On sex, ha ha flies! and the Großmutter of developmental biology
Thanks for this very insightful piece.
Had to smile when you paraphrased the "sex is so complicated" stance many people have. I'm no biologist nor any other kind of natural scientist, but I seem to recall that just about every part of our body is rather complicated, which of course goes for most animals or plants as well. It just baffles me that people only notice when it comes down to biological sex, because it's come to be so ideologically charged.
Our digestive system is no less complicated nor any less complex than our genitalia, if anything, it is even more so and by far, and we see a far greater variety in functionality - or dysfunctionality - than we see with sex. (Just think about how many genetic or otherwise innate conditions concerning digestion and metabolism there are and how common they are compared to DSDs.) Strangely, I do not recall anyone who has anything to say that we can't really say anything about humans' digestive systems and that we may thus as well abolish all dietary guides. Somehow, that never happens.
Thank you for this very good post. Great read - I loved it. Important to expose the wilful ignorance of gender ideologists. I had a futile discussion with a prof of gender studies on Facebook who dismissed Dawkins as lacking expertise. She argued that science had moved on since I went to school, but - of course - was unable to support the claim. She wanted to use DSDs to argue against sex being binary. Alas, all her examples were still either male or female.
Thank you for great essay. I, too, just wrote a piece pointing out that the question of sexes is, in fact, a simple question (at least from my point of view as a Biological Psychologist).
It amazes me that so many people find it confusing.... I guess that ideology can trump reason. Both Andrew and Chris (in other Comments) make good points. DSD's simply do not argue against the fact there are two basic sex categories among humans. Thanks again for this great essay, Frederick
Thanks for a great explanation of how science, particularly biology, works!
I was in the final year of my degree in molecular genetics when C N-V won the Nobel prize. I remember the patterning of the developing embryo being one of the bits of biology I used to get *ridiculously* over-excited by.
It always puzzled me that several – distinguished, qualified – biologists used the existence of a few genetic anomalies which lead to differences in sexual development as evidence that biological sex was a spectrum. To me it always seemed bleedin’ obvious that their existence was actually strong evidence for there only being two sexes. Glad I’m in good company!
Thank you so much, Emma Hilton. I'm one of Marie-Luise Vollbrechts German supporters - adding your voice to the debate is invaluable. It is really unbelievable that trans activists are so willing to dimiss the expertise of exceptionally gifted biologists - especially female ones - to prop up their self serving assertions.