• Outlander
    1k


    And this is a reply. What are we attempting to convey here?
  • Dawnstorm
    134
    I would be interested if you wanted to start a thread talking about the philosophy of social constructs more generally, since it's an area I'm lacking in formal education and a discussion of it would be informative.Pfhorrest

    I'm unlikely to make a thread, as I'm a slow reader and thinker, and if something's my thread I'd feel compelled to reply to everyone who replies to me, and that would probably take up more time than I can manage. I'm not primarily a philosophyer, to boot, and I'm coming from the sociological side, and that means that I'm additionally not very confident I even can lay out the underlying philosophy. For example, phenomenological constructivism takes off from Husserl, but I'm familiar with Husserl via his sociological reception, which is already a bias.

    Some of the questions you have, though, I think are pertinent to this thread, especially when it comes to the difference between "gender" and "sex" when it comes to the "male/female" pair (rather than the "masculine"/"feminine" pair), which I'm going to address in my reply to bert1.

    I can address a few basics, here:

    I'm particularly interested in something that seems to be implicitly believed by many of the kind of people who usually talk about social constructs, but not explicitly claimed so far as I'm aware: that not only are some things merely socially constructed, but everything is, there is no objective reality at all, and (most to the point I'm curious about) that all talk about things being some way or another is therefore implicitly an attempt to shape the behavior of other people to some end, in effect reducing all purportedly factual claims to normative ones.Pfhorrest

    This here is difficult to untangle, because I'm not sure who you're referring to. But generally that's part and parcel in the topic. They're sociologists. Sociology is a pretty young academic discipline, and there's a sort of we-can-say-things-about-this-too attitude common here. They're competing with economists, psychologists and so on. Philosophy isn't a competitor, but more a sort of grounding. The origins of sociology lie in Comtean positivism, and constructivist schools tend to openly disagree, but not all who disagree with positivism are necessarily constructivists.

    I'm not sure I'd say constructivists reduce all factual claims to normative ones, but there's definitely a trend in that direction. It's definitely strong, for example, in the Frankfurt school, who take the phenomenological perspective and modify it via communication, which they frame through Marx's historic-materialist dialectic. The idea is that every individual constructs a worldview for themselves, which is the basis for everything they do, but they don't develop that in isolation. I'm going to say this again in my reply to bert1, and use the example of gender and sex, so I'm not going to go into much detail here. (Expect a new post, since this post is likely going to be too long otherwise. Does this forum have a wordlimit per post? I've run up against that on other forums...)

    Basically, the important sociological concepts here are:

    Max Weber's "verstehende Soziologie" (Again, I'm not sure how this is translated into English. Wikipedia uses the header "verstehen" on the English page, so maybe they don't even translate that? The basic meaning of "verstehen" is to understand. Weber is talking about subjectively intended meaning, but he's also talking about constructing, methodologically, "ideal types" against which you compare empirical action.)

    Schütz's Husserlian analyisis of everyday life.

    Marx's historic materialism.

    George Herbert Mead's social psychology (and maybe William Thomas' "definition of the situation").

    There's a bit of pick-and-mix going on, and I'm not sure I've captured all of the important stuff. (I'm trying to figure out, for example, if there's some anthropological lineage as well, for example. Or maybe Mannheim's sociology of knowledge? A lot of this is one way road towards sociology, though, and probably not too interesting for philosophers?) I've never really tried to map "constructivism" in sociology before, so that's hard for me as well. Take nothing I say at face value. I'm out of the loop for too long, and I've never really been an expert to begin with.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    And gender expectations aren't generally strict. In fact, if a male person only has masculine traits, people tend to think of him as hyper-masculine rather than as the norm, and when it occurs in adolescents we tend to think of it as "a phase". There may be strict elements, though, depending on where and when.Dawnstorm
    What are all of the masculine traits? What are all the feminine traits? Once you have them listed, you will see that some traits stem from biology and others from society. You will then notice that the ones that stem from society are actually not masculine or feminine, rather they are human traits. It makes no sense to attribute those traits as masculine or feminine. Actually doing so is engaging in stereotyping precisely because they are human traits and not masculine or feminine traits.
  • Dawnstorm
    134
    Just here you said that a male might have just masculine traits. Could a female have just masculine traits? Or does the definition of 'female' preclude that?bert1

    I think the problem here is that it's not clear what it means to have "traits". Phenomenological constructivism says people construct a world view, and within that you make sense of the world in a way that fits what you do. So what you have to ask yourself is how how it would be possible for someone to have only "masculine" traits to be constructed as female within this world view.

