Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

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C40
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Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by C40 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:17 pm

Ok... Usually I understand most of the cultural 'progress' happening (at least here in the U.S.). There have been some things more recently that I don't entirely 'get'. One of those is the recent and seemingly very quick changes related to gender.

You have:
- What seems like way more trans people lately
- Some recent drama over restroom use (that I assume is part of a bigger picture - civil rights for these groups of people)
- Odd and annoying demands around the use of pronouns "THOSE AREN'T MY PRONOUNS!!! FUCK YOU!!!" :shock: :shock:
- The explosion of gender-identity names. Facebook now has 71 different gender options. Whaaaaat?

I've felt annoyed by parts of this evolution around genders. I've had a bit of a feeling of "What the hell is going on? What are these kids doing". I've also wondered if need to learn about it so I can understand the reasonings and need for it. So I'm trying to learn more...



---------------------------------------------
A New Documentary
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I watched this documentary tonight:
Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric (Full Documentary) | National Geographic


It's a National Geographic production with Katie Courec. The main things the documentary attempts to share are:

1 - What Trans people are and how it happens. (and other things such as intersex). How it happens. Why these people feel the way they do. The short version is that being trans and intersex is essentially a birth defect. The developing baby becomes a certain gender and is developing as such, but then, a bit later, the amount of testosterone the baby receives (or is it creates?) is not appropriate. A developing boy gets too little. Or a developing girl gets too much. Then parts of the baby's brain develop as the opposite sex as the rest of their body. (This includes the declaration that parts of the brain are different in men and women). The child is born with the physical body of one gender, but with parts of their brain as another. Those parts of the brain make the person feel like they are 'really' the opposite gender as their genitals/body.

2 - That society should be nice and accepting of these people.



---------------------------------------------
Thoughts and Discussion
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Is Trans Gender a birth defect? Should/are we trying to prevent it?
Given what is explained in the documentary within Point #1 above:
a - What causes this wrong amount of testosterone in developing babies? How can it be prevented? The documentary didn't spend any time at all exploring this.

b - In the documentary, they shared that in recent history, the number of people identifying as Transgendered has increased a lot. They supplied that the reason is cultural; now people understand trans gendering better and can recognize when it happens, and sharing that you are trans is much more accepted. Ok, those seem true... but... I wondered, how many trans people are actually being born vs. before? They gave a current rate of about 1 in 2000. What was the rate 50 or 500 years ago? They did mention how trans people are also born in other places… and how they likely have been for a long time, but very little attention was given and it was all from the perspective of how those cultures accepted them.

I'm convinced enough that people are actually born trans and that once that happens, they should be treated with respect. I also see this as a birth defect that, if possible, should be prevented. Does anyone have thoughts or information on this? (Are more trans people being born recently? Why? Is it actually a defect? Could it possibly just be a normal human thing that has always happened at that rate?). Along with many others here, I am a strong Thinking on the third Myers Briggs category, so I like to (also) look at things like this gender trend from an impersonal perspective and understand it not just in relation to how to treat one individual person (as Feelers are typically more concerned with), but also "What's causing this? Can/should it be fixed?


Pronouns

I’ve been annoyed by people declaring that certain pronouns are used for them. I've never experienced this in real life. I've just, for example, seen videos of people protesting and having signs or yelling that others should use the pronouns they personally choose. I think on a small personal scale, using certain pronouns would be no big deal. Say I had a friend or a close coworker and if they let me know they’d like certain pronouns, I wouldn't mind doing it. The two annoyances i have are: 1 - if someone I don’t know well expects me to remember their pronoun preference. The doc' gave an example of how at the start of a semester, the students in a class at Yale ALL introduce themselves with their name and which pronouns they want to use. Now, I wouldn't have been bothered to remember that kind of thing for a big group of people (although, the rate of people choosing non-standard pronouns should be so rare (about 1 in 2,000 given the rate used in the doc) that doing this for everyone would be a huge waste of time. Anyways.. You know, I don’t care enough to commit some of my memory power personal preferences of people I don't know well or care about.

