good because it protects rights?

I find it discomfiting that it seems that any discussion of principles brings out the accusation of objectivist tripe. Is it wrong to be motivated by the basics? Is it possible to have a building without a foundation?


Comforts and rights are probably about of equal importance to most people, it depends on the situation. There are no black or white answers here. I consider objectivism to be a personality cult and some of it's major tenets are demonstrably false. So flags tend to go up for me when I feel we are getting into libertarian/obectivist territory. Whenever someone starts talking like this it makes me wonder if there isn't some sort of unstated agenda going on. Such people, and objectivists are a good example, will also have private definitions for common words. Only they don't declare that up front and will often play semantic word games. Next thing I know you'll be asking me if the competent should be ruled by the incompetent.
"Light up the darkness."

btilly
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:08 pm UTC

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby btilly » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:11 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
btilly wrote:when you look across species.

Hermaphrodism exists in other species. Of that i'm certainly not arguing. Also, just as female is the original state of a fetus in humans (i think mammals, but that may not be true), in many insects it is the male state that is original, requiring another chromosome to make individuals female. That said, true hermaphrodism does NOT exist in humans. Those who are born with a modified penis and a modified vagina do NOT have both testicles and ovaries, or more specifically, sperm and ovum!

First of all you don't have to look as far as insects to see species where male is the default, birds have that characteristic.

But even so, the problem with simple categorizations is that they break down. Contrary to your bold assertion, see http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/cgi/reprint/179/2/429.pdf for an account in the medical literature of a human who was a true hermaphrodite. (S)he had both ovarian tissue and testicular tissue. Admittedly this is extremely rare - only a few hundred cases are known. And you can't sort things out genetically either because these people are typically chimeras. Under the normal course of things they should have become a pair of twins, but the two embryos fused and became a single person. So these people are biologically both XY and XX.

How does your simple black-and-white world categorize a person whose genitalia are a mixture of male and female, whose reproductive tissue is also a mixture of male and female (right down to tissues to produce both eggs and sperm), and whose cells are a mix of male and female cells? Is this individual a man? A woman? What?
Izawwlgood wrote:So sex is binary, gender is not. (again, in my opinion)

I still maintain that your opinion runs counter to the facts.
Some of us exist to find out what can and can't be done.

Others exist to hold the beer.

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Jessica » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:12 pm UTC

As someone who has many libertarian leanings, I'd thank you not to lump us all together under the name "objectivist". Fucking ayn Rand. I hate her.

Sorry, carry on.
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

daydalus
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:05 pm UTC

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby daydalus » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

I am still displeased to find that the average cost of living for a man is higher


Please! Have you seen how expensive cosmetics, perscriptions, clothes, assessories are? Tampons, birth control and lipstick add up!

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

WOW! That is a really interesting read, and it certainly throws a wrench in my thinking. I'm going to have to do a bit more research into this, but my initial impressions:

1) The researchers don't describe what phenotype went with what genotype. So they mention that there are XX, XY, and XX/XY, as well as chromosomal shifts, but don't discuss which physical characteristics go with what. As such, it appears that they are drawing a distinction between males that are demonstrating rudimentary female germ line cells, and females that are demonstrating rudimentary male germ line cells. It should also be noted that neither of these germ line cells are described as functioning, merely present. It's even mentioned near the end that hypogonadotropism is found in these infants, likely as a result of competing hormonal cues.

2) In some of these infants, the germ line tissues are tumors. If the hermaphrodism is caused by tumors formed at a young age, or even in utero, that doesn't really indicate that true hermaphrodism can occur in humans, as much as indicate that if something goes awry in a very specific fashion, hermaphrodism can result.

3) These are infants, not mature individuals. Whether or not they will be able to reproduce as either male/female remains to be seen. But I'll do a bit of searching for sexually reproductive hermaphrodites (humans), because now I'm very curious as to how it would work. The hormones secreted by either bit of equipment (i seem to remember) act as inhibitors for the other.

Neat find though!

@btilly: My breakdown classifies those individuals as medical anomalies. Reproductively, are they producing both viable sperm and viable ovum? I'd have to read up a bit, but my wager is no. Possessing the tissues due to chimerism makes someone of that quality an outlier, and, because they are not reproducing, sadly, irrelevant for my classification.
Last edited by Izawwlgood on Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Quixotess
No. Cookies.
Posts: 3243
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 7:26 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Quixotess » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:31 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
Quixotess wrote:Actually, most rape is premeditated. Like Belial said, it's not usually the jumping out of bushes kind, but further than that most rape is planned. This fact shows that there's not really much you, as a potential rape victim, can do to prevent rape except stay away from rapists.

All I'm saying is that the behavior of the victim has little effect on whether or not she is raped.


Interesting -- is that true or not?

How would you test it? Would you check if rapes are uniformly distributed over the population? And how do you detect (potential) rapists with sufficient accuracy?


Which one, the part about the planned or the part about the behavior of the victim? Oh what the hell, I'll try to answer them both.

First, it is common knowledge that most rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knew. (Here's a source for you anyway if you want to check it out. I've heard different numbers, from 70% to 83.7%, but you can see they're all pretty close. Just that fact tells you something if you think about it. If it's someone you already know, why would it matter what they're wearing or where they are? You've already got the connection you need to make them vulnerable.

RAINN breaks it down further for us. They say 38% of rapes were committed by a friend or acquaintance, 28% by a spouse or intimate, and 6% by other relatives ( :( )

Further, here is a site that about halfway down cites two different sources about where rape takes place. One says "over 55.5%" of sexual assaults take place in private homes. The other says it's 65%. A Canada [url-http://www.wavaw.ca/informed_myths.php]site[/url] (other countries seem to have much more available statistics) cites a Canadian report that says it's 60%, and 38% are actually in the victim's home.

A picture starts to emerge, not of seizing an opportunity when a victim is drunk (although they may certainly get the victim drunk in order to make it easier to rape her or him), not of impulsively going after a woman who is wearing revealing clothing, but of choosing to rape a certain victim regardless of what that victim is wearing or doing.

I also have to say that this is common knowledge in most circles that deal with sexual assault, obviously I can't source that, but feminist blogs and assault hotlines often have a myth section where the myth is "rape is committed by strangers" and the fact is "rape is mostly planned and committed by people the victim knew."

I found numerous articles citing a study called "Patterns of Behavior in Adolescent Rape", and although I could only find the abstract online, one stat cited from it is that 88% of rapists surveyed reported that the victim had NOT provoked them with words or actions prior to the rape, and only 16% said the act was impulsive. Granted this was a small sample size, but it is illustrative. I also found several other sources, which were reputable, but who did not cite *their* sources, who said that rape was planned from 70% of the time on up.

As for how to detect someone who's likely to commit rape, that's pretty common sense to me. Does he grab you or physically try to make you do something or go somewhere? Does he respect your space? Does he try to pressure you to go further sexually than you want to? Has he made comments that show he thinks of women as objects or second-class citizens? Does he mistreat those he has power over? And maybe most important, does he seem creepy? Don't underestimate your intuition. If you feel like your boyfriend has been acting weird or in a way that you think might put you in danger, don't let him get you alone for a while, not until you feel better. Maybe it was nothing, but your safety is more important than his feelings.

I did the best I could to answer your questions, hope it helped.
Raise up the torch and light the way.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

I've found cases of chimerism induced hermaphrodites who have become pregnant and gone on to have normal babies. This required surgery (removal of male tissues).

I'm going to argue still that in this case, the individual is a female (one case reported 20% XY chimerism) with some male characteristics.

Hermaphrodism still refers to phenotypic displays.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

AvalonXQ
Posts: 747
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:45 pm UTC

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby AvalonXQ » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:54 pm UTC

All of the sites Quixotess just referenced were disembodied statistics by rape-support centers and organizations. Nothing reliable or credible there. The one exception was a brief psych abstract that studied less than 100 cases of adolescent rape in California. Again, no reason to extend that to justify the claims being made.
I'm not saying the numbers are right or wrong; I'm saying none of that provided a good reason for believe they're right.

Most troubling is this:
Quixotess wrote:First, it is common knowledge that most rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knew. (Here's a source for you anyway if you want to check it out. I've heard different numbers, from 70% to 83.7%, but you can see they're all pretty close. Just that fact tells you something if you think about it.

The fact that several sources give similar statistics does not lend any credibility to the statistics without a more credible source. Statistics often permeate and propogate regardless of the evidence supporting them. So the fact that all the statistics are "pretty close", if we don't know where the numbers actually come from, doesn't tell us much.
Once again, not a reason to believe she's wrong. Just also no reason to believe she's right, either.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:28 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
Yakk wrote:
Quixotess wrote:Actually, most rape is premeditated. Like Belial said, it's not usually the jumping out of bushes kind, but further than that most rape is planned. This fact shows that there's not really much you, as a potential rape victim, can do to prevent rape except stay away from rapists.

All I'm saying is that the behavior of the victim has little effect on whether or not she is raped.


Interesting -- is that true or not?