    Stuff you take for granted is only going to enter awareness when it becomes problematic. My initial hunch is that if you see someone who "only has masculine traits", you're likely going to just assume male, as some sort of "background radiation" of meaning.

    But even more importantly: by the time we notica "feminine" trait about a "man", we've already categorised the "man" as "man", and that's why a "feminine" trait is remarkable enough to enter awareness and even focus as feminine in the first place.

    However, for a sociologist, the question is primarily empirical. If you do think of someone as female, but when you try to assign traits you can't think of a single stereotypically masculine one, why is that? That would be a very interesting situation that could lead to refine the particular theory.

    Note that we think of, say, a penis as a male attribute, not a masculine one. That's a social coding of some sort, part of what we think of fundamental. The thing is, though, that usually genitals are not on display, and not all people wear clothes that make the genral contours plain in view, yet, for the most part we slot people into male/female with no hesitation. We're probably wrong about that categorisation now and than without ever noticing, because attention is fleeting when it comes to passes-by. And we only notice that we're constantly assigning gender, because the process sometimes fails, and we take a second look to figure that stuff out. So the stuff that comes up in discourse about whether or not the trans condition is real, like genitals or DNA, are probably not the traits we primarily use in day-to-day life to make those judgments. They're tie breakers that work as long as worldviews are compatible.

    So let's start with your (2): how people feel inside. Children acquire their worldview while living with their parents and peers (and their wider social circle beyond that). At some point they probably acquire a sense of what it means to be boy or a girl. But they've been gendered in other worldviews before that: and if you've just gone along with how people who gendered you in <i>their</i> world view treat you then your behaviour is going to be compatible with that worldview at the time you acquire the distinction in question, and the distinction is just one among many largely unproblematic facts about the world you take in. That does not mean that you can't sometimes "buck the trend". You can be a boy and play with dolls, for example. Depending on your parents views on propriety, you're going to run into different amounts of "trouble", the lightest probably being a short moment of surprise, or maybe even none at all. The degree to which a boying playing with a doll is noteworthy, is the degree to which the act is stereotpically feminine. You don't get an affirmative reaction to a girl playing with a doll in the same way, unless you've been "worried" that she's not "sufficiently" feminine. But all of this occurs on a baseline of maleness and femaleness. And that's your (1).

    Appearance matters quite a lot when it comes to gender assignment, and if we're not sure we have couple of more privacy-intrusive methods to check: genitalia, DNA, etc. Biology. But the way we look at biological sex is heavily influenced by our interest in the topic. The categories we use to describe sex are inevitably gendered.

    Trans people are, compared to cis people, very rare. They know they're transe because of how they feel inside, but that's hard to communicate, because other, much more common world views don't include that sort of discrepancies. So to figure out what to look at when it comes to biology you'd need to listen to them, but to listen to them you'd need to take them seriously, and accept that your failiur to understand is your failure to understand, and not, say, a delusion of the person who feels something - to you - incomprehensible. Someone who responds to "I'm a trans-man, you're a cis-man," with "that's stupid; you're obviously a woman," isn't likely to be in favour of funding research as to the biology of trans people.

    It's not that what what we know about sex is wrong, it's because sex is gendered through a cis bias, that we the categories we have to describe sex are insufficient for the needs of trans people. I've looked into then recent research at some point, and thought that was interesting, but I'm not enough of a bilogist to understand that sort of stuff easily, and I haven't retained much. But there's definitely a gendered compenent to how we research sex and what we look at. So when you conclude here the following:

    It is senses 1 and 2 that determine a person's gender, and sense 3 only adds masculinity and femininity to that. So what I'm questioning is that sense 3 is not really about the male/female opposition, and wholly about the masculine/feminine opposition.bert1

    I'd say that we (cis-people) are used to use (1) to legitimise our gender, but it's really (1), too. But because we're the majority it stands largely unchallenged and doesn't often our awareness. A trans person (and a genderfluid and agender person) would be more aware of (3), simply because they keep clashing against the mainstream. The main struggle is not to be agreed with; it's to be understood in the first place, or even to get people to realise that they're misunderstood. And it's difficult to talk about because the gendering of sex also heavily influences our vocabulary. That's how we get the new prefix "cis-". But it's difficult to promote the term when cis-people generally don't have the experience that pushes the entire problem-area into awareness. There's a whole baseline of how some people relate to their body that we can't intuit. The same is true, presumably, for trans-people: what is it like to blind to that area? The difference is that nearly everyone they meet will fall into that category, from childhood on. I've heard time and again what a relief it is to find other people with a similar experience.