I was hoping the doc' may have an explanation for people insisting on the use of “They” pronouns. (On others using "they/them/theirs" instead of "he/him/his".). One person did say that he/she/they preferred they during a certain period of their transition because they felt they were sort of 'in the middle' and not yet a he (or she, I couldn't tell which way they were converting). Courec or someone voiced the common objection that "they" is plural. I also feel that "they" is a pronoun you use for someone you don't know, and is odd/wrong to use for a person you know. The answer given was annoying and bullshit: "I am multitudes. I am vas". Oh please... you are not a fucking snowflake. Anyone have a better understanding of reasons why using they/them/theirs should be accepted?

Edit -- on this pronoun thing, I suppose the "they" thing is tied to people who view gender as fluid or as a fake invention. I still view gender as binary, more like the 80 year old trans-lady at the end talking to the young one. The binary view is that, aside from literal intersex, (parts of) people are one gender or the other (you have a penis or vagina.... you have a male brain or a female brain). I guess if someone decides they are not one gender or the other, they don't want to be called a him or her, which is still annoying to me as this person, if they feel their brain is neither gender, is either more male or female, with their genitals being the deciding factor - unless they are also genitally intersex.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:34 pm

Gender is defined as the performance of a set of norms, usually male and female.

Sex is defined as your biological parts, whether penis, vulva/vagina, or sometimes even both or none.

Pronouns can help in publically announcing what gender you are choosing to act out, regardless of what your sex is. They/them is useful for people currently questioning their gender, or who do not identify their gender with the male/female binary.

Trans
people can be in various states of altering their Sex to match their preferred gender. That said, be aware some have argued that, for example, someone who identifies as a woman is still a woman even if she has a penis; that the idea of "a woman in a man's body" is still incorrect, because women can come in many bodies, including those that happen to have a penis.

---------------------

If you find a Queer Resource Center near you, go ask them about this stuff; they're really helpful.

Also, consider finding documentaries sourced from Trans Activist groups. They're more likely to tell the story from the side and experiences of trans people.

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So you're aware, asking out loud whether trans identities are a birth defect, or whether one should care to remember pronouns, can be interpreted in activist circles, millennial circles, and others as one saying that trans people need to be "fixed" and that non-binary identifying people don't deserve their rights or identities. Think of the pronoun bit as simply respecting/remembering someone's name, except it's even more important than the name--it's how that person sees themselves and wants others to see them as. And yup, many meetings in poly, kink, and queer spaces begin by the people at them introducing themselves by saying "hi, my name X, and my pronouns are Y,Y, and Y." Sometimes this is done in classrooms, but pretty rarely.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by C40 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:13 am

Thanks Olaz. I was hoping I'd get some input from you.

Olaz wrote: So you're aware, asking out loud whether trans identities are a birth defect, or whether one should care to remember pronouns, can be interpreted in activist circles, millennial circles, and others as one saying that trans people need to be "fixed" and that non-binary identifying people don't deserve their rights or identities.
1 - To clarify, I'm using "birth defect" to summarize the explanation in the documentary for how trans people occur. Is it not accurate to describe it as such?. I don't mind much whether it may offend some.

2 - Pronouns. This may be a non-issue for my understanding/learning because my theoretical likelihood of ignoring pronoun preferences of people I don't know well enough to care about remembering is more related to my own likelihood to ignore a large number of traditions and acts of courtesy (one of my biggest pet peeves in that area is when people who walk out of a door that opens inward, as I'm approaching to enter, and they stand in the doorway reaching backward trying to hold the door open for me, but they are standing in my way and preventing me from going through. They're doing all this act like they're being courteous, and now they expect me to appreciate them for it. Often I just motion for them to out of the way)

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by jennypenny » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:01 am

Olaz wrote:So you're aware, asking out loud whether trans identities are a birth defect, or whether one should care to remember pronouns, can be interpreted in activist circles, millennial circles, and others as one saying that trans people need to be "fixed" and that non-binary identifying people don't deserve their rights or identities. Think of the pronoun bit as simply respecting/remembering someone's name, except it's even more important than the name--it's how that person sees themselves and wants others to see them as. And yup, many meetings in poly, kink, and queer spaces begin by the people at them introducing themselves by saying "hi, my name X, and my pronouns are Y,Y, and Y." Sometimes this is done in classrooms, but pretty rarely.
I haven't had a chance to watch the special yet, so I apologize if this was bought up by Couric ...