How would you test it? Would you check if rapes are uniformly distributed over the population? And how do you detect (potential) rapists with sufficient accuracy?


Which one, the part about the planned or the part about the behavior of the victim? Oh what the hell, I'll try to answer them both.

First, it is common knowledge that most rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knew. (Here's a source for you anyway if you want to check it out. I've heard different numbers, from 70% to 83.7%, but you can see they're all pretty close. Just that fact tells you something if you think about it. If it's someone you already know, why would it matter what they're wearing or where they are? You've already got the connection you need to make them vulnerable.

RAINN breaks it down further for us. They say 38% of rapes were committed by a friend or acquaintance, 28% by a spouse or intimate, and 6% by other relatives ( :( )


*nod*, rape is a crime that tends to occur among people who know each other.

Further, here is a site that about halfway down cites two different sources about where rape takes place. One says "over 55.5%" of sexual assaults take place in private homes. The other says it's 65%. A Canada [url-http://www.wavaw.ca/informed_myths.php]site[/url] (other countries seem to have much more available statistics) cites a Canadian report that says it's 60%, and 38% are actually in the victim's home.

A picture starts to emerge, not of seizing an opportunity when a victim is drunk (although they may certainly get the victim drunk in order to make it easier to rape her or him), not of impulsively going after a woman who is wearing revealing clothing, but of choosing to rape a certain victim regardless of what that victim is wearing or doing.


You just made a huge logical leap there.

I also have to say that this is common knowledge in most circles that deal with sexual assault, obviously I can't source that, but feminist blogs and assault hotlines often have a myth section where the myth is "rape is committed by strangers" and the fact is "rape is mostly planned and committed by people the victim knew."


Sure. I didn't think that most rape was committed by strangers. That doesn't mean an individual is powerless to prevent rape.

I could have sworn I've seen a statistic that someone who has been raped has a seven fold higher chance to be raped again -- that implies that there is some kind of behavior (be it who you spend time with, how you spend your time, how you behave, etc) that can change your personal chance of being raped, doesn't it? It could be just social behavior.

As for how to detect someone who's likely to commit rape, that's pretty common sense to me. Does he grab you or physically try to make you do something or go somewhere? Does he respect your space? Does he try to pressure you to go further sexually than you want to? Has he made comments that show he thinks of women as objects or second-class citizens? Does he mistreat those he has power over? And maybe most important, does he seem creepy? Don't underestimate your intuition. If you feel like your boyfriend has been acting weird or in a way that you think might put you in danger, don't let him get you alone for a while, not until you feel better. Maybe it was nothing, but your safety is more important than his feelings.


Do you have any statistical basis that the above is effective? Or is it anecdotal?

I mean, "if your boyfriend wants to have sex and you don't, you should get away from him and never interact with him" is effectively one of your pieces of advice. What are the chances that a given boyfriend who wants to have sex with his girlfriend, and she doesn't want to have sex with him, will become a rapist?

...

Rape rates:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/rape.htm
currently are about 0.5% of the population over 12 per year. Over 80 years, that would imply people born today end up with a roughly 5% chance of being a victim.

Note that rates where much higher in the 70s than today. At 2.5% per year, over 80 years, that comes to 87% chance of being a victim.

Both ignore the chance of it happening more than once.

But it appears that rape has gone from a relatively common occurance to something that is 5 to 6 times rarer. This is a good thing!

(Note that, in comparison, the 80 year likelyhood of being murdered is about 0.5%. So a given random individual is 10 times more likely to be raped than murdered.)

Hmm. The rate of rape reports in women is much higher than men. I wonder if the usdoj rape data is prosecuted/convicted/reported or actual? Hmm: reading a RAINN page, it looks like actual, not reported. Interesting.

Also interesting from the national crime survey: barring automobile theft, every crime they looked at had a 30% to 60% "report to police" rate.

Neat stuff!

http://www.rainn.org/docs/statistics/NC ... 9757cad4ae
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:49 pm UTC

neon wrote:Your original answer was ignorant and race baiting.
The Asian supremacy one, or a different answer? If the first, allow me some flippancy when responding to what seem to be non sequitors.

neon wrote:Comforts and rights are probably about of equal importance to most people, it depends on the situation. There are no black or white answers here.
Ok. Here's where I would respond with a Benjamin Franklin quote, but you've already heard it and all it says is what he and I think, not what everyone does or should think.

So let's move to a practical question- is it legally and ethically 'easier/more useful' to deal with rights or comfort? Rights seem inherently objective, in the sense that they don't require any particulars of the situation in which the rule will be employed. Comfort seems inherently subjective, in the sense it requires the particulars of the situation in which the decision will be made. It makes little sense to do comfort comparisons in the abstract- how do I compare the comfort gained by my eating a bag of chips to the comfort gained by my roommate eating a bag of chips, and even if I could do that comparison, it wouldn't hold true for all food (or even all kinds of chips!). It makes much more sense to do rights comparisons in the abstract- I can easily conclude that if they're my roommate's chips, I shouldn't eat them and he can, and if they're my chips, I can eat them and he shouldn't.

That analogy (and a variation of it) also go a long way towards explaining the difference between a rights-centered view of ethics and a comfort-centered view of ethics, as well as between an absolutist and a relativist view. Suppose that he barely likes this variety of chips, while it's my favorite food. Can I eat them without his permission (if I had his permission this wouldn't be a moral dilemma), because I enjoy them so much more than he does? Under a comfort-centered view, doing so is the greatest good for the greatest number, and while his lack of permission is regrettable, it's standing in the way of the common good.

Aside- the common good is a notoriously ill-defined term. Here let's use a working definition of the sum of the utility in each member of the group. Obviously for this to work utility will have to be normalized somehow (If I use a 0-10 scale to describe how much I enjoy things, and my neighbor uses a 0-100 scale, adding our choices together makes little sense!), which is a problem some philosophers will tell you is impossible. In this example, the happiness of my roommate and myself is higher when I eat the chips than if just he eats the chips, which is higher than if neither of us eat the chips.

Under a rights-centered view, doing so is violating his property rights.

Now, let's change the analogy considerably. Now, he has enough food to feed two people, and I have no food and am on the brink of starvation. Can I take some of his food without his permission (again, if I had his permission this wouldn't be a moral dilemma) because I need them to survive and he doesn't? Under a comfort-centered view, the same argument holds and I should take the food (and doesn't have a judgment if he only has food for one person and is similarly starving; neither of us want it more under any sane system). Under a rights-centered view, again taking his food would violate his property rights. There's a hidden assumption here that should be brought to light- the assumption that an act of omission is morally and ethically different than an act of causation. Not giving food to a starving man has to be different from causing a man to starve. Connectedly, responsibilities must fall on individuals- it's my duty to make sure that I don't starve, and not my duty to make sure my neighbor doesn't starve.

That last statement is contested, at least in part, by all altruistic moralities. But while they often say that it is right to give away surplus food to those in need, they rarely say it is right for those who need food to steal surplus food.

Your reaction to the considerable difference between those examples highlights the different between a relative view of ethics and an absolute rule of ethics. If you see them as fundamentally the same, that's an absolute view of ethics. If you see those as apples and oranges (one is just a comparison of pleasure, the other of life and death), that's a relative view of ethics. I believe that it's easier to construct self-consistent, impersonal, and usable systems of ethics with an absolute viewpoint, but in practice people tend to rationalize the use of different rules for different situations (why do so many people consider 'white lies' ok and liars bad people?). I should comment that by "impersonal" I mean that the ethical system doesn't care about any non-important distinguishing factors of the people involved; the property rights of a man and woman, majority and minority, etc. are the same. This is hard to accomplish in any system that uses loosely-defined terms that some arbiter must interpret; can we trust a racist to come up with a definition of the common good that is not influenced by his view of other races?

I'm going to assume by the "no black or white answers here" comment you're operating on a relativist viewpoint. Discussions of the merits and failings of absolute and relativist systems of ethics probably don't belong here (and this wall of text has probably already worn out the welcome of that subject in this thread), so we should probably discuss this more in another thread if we want to go deeper. I'll just comment that, when a system is applied to a large number of people, getting absolute ethics agreed on (you shouldn't lie to anyone) is probably easier than relativist ethics (you shouldn't lie to anyone, except your boss when making excuses would probably be objected to by your boss), and certainly easier to use in any sort of judicial system (you shouldn't murder is not open to interpretation; you can only kill in reasonable circumstances is open to quite a bit of interpretation and the sentence depends quite a bit on the judge).

neon wrote:I consider objectivism to be a personality cult
So do I! I really wish she had called it something else, instead of implying that to be objective one had to be looking at the world from one particular perspective. That's not how individualism works, Ayn.

neon wrote:Whenever someone starts talking like this it makes me wonder if there isn't some sort of unstated agenda going on.
It's a healthy approach in any political discussion to look for agendas. So far I haven't been able to find one in individualism, because it seems to be as impersonal as possible in the abstract (I'm calling libertarianism the economic and political extension of individualism; this may be untrue but I can't see why). Looking at the other libertarians I know, it's sometimes hard to believe that there is not some agenda that explains the similarities I see, but quite a bit of soul-searching has not turned up any significant ones.

neon wrote:Only they don't declare that up front and will often play semantic word games. Next thing I know you'll be asking me if the competent should be ruled by the incompetent.
This is why I program in Lisp :P

Namaps, I missed your post the first time around (apparently I chose a bad spot to start reading an old thread). I'll respond now:
Namaps wrote:I'm not sure where you live, but there are plenty of places in the US where admitting to homosexuality exposes you to a serious risk of getting assaulted... I mean, they're not in the majority, but they're not insignificant either.
The last study I saw about this said that 1% of the rural population identifies themselves as gay, and something between 5 and 10% of the urban population identifies themselves as gay. That's not accidental (but it's unclear how much of that is the push factor of discrimination and how much of that is the pull factor of a larger mate pool in cities).