    Gender then is the entire constellation. What and how many constellations do we find meaningful? What do we attribute to biology, etc. A social construct tends to only enter awareness if it's problematic, and the mainstream gender conception becomes problematic when we ponder trans people, intersex people, other constellation in other species (write a SF story about sentient slime molds, for example), other orderings of the same biological matter of facts in other cultures or sub-cultures etc. A social constructivist would abstract (3) from a set of compatible world-views, I think. (It's even more complex, because gender is only part of any given worldview, and worldviews might otherwise be largely compatible.)

    I'm probably not explaining this very well, since I'm... unsure myself. It's been more than 20 years since I read any of the literature. I left university in my late 20ies and I'm now nearly 50. And it's really hard to understand in the place, because sort of have to imagine a world-as-is beneath a world-as-experienced, while also maintaining that you can't really do that.

    Think about animated films for example: Robots, Cars, Brave Little Toasters... they're all gendered, without, logically, having a sex. We create the illusion of "sex" with very few signals, without actually assuming the underlying biology (since none of those have an underlying biology). How does that work? Gender is a sort of narrative we use to explain sex: without gender, sex esists, but is meaningless. Does that make more sense?
  • Dawnstorm
    134
    It makes no sense to attribute those traits as masculine or feminine.Harry Hindu

    And yet people do it all the time. People "create" sense. Whether you think it's silly or not, it's part of social reality in some way or another. It's hard to get out of the mindset, a bit like being stuck in a metaphorical spiderweb.

    I definitely agree that the biological factors are more conclusive, but to get a precise picture I'd need to describe a body as completely as possible before making the categorisation. That's not what we usually do, and once we have that wealth of details, who knows whether man/woman would still feel like a sufficent set of categories.
  • bert1
    638
    Thanks Dawnstorm for taking the time to explain all that. It will take a bit of digesting. It's interesting to get a sociological perspective. I want to go a bit meta at this point and look at constructivism (is this the sociology version of philosophical idealism?). I also want to go simpler and try to understand language use in very basic terms. For example, what are forms asking for when they ask for your gender? They used to ask for your sex, but they've changed to gender now. I presume they are asking for sense 2.

    Anyway I'll chew over your response and reply again. I'm also behind with replying to Pfhorrest in another couple of threads.
  • NOS4A2
    4.2k


    Gender is a category of noun. That’s the only definition that matters nowadays given the heated debate over the topic of gender identity. I don’t even think Butler is wrong. But I refuse to use such a contentious term, and stick to “sex” to describe flesh-and-blood individuals.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    And yet people do it all the time. People "create" sense. Whether you think it's silly or not, it's part of social reality in some way or another. It's hard to get out of the mindset, a bit like being stuck in a metaphorical spiderweb.Dawnstorm
    "People do it all the time" is not a good argument. People used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe. Did that make it right? There is such a thing as mass delusions.

    Another way of looking at it is that in a society where you are imprisoned for not wearing clothes, hetero and homo sexuals will need ways of identifying mates, and it is predictable that the society would develop a means of identifying the sexes. That is what a gender as a social construction is - rules for the sexes to abide by so that they be easily identified in a society where there are rules for covering your body. In a society where there are no clothes, what would gender be, or what use would gender have? As a matter of fact, these preferences that humans have and expect of the sexes is what biologists call sexual selection, not gender.

    I definitely agree that the biological factors are more conclusive, but to get a precise picture I'd need to describe a body as completely as possible before making the categorisation. That's not what we usually do, and once we have that wealth of details, who knows whether man/woman would still feel like a sufficent set of categories.Dawnstorm
    The biological factors are more conclusive because they are the constant across all societies, while the social constructions (the rules for he sexes to abide by) can vary from society to society. If the rules are arbitrary, does that mean trans-people feelings about their "bearing" is arbitrary? In a society where there are no rules about what sex wears which clothes, or a society where clothes don't exist, what would the "bearing" of a trans-person be like?

