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A woman is an adult human female.

It is not "cartoonish" to say there are two sexes.

Intersex exists, thought it is vanishingly rare. This is well known. It is not the point.

The debate is not about intersex, it's about reality vs. pretending.

It is not left vs. right.

This "science moment" offers obfuscation, not clarity.

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Nov 17, 2022·edited Nov 17, 2022Author

Sex suffers from the all the same “issues” as EVERY SINGLE WORD outside of math. If you believe that’s an “issue,” you’re making a fallacy. If you believe you need to defend sex categories by saying there is no gray area, then you’re making a fallacy.

It’s not at all cartoonish to say there are two sexes. It IS cartoonish to say that the distinction is one made via necessary and sufficient conditions, i.e., that perfectly and without gray areas picks out (for ‘male’) all and only males. We don’t have ANY such thing outside of math. So why rest your argument on such a claim?

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I claimed the exact opposite of the claim you attribute to me. Do you not know the word "intersex"? Look it up - it means gray area regarding sex.

Intersex is widely known to exist. You are not offering any new or useful scientific insight here. You are simply obfuscating. Nobody argues against the existence of border cases. The arguments are about whether sex is biological or merely an individual's choice, belief, or feeling.

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Nov 17, 2022·edited Nov 17, 2022Author

That’s NOT the argument that other side is making. See the tangled web of developmental mechanisms they point to.

And, I don’t think this IS a scientific argument, but a logical one. The other side makes a fallacy.

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Don't play their game, sex is NOT hard to define. There are two gametes. End of story.

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A woman born barren is not a woman? A man born sterile is not a man?

You and I can go back and forth, and over time your definition will get longer and longer to cover what we all REALLY mean, but it will still not amount to necessary and sufficient conditions. But that does NOT mean it’s not binary.

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All barren women have the reproductive structure, gonads, to nurture female gametes, eggs (which we are all born with).

All sterile men have the reproductive structure, gonads, to produce male gametes, spermatozoids.

There's nothing complicated about sex, not one iota.

And on the matter of rare intersex persons (not just micro dick but truly genetic intersex people), their sex is STILL dictated by the Y chromosome. A century ago, or in poor countries, it can be challenging to know intersex conditions. But in modern Western countries, there is no more unresolved sex issues at birth. The moment there is some ambiguity, tests can reveal the truth.

It's really a non issue.

Every time we accept their lingo, we move farther and farther down the rabbit hole. It's a matter of principle, the exact same principles as face veils and NPIs against covid. They've had 50 years to impose their narrative, and most people have accepted he lies.

Principles and scientific truth matter.

Sex is ONE thing, gametes/Y chromosome. We don't need false complexification. It's a detrimental path.

Too many people are equating sex to all kinds of things. We biologists KNOW what sex is. We need to be firm.

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It’s a mistake to believe that a firm distinction has no gray areas, something that only happens in math. It can be firm AND have gray areas.

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There are people who are members of the Senate of the State of Missouri.

There are people who are not members of that particular legislative body.

Firm distinction. Not math. No ambiguity, no gray area. You are a member, or not a member.

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If only things in real non-mathematical life were like that.

The point is, we believe in a gazillion binary distinctions that are NOT at all like that. It’s mistake to demand THAT kind of standard. Once you make that mistake, you have weakened your position.

Gray areas do NOT imply spectra (ie., no binary distinction).

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I get your point - and I agree with it. Most distributions are indeed continuous, rather than discrete. Gray areas frequently exist. I would even say usually. Including the distribution of human beings by sex. It's not quite binary, though of course it is very close to being binary.

You are avoiding my point - that the Missouri Senate IS in real, non-mathematical life. Every senator is real, and is living. Yet this distinction is truly binary: one is either a Missouri senator, or one is not. No gray area exists in this case. This is a counterexample to your assertion that only in "math" are distinctions clear-cut.

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ALL "gray areas" must be accompanied by a statistical relevance analysis, and when not relevant, give up the gray distraction. Just give it up. Sex has no gray area. There are no gray gametes. Our two gametes are extremely different, no overlap.

Collin said it well, coins are two sided, we all agree with that, can an extreme rare flip of a coin land on the edge? sure. But we're not debating gray areas for coins.

It's a distraction, a distraction which has seen them winning for 50 years. I realise you haven't watched that dynamic happen, but certain POVs lead only to the proverbial hell.

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I take a mathematical approach to this philosophical question.

Take covid. Its lethality, on a world per annum basis, is under 0.05%. Using significant digits, we can CORRECTLY state that covid is 100% not dangerous.

For sex, we have no gray area in saying 100% M or F.

and no gray area in saying 100.1% M or F.

and no gray area in saying 100.01% M or F.

and no gray area in saying 100.001% M or F.

The only instances of true intersex at the gamete level, like cases of mosaicity, are in the per million zone. In toxicology we pay close attention to PPMs because teratogenicity occurs at these values.

But in sex, there's just no evidence-based statistically significant basis, for diluting our language. We've been diluting our language for 50 years, and it just gets worse and worse and worse. We get out of this by returning to statistical significance.

Gray areas in biology can apply where species considered different species can reproduce to fertile offspring. Here biologists debate on whether the absoluteness of this statement, while some argue that the definition of species is only valid on a per natural ecosystem basis. For example wolves and coyotes are for all means and purposes different species, yet, some subgroups within these two species to reproduce to fertility level in nature. And this characteristic is quite common in certain geographies. That is a true gray area.

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Gray areas don’t need ACTUAL cases filling them for them to exist. Just possible cases.

Key point is that the fact that there are gray areas (conceptually, even if there are few to no actual instances) does in no way imply it’s not binary, and in no way implies that it is instead a spectrum (where one says there’s just lots of different kinds of things, and no binary distinction to be made).

Our opposition is making a stupid logical fallacy error.

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Tell me the gray area between an egg and a spermatozoid...

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