But, historically, one could pick few better times or places to be gay.

Namaps wrote:I think I may have misunderstood this quote's context. Are you saying that anti-discrimination-in-employment (heh, I forgot the term that's normally used for those) laws for homosexuality would constitute "trampling the rights of the many?" That's what it seemed like to me, so...
I don't remember the writing that quote well enough to answer. I probably was calling freedom of association a right, but coming a bit more than 30 minutes after a post where I say that for the level of discrimination to be 'ok' chances of employment have to not be materially affected, that might not be the case. My guess is that I meant that discrimination in hiring is something that people should have a legal right to, but wouldn't exist in a society I considered at an "ok" level of discrimination (which is a position I still hold, albeit somewhat ambivalently).

Namaps wrote:There's a lot more historical tension between whites and black in the US than between whites and Asians.
Possibly. African Americans certainly seem to feel worse about their initial experiences in America than Asian Americans, but does this translate into a deeper hole that they have to climb out of to succeed? If it does (and it probably does), what effect would we expect that to have on success? Looking at it from the other side, is there a measurable difference between anti-Black sentiment among Whites in Black-heavy regions and anti-Asian sentiment among Whites in Asian-heavy regions, and what effect would we expect that to have on success? There are a lot of possible explanations for why performance levels differ, and it's possible for them all to be a part of the overall effect. It follows that some explanations will be true and significant, some will be true but nearly insignificant, some insignificant, and some false but significant.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:07 am UTC

Rights seem inherently objective, in the sense that they don't require any particulars of the situation in which the rule will be employed.


Well, there are prescriptive and restrictive Rights. Ie, the Right to Life -- does that let you tie someone down and remove their kidney to save your own life? Or does it mean that people aren't allowed to kill you?

Restrictive rights say "others may not do X", Prescriptive rights say "others must do X".

Restrictive rights cannot really conflict, so long as you don't toss in double negatives via choice of X

Prescriptive rights can.

This holds for both absolute and comfort based rights I think...

Here let's use a working definition of the sum of the utility in each member of the group.


I am not aware of a model that lets you apply a number-based utility to a single humans alternative choices in general, let alone multiple people. Utility as an ordering of specific preferences makes sense. Claiming a complete ordering is questionable, but not that broken. Mapping a complete ordering in an arbitrary way to the real numbers is valid. But using real number field operations on the maped utilities is pure madness.

Note that most economics is based off mapping utility to $$, then doing madness on it. :)

It's a healthy approach in any political discussion to look for agendas. So far I haven't been able to find one in individualism,


They believe that collectivist policies (tax everyone, produce benefits for everyone) produce a negative negative benefit to themselves, and that reducing them would increase their own personal situation?

Alternatively, they could view the universe in a zero-sum context, and wish that those who gain more from collectivist behavior be taken down a peg, even if they themselves would be harmed by it.

Ie: suppose you have a society with Rocks, Ponds and Trees. There is a collectivist policy in which 10% of income is taxed, and then spread equally over the entire population.

The population is split 1:1:1. Trees earn an average of 20,000$, Ponds an average of 50,000$, and Rocks an average of 110,000$ per year.

So the 10% spread is 6,000$.
Trees get +4,000$ from the collectivist policy
Ponds get +1,000$ from the collectivist policy
Rocks get -5,000$ from the collectivist policy

Rocks might see the policy, and say "crap, this costs me money. This policy sucks!"
Ponds might see the policy, and say "crap, the trees are getting more than me. This policy sucks!"

Both, however, express their anti-collectivist beliefs as "Collectivism is immoral! Individualism is moral!", as this is more likely to convince Trees and other Ponds/Rocks to join their cause, and makes them feel less icky when they think about their own reasons for doing it. :)
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Quixotess
No. Cookies.
Posts: 3243
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 7:26 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Quixotess » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:21 am UTC

Yakk wrote:You just made a huge logical leap there.
Perhaps I should examine my biases...it just seems so obvious to me. All I can say then is that I have heard this numerous times over a period of years from a variety of sources, but I can't find sources online. Perhaps it has to do with how little rape is studied/acknowledged in our society. I may have just found a topic for my senior thesis (assuming I get into college...looking a little too far ahead much?)
I also have to say that this is common knowledge in most circles that deal with sexual assault, obviously I can't source that, but feminist blogs and assault hotlines often have a myth section where the myth is "rape is committed by strangers" and the fact is "rape is mostly planned and committed by people the victim knew."
Sure. I didn't think that most rape was committed by strangers. That doesn't mean an individual is powerless to prevent rape.

Watch out with your phrasing there. It still sounds like one short step to victim blaming.

I could have sworn I've seen a statistic that someone who has been raped has a seven fold higher chance to be raped again -- that implies that there is some kind of behavior (be it who you spend time with, how you spend your time, how you behave, etc) that can change your personal chance of being raped, doesn't it? It could be just social behavior.
I have nothing to back this up (although you had nothing to back that up :)) but here is my speculation. First, this could be a victim of incest. I imagine that living with your rapist is a significant risk factor for your father or whoever to rape you again. Similarly, this could be a person in an abusive relationship, and their intimate partner rapes them more than once. I hope you won't suggest that the victim in these cases is guilty of behaving wrongly. In an abusive relationship, as with during a rape, if you survive then you did the right thing.

That's the thing about statistics like that; they are harmless in themselves but they bug me because I think a more pressing question to answer would be how likely someone who rapes is to rape again. Things like this are why I'm trying to make a conscious effort to say "he raped her" rather than "she was raped." It removes the rapist from the equation, and if the rapist is not there then who is responsible? A personal thing perhaps, but language is important.

Building on that...

Do you have any statistical basis that the above is effective?
No, and that's what's so frustrating about this entire conversation is that people just don't study rapists. I did a search for "rapist profile" and came up with that incredibly offensive nonsense about the "four different kind of rapists"...the anger-retaliatory and whatever. Oh, here's the place I went to.

The entire thing is obviously meant to scare, and if you read these profiles, none of them imply further acquaintance with the victim than meeting her at a bar or nightclub. Apparently, the anger-retaliatory rapist will "grab you from behind and drag you into the bushes," while the power-reassurance rapist will "break into her home in the early hours of the morning." Right. Another "source" said that power rapists "only do what their victims permitted," but anger rapists "often carried a rape kit." Yeah, I don't think so.

So basically what I did was take the usual signs that your boyfriend is a potential abuser in general; it's certainly better than anything I could find on the net. I mean, those were on the first page of results. Is this the best that's out there?

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/rape.htm
currently are about 0.5% of the population over 12 per year. Over 80 years, that would imply people born today end up with a roughly 5% chance of being a victim.

Note that rates where much higher in the 70s than today. At 2.5% per year, over 80 years, that comes to 87% chance of being a victim.
Whoa whoa whoa, slow down there cowboy. People are not equally likely to be raped every year of their lives. According to RAINN, 44% of victims are under age 18 (almost there!) and 80% are under age 30. So if you make it to 30, you can breathe a sigh of relief. (Again, where are the statistics on the average age of the rapist?) I'm not so good at the math, but does that make it closer to the actual commonly cited rates of 1/4 or 1/6?
...Or wait, did I understand your post/math correctly? I thought you were saying that someone has an 87% chance of being raped in their lives, but then before that it looks like you say that someone has a 5% chance of being raped in their lives, and the difference is when they were born. Obviously one number is WAY too high, and the other is WAY too low. Clarification please, I'm confused.

But it appears that rape has gone from a relatively common occurance to something that is 5 to 6 times rarer. This is a good thing!
We certainly agree here! I'm perfectly happy to let feminism take all the credit for that, by the way.

Also interesting from the national crime survey: barring automobile theft, every crime they looked at had a 30% to 60% "report to police" rate.
Yeah, well, police corruption is a whole other thread...someone should start that actually.

Neat stuff!
Ah well, I'm not sure I would call it neat, but it is interesting and important.
Raise up the torch and light the way.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:43 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:
I also have to say that this is common knowledge in most circles that deal with sexual assault, obviously I can't source that, but feminist blogs and assault hotlines often have a myth section where the myth is "rape is committed by strangers" and the fact is "rape is mostly planned and committed by people the victim knew."
Sure. I didn't think that most rape was committed by strangers. That doesn't mean an individual is powerless to prevent rape.