I'm surprised at the emphasis on gender identification in that community. Growing up around some fierce feminists, their goal was not only to prove women were as competent as men but also to quash the notion of gender being paramount to identity. They wanted to shift the focus away from gender and martial status to attributes, accomplishments, and education because those qualities were within their control. The same argument could be made wrt race.

Why would someone waive their gender in everyone's face as if it's their only defining feature, almost demanding to be judged on that characteristic alone? Developing support communities and being more vocal about legal rights is helpful and affirming, but limiting oneself to an identity based primarily on a trait that people are purportedly born with seems unnecessarily constraining. There is a danger of the gender identity (or race identity, or whatever) overshadowing all other aspects of a person, unnecessarily boxing them in.

I understand the pronoun thing because I'm old enough to remember the "Ms." debate. OTOH, the change from Miss/Mrs. to Ms. wasn't about adopting a neutral pronoun but about removing the marital status distinction and ownership undercurrent of 'Mrs.' Maybe a third neutral pronoun is needed for people who either want to avoid any gender distinction or feel their gender isn't fixed. To be honest, I'm surprised that we haven't already adopted a neutral pronoun (and neutral bathrooms, etc.). Anything beyond that, though, is really asking for too much of an accommodation from people (IMO). I also think the simpler the solution, the more likely it is to be adopted.

C40 wrote:1 - To clarify, I'm using "birth defect" to summarize the explanation in the documentary for how trans people occur. Is it not accurate to describe it as such?. I don't mind much whether it may offend some.
Maybe "birth abnormality" is a better term? I know in the cystic fibrosis community, they no longer uses the term 'defect' and refer to it as a genetic 'issue', 'abnormality' or 'disease' (the third wouldn't be applicable here).


-----------

There is ample proof that some of the chemicals children are routinely exposed to have an effect on estrogen and testosterone levels. Our environment is definitely affecting our hormones. That needs to stop. I see that issue as separate and distinct from the issue of how we treat people who may have been affected, or who have unrelated genetic or biological issues. I'm using the term 'treat' in the legal and social sense, not medical sense, although I'm not ruling out medical treatment of hormonal imbalances, especially in children.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by Crazylemon » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:27 am

Having one good friend who is non-binary I would echo what Zalo has said. In particular using descriptions such as 'defect' and 'fix'. Within the communities Zalo has mentioned (and gradually the wider LGBT community) that would very much be seen as disenfranchising people. For a similar example, imagine talking about 'fixing' gay people because the only issue with them is a hormone imbalance that occurred in utero and then yay! everyone can be straight! Although in some respects this is probably worse for the individual because 1) even in liberal areas and LGBT groups there can be Trans/nonbinary erasure seen as totally acceptable and 2) There are far fewer people around within the group itself leading to more marginalisation.

Wrt Pronouns ignoring them can cause far more distress to an individual than idiosyncrasies of manner because you are failing in essence to recognise a large part of their identity. No one expects perfect (I struggle with whether someone likes ze/they/etc.) but given as you admit the odds of someone wanting this in their day to day life being slim just flagging mentally as 'does not fit standard binary model' is enough to be able to ask to be reminded which most people are understanding of if you are rarely meeting them.

I say this as someone who has far less involvement in this area than Zalo as while LGBT I don't spend much time at all with the culture other than brushing it with friends/friends of friends.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by General Snoopy » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:14 am

jennypenny wrote: I'm surprised at the emphasis on gender identification in that community. Growing up around some fierce feminists, their goal was not only to prove women were as competent as men but also to quash the notion of gender being paramount to identity. They wanted to shift the focus away from gender and martial status to attributes, accomplishments, and education because those qualities were within their control. The same argument could be made wrt race.


