argument top image

Are there more than two genders? Show more Show less
Back to question

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.
(1 of 4) Next position >

Intersex individuals need alternatives

Persons born with partial or fully formed genitalia of both sexes fit neither here nor there in the gender binary. New classifications and pronouns will help them thrive.
< (2 of 3) Next argument >

Context

Intersex persons are born having fully or partially formed genitalia of both biological sexes. The rate of occurrence of this condition is roughly 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 births.[1]

The Argument

There are individuals who, from birth, have fully or partially developed genitals from both sexes. Such cases pose exceptional difficulty for these individuals to properly and comfortably assimilate into a society that prioritizes a binary definition of gender. Having alternate gender options as well as properly categorized medical diagnoses will offer them an avenue to more fully integrate without having to betray who they were born and a better understanding of their biology. The term hermaphrodite has been used historically and stigmatizes those born intersex and their families. New motions in the science community would steer away from the traditional binary classification as well as from the “Five Sexes” model proffered by Anne Fausto-Sterling.[2] The former has historically condemned intersex individuals to a purgatory of the harshest expectations of both and the benefits of neither,[2] while the latter breeds only confusion among the individuals and doctors diagnosing them.[3] The new nomenclature recommended by the scientific community would adopt “specific etiology-based diagnoses... along with an umbrella term.” The term disorders of sex development (DSDs) is generally agreed upon to classify all known intersex conditions. This new system aims to label the condition, not the person.[3]

Counter arguments

Many intersex persons have lived normal lives with their condition, unknown in many cases even to the person themselves, only being discovered upon their death. They do not need any sort of allowances in order to thrive, and certainly can live within the male/female paradigm.

Premises

[P1] Intersex individuals lie outside the gender binary by not having genitalia that is uniformly male or female. [P2] We should reject the gender binary so that intersex people do not have to assimilate to a mold they do not fit.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Humanity is a sexually dimorphic species irrespective of genetic anomalies present in intersex individuals. [Rejecting P2] The gender binary has never coerced individuals into an identity not their own.

References

  1. https://isna.org/faq/frequency/
  2. https://crl.ucsd.edu/~elman/Courses/HDP1/2000/LectureNotes/fausto-sterling.pdf
  3. https://isna.org/node/979/

This page was last edited on Friday, 14 Feb 2020 at 11:25 UTC

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more before voting ↑

Discuss

Explore related arguments