Watch out with your phrasing there. It still sounds like one short step to victim blaming.


Watch out with your own phrasing there. You still sound like one step short of accusing me of supporting rapists.

I could have sworn I've seen a statistic that someone who has been raped has a seven fold higher chance to be raped again -- that implies that there is some kind of behavior (be it who you spend time with, how you spend your time, how you behave, etc) that can change your personal chance of being raped, doesn't it? It could be just social behavior.
I have nothing to back this up (although you had nothing to back that up :)) but here is my speculation. First, this could be a victim of incest. I imagine that living with your rapist is a significant risk factor for your father or whoever to rape you again. Similarly, this could be a person in an abusive relationship, and their intimate partner rapes them more than once. I hope you won't suggest that the victim in these cases is guilty of behaving wrongly. In an abusive relationship, as with during a rape, if you survive then you did the right thing.


Well, there is the choice of "getting the hell out", in that "getting the hell out" would probably avoid rape more effectively than staying in the relationship. And yes, quite often one lacks the knowledge, confidence or ability to make that choice. That is why things like victim's shelters, education and the like are good things.

That's the thing about statistics like that; they are harmless in themselves but they bug me because I think a more pressing question to answer would be how likely someone who rapes is to rape again.


Reasonably high, but note that the general class of sexual criminals are less likely to repeat their crime after they have been imprisoned and released than criminals in general. Or that was the stats I saw last.

Things like this are why I'm trying to make a conscious effort to say "he raped her" rather than "she was raped." It removes the rapist from the equation, and if the rapist is not there then who is responsible? A personal thing perhaps, but language is important.


Yes, I'm well aware how important people view language. I find stopping and reducing rape to be more important than language games by so many orders of magnitude, I hope you don't mind if I neglect it. :-)

Do you have any statistical basis that the above is effective?
No, and that's what's so frustrating about this entire conversation is that people just don't study rapists. I did a search for "rapist profile" and came up with that incredibly offensive nonsense about the "four different kind of rapists"...the anger-retaliatory and whatever. Oh, here's the place I went to.


I was under the impression that most rapists are victims of sexual abuse at some point in the past? (ie, not all, but over 50%). If so, then a nice side benefit of stopping rape from happening is that it might reduce the number of rapists a generation in the future -- a positive feedback loop.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/rape.htm
currently are about 0.5% of the population over 12 per year. Over 80 years, that would imply people born today end up with a roughly 5% chance of being a victim.

Note that rates where much higher in the 70s than today. At 2.5% per year, over 80 years, that comes to 87% chance of being a victim.
Whoa whoa whoa, slow down there cowboy. People are not equally likely to be raped every year of their lives. According to RAINN, 44% of victims are under age 18 (almost there!) and 80% are under age 30. So if you make it to 30, you can breathe a sigh of relief. (Again, where are the statistics on the average age of the rapist?) I'm not so good at the math, but does that make it closer to the actual commonly cited rates of 1/4 or 1/6?
...Or wait, did I understand your post/math correctly? I thought you were saying that someone has an 87% chance of being raped in their lives, but then before that it looks like you say that someone has a 5% chance of being raped in their lives, and the difference is when they were born. Obviously one number is WAY too high, and the other is WAY too low. Clarification please, I'm confused.


The 80 year number is an approximation.

The numbers are for "number of rapes per person of age 12+ in society". So an easy approximation asto the number of rapes per person per lifetime is (chance of not being raped in a given year)^(number of years of life expectancy at age 12).

The 87% number neglects the possibility that someone is raped more than once (if there where 4 people, and 1 person got raped 3 times, then that would show up as a 75% -- which isn't accurate), and assumes that the highest rate of rape on the graph continued forever (which is unlikely -- that spike is probably due to demographic effects somewhat).

But the comparison, of 5% vs 87%, does illustrate the effects of a huge drop in rates of rape since the late 70s to today. This is part of a huge decline in violent crime in general, btw.

Also interesting from the national crime survey: barring automobile theft, every crime they looked at had a 30% to 60% "report to police" rate.
Yeah, well, police corruption is a whole other thread...someone should start that actually.


Huh? I was just pointing out that most crimes have similar report rates. Ie, someone is about as likely to not report a physical assault, a robbery or the like as they are to not report a rape, according to the data in that study.

Automobile theft, on the other hand, has an 80% report rate (much higher), probably due to insurance (reporting the theft to the police is a step that is required to get your theft insurance money back).
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Ari
Posts: 725
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:09 pm UTC
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Ari » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:31 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:One is non-functioning. True hermaphrodism doesn't exist in humans. Modified genitalia does, i.e., a clitoris will resemble a penis, or a modified vagina will have formed.

The person will either produce sperm, or ovum. Not both. Or they'll produce neither. In any case, if they are X, XX, or XXX, they are female. If they are XY, XYY, XXY, they are male. Sexually.

On the feminism-workforce thing, I am very pleased to see women finding themselves in high ranking positions. I am still displeased to find that the average cost of living for a man is higher. Ladies may still be making 80-some odd cents to my dollar, but health insurance and such is still biased against men.


Right, I agree that people with ambiguous or mixed gender almost invariably eventually tip in one direction or another on the scale of physical gender... but that's not the same as saying they match someone who is very obviously physically just male or female, with no confusion. I think lumping us into categories of purely male and purely female with no fuzzy lines distracts us from the fact that physical characteristics associated with gender vary wildly. It's also possible to be female with very boyish features, enough to confuse people at a glance, too, although I have no idea if there is any medical condition that causes this. I think this sort of thing makes viewing physical gender as a binary tick-box choice a bit silly. There are too many exceptions, even if you can brute-force them into either option.

I'm with you on your last paragraph though- while there's good evidence that paying women in parity would be better for the economy, I think we need to remove discrimination in insurance, etc... against men and stop accepting that men are just going to be a "health risk" compared to women while we work to equalise pay. Institutional discrimination is bad both ways if it's bad one way.

SecondTalon wrote:Could sit around and argue for hours about this, but there's really no point in it... So, simply put, I disagree. While this may be accurate in some cases, it's not something you can blanket statement and move on. And yeah, I was drawing your words out to a conclusion you didn't reach. Sorry about that.


It's okay. I don't think there's really more to be said there, and I don't really mind that you disagree. :) As long as we're clear I'm not saying something like "hurrrr! Don't be mothers, girls!", I'm fine, lol.

Izawwlgood wrote:btilly, Gharbad already raised the point of AIS individuals appearing to be, and functionally being female, and pointed out that they would be offended at being called male. So I'm going to try and be careful with this:

If you are reproductively unable to produce ovum, which these individuals are, you are not genetically matched to your gender (in this case, i'm not trying to say that those who don't produce ovum are NOT women, i.e., menopausal women or women who don't ovulate need not apply here). AIS individuals are gendered female. They are reproductively sterile, but genetically male. They are sterile due to not producing gametes for reproduction, but if you were to somehow make a clone of them that had a functioning androgen receptor, the clone would be male.

Sex, is, binary (for mammals). There is no inbetween, you are either reproductively a male, or reproductively a female. You can have women bits and be genetically male, identify as a woman (gender), but your genome would identify you otherwise.


Except most people would definitely label a CAIS individual as a girl/woman, and purely for physical reasons. Whether or not they're in some technical sense sterile boys/men, it gives us a compelling argument that even physical gender is not entirely determined by our genes or our fertility, and thus that it's not a matter of choosing between merely two discrete options. You may rightly point out it's just a matter of not having enough options... but dividing along genetic lines is nonetheless inaccurate with what we socially perceive to define a person's physical gender.

btilly wrote:when you look across species.


Hermaphrodism exists in other species. Of that i'm certainly not arguing. Also, just as female is the original state of a fetus in humans (i think mammals, but that may not be true), in many insects it is the male state that is original, requiring another chromosome to make individuals female. That said, true hermaphrodism does NOT exist in humans. Those who are born with a modified penis and a modified vagina do NOT have both testicles and ovaries, or more specifically, sperm and ovum!

So sex is binary, gender is not. (again, in my opinion)[/quote]

I still think you're fudging the data to fit your opinions, rather than molding your opinions around the data. Categories only make sense if they can be aligned easily into a discreet or continuous groups. The discreet groups you're crafting take all sorts of dismissals of related data as irrelevant to fit. Usually that's a sign of bad categorisation- but if you still think that works... *shrug*

Gharbad wrote:As someone who has many libertarian leanings, I'd thank you not to lump us all together under the name "objectivist". Fucking ayn Rand. I hate her.

Sorry, carry on.


As a left-libertarian, I feel an intense urge to thank you for that well-timed FU to Ayn Rand. ^_^ Thanks for pointing out how diverse libertarianism actually gets.

Quixotess wrote:Watch out with your phrasing there. It still sounds like one short step to victim blaming.