    Biological sex is based on a combination of traits:

    - chromosomes (in humans, XY is male, XX female)
    - genitals (penis vs. vagina)
    - gonads (testes vs. ovaries)
    - hormones (males have higher relative levels of testosterone than women, while women have higher levels of estrogen)
    - secondary sex characteristics that aren’t connected with the reproductive system but distinguish the sexes, and usually appear at puberty (breasts, facial hair, size of larynx, subcutaneous fat, etc.)

    Using genitals and gonads alone, more than 99.9% of people fall into two non-overlapping classes—male and female—and the other traits almost always occur with these. If you did a principal components analysis using the combination of all five traits, you’d find two widely separated clusters with very few people in between. Those clusters are biological realities, just as horses and donkeys are biological realities, even though they can produce hybrids (sterile mules) that fall morphologically in between.
  • Dawnstorm
    134
    is this the sociology version of philosophical idealism?bert1

    That's a question I'm not confident on. It's really a philosophyical question, and I'm not sure how far you have to answer that question to use the theory. It might look a lot like idealism, but I think that's more methodological if anything. In fact, I think the underlying is issue is more epistemological than anything: Sociologists purportedly look at what people do, and constructivists think you can't look at what people do without also looking at what they think they do (that's the Max Weber angle I mentioned but didn't explain in my reply to Pfhorrest). As such sex is a topic for biologists, not sociologists, but biologists researching sex is a topic for sociologists, and that's why sex is gendered while also being real.

    Two constructivists/constructionists argue. How many opinions are involved? Somewhere between one and, oh let's take a guess, seven. The participants aren't sure. Sure, that's a joke, but it does reveal something about the mindset: if you construct your world view and your own one is all you have, how does communication work? How do you spot differences?

    An example of a proposed methodology would be Ethnomethodology: the idea to describe to your own culture as if it were alien to you. One particular method is the breaching experiment: you pick an element your culture takes for granted and breach that element: the idea is to figure out the nature of the difficulties that arise. Wikipedia should give a good overview (because it's also brief and contains examples). A constructivist will often be aware that them studying society is part of the topic they're studying. (I'm not entirely sure whether Ethnomethodologists actually view themselves as constuctivitsts or not, but they do share a lot of assumptions.)

    So my hunch is that the ontology isn't really a major focus of the research; I can imagine both idealist and materialist mothodologists. Also note they're often coming from phenomenology, which feels like something inbetween. I really need to say at this point that I'm not confident on this topic; I'm not that familiar with philosophy.

    "People do it all the time" is not a good argument. People used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe. Did that make it right? There is such a thing as mass delusions.Harry Hindu

    It's not supposed to be an argument. It's supposed to highlight the topic. Bilogoists study sex, sociologists study bioloigists studying sex and as such many of them assume that sex is gendered, because they're part of soiciety (as they are themselves, which many of them are aware of).

    Using genitals and gonads alone, more than 99.9% of people fall into two non-overlapping classes...Harry Hindu

    I'm not sure if the "Using...alone" construction suggests that if you add more stuff in (like, say, hormones) things would get more clear. My own hunch is that the more details you add the more useful classes you could get. The key word here is "useful". A sociologist (of a certain kind) reads such a word and automatically asks "for whom" and "how".

    Those clusters are biological realities, just as horses and donkeys are biological realities, even though they can produce hybrids (sterile mules) that fall morphologically in between.Harry Hindu

    Yes, they're a biological reality. And at least for a naturalist biologigists looking at such clusters are a biological reality, too, but a much more complicated one. If you have a way to replace sociology with a biological method that's both efficient and comprehensible to human brains, I'd be interest to hear about it.

    I'm not a sociologist. I studied sociology at university, but didn't keep up with it after graduating. These days I know more about linguistics, which was a side topic, than about sociology, which is sort of embarrassing. I just think any term out there is only useful in limited contexts. That's why "significant other" has a meaning in day to day life that's completely different from its technical term.

    I don't suggest that it's useful for biologists to use the term "gender". It might be, but that's for biologists to figure out, and I'm not one, not even hobby-wise. I do suggest its useful for sociologists to use the term gender when they talk about biologists studying sex.

    As for social politics: it very nearly doesn't matter what terms you use, since they'll always be tied up more with interests in the end, than they would have been if purely motivated by curiosity (not that academic usage is ever only purely motivated by curiosity). I'm fine with using gender here, simply because I'm used to it.