You are so twentieth century. You are completely out of touch with 3rd-wave 'Modern' Feminism.
jennypenny wrote: Why would someone waive their gender in everyone's face as if it's their only defining feature, almost demanding to be judged on that characteristic alone? Developing support communities and being more vocal about legal rights is helpful and affirming, but limiting oneself to an identity based primarily on a trait that people are purportedly born with seems unnecessarily constraining. There is a danger of the gender identity (or race identity, or whatever) overshadowing all other aspects of a person, unnecessarily boxing them in.
Because there is money in it. I have personally been told to hire more women, so that is what we did - shortlisting only women. Diversity in the workforce means to ignore the white people and promote the hiring of racial minorities. Fortunately, that hasn't reached the blatant levels that exists for women. Trans want to cash-in on what the women/minorities have achieved.

Trans people have very high levels of suicide within their community. For this reason alone I consider it to be a mental health issue. This focus on pronouns diverts attention from the very real life and death issue that affects that community.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by C40 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:42 am

General Snoopy wrote: Trans people have very high levels of suicide within their community. For this reason alone I consider it to be a mental health issue. This focus on pronouns diverts attention from the very real life and death issue that affects that community.
The thing is, the high rate of suicide in Trans People is likely caused by two things:

1 - A Trans Person's internal struggle with their perceived gender not matching their physical body.
2 - Trans People suffer a lot of judgement, mistreatment, etc. (In many/most cultures)

If you believe the increased suicide rate to be caused entirely by #1, then your reasoning of Trans Suicide rates being higher meaning it's a mental health issue would be correct. I'm pretty sure that #2 plays a really big role though. There are some cultures where Trans People are completely accepted (Samoa I guess, as discussed in the documentary, and, I believe Thailand(?)). I'd like to see how suicide rates compare in those countries before making any conclusions about how much impact the two causes above have.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:49 am

Trans people have very high levels of suicide because they are a group that is discriminated against, often faces death threats, constantly has to explain who they are, have their pronouns and therefore identities missusesd consistently, struggle every time they want to use a public restroom, that are judged harshly when out in public, and other factors we all here likely take for granted as mostly educated wealthy white/white-passing males.

The reason why greater diversity is being appealed for in the workforce is to provide more opportunity to people other than those of one specific gender or race (in our neocolonial world, and in pretty much all of European history, wealthy cisgendered white males).

As far as merit-only hiring is considered, to use merit alone to determine a candidate is still highly biased, because 'merit" is often defined by the specific gender and race most in power. So, merit might mean high-tier education, ability to understand professional speak, a powerful social network, wear European dress clothing, obtain high standardized scores, and have the time and money required for certs, etc. Since minority groups, trans groups, migrant groups, women, and other relatively disenfranchised groups as a general trend to have less access to these specific merits of the corporate class, hiring only off merit provides a significant benefit to the people that defined what merit is and who have the most resources and time to collect more of these criteria.
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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:17 am

I think there is all sorts of confusion in signaling these days. For instance, the female newscasters on Fox confuse me with their signaling, because the way they choose to signal class ( I spend too much money on garish clothing and make-up and hairspray) and gender ( I hold myself rigid like a soldier, and emit short words in hard staccato, while teetered on staccato heels with breasts jutting) is almost the opposite of the way in which I would choose to signal.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by C40 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:35 am

scriptbunny wrote: What helped me grok it were my existing beliefs regarding sexuality. As Zalo mentioned, gender and biological sex are orthogonal concepts-- much like sexuality and biological sex. Taking what Crazylemon said a bit further, I already understood being gay/lesbian/bisexual as just parts of people's identities that shouldn't be pathologized. It would seem ridiculous and homophobic for a parent to be so frightened of their kids being gay that they would take hormones during pregnancy to try and prevent it. Why do non-hetero children need to be "fixed"? Transferring that understanding from sexuality to gender identity helped me open up my thinking and capacity to learn in good faith.

Right now, and I may be projecting my own personal experience, I think the idea of non-cis identities is perhaps uncomfortably new to you. I would highly recommend investigating one of your post's central premises: why you think fewer people should be trans. Really lay it out, in writing. Investigate each premise, identify what comes from you and what comes from our society's culture. I think it may help you going forward better understand gender.