Uh, I think that language was rather neutral and that you may be being over-sensitive here. Saying there exist ways to prevent crimes that aren't always being utilised is not the same as saying that the victim is at fault, and I think it requires a lot more powerful language than that to descend into victim-bashing, even if rape is a really sensitive topic. I agree that we can certainly be more careful about language regarding rape, but we're not exactly counselling rape victims or anything. Is that really our primary concern here when we discuss rape?
"Hey %*&^er, offensive communication works fine so long as you do it respectfully." :D
"I am so quoting that out of context at a later date."

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Vaniver » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:08 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:Well, there are prescriptive and restrictive Rights. Ie, the Right to Life -- does that let you tie someone down and remove their kidney to save your own life? Or does it mean that people aren't allowed to kill you?
That's an important distinction that I forgot to make. Thank you.

I would say that in my experience most things that I think ought to be rights are restrictive (although there are a few things that straddle the border; it seems more sensible to call the right to vote a prescriptive right, but it can be interpreted as the right to not have my vote disenfranchised), and most of the things I think ought to be called comforts are prescriptive (like, for example, a right to health care which justifies itself as a part of the right to life).

Yakk wrote:I am not aware of a model that lets you apply a number-based utility to a single humans alternative choices in general, let alone multiple people. Utility as an ordering of specific preferences makes sense. Claiming a complete ordering is questionable, but not that broken. Mapping a complete ordering in an arbitrary way to the real numbers is valid. But using real number field operations on the maped utilities is pure madness.
Of everyone you know that has advocated something in the name of the common good, how many have attempted to define it or flatly stated who would define it?

I'm fairly confident actually calculating it is impossible. But that doesn't stop people from seeing the 'common good' as their desires writ large (and hopefully focusing on the problem of computing it will).

Yakk wrote:They believe that collectivist policies (tax everyone, produce benefits for everyone) produce a negative negative benefit to themselves, and that reducing them would increase their own personal situation?
[edit]True. I'm unhappy with my current response to this, and will revise it when I have more time.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

All the cases of hermaphrodism for humans are examples of chimeric development, and are anomalous. I'm not trying to conform the data to my opinion, I'm trying to make sense of the data in a way that still adheres to logic. No instance of hermaphrodism in humans has resulted in an individual that produces viable sperm AND viable ovum such that they may both impregnate others and be themselves impregnated. Chimerism means two ovum were fertilized and fused, rendering the now single individual a mix of cells from two people (in this case, a brother and a sister). So even if you could extract mature sperm and mature ovum and use them for reproductive purposes, they are not form the same individual, classically speaking.

As to whether or not the Male/Female box checking is an over simplification, or at least not acknowledging that its complicated for some people, I agree, because the individuals may be unsure of their situation. We've all heard the story of the woman who in college took a genetics course and while karyotyping herself discovered that she had a Y chromosome, and had been gender reassigned at a young age. I don't advocate for her to suddenly start checking the "Male" box on a health form, but, regrettably, I would tell her that genetically speaking she was a male. She can still identify as a woman, continue life as a woman, but that doesn't make her genetically or reproductively female.

To equate chimeric hermaphrodism in humans to justification of a true intersex and proof against the binary nature of our sex, is to say that this image is proof that not all mammals are born with 1 set of eyes. Its an anomaly, it happens, but is not an example of a violation of the standard model.
Attachments
twohead.jpg
Something different, yes!
twohead.jpg (35.74 KiB) Viewed 3453 times
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:54 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:All the cases of hermaphrodism for humans are examples of chimeric development, and are anomalous. I'm not trying to conform the data to my opinion, I'm trying to make sense of the data in a way that still adheres to logic. No instance of hermaphrodism in humans has resulted in an individual that produces viable sperm AND viable ovum such that they may both impregnate others and be themselves impregnated. Chimerism means two ovum were fertilized and fused, rendering the now single individual a mix of cells from two people (in this case, a brother and a sister). So even if you could extract mature sperm and mature ovum and use them for reproductive purposes, they are not form the same individual, classically speaking.


Chimerism is extremely common... Would you say killing the above person should be prosecuted as two murders?

They are quite clearly 1 person who happens to have two different sets of genes in their body. If your choice of model doesn't encompass that, your model is rather flawed, or generates silly things like "that's two people, not one" for a large percentage of the population...

As to whether or not the Male/Female box checking is an over simplification, or at least not acknowledging that its complicated for some people, I agree, because the individuals may be unsure of their situation. We've all heard the story of the woman who in college took a genetics course and while karyotyping herself discovered that she had a Y chromosome, and had been gender reassigned at a young age. I don't advocate for her to suddenly start checking the "Male" box on a health form, but, regrettably, I would tell her that genetically speaking she was a male. She can still identify as a woman, continue life as a woman, but that doesn't make her genetically or reproductively female.


She is just as reproductively female as any other infertile female. :) Infertility is common, and ignoring it when you choose, and using it to classify people when you choose, means that you have a logical system whose conclusions are based off nothing but arbitrary and personal opinion... (as opposed to codified opinion)

Ie, not very logical!

To equate chimeric hermaphrodism in humans to justification of a true intersex and proof against the binary nature of our sex, is to say that this image is proof that not all mammals are born with 1 set of eyes. Its an anomaly, it happens, but is not an example of a violation of the standard model.


Yes, not all mammals are born with 1 set of eyes. This is true. The opposite claim, that all mammals are born with 1 set of eyes, is a false claim. I don't understand your point?
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:47 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:They are quite clearly 1 person who happens to have two different sets of genes in their body. If your choice of model doesn't encompass that, your model is rather flawed, or generates silly things like "that's two people, not one" for a large percentage of the population...


My model calls them anomalies. As I've stated. They are singular individuals who, partially due to being sterile, are not to be counted for the nature of sex in the human species.

Yakk wrote:Chimerism is extremely common...


Thats news to me. In fact, I believe it is so rare that a pubmed search on it revealed less then 100 papers that were not also referencing cancerous or engineered tissues. The ONLY case aside from hermaphrodism I've heard of (which by the way, IS rare) is an instance of a woman bearing cells from her son, presumably transplanted while she was pregnant with him. But find me something that says its common.

Yakk wrote:Yes, not all mammals are born with 1 set of eyes. This is true. The opposite claim, that all mammals are born with 1 set of eyes, is a false claim. I don't understand your point?


My point is the opposite claim is NOT a false claim. Until you can show me mammals with more then one set of eyes walking around and breeding and serving as a reasonable alternative to the singular eye set motive, I'll relinquish my thinking. Similarly, if you can show me reproducing hermaphrodites (able to both impregnate and be impregnated) I'll relinquish my thinking. But it seems your model of a more then binary sex system is still the one waiting proof, not mine.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Belial » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:02 pm UTC

Thats news to me.


A recent study found that about 75% of people are chimeras, but most of them only slightly. Apparently, there's a high incidence of cells from the mother passing down the umbilical cord and becoming part of the child. Most of the time it doesn't come up because they're only small areas and the difference is never found. It's also cited as a possible contributing factor to various autoimmune problems, as well as inexplicable bone marrow rejections and that sort of thing.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:My point is the opposite claim is NOT a false claim. Until you can show me mammals with more then one set of eyes walking around and breeding and serving as a reasonable alternative to the singular eye set motive, I'll relinquish my thinking. Similarly, if you can show me reproducing hermaphrodites (able to both impregnate and be impregnated) I'll relinquish my thinking. But it seems your model of a more then binary sex system is still the one waiting proof, not mine.


You clearly are not using a definition of the term "all" that I have ever seen used.

All means every. Now, if you said "nearly all mammals have 1 set of eyes", not a problem. But "all mammals have 1 set of eyes" is contradicted by even one mammal having something other than 1 set of eyes.

That is what "all" means. It means every one of them.

Practically, I don't see the point in providing you with evidence: if I demonstrated that 75% of human beings are chimeric, would that change your conclusions, or would you simply exclude it as yet another exception? Given that your logical model allows "all" to mean "not all", how do your statements have any meaning? Heck, I'd bet money that if I found an entire colony of humans with functional male/female sex parts, you'd simply find a reason to exclude them from your system (They aren't human, they belong to a different species -- or there aren't enough of them -- or they are actually 2 people each -- or...) in order to hold to your pre-determined conclusion.

You don't appear to be arguing from evidence, but rather shaping the evidence to match your position. Either that, or we aren't speaking the same language, because you just went and redefined what I take to be a very clear statement "all X are Y" to mean "all X, except as many exceptions as I choose to exclude, are Y", which is a pretty useless reconstruction of English.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:12 pm UTC

@Belial: Thats interesting. I've heard of cells transplanting between mother and fetus, but didn't realize the rate was so high. Can you show a paper out of curiosity?