    I do think biological research framed by the cis/trans distinction is interesting, though, even though it doesn't impact me personally. There was some around last time I checked, but I didn't understand at least half of it. If it were more mainstream, we'd probably get more expert talk about it in terms I could understand.
  • Joshs
    1.1k
    if you construct your world view and your own one is all you have, how does communication work? How do you spot differences?Dawnstorm

    Part of the worldview you construct includes
    your construction of the worldview of others. If their worldview is radically different than yours, there will be only superficial basis for communication. We live among multiple worlds , even within our own immediate family, offering us various levels of effective communicative understanding. We spot differences whoever out anticipations of the others’ behavior are invalidated by something g they do which puzzles us , which forces us eventually to re-construct within our worldview so as to anticipate more effectively. A worldview is nothing but an integrated system of anticipations.
  • Pfhorrest
    4.1k
    is this the sociology version of philosophical idealism?bert1

    They are similar but I think not the same. Idealism says that what you perceive is what is real. Constructivism, as I understand it, is more like ontological relativism: what you believe is what is real.

    It's analogous to the difference between hedonism and relativism in moral philosophy, I think. The former says that whatever feels good (hedonistically) is morally good, the latter says whatever people think is good is morally good. Likewise, idealism says whatever looks true (empirically) is really true, while constructivism says that whatever people think is true is really true.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    It's not supposed to be an argument. It's supposed to highlight the topic. Bilogoists study sex, sociologists study bioloigists studying sex and as such many of them assume that sex is gendered, because they're part of soiciety (as they are themselves, which many of them are aware of).Dawnstorm
    And sociologists understand that in order for a species to procreate and continue to exist, its members need to distinguish males from females. Sociologists need to be able to do that to.

    I'm not sure if the "Using...alone" construction suggests that if you add more stuff in (like, say, hormones) things would get more clear. My own hunch is that the more details you add the more useful classes you could get. The key word here is "useful". A sociologist (of a certain kind) reads such a word and automatically asks "for whom" and "how".Dawnstorm
    The same way that female peacocks use male peacock traits to select the best mate and father of its offspring.
    I already stated that how it is used is to distinguish males from females in a society where it is the law to cover your body. Gender as a social construction is sexual selection - the preferences we have for specific traits in a mate.

    Sociology is just one characteristic of biology and stems from our physiology. Searching for mates and mating is a biological process.
  • bert1
    638
    I imagine that if instead of saying “I am a woman” when someone is uncomfortable with having a penis and more comfortable with having a vagina, people said “I want to be a woman” or “I like being a woman” or something else that made it clear that what they’re communicating is something about their state of mind, there would be a lot less pushback against them.Pfhorrest

    I think you're probably right. But I suspect some trans people will strongly object (not that I know that). When it comes to identity people can be quite firm about what they want to say of themselves, insisting that "No, I mean what I say, I am a woman." I could be wrong though.
  • bert1
    638
    Gender then is the entire constellation.Dawnstorm

    OK, I've read you post a couple more times. I'm still struggling with it, not sure why!

    Are you saying that it's not just gender-the-social-construct that is socially constructed, but also the concept of sex and even the first person phenomenology of the gender dysphoric (or even euphoric) person?

    If so, is this simply an a fortiori move from "Everything is socially constructed, gender is a thing, so that's socially constructed too." I get the feeling it's more interesting than that. For it to be more interesting, I'd like you to contrast gender with a concept that is not socially constructed (or at least not as socially constructed), so I can see the difference. I'm being awfully demanding here, you don't have to do anything obviously, and this might be quite a lot of work for you. You've already been very helpful. So this is a general invitation for anyone who things gender is socially constructed, to contrast it with a concept that isn't.
  • Dawnstorm
    134
    If so, is this simply an a fortiori move from "Everything is socially constructed, gender is a thing, so that's socially constructed too." I get the feeling it's more interesting than that. For it to be more interesting, I'd like you to contrast gender with a concept that is not socially constructed (or at least not as socially constructed), so I can see the difference.bert1

    It's not that everything is socially constructed; it's that all meaning is socially constructed, but there is a difference in what ways that matters. Take gravity. Just like sex, we also only look at gravity in terms of what interests us. Yet, we don't have a split terminology here, like we have with sex/gender. I mean, the difference between weight and mass is something that only phycists really ponder (and those interested in the discipline, and those who use it to build stuff). It's a distinction that's far less useful in day-to-day life than in specific contexts. Sex is different, in that it's meaning in the form of gender is very pervasive in society, so before we become scientists we've already taken it all into account when looking at sex scientifically. That's not different from gravity, but there's likely less resistance here, because the difference between mass and weight and is not unequally distributed between people, so we all share largely the same realtionship to the "meaning of gravity".