[I'm sharing all this stuff here as, I suppose, an exercise in forming/changing my own opinions. It's not for the purpose of convincing others. I'm open to changing my opinion and I suppose, hoping that I do]


Ok.... I do believe that a person's sexuality is a part of how their brain works and shouldn't try to be fixed. (There could be some circumstances when there are reasons to try to prevent developing babies from becoming homosexuality, such as if homosexuality rates are very high but you need a high birth rate while trying to adhere to an ideal of lifelong monogamy... But no one has that problem so it doesn't really matter)

Now... people seem to be taking offense to or highlighting my use of the word "fix". Let me explain (again) why I used that word.

A - Once a Trans Person exists, I believe they should be accepted and treated nicely. I believe they should be allowed (as they currently are) to change their physical sex to match their perceived/brain gender. I don't have a problem with that being covered by health insurance and with my own premium payments helping to pay for those. For a person who is Trans, I don't believe they should be convinced to just "suck it up" or be normal or live with their body or whatever. There is a "fixing" that's happening here (A trans person's own decision to change their sex), but that's not what I was talking about when I said fix.

I do believe that being a Trans Person is a problem. Here's why:
B - A lot of trans people need/want medications and surgeries in order to be who they want to be. Those things cost money and are a burden.
C - A trans person also has the burden of going through one thing I suggested above as a cause of higher suicide rates among Trans People ("A Trans Person's own internal struggle with their perceived gender not matching their physical body"). Being empathetic here: the people's stories on the documentary show this internal struggle. They go through discovering as a child that their body didn't match who they felt they were. The have the burden of understanding and coming to terms with that, and deciding what they want to do about it. No matter how accepting of trans people a culture is, those internal struggle parts suck. It's a lot of effort/struggle/whatever just to feel as comfortable about themselves sexually/bodily/genderly as a person who was not born trans. I'm glad I didn't have to go through that and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. This type of struggle can be reduced with cultural changes. But I think even with perfect cultural acceptance, this struggle would still be very significant.

(In comparison, I see a person who is born gay as less of a problem as being born trans (so much less that it's not a problem at all). Being gay probably does cause a person to go through some of point C above, but for gays, struggle there is likely all caused by culture and is not an 'internal struggle'. They don't have an internal problem to fix. They don't need medications or surgery to be who they want to be. Many trans people do view their gender and sex not matching as a problem, and as something they want to fix... But anyways, that's not the kind of "fixing" I was talking about. I was talking about Trans birth rates)


So - I think a person being born trans and then having to go through point B and C does make their life more difficult than it needs to be. I think that most trans people would have preferred to be born as the sex that matches their gender. If I had been born feeling my gender was a woman, I'd sure as hell prefer my sex to be female also. Now, if the birth rates of Trans People are 1 in 2000 and have always been about 1 in 2000***, then I don't think there's a reason to try to change that.[Later Edit - those rates are wrong. Trans people are more common. Closer to 1 in 200, or even 1 in 25 for people under 18 years old. The 1 in 2000 rate is for Intersex] If the birth rates of trans people have been increasing a lot in the last, say 50-100 years, I do think B and C above are good reasons to try to understand why, and to "fix" it. Part of why I started this thread here and not in some other forum is because INTJs are often more willing to consider this side of a subject, and not only the personal/cultural side.
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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by General Snoopy » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:32 pm

Olaz wrote:Trans people have very high levels of suicide because they are a group that is discriminated against, often faces death threats, constantly has to explain who they are, have their pronouns and therefore identities missusesd consistently, struggle every time they want to use a public restroom, that are judged harshly when out in public, and other factors we all here likely take for granted as mostly educated wealthy white/white-passing males.
Is this your opinion or do you have a source? Jews have historically been discriminated against - especially during the Nazi era, but I am not aware of a high level of suicides in that group; consequently, I doubt your statement. Additionally, as the saying goes, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary issue, so by definition it is a mental health issue.
Olaz wrote: The reason why greater diversity is being appealed for in the workforce is to provide more opportunity to people other than those of one specific gender or race (in our post-colonial world, and in pretty much all of European history, wealthy cisgendered white males).