@Yakk: The definition I put up prior between sex and gender was that sex=reproduction, gender=self-identity. If you can show me a hermaphrodite that can reproduce as a hermaphrodite, instead of simply bearing the physical characters of both sexes, you'll have shown me an exception to the binary nature of sex. If you show me sterile individuals, you haven't demonstrated a non-binary system. Further more the statement "all mammals have one set of eyes" as my example, I suppose should be revised to "all healthy and normal mammals have one set of eyes". Just as hermaphrodites will exhibit exceptions to the norm, mammals with multiple sets of eyes are not normal, they have formed due to a breakdown of regulatory systems, and are not really instances of mammals with more then one set of eyes.

If you performed an autopsy on 1000 caveman and found that one had an enormous tumor in their brain, would you posit that A) the caveman had cancer, or B) All cavemen had tumors in their brains? Even the assumption that C) SOME cavemen had cancer is an overshot in this example.

Like I said, if you show me a hermaphrodite that can impregnate another AND be impregnated by another, I'll relinquish that sex is not binary.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Belial » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

On chimerism:

The research was mentioned in this article pertaining to recent blood-doping charges, which caused me to look up this listing of all of Dr Ann Reed's research. I haven't had time to sift through it yet.

For what it's worth, I appear to be wrong about the percentage, it's 50 to 70.

Like I said, if you show me a hermaphrodite that can impregnate another AND be impregnated by another, I'll relinquish that sex is not binary.


Actually, all he should need to show you is a sterile individual to make gender at least trinary: reproductively male, reproductively female, and neither.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

Fair enough, Chimerism does not appear to be anomolous. Chimerism does not equal hermaphrodism.

Sterility is not a third sex. It is only representative of issues with one of the two sexes.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Belial » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:38 pm UTC

If you insist on defining the sexes only by what they produce and what they are capable of, sterility is by necessity a third option, as it produces neither of the defined cellular substances nor is capable of either of the two defining acts. Thus, there are either three sexes, or your system is faulty.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:@Belial: Thats interesting. I've heard of cells transplanting between mother and fetus, but didn't realize the rate was so high. Can you show a paper out of curiosity?

@Yakk: The definition I put up prior between sex and gender was that sex=reproduction


Then there are, as Belail noted, clearly at least 3 sexes. Women change sex at puberty and at menopause (in general). Boys may or may not change sex at puberty, and when they "cannot get it up" they also change sex?

And many people are neuters.

The addition of technology can allow an otherwise neuter individual to become sexed.

If you can show me a hermaphrodite that can reproduce as a hermaphrodite, instead of simply bearing the physical characters of both sexes, you'll have shown me an exception to the binary nature of sex.


Hermaphrodites who produce hermaphrodites would be rare, but not impossible. They would probably be more likely than an individual non-hermaphrodite having a bi-sex hermaphrodite child.

If you show me sterile individuals, you haven't demonstrated a non-binary system.


Why not? They fit in neither category, and are relatively common.

Further more the statement "all mammals have one set of eyes" as my example, I suppose should be revised to "all healthy and normal mammals have one set of eyes".


Sure, with a broad enough definition of normal and a narrow enough definition of healthy, that is a true statement.

Just as hermaphrodites will exhibit exceptions to the norm, mammals with multiple sets of eyes are not normal, they have formed due to a breakdown of regulatory systems, and are not really instances of mammals with more then one set of eyes.


No, they are really instances of mammals with more than one set of eyes. Really.

In comparison, there are no mammals that can levitate using only their brain waves and no external tools, barring a relatively unlikely QM event. ;)

If you performed an autopsy on 1000 caveman and found that one had an enormous tumor in their brain, would you posit that A) the caveman had cancer, or B) All cavemen had tumors in their brains? Even the assumption that C) SOME cavemen had cancer is an overshot in this example.


Of course we know that some cavemen had cancer based off of a single instance. I really don't understand how you use English!

If sex is not determined by reproduction, then what is it determined by? Weighted sum of the number of X and Y chromasomes in the body?

You where saying that one's sex is determined by your reproductive capabilities -- what is your new definition?
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

Well for starters, a eunuch or a woman who's had a hysterectomy at one point in time produced viable gametes. So yes, they are sterile, but they are still male and female respectively.

Individuals born with reproductive issues, such as low enough sperm counts to render them sterile, or abnormal sperm, or abnormalities in the uterus to prevent implantation of a zygot, or lack of functioning LH receptors, etc etc, still bear XY, or XX chromosomes respectively.

As previously stated, chromosomal makeup as it pertains to reproduction defines your sex. If you are reproductively capable of making sperm, you are male. If you are reproductively capable of making ovum, you are female. If you are unable to produce either, you are not a third sex, but a complicated version of one of them. The hermaphrodites listed are not capable of viably producing both, despite having gonadal tissues from both sexes. I'm not sure if a 'majority cell count' should be used, but I haven't seen ample proof to label out a third sex.

According to your guys definition, your saying that if one cannot reproduce, you are not male or female. I think thats a bit extreme. My definition hasn't changed, you just continue asking for further definition so I'm trying to further clarify.

Hermaphrodites who produce hermaphrodites would be rare, but not impossible. They would probably be more likely than an individual non-hermaphrodite having a bi-sex hermaphrodite child.


This is likely not true, as hermaphrodism seems to occur from two, individually fertilized ovum fusing and developing as a joint brother/sister pair. Whether or not the individual is a perfect 50/50 mix I'm unsure of, but the examples given by Neon in a paper were not 50/50 mixes. IF a hermaphrodite were to produce gametes, they would be of the normal variety, as the individual germ lines are distinct (i.e., a single individual would produce sperm that came from 'them', and ovum that came from their 'sister', but not sperm that came from them and ovum that came from them).
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:28 pm UTC

So, as is pertains toreproduction, what does the chromasomal makeup of someone who cannot reproduce mean?

If you are defining sex by chromasome, that is different that defining it by reproduction. You chose to define sex by reproduction: as far as reproduction is concerned, two things that cannot reproduce are the same.

Note that twins run in families: chimeric hemaphrodies are twins, and as such are more likely to have children that are twins. And you need twins in order for chimeric hemaphrodism to occur. Hence a chimeric hemaphrodite is probably more likely to have a chimeric hemaphrodite child than a more normal person is to have a chimeric hemaphrodite child. That chances are still going to be relatively low.

...

Chimerics are a single person, as far as I can tell. Or do you consider someone with a donated kidney to be two people all of a sudden?

...

There is a simpler model. Just claim that your model is incomplete, and covers the majority of the population. Claiming that your model is perfect and complete is what makes exceptions matter.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:03 pm UTC

Well, if they were born able to reproduce, it means that life got in the way. If they were born unable to reproduce, it means something else did.

If you were to take cells from a sterile male (say a eunuch), or female (say a woman who has had a hysterectomy) and clone them, they would produce a viable human being, who could reproduce. Thus, rendering someone sterile does not make them a not-male or not-female.

In the case of chimerism, If you were to take the XX or XY cells from a hermaphrodite and clone them, only one of those cell lines would be the 'original' hermaphrodite, and NEITHER of those would become a hermaphrodite.

Donated kidney doesn't apply because it is a 'during life modification', just as I wouldn't consider a male baby who's been surgically reassigned to a girl at birth to be a female.

Also, prepubescence is not an additional sex any more then post menopausal females are no longer females!

But yes, my model is incomplete as it requires a combination of chromosomal make up and reproductive capabilities, and I'm willing to admit that 50/50 chimeric hermaphrodites certainly confuse me as to how to categorize them.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:15 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Well, if they were born able to reproduce, it means that life got in the way. If they were born unable to reproduce, it means something else did.

If you were to take cells from a sterile male (say a eunuch), or female (say a woman who has had a hysterectomy) and clone them, they would produce a viable human being, who could reproduce. Thus, rendering someone sterile does not make them a not-male or not-female.


Sure. And the Y chromosome is simple enough that you could take cells from a female, replace one of the X chromosomes with a Y chromosome, and end up with a male cell...

Either funky technological tricks are allowed, in which case you can mix genes from two females and produce offspring (which makes them what?), or they aren't.

In the case of chimerism, If you were to take the XX or XY cells from a hermaphrodite and clone them, only one of those cell lines would be the 'original' hermaphrodite, and NEITHER of those would become a hermaphrodite.


What "original"? There is one person there with two sets of genes. Hell -- you are aware that every single human carries two distinct sets of DNA inside themselves: their nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, right?

Donated kidney doesn't apply because it is a 'during life modification', just as I wouldn't consider a male baby who's been surgically reassigned to a girl at birth to be a female.


So, the "I make up rules as I go along" rule to keep things "logical"?

Also, prepubescence is not an additional sex any more then post menopausal females are no longer females!


Because you arbitrarially choose that? The postmenopausal female is unable to reproduce. If biological sex is based off of reproduction, she is indistinguishable wrt reproduction to a sterile male. If, however, the categories are "whatever Izawwlgood says they are", then sure that works... sort of.

In a very fundamental way, an YXX and an YYX are different than a YX cell, as is an XXX from an XX cell. As far as I can tell, your actual criteria for "sex" is "if it has a Y chromosome, then it is male, otherwise female"?

