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ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture

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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CyberLN's picture
“And I believe, we also

“And I believe, we also decide what gender we are.”

When do ‘we’ do this?

Please define ‘gender’.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Gender is something we do. It

Gender is something we do. It is whatever behavior I express and whatever appearance I display, as seen from the perspective of my biological sex. However, there's a social aspect to gender as well. Because we observe how others of our biological sex behave and appear. So gender can also refer to whatever a culture sees as masculine or feminine behavior.

CyberLN's picture
Repeat: When do ‘we’ decide

Repeat: When do ‘we’ decide what gender?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I don't see it as a decision,

I don't see it as a decision, its more of a progression. Children are aware of gender identity since very young.

CyberLN's picture
In your OP you said “we

In your OP you said “we decide.” Now you are saying you “don’t see it as a decision.”

Dang, John. Pick one or the other. It’s way too difficult to make sense of what you are postiting right now.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
The problem is with the

The problem is with the question of when that decision is made. It changes the sense from something the brain is constantly doing, to something it does just once. When I used the word decision in the OP, I used it as a synonym for information processing.

CyberLN's picture



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LogicFTW's picture
People can decide their

People can decide their sexual identity when ever they want. If it flips 10 times a day every day, that is fine. Perhaps a bit confusing for people that know the person, and said person should be aware confusion and mistakes will happen. But they are still free to do so. It should be no greater then a person deciding what their favorite color is.

Medical science still has some catching up to do to allow people to realize what gender specific (or lack of) traits a person wants their body to have, but it will get there within a century if advancement continues at current rates.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Well but this is why its

Well but this is why its important to distinguish between decisions in the everyday sense, and the decision-making process that occurs cognitively.

LogicFTW's picture
When you say cognitively I

When you say cognitively I assume you mean:
- of or relating to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.

So, rephrased to see if I understand you correctly, you are saying:

it is important we understand if the person is making the decision of their sexuality emotionally and of their own will, versus perception, memory judgment and reasoning.

How come? Why is that important? Back to the color analogy, why is it important if a person decides what their favorite color is a decision making process that occurs cognitively? Why can't a person just choose whichever way they get to that decision?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Well you can tell the

Well you can tell the difference with things like confabulation. We are often unaware of our own motivations and decisions, and come up with narratives to explain them post hoc. A good place to see this is morality. Moral intuitions come first, moral reasoning second.

Now, the type of decision that you are mentioning and Cyber is inquiring about, is kind of like the cherry on top. Its the final step in the process, if you will. Much more interesting and meaningful than simply saying a person decided red is their favorite color, is asking why. What went on inside their head that led to that decision.

Cognitive psychology is interested with what happens between inputs and outputs. Saying red is my favorite color, and I am a male, are outputs. Perceiving cultural gender roles and the color red, are inputs. In between these two are cognitive processes that churn the information, rearrange it, make sense of it, etc.

LogicFTW's picture
I agree, the why of things is

I agree, the why of things is an interesting question, and why we do things can lead to good insights on behavior. The study of the brain and cognitive psychology can give us greater understanding of human behavior, like how we mostly think emotionally first, logically second, and sound logical reasoning especially in fast or sensitive situations nearly always takes a back seat to the reptilian response and the emotional response, unless training occurs to counter that. I feel we have strayed pretty far off topic, but it is still interesting conversation to have to me.

I actually mostly agree with the core of your thoughts on your transgender theory as being at least partially correct. There is possibly some biological stuff at play, likely some culture stuff at play (usually in the way of pressure to stay the gender assigned at birth,) but quite possibly most transgenders it mostly comes down to a decision they made for themselves cognitively or not, where the person may or may not have consider all the different possible influences or even be aware of them. I am also fully aware I know little about this, and my thoughts on transgender versus the reality for many transgender folks are completely different.

I have 2 friends that are transgender, one that feels she is female and another feels he is a male. I have also made acquaintance to someone that considers themselves genderless and asks to not be addressed by any gender specific personal pronouns. I never ask them how or why they came to that decision, I simply respect it, and I am deeply impressed by their courage to be who they want to be and to not hide in a society that all to often vilifies, (or much worse,) these brave people.