You seem to think of corporate America as a giant piggybank to be plundered.
Olaz wrote: As far as merit-only hiring is considered, to use merit alone to determine a candidate is still highly biased, because 'merit" is often defined by the specific gender and race most in power. So, merit might mean high-tier education, ability to understand professional speak, a powerful social network, wear European dress clothing, obtain high standardized scores, and have the time and money required for certs, etc. Since minority groups, trans groups, migrant groups, women, and other relatively disenfranchised groups as a general trend to have less access to these specific merits of the corporate class, hiring only off merit provides a significant benefit to the people that defined what merit is and who have the most resources and time to collect more of these criteria.
https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/
How do you reconcile your statement with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.

Why do you want to discriminate against Jews and Asians? These are perhaps the most 'successful' groups in America. Promoting diversity and deemphasizing merit will work against these hard-working groups. Deemphasizing merit will not make America great.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:40 pm

Just chiming in to say I completely understand where you're coming from, C40. I have non-binary friends and relatives and I'm quite left politically, no problem with the existence or expression of trans people. At the same time, I am curious about whether prevalence of gender dysphoria has increased, whether this increase is caused by anthropogenic factors, and whether it is moral or ethical to attempt to reduce its prevalence.

We have evidence of endocrine disruptors everywhere in our environment that are known to cause hormonal disruptions and reproductive issues. Birth controls, other pharmaceuticals, industrial and agricultural waste, etc all ends up in the water supply. Surely some amount of biological backlash is to be expected after so many generations?

It seems as if trans people are becoming more common, but that could be due to cultural factors regarding social acceptance and scientific understanding. In other words, same ratio of non-binary people, just greater visibility. There is evidence to suggest that trans people have existed in various cultures throughout history. ("Two-spirits" were supposedly prevalent in Native American tribes. I believe four genders are commonly accepted in the Philippines as well.) However, I suspect concrete historical data on occurrence, the kind needed to actually establish an increasing trend, just isn't going to exist.

You might have to get creative. If low testosterone in utero is associated with higher likelihood of gender dysphoria, you could look for trends in other, more readily available statistics that might correlate to low test--like male baby birth weights over time.

Either way, yeah, while I see where you're coming from and find it an interesting question, as you've already seen, this kind of discussion is controversial in the community. My intellectually curious side finds that disheartening, but my activist side gets it. For those concerned with advancing the civil rights of those alive today, even well-meaning and scientifically objective questions about trends and environmental causes and reducing prevalence are really premature, perhaps even counterproductive, to the extent they can be easily twisted, co-opted or sensationalized by ideological opponents.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by C40 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:55 pm

General Snoopy wrote:
Olaz wrote:Trans people have very high levels of suicide because they are a group that is discriminated against, often faces death threats, constantly has to explain who they are, have their pronouns and therefore identities missusesd consistently, struggle every time they want to use a public restroom, that are judged harshly when out in public, and other factors we all here likely take for granted as mostly educated wealthy white/white-passing males.
Is this your opinion or do you have a source? Jews have historically been discriminated against - especially during the Nazi era, but I am not aware of a high level of suicides in that group; consequently, I doubt your statement. Additionally, as the saying goes, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary issue, so by definition it is a mental health issue.
Trans people are, in general, treated horribly.

The jews not having a higher suicide rate doesn't necessarily give any proof to your opinion. From my own understanding and experiences, I'd give these weights to the causes of Trans Suicides that I Described above:

20% because: #1 - A Trans Person's internal struggle with their perceived gender not matching their physical body.
80% because: #2 - Trans People suffer a lot of judgement, mistreatment, etc. (In many/most cultures)



I was looking for actual suicide rates for Trans People in Samoa and Thailand to see if they are lower (since Trans people are more accepted in those cultures). Didn't look for long and I didn't find it, but I did see this:

https://thinkprogress.org/no-high-suici ... .w5ckbvegq

Which references studies and says:
One of the biggest studies on the experiences of transgender people was the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS). It found that in the U.S., 41 percent of transgender and gender non-conforming people had attempted suicide, compared to a national average of just 4.6 percent. When all of the data were analyzed, however, researchers found a number of factors that significantly influenced whether a person was more likely to attempt suicide: being a person of color, experiencing poverty, being unemployed, achieving less education, being out or more easily perceived as transgender, experiencing housing discrimination or especially homelessness, experiencing harassment or especially physical or sexual assault, being rejected by family, or facing discrimination in health care. In other words, the more forms of discrimination transgender people experienced, the more likely they were to attempt suicide.

