These are my thoughts on transwomen (male to female) and why I think it occurs. I’ll go up the ladder from genetics to cognition, to see what it means to be a woman as opposed to a man.
Genetics. The most basic level of differentiation occurs in our sex chromosomes. Males have XY and females have XX chromosomes. However, since transwomen are said to be “women trapped in a male body” then we can’t look here. A transwoman is by definition a biologically male, born with XY chromosomes.
Sexuality. The most straightforward biological reason for being born males and females is sexuality. One would therefore expect that if you feel like a woman, it is because you feel attraction towards men. However, Bruce Jenner is a prime example of this not being the case. Transwomen don’t typically identify as homosexual from the perspective of their biological sex.
Hormonally. The argument could be made that the typical behavior of each gender is affected by our hormones: making us act or look feminine or masculine. However, effeminate males that act and behave feminine, rarely identify as women. They think of themselves as males.
Neurologically. When it comes to the brain, men and women are more alike than they are different. There is enough overlap between any supposed difference (such as language regions) that it fails to be a reliable marker for who is a man or a woman.
Behaviorally/Socially. This where you tend to see most transwomen adopt their identity. They adopt a societal definition of what a woman is. They show a strong preference to wear female attire. They might prefer playing with stereotypical girl toys. Likewise, this involves rejecting male stereotypes. They also have a strong desire to look like women physically. Have long hair, wear makeup, among other things. The problem is that none of these things are meaningful. The social expectation that women have long hair or wear pink is arbitrary.
Cognitively. This is where I think the cause of gender dysphoria occurs. It is a subjective identity adopted by the individual. Our brains are constantly processing information, and making sense of it. All of our identities, who we think we are, arise cognitively. We decide if our sexuality determines our identity, we decide if our beliefs (theism/atheism) defines who we are, we decide if our nation of birth defines our nationality. And I believe, we also decide what gender we are. We take information A B and C, and conclude it means we are male or female.
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