I do feel atheist in general are much more tolerant, if not welcoming, towards transgenders then theist people on average, as many theist religions and teachings tend to point towards a god making the decision of a person's sexuality/gender and to go contrary to that is blasphemous and/or an abomination. Where Atheist tend to go down the science route that recognizes that gender and sexuality is not as nearly clear cut, black and white, but instead is a whole lot of grey. Plus, I feel many religions use the oldest trick in the book, fear of a created "other" to marshal it's followers into greater pure complicity to their particular group/following. The whole pure ridiculousness of the North Carolina bathroom laws is an example of religious based persecution based on made up fear mongering as a ploy to consolidate their, (religious leaders,) power.

Cronus's picture
Bottom line - humans are

Bottom line - humans are confounding, contrary, infuriating and wildly entertaining.

If you think you' ve seen it all, stick around and watch the show.

LogicFTW's picture
It is rare but some people

It is rare but some people are born with androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) where a XY male can be immune to testosterone and appear to be female in every way until they fail to menstruate in their teen years.

Turner syndrome, (Females with only a single x) they usually cannot have babies w/o science aid.

There is Klinefelter syndrome, XXY males, there is xxyy syndrome, XXXXX females, or dozens of other variations of xxyy and so on.

Then there is "true" hermaphroditism where a person has mature ovarian and testicular tissue.

We humans like to organize things into neat little boxes, but the reality is it does not work that way. You can not solely say someone's sex purely on XY chromosome.

So determining sex cannot be solely on biological. (Genetics) This also knocks out sexuality.

Hormonally is really a mess, not only to our own hormones change greatly as we age, we can medically add or block hormones.

Agree on neurologically.

As you say, behaviorally is not a reliable marker.

Cognitively, we decide in our own heads based on our own information if we are male or female, neither or both. Yep hormones plays a role, genetics play a role, social plays a role, but a person can decide what gender they are, and it is up to no one else to tell them otherwise. This of course includes sexual partner preferences.

As medical science continues to advance, all the biological aspects of general xx and xy will continue to blur and eventually disappear. The term "male" and female will slowly fade to obscurity if society and medical advances continue. Personally I think it will be great day if we can reach as society that genetic differences have no societal ramifications as it is all fluid and a person can not be judged on their current and past genetic make up. (skin color also comes to mind as an easy example beyond sexuality.)

Nyarlathotep's picture
John 6IX Breezy - And I

John 6IX Breezy - And I believe, we also decide what gender we are.

CyberLN - When do ‘we’ decide what gender?

John 6IX Breezy - I don't see it as a decision...

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Simply exchange decision with

Simply exchange "decision" with "one time decision", and the misunderstanding is gone:

I don't see it as a one time decision, its more of a progression

algebe's picture
Not decision. Discovery.

Not decision. Discovery.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Wait why lol.

Wait why lol. Whatever word you substitute it with, I'll still be saying its not that:

"I don't see it as a discovery, its more of a progression?"

algebe's picture
Are you saying that people

Are you saying that people have a choice about their sexual orientation?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Well no, but I'm not

Well no, but I'm not discussing sexual orientation. This is about being transgender.

Sheldon's picture
I can't speak for anyone else

I can't speak for anyone else of course, but heterosexual male is not any decision I made, it's part of who I am. What's more I have never heard a gay person support this claim that choice is involved in who they are. I have no reason to believe transsexual or transgender are any different. Furthermore I don't particularly care, people can identify themselves in any way they feel comfortable with as far as I'm concerned. It harms no one else, and so it's no one else's business. We need to offer support and understanding to children who struggle with their gender identity, and educate all children to respect others regardless of where on the spectrum they identify themselves.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Person A will tell you its a

Person A will tell you its a choice, person B will tell you it isn't. Maybe we aren't sure who to believe. But the person you can be 100% sure is wrong is someone who:
Promotes the concept of free will, but describes the act of gender self determination in terms of a relation:

Breezy - We take information A B and C, and conclude it means we are male or female...Saying red is my favorite color, and I am a male, are outputs. Perceiving cultural gender roles and the color red, are inputs.
Posts an OP arguing that it is a decision, but before the ink is dry on that says it isn't a decision.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Posts an OP arguing that it

"Posts an OP arguing that it is a decision, but before the ink is dry on that says it isn't a decision"

That issue has already been clarified, and is no longer valid. When I say you should ask for clarification before making accusations, I honestly do it for your sake.

A speaker can always clarify what they said, because the speaker knows what he meant to say in the first place. They hold the scepter over the conversation. They can amend any statement, losen any knots, and clarify any misunderstandings ad nauseum. But the listener is naturally handicapped, they come from a place of ignorance.