A brand new study from Canada confirms this effect. There, the suicide attempt rate for transgender people was similar to what other studies have found: about 18 times higher than the general population. But the study found that some factors greatly reduced the attempt rate. For example, when transgender people had affirming parents, the rate dropped by 57 percent. Access to legal documentation consistent with their gender identity dropped rates by 44 percent. Trans people who experienced low levels of anti-trans hate were 66 percent less likely to attempt suicide. And perhaps most importantly, the further along individuals were in their transitions — i.e. the closer they were to having a body and outward identity that matched their internal gender identity — the less likely they were to attempt suicide.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by C40 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:04 pm

Spartan_Warrior wrote:Just chiming in to say I completely understand where you're coming from, C40.....

Either way, yeah, while I see where you're coming from and find it an interesting question, as you've already seen, this kind of discussion is controversial in the community. My intellectually curious side finds that disheartening, but my activist side gets it. For those concerned with advancing the civil rights of those alive today, even well-meaning and scientifically objective questions about trends and environmental causes and reducing prevalence are really premature, perhaps even counterproductive, to the extent they can be easily twisted, co-opted or sensationalized by ideological opponents.
Thank you, Warrior. I understand your point in the last paragraph completely. After watching the documentary I feel I understand the Trans situation and landscape enough to be fully on board with complete cultural acceptance of people who are Trans. (and for people who don't feel that way but haven't watched it yet, I'd suggest you watch the documentary... note: I had to watch the part showing the brain scans 2-3 times to understand exactly what the guy was saying, and that little part was important in what I learned).

My way of thinking, maybe like yours, also goes down this other path of trying to see things from a broader impersonal perspective, which is partly why I'm posting this here and not, say, in some realm of the cultural gender movement, where there would be a lot of people to convince me about being fully accepting of people who are Trans, but who are more likely to be offended by my broad impersonal perspective.


Oh - one other thing to add is that somewhere above I used the wrong number for the birthrate of Trans people. I said 1 in 2,000, which is actually the birth rate for Intersex people. Trans is more common. In another nat Geo video, a followup discussion to the documentary, the question was asked and a guy said it is 1 in 200, and a lady said the 1 in 200 rate was a study of all ages and a recent study showed 12-18 year olds at 1 in 25

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:11 pm

Until I started reading and hearing about this issue (before this thread) I had never realized that many other people actually feel male or female. I don't. I always used the term gender where others are using the word sex now, and I never considered what else a gender might by. I still don't like using the word sex for the physical part as to me that word means the mingling of genes, or in my case the attempt to mingle them. When I sniff apple blossoms from tree to tree I'm participating in the trees' sex. It's interesting.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by Felipe » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:57 am

Most transgendered people are harder to identify than you'd expect. I wouldn't have noticed any of my trans friends were trans until they told me.

That said, I've noticed a higher depression rate in them as opposed to my cis friends. I think there's less support than there is for Jews or other minority groups as they are only very recently beginning to gain equal rights in modern day culture. Many families have been more hostile towards recognizing their offspring's identity and this creates a dissonance-ie-calling them by their birth rather than chosen name.

In certain native american cultures there were 2-spirit people and it seems gender differences were more accepted/integrated into society, whereas now, most people experience some confusion when they realize that gender is so much more vast than the stereotypical binary. So this has been around for a long time, just look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa'afafine and you'll see that there are many more variations on this than meets the eye. The fact that people are now more accepting of LGBT rights (in USA compared to previous decades) is why it seems to be increasing in frequency- more people are making their status known rather than hiding it.

A trans woman is simply a woman who at one point in her life had a penis. There are non-op, pre-op, and post-op variations on this in relation to her desired genitalia but this doesn't affect that she's a woman.