That catagorization is not based off of "how can it reproduce", nor on 99% of the person's biology. (As noted, you can generate someone who, biologically, is female in nearly every way, except ova production, and has XY chromosomes).

The woman who has XY and is infertile, and the man who is XX and is infertile -- reproductively, they are identical (neuter). Biologically, each behave closer to the sex that doesn't line up with the typical pattern of the X and Y chromosomes. Yet you are catagorizing them based off of the absense or existence of the Y chromosome.

That is an arbitrary choice: calling it reproductive sexuality is inaccurate. You could call it genetic sexuality, which often results in expressing reproductive sexuality.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:47 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:Sure. And the Y chromosome is simple enough that you could take cells from a female, replace one of the X chromosomes with a Y chromosome, and end up with a male cell...

Either funky technological tricks are allowed, in which case you can mix genes from two females and produce offspring (which makes them what?), or they aren't.


I'm not sure if our technology is fine enough for single chromosome swapping, but in any case, you'll note I didn't bring up funky genetic tricks. Earlier someone mentioned the fusion of two ovum to make a zygot, which does not occur naturally but went successfully (obviously making a female). My point was, the cells in a hermaphrodite are not belonging to a single individual, and as such, if they were somehow cloned, or if the gametes were taken and implanted into a recipient (or impregnated by a donor), of the two offspring, only ONE of them would classically 'belong' to the hermaphrodite.

Here:
Say, for the sake of argument, that DNA from the brain of a hermaphrodite was sampled and belonged to person A. Say person A has germ lines of XX and XY. Germline XX belongs to person A, but germline XY belongs to person B. Person B was the brother (FRATERNAL twins, not identical! This is important!), absorbed in utero. So if you were to take ovum from this hermaphrodite and fertilize it, the offspring would 'belong' to the hermaphrodite. If you took sperm from the individual, and fertilized an ovum with it, the offspring would not 'belong' to the hermaphrodite. I admit my classification breaks down in the event of a more 50/50 chimeric split, and I don't have an answer for how to handle that, but the best analogy I can equate this to is if you give someone a heart transplant, then extract tissue from the heart and make a clone of that tissue, the new clone is NOT the recipient of the heart.

Yakk wrote:Hell -- you are aware that every single human carries two distinct sets of DNA inside themselves: their nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, right?


I am aware of this neato fact, I am further aware of the fact that this mitochrondrial DNA comes from the mother, and I am confused as to how this is relevant, as it is about as important to the discussion as the fact that there are gazillions of organisms living in our guts as well.

Yakk wrote:So, the "I make up rules as I go along" rule to keep things "logical"?


Well, no, but with each point you bring up, I'm going to try and explain my side. Bringing organ donors into the equation isn't all that relevant, so I commented against it. If you want to take cheap jabs at this discussion, I'll stop defending my perspective.

So based on my definition, yes, your sex is determined by the presence or absence of a Y chromosome. If you have a combination of X's, you are female. If you have a combination of Y's, you are male. Whether or not you are capable of reproduction is relevant, but not in so far as it bars you from this consideration. If you are sterile and XY, your male. If you are fertile and XXY, your male. XXX, female. Sterile, and X, female. Thats how mammals work, the 'default' state of sex is female, a male and female fetus develops the same until sex hormones are produced, and then genitalia differentiate according to what is expressed. Y, and you get a penis and testicles. No Y, and therefor, X, you get a vagina and uterus. There are complications, I awknowledge, in the differentiation of said structures, but genetically, what you got is what you are.

I'm curious if you are aware that your sex is determined by your father. By the inclusion, or lack of, a Y chromosome in his sperm.

And, like I admitted:
Izawwlgood wrote:But yes, my model is incomplete as it requires a combination of chromosomal make up and reproductive capabilities, and I'm willing to admit that 50/50 chimeric hermaphrodites certainly confuse me as to how to categorize them.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Yakk » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:23 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Yakk wrote:Sure. And the Y chromosome is simple enough that you could take cells from a female, replace one of the X chromosomes with a Y chromosome, and end up with a male cell...

Either funky technological tricks are allowed, in which case you can mix genes from two females and produce offspring (which makes them what?), or they aren't.


I'm not sure if our technology is fine enough for single chromosome swapping, but in any case, you'll note I didn't bring up funky genetic tricks. Earlier someone mentioned the fusion of two ovum to make a zygot, which does not occur naturally but went successfully (obviously making a female). My point was, the cells in a hermaphrodite are not belonging to a single individual, and as such, if they were somehow cloned, or if the gametes were taken and implanted into a recipient (or impregnated by a donor), of the two offspring, only ONE of them would classically 'belong' to the hermaphrodite.


Yes, they belong to a single individual. There is one person there, moreso than there is one person in someone whose brain was divided using surgery.

Once again, are you claiming that the murder of a chimeric person is two homicides?

Here:
Say, for the sake of argument, that DNA from the brain of a hermaphrodite was sampled and belonged to person A.

Well, that cell. Chimeric people tend to be made out of a mottle of cells. There is no reason why the brain would be genetically uniform, as far as I know.

Say person A has germ lines of XX and XY. Germline XX belongs to person A, but germline XY belongs to person B.


I, on the other hand, only see one person, who happens to be made out of two kinds of cells. If the cells act like one organism, why are they two separate people? I mean, other than to in order to make your assumption, before you where aware of them, that all people are one sex or the other true?

Person B was the brother (FRATERNAL twins, not identical! This is important!), absorbed in utero. So if you were to take ovum from this hermaphrodite and fertilize it, the offspring would 'belong' to the hermaphrodite. If you took sperm from the individual, and fertilized an ovum with it, the offspring would not 'belong' to the hermaphrodite.


Are you claiming that the children of the XY or XX line of cells wouldn't be the child of the person who gave them birth?

That makes very little sense.

I admit my classification breaks down in the event of a more 50/50 chimeric split, and I don't have an answer for how to handle that, but the best analogy I can equate this to is if you give someone a heart transplant, then extract tissue from the heart and make a clone of that tissue, the new clone is NOT the recipient of the heart.


Um, clones don't duplicate people. They create new organisms -- in the case of people, new people. Or do you think that identical twins are actually one person? *boggle*

Yakk wrote:Hell -- you are aware that every single human carries two distinct sets of DNA inside themselves: their nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, right?


I am aware of this neato fact, I am further aware of the fact that this mitochrondrial DNA comes from the mother, and I am confused as to how this is relevant, as it is about as important to the discussion as the fact that there are gazillions of organisms living in our guts as well.


Well, you seem to think that different DNA means different organisms. Does that mean you consider every human being to be two people? *puzzled* -- I do not see any pattern to your designation "that is two people" , "that is one person" , "that is male" and "that is female". It seems arbitrary.

Yakk wrote:So, the "I make up rules as I go along" rule to keep things "logical"?


Well, no, but with each point you bring up, I'm going to try and explain my side. Bringing organ donors into the equation isn't all that relevant, so I commented against it. If you want to take cheap jabs at this discussion, I'll stop defending my perspective.


You have a side: would that mean if you changed your mind, you would lose?

So based on my definition, yes, your sex is determined by the presence or absence of a Y chromosome. If you have a combination of X's, you are female. If you have a combination of Y's, you are male. Whether or not you are capable of reproduction is relevant, but not in so far as it bars you from this consideration. If you are sterile and XY, your male. If you are fertile and XXY, your male. XXX, female. Sterile, and X, female. Thats how mammals work, the 'default' state of sex is female, a male and female fetus develops the same until sex hormones are produced, and then genitalia differentiate according to what is expressed. Y, and you get a penis and testicles. No Y, and therefor, X, you get a vagina and uterus. There are complications, I awknowledge, in the differentiation of said structures, but genetically, what you got is what you are.


The sex selection, at the gross level, happens due to hormones, not due to chromosomes. The chromosomes trigger the hormone release and interpretation sometimes, and they don't other time.

Someone who, genetically, develops into a person with nearly all of the characteristics of a female, yet has a Y chromosome, you consider reproductively male. Yet this person has the body chemistry of a woman.

I'm curious if you are aware that your sex is determined by your father. By the inclusion, or lack of, a Y chromosome in his sperm.


No more than your sex is determined by your mother. The egg's acceptance of rejection of one of the 100s of sperm, which almost always contain a distribution of X and Y chromosomes, determines your sex. ;)

As a hard example, a mother who releases an egg with a faulty X chromosome will not give birth to a man with that egg, regardless of what the distribution of sperm from the father is. So a woman with one "fatal" and one "non-fatal" X chromosome will give birth to twice as many girls as boys, half of whom will carry a fatal X chromosome defect.

Biology is complex, and if you try to reduce it down to pithy universal statements, you get it wrong, because pithy statements cannot reflect the complexity of biology.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:38 am UTC

Yakk wrote:Yes, they belong to a single individual. There is one person there, moreso than there is one person in someone whose brain was divided using surgery.

Once again, are you claiming that the murder of a chimeric person is two homicides?


