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Are there more than two genders? Show more Show less

Whether binary or a spectrum, innate or a construct, or soon to be irrelevant, gender is one of the most divisive questions on the world's lips. Are there more than two genders? What are the sides to the gender debate?

Yes, there are more than two genders Show more Show less

Gender expression is not exclusively male and female. There are many forms that reside on a spectrum. This spectrum offers tremendous freedom to transgender persons as well as to people born intersex.
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Gender is a spectrum

Gender is not tied to biological sex, but rather is socially constructed and a form of personal expression.
(1 of 3 Arguments) Next >
Gender sex spectrum

Context

Gender dysphoria is characterized in the DSM as follows: “For a person to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, there must be a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months.”

The Argument

One’s gender is not intrinsically tied to the biological sex to which they were born. There is variance in how gender is defined, with some illustrating it as a spectrum between male and female and others defining it in three dimensions within the axes of biology, orientation, and identity.[1] The latter argue that it is confining to think of gender in a cis-normative way, on a male/female spectrum. Whatever the definition, gender dysphoria should not be considered a mental condition. Persons with it are simply different. Society has long believed the same of homosexuality since it was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973.[2] Gender dysphoria and Gender Identity Disorder must also be removed.

Counter arguments

Laws against misgendering individuals is a dangerous precedent. In New York City, a $250,000 fine can be levied against businesses for refusing to accommodate whatever demands are made, with vague and subjective language substantiating it.[3] Against the cis-normative spectrum model, George Gillett commented that ”...belief in a gendered spectrum still upholds the idea of one-dimensional variation between two extremes of maximal “masculinity” and “femininity”. Most perversely, creating an array of gender identities to pick from doesn’t eliminate the apparent need for society to establish pre-determined moulds for people to draw their identity from.”[4] Removing gender dysphoria from the DSM is a slippery slope. Where does it stop? What other mental conditions should be stricken from the manual?

Framing

Premises

[P1] Gender is a social construct not tied to biological sex. [P2] The social arrangement of fitting all people into two camps of male and female denies them of individual freedom to express their identity.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] This problem is not solved by ensuring people are disproportionately punished for not completely accepting another's identity.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2011/11/breaking-through-the-binary-gender-explained-using-continuums/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695779/
  3. https://gothamist.com/news/no-nyc-did-not-just-introduce-a-250000-fine-for-any-incorrect-use-of-gender-pronouns
  4. https://www.newstatesman.com/society/2014/10/we-shouldn-t-fight-gender-equality-we-should-fight-abolish-gender

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This page was last edited on Friday, 14 Feb 2020 at 11:21 UTC