I wouldn't call this a birth defect any more than homosexuality, pansexuality, bisexuality, race, etc. Not something to be fixed but another one of nature's beautiful varieties.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:23 am

My previous response was rather flip. Apologize. I actually have a good deal of experience with this topic that runs somewhat counter to the prevailing take. My mother suffers from bi-polar disease, so my 3 sisters and I are all varying degrees of cyclothymic. One of the symptoms of cyclothymia is hyper-sexuality. Hyper-sexuality is highly correlated with bi-sexuality in both men and women. IOW, when any human has or is experiencing a sex drive that is in the top percentiles, they are also better able and/or more likely to flip or switch. So, during late adolescence, when our hyper-sexuality peaked, my sisters and I all occasionally had sex with other women. My second sister and I always primarily identified as hetero-femme, but my third sister identified as lesbian butch for a few years, and my youngest sister identified as gender-queer for around 10 years and actually starred in and co-produced an award-winning documentary that explored gender identity. During this period she experimented with taking testosterone and considered having her breasts removed. Since, our mother has been incompetent since the year after my youngest sister was born, and our father died while my youngest sister was still in her 20s, she considers my second sister and I to be her maternal influences. So, we did our damndest to talk her out of undertaking such a radical procedure. Both of my youngest sisters are now in relationships of long standing with heterosexual men and identify in accordance. My point here being that it is important to not underestimate the possibility/likelihood of sexual identity/fluidity that any individual can experience in the course of lifetime, and it is also important to recognize that the science in this realm is still in its infancy.

Another note from my personal experience would be that there is an obvious correlation between people who tend towards being very intelligent, nerdy, creative, artistic and both certain strains of mental disorders and tendency towards exploration of alternative lifestyles. So, there is a good deal of overlap between the trans community and the culture of S&M. I generally only sink into low-level functional depression, but there was a point in my life when I experience 3 severe traumas in the course of a year, and I couldn't shake myself out. By happenstance, I entered into a relationship with a Dom who trained me to release anxiety and pump my own endorphins in response to pain, and this worked very well to break my depressive funk for the same reason that people become addicted to runner's high. So, another factor to throw into the mix with sex, gender and orientation would be tendency towards being dominant, submissive or switchy, and this tendency can be correlated with some core personality traits or mental health conditions.

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Re: Nat Geo Gener Documentary // Cultural Evolution of Gender views

Post by bryan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:29 pm

I find myself nodding along to @jennypenny's comment about pronouns.

Honestly, who hasn't wished for a pronoun that simply refers to a/that human? Communication/language would be much easier!

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-per ... generic_he
They all sound silly.. I like "thon" the most. Or we could use "he" for everything, but it's probably too tied to the past.. So that leaves some non-English translations (ai, նա, o, hura, তিনি, ta, hän, ĝi, etc.), especially if those languages are already gender neutral! How nice!

So when learning a language like Spanish, with gendered nouns/adjectives/grammar, should one just pick a single gender for everything and stick to it? Or remove all gender completely (or make/look up a neutrel gender like above)? El manzano es rojo vs La plátana es amarilla vs E manzane es roje? How are spanish-speaking countries handling this gender pronoun equality stuff?

Spartan_Warrior wrote:At the same time, I am curious about whether prevalence of gender dysphoria has increased, whether this increase is caused by anthropogenic factors, and whether it is moral or ethical to attempt to reduce its prevalence.

We have evidence of endocrine disruptors everywhere in our environment that are known to cause hormonal disruptions and reproductive issues. Birth controls, other pharmaceuticals, industrial and agricultural waste, etc all ends up in the water supply. Surely some amount of biological backlash is to be expected after so many generations?
I'll agree here as well and something I've always wondered.. if you have children, how far should you go with "intelligently designing" them (ensure presence/absence of environmental factors)?
7Wannabe5 wrote:Another note from my personal experience would be that there is an obvious correlation between people who tend towards being very intelligent, nerdy, creative, artistic and both certain strains of mental disorders and tendency towards exploration of alternative lifestyles. So, there is a good deal of overlap between the trans community and the culture of S&M.
...
So, another factor to throw into the mix with sex, gender and orientation would be tendency towards being dominant, submissive or switchy, and this tendency can be correlated with some core personality traits or mental health conditions.
Agreed; good observation.

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