Only a person whose position depends on finding contradictions, becomes frustrated when they see that the contradictions aren't real. You don't seem to be aware of your disadvantage when you make this your strategy. Its literally like me telling you I'm thinking of the number 7, and you trying to convince me that I'm really thinking of the number 6. Its just not possible lol.

I think this issue is evident in all our conversations. You never forward an argument of your own, you only take what I say and find ways in which to critique it. Well that's an easy battle for me. For one it means I don't have worry about a serious rebuttal. And secondly, I can go on forever telling you why your accusations are wrong. I literally burn zero calories clarifying your misunderstandings. In contrast, you end up frustrated, tired, and worn. Typing long responses, and then deleting them, because its a battle you can't logically win.

So take my advice, just ask for clarification, don't bother with accusations.

Sheldon's picture
That sounds more like a

That sounds more like a dishonest wriggle than clarification to me, and you are the 'boy who cried wolf' on here. You can only be dishonest for so long before people refuse to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I was introduced to your duplicity in 4 or five threads created by you entitled slavery, laughably claiming the bible condemned not condoned slavery, in all of which you refused point blank to discuss any biblical texts that actually made direct comments on slavery.

Then there is your is thread on morality, a thinly veiled attack on atheism using an accusation of subjective morality, and I have asked you dozens of times if you think it was objectively moral for your deity to torture a baby to death over 7 days in the bible, because it was angered that the baby was conceived in an adulterous affair? Of course you refuse to even acknowledge the question.....and on and on it goes. You sir are thoroughly dishonest, I have said so from he start, and so have others. What's hilariously ironic is like many apologists of this ilk you seem oblivious to what this says about your religious beliefs to those you are trying to debate with.

I'll give you a clue, start with the ninth commandment, and work out how objective your morality appears when your posts are so unashamedly mendacious.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
marry me this.

marry me this.
"Unashamedly mendacious" so much more polite than "fucking liar"

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I'm not worried about what it

I'm not worried about what it sounds like, nor do I want the benefit of the doubt from those that hinder my conversations. So by all means continue.

Sheldon's picture
I never remotely suggested

I never remotely suggested you cared what it sounded like, quite the opposite, I merely suggested you start considering how it reflected on your claims for religious objective morality, when you are so relentlessly dishonest. I don't care whether you want the benefit of the doubt either, as that is entirely moot, and again I merely point out you can't expect it when you are so relentlessly dishonest. Thanks for your suggestion, but it never entered my head not to continue, however if it ever does, then I shall do as I am minded to.

Now, do you think it morally objective for your deity to torture a new born baby to death in the bible, because it was angered that the baby was conceived in an adulterous affair? Also do you think the biblical endorsements of slavery are morally objective? Also do you think genocide using a global flood is objectively moral?

It seems as usual that your idea of discussion only encompasses your own subjective beliefs, and the narrow criteria you think you can arbitrarily restrict the debate to in order to preserve your delusion, whilst you ignore all else, and again it's impossible to believe you can't really see how dishonest that is, or what it says about your claims and beliefs.

mykcob4's picture

Next you'll be saying that we can pray the gay away.
You have some fucked up theories ones that should disqualify you from ever entering in the world of psychology.
I am sure there are people that are really not gay but out of confusion or circumstance act that way. One example is the Mahu of Hawai'i. A purely forced gay social phenomenon.

The fact is most people that are sexually aroused by the same sex cannot change that natural condition in themselves. Also, a person that identifies as a woman but is not homosexual genderwise is not a social condition or a psychological disorder.
The problem is that christians just don't respect individual rights and never will.

Sheldon's picture
Effeminate behaviour in men

Effeminate behaviour in men does not mean they are gay, any more than gay men are all effeminate. As for his credentials I'd not let any kind of medical practitioner of any stamp any where near me if they professed they believed the hokum superstition of creationism, denied the scientific biological facts of species evolution and shared ancestry. Anyone that delusional wouldn't get to put a sticking plaster on a cut for me, end of. The idea I'd let a "psychologist" anywhere near me who was that delusional, and who espoused religious bigotry about gay and transgender people is equally risible, but then if a psychologist claimed my consciousness had a supernatural cause I'd slam the door on my way out, laughing as I went.

mickron88's picture



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