    Sex has many constellations, though, if you consider all aspects, such as physognomy, hormones, DNA, etc. Take DNA: you might decide, when you do research, that DNA is foundational. That is certain constellations are male, others female, and the rarer ones are mix. But in daily life we don't perceive DNA. When we assign gender we go by more visible stuff. We don't ask people for DNA tests to prove their sex. In most contexts it's just not practical. So: in what contexts would it be practical to look at DNA? When sex is ambigous. Basically, in cases of intersex or trans configurations, we could use DNA tests as "tie breakers".

    Does this work? Well enough for people who feel no conflict with the gender they themselves were assigned for birth (even in those very rare cases where a DNA test might give them a surprise). That is: using a DNA test to determine gender might be a tie-breaker, but it's also - implicitly - a way of saying "That's your problem." You can probably explain sex in terms of the male/female dichotomy for those ambiguous cases, too, but it requires more effort, and is not as accessible to laymen (like, say, the difference between weight and mass).

    A gender division between male and female makes sense if you research the devision of labour between the two sexes in the context of reproduction. What biologoical constellations can still breed? But if we take the results of this sort of research as foundational for social organisation, we cause problems for people who can't or don't want to breed. There might be physical regularities we're missing because the gender divide is instinctive to a majority of people (and non-instinctive for some, who don't have an alternative way to make sense of their bodies, because their parents and peers don't provide one). There are questions such as "Is the brain gendered," in the sense that some brains might send warning signals when it's business as usual. A while ago I found research in that direction, but everything I could find was funded by organisations that support trans rights. And, well, who else would?

    I can't think of a similar social conflict for gravity. All we really care about on Earth is weight, and the rest is for experts in specicalised context (engineering, astronomy...) The standard concept of gravity disadvantages no-one, so we can easily stick with it.

    Then there are social constructs that rely on social artefacts to exist: money, marriage, even objects like tables. We make those things based on meaning they have. A tree stump is not a table, but if we use it like one it has some of its attributes. Sex and gravity are not like tables. Sexual reproduction works the way it works regardless what social constructs we build around it. Gender is more dependent on sex then sex on gender. However, we do modify our bodies on occasion. When a trans person transitions, we're processing the body towards a gendered ideal. The resulting sexual constellation <i>is</i> due to human interferance. That's not so unlike the creation of an artifact, say a table. We modify what's there so that it's more useful to us.

    Now at that point, it's social life that becomes important. Gender terms are not emotinally neutral, and everyday people are not biologists. So, when people say "I'm a man," or "I'm a woman", they're usually ignorant of the specifics of their body, though they have baseline feeling that's base of what those distinctions feel like. That's also where it gets mixed up with interpretative norms (socially constructed) and their applications.

    So, for example, if we take the trans condition seriously we can ask questions: is it one condition? Is it different for trans males and trans females? What do trans men and cis men have in common and how do they differ? We can only ask these questions because of lived experience, and lived experience occurs in a social context.

    I'm not sure I'm making myself clear here. This is complex, and I'm not an expert. I'd have known more around two decades ago. Basically what I'm saying is that both "gender" and "gravity" are social constructs, but they work in different ways with regards to the relation of the underlying reality to the socially consturcted reality taken for granted by many people to the point of near invisibility. Gender is about the framing of sex. We're not talking about the framing of gravity in the same way, because on earth g is a constant. If two categories of gender worked equally well for all people, we wouldn't talk about the framing of sex either. Everything is filtered through worldviews, but some things are cognitively distant enough, or universal enough (it's not always clear what the difference is) so that this has little practical effect. A hypothesis here might be that when it comes to sex, people cis-people might think sex is one of those things, while trans people don't. Lack of evidence can come from a lack of physical substratus, or from a social lack of interest and thus a lack of targeted research.

    Does any of this make sense? I'm running up against my limits.
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