[PLUG-TALK] Alan Turing is an isolated tragedy...

Ronald Chmara ronabop at gmail.com
Wed Jan 7 21:43:50 PST 2009


On Jan 7, 2009, at 11:06 AM, Michael Robinson wrote:

>
> On Wed, 2009-01-07 at 02:49 -0800, Ronald Chmara wrote:
>> I am curious as to Mr. Robinson's opinion on XXY people (those born
>> with both typically "male", and "female", chromosomes), as well as XX
>> people born with penises, and XY people born with vaginas, and the
>> whole range of other human variants of varying gender (joined twins,
>> women with testicles, etc.)
>>
>> The reason: The terms "male" and "female" seem to have been tossed
>> around a lot, without any clear definition, as have the terms
>> "homosexual" and "heterosexual".
>>
>> It's very "dark-ages", pre-science, pre-genetics..... let alone DNA.
>> While it makes for interesting fodder for the under-12 set, I should
>> hope that most adults in the US have had a basic elementary school
>> science education.
>>
>> Example issue: are two intersex people, or slugs, or whatever, with
>> both functioning penises and vaginas, considered homosexual if they
>> sleep together?
>>
> There are certain assumptions that need to be recognized
> or communication is impossible.
>
> 1)  I am talking about humans, not slugs or any other animal or plant
>     for that matter.

Okay. How are you defining 'human", then? Homo sapiens sapiens? A  
specific chromosome count?

> 2)  I realize there is DNA, it just isn't relevant to the discussion
>     of homosexuality because there is no gay gene.  At most, there
>     are genetic factors that make homosexuality more likely given
>     a favorable environment.

This is pure speculation, or perhaps, confusion about genetic  
expression.

What can be said with a degree of scientific accuracy is that no  
specific, always expressed, "gay gene" has been discovered, yet, and  
that twin studies have informed us that people with near-identical  
(individual mutations aside) genetics can have different sexual  
orientations.

> 3)  Hermaphrodites are infertile.

Is this an attempt at defining what a "Hermaphrodite" is? I can  
assure you that some people classed as "hermaphrodites" are quite  
capable of reproduction.

>  There is a definite gender that
>     they identify with.  Nobody feels that they are both a woman
>     and a man.

This is demonstrably wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-spirit
"As of 1991, male and female bodied Two-Spirit people have been  
"documented in over 130 tribes, in every region of North American,  
among every type of native culture""

There's a big different between "nobody" and 130 different area  
cultures all experiencing the same thing.... and that's just in one  
section of the Americas.

>  Hermaphrodites are also rare and the unimportant
>     exception.

When one speaks in sweeping generalizations, a single exception is  
all that is needed to prove the argument false. Hundreds of  
exceptions simply add more data points to how wrong sweeping  
generalizations are.

> 4)  Male defines a man who is XY without any genetic malformations
>     of his testicles.  He has the correct amount of testosterone
>     and other male sex hormones in his system.
> 5)  Female defines a woman who is XX without any genetic malformations
>     of her genitalia and breasts.  She has the correct amount of
>     progesterone and other female sex hormones in her system.

I'm not sure what metrics you are using for "correct amounts", or  
what your metric is for differentiating "malformations" from  
"individual expressed variation". I'm also unclear as to whether you  
consider people with "malformations" as "human".

> Homosexuality is not genetic.  Knowledge gained in  a lifetime isn't a
> genetic phenomenon either.  Many preferences that people develop are
> not genetic.

Again, we don't have the data to say such things about human  
sexuality, one way or another, yet... and it's likely that we never  
will, as "homosexual" and "heterosexual" are terms as messy,  
nebulous, and often as unscientific, as terms like "race", "sex", and  
"gender".

-Bop



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