I've never claimed that, nor have I claimed that a hermaphrodite IS two people. They are chimera's, meaning they possess CELLS from two people. If you want to get into the fundamental nature of what defines an individual, I'm ALL about it from a biological perspective (brain signals baby, brain signals), but I have made no claims about it one way or the other. For example, Oxoiron has donated one of his kidney's to his father in law. I am not positing that murdering his father in law is murdering two people.

So, no, the germlines of a hermaphrodite do NOT belong to a single genetic individual. If you want to argue that a hermaphrodites individual is composed of those mixed cell lines, then thats fine for discussing and defining their gender, but for their sex, I would argue that that is not the case. The hermaphrodite is carrying two germ lines. This does not make them a third sex, it makes them faulty carriers of genetically male and female cell lines.

I suppose a gruesome example would be if you surgically implanted my sisters uterus into my abdomen. As I possess testicles, the uterus would likely be unable to be successfully implanted with a fetus. Because the rest of the cells in my body bear my XY chromosomal markup, merely possessing my sisters uterus (which is XX) would NOT make ova from said uterus, regardless of their reproductive success, MY ova.

I feel rather icky for conjuring that analogy.

...

I believe you mean billions of sperm. Secondly, in so far as we know it, the egg does not 'accept' a sperm to decide a sex, as the egg has no way of knowing (insofar as we know it) which sperm is carrying X and which sperm is carrying Y.

Thats like saying the driving performance of a car depends on who the car allows to open the door.

So a woman who has an embryologically lethal X and a normal X will not give birth to a higher or lower incidence of male/females, they will give birth to a lower rate of children (approx 50). Unless I'm misinterpreting what you meant by 'faulty X chromosome'?

Biology is complicated, but our understanding of certain systems is pretty advanced, and some of that understanding is what I'm drawing on to make my conclusions. Certainly I don't understand everything, but my perspective is shaped by what I've learned in the myriad biology courses I've taken. If you have knowledge that I don't, PLEASE fill me in.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
neon
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:27 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Genders and Gender roles

Postby neon » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:10 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:Your original answer was ignorant and race baiting.
The Asian supremacy one, or a different answer? If the first, allow me some flippancy when responding to what seem to be non sequitors.


No, when you say "does it not strike you as odd that the children of Chinese railroad workers integrated well and succeed in American society, whereas blacks with similar opportunities failed to?" the implication is that blacks failed because they are inferior to asians. This is a racist attitude that at the very least is deeply ignorant of the black experience in America.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:Comforts and rights are probably about of equal importance to most people, it depends on the situation. There are no black or white answers here.
Ok. Here's where I would respond with a Benjamin Franklin quote, but you've already heard it and all it says is what he and I think, not what everyone does or should think.

So let's move to a practical question- is it legally and ethically 'easier/more useful' to deal with rights or comfort? Rights seem inherently objective, in the sense that they don't require any particulars of the situation in which the rule will be employed. Comfort seems inherently subjective, in the sense it requires the particulars of the situation in which the decision will be made. It makes little sense to do comfort comparisons in the abstract- how do I compare the comfort gained by my eating a bag of chips to the comfort gained by my roommate eating a bag of chips, and even if I could do that comparison, it wouldn't hold true for all food (or even all kinds of chips!). It makes much more sense to do rights comparisons in the abstract- I can easily conclude that if they're my roommate's chips, I shouldn't eat them and he can, and if they're my chips, I can eat them and he shouldn't.

That analogy (and a variation of it) also go a long way towards explaining the difference between a rights-centered view of ethics and a comfort-centered view of ethics, as well as between an absolutist and a relativist view. Suppose that he barely likes this variety of chips, while it's my favorite food. Can I eat them without his permission (if I had his permission this wouldn't be a moral dilemma), because I enjoy them so much more than he does? Under a comfort-centered view, doing so is the greatest good for the greatest number, and while his lack of permission is regrettable, it's standing in the way of the common good.

Aside- the common good is a notoriously ill-defined term. Here let's use a working definition of the sum of the utility in each member of the group. Obviously for this to work utility will have to be normalized somehow (If I use a 0-10 scale to describe how much I enjoy things, and my neighbor uses a 0-100 scale, adding our choices together makes little sense!), which is a problem some philosophers will tell you is impossible. In this example, the happiness of my roommate and myself is higher when I eat the chips than if just he eats the chips, which is higher than if neither of us eat the chips.

Under a rights-centered view, doing so is violating his property rights.

Now, let's change the analogy considerably. Now, he has enough food to feed two people, and I have no food and am on the brink of starvation. Can I take some of his food without his permission (again, if I had his permission this wouldn't be a moral dilemma) because I need them to survive and he doesn't? Under a comfort-centered view, the same argument holds and I should take the food (and doesn't have a judgment if he only has food for one person and is similarly starving; neither of us want it more under any sane system). Under a rights-centered view, again taking his food would violate his property rights. There's a hidden assumption here that should be brought to light- the assumption that an act of omission is morally and ethically different than an act of causation. Not giving food to a starving man has to be different from causing a man to starve. Connectedly, responsibilities must fall on individuals- it's my duty to make sure that I don't starve, and not my duty to make sure my neighbor doesn't starve.

That last statement is contested, at least in part, by all altruistic moralities. But while they often say that it is right to give away surplus food to those in need, they rarely say it is right for those who need food to steal surplus food.

Your reaction to the considerable difference between those examples highlights the different between a relative view of ethics and an absolute rule of ethics. If you see them as fundamentally the same, that's an absolute view of ethics. If you see those as apples and oranges (one is just a comparison of pleasure, the other of life and death), that's a relative view of ethics. I believe that it's easier to construct self-consistent, impersonal, and usable systems of ethics with an absolute viewpoint, but in practice people tend to rationalize the use of different rules for different situations (why do so many people consider 'white lies' ok and liars bad people?). I should comment that by "impersonal" I mean that the ethical system doesn't care about any non-important distinguishing factors of the people involved; the property rights of a man and woman, majority and minority, etc. are the same. This is hard to accomplish in any system that uses loosely-defined terms that some arbiter must interpret; can we trust a racist to come up with a definition of the common good that is not influenced by his view of other races?

I'm going to assume by the "no black or white answers here" comment you're operating on a relativist viewpoint. Discussions of the merits and failings of absolute and relativist systems of ethics probably don't belong here (and this wall of text has probably already worn out the welcome of that subject in this thread), so we should probably discuss this more in another thread if we want to go deeper. I'll just comment that, when a system is applied to a large number of people, getting absolute ethics agreed on (you shouldn't lie to anyone) is probably easier than relativist ethics (you shouldn't lie to anyone, except your boss when making excuses would probably be objected to by your boss), and certainly easier to use in any sort of judicial system (you shouldn't murder is not open to interpretation; you can only kill in reasonable circumstances is open to quite a bit of interpretation and the sentence depends quite a bit on the judge).


I am not surprised that to an absolutist everything else looks like relativism. Relativism is the proposition that there are no important distinctions to be made. That there are no differences that make any real difference. Notice what you are doing, you are dividing everything into rights vs comforts or absolute vs relative. These are false dichotomies. It is your arbitrary choice to divide up a field as broad and varied as ethics into absolutists vs relativists. It's a very glib and sophomoric way of looking at it and the scenarios that you proscribed seem to me to be artificial and contrived. The universe is not black and white but shades of gray and at the human level, when dealing with human problems like ethics and values this is even more pronounced.

You act like or try to pretend that your chip loving actors exist in isolation when they rarely do. "Can I take some of his food without his permission because I need them to survive and he doesn't?" You seem to assume that there is an infinite supply of chips but in reality if one person is hoarding food he is doing so at someone else's expense. So does the one who is starving have a "right" to steal food if the reason he is starving is because the other is hoarding in the first place?

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:I consider objectivism to be a personality cult
So do I! I really wish she had called it something else, instead of implying that to be objective one had to be looking at the world from one particular perspective. That's not how individualism works, Ayn.


Individualism, by looking at the word itself, cannot be objective by definition. (It also sounds to me like a transparent effort to rehabilitate objectivism by renaming it and loping off the truly crazy bits.)

Individual:
Being or characteristic of a single thing or person.

Objective:
Emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation.

Seems to me there is a fundamental conflict there and while it is possible for one individual to be objective the odds for it are rather small. History seems to bear this out as science is really a collaborative, social activity. It's true that there have been giants but they were never as isolated as our myths might lead us to believe. We need both the slow steady accretion of the scientific community and the punctuated achievements of great individuals. This seems to me to be true in ethics also. We need a synthesis of both the rights of the few and the needs of the many. No simplistic black and white, either/or system will accomplish that. Morality is not something that can be codified and reduced onto a spreadsheet. Slaves did not become free through rational debate with slave owners and civil rights have rarely been won because someone "deserves" them. You have to fight for these things. You have to be willing to shed your own blood and die sometimes. Moralty, ethics, is the compromise we make for living in a finite world with finite resources along with others who have needs that are not ours. If food, shelter and other resources were in infinite supply we would have no need for morality.
"Light up the darkness."


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests