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A transgender thought experiment

Both of my dogs are mutts, and as anyone with any interest in dogs can attest to, you learn to look at them and categorize different features and body parts under their respective breeds. It's basically like looking at a Frankenstein experiment.

My male dog has a husky tail and coat but a mastiff head and body. My little girl has a pit bull chest but a beagles face and snout. I could go on in detail, but the point remains that they are clearly an amalgamation of their progenitors.

Likewise, people can look at someone's child and say that they have their mother's hair or their father's jaw or so on and so forth. In most cases, people look like a roughly even combination of both. In some cases, people inherited far more of their looks from one parent than the other. It's not always 50/50.

Regardless of how genetic material is ultimately distributed, it is always a mix of genes from both the mother and the father. This includes the genes that form our brains, the basis for our behaviors and beliefs and everything that constitutes our sense of identity.

The literature regarding human neurology comes to the fairly unanimous conclusion that there are differences in structure between the male and female brains. A conclusion people can reach rather intuitively just by talking to and observing enough men and women to realize that there are some obvious differences between the sexes.

But, what if the genes that formed a person's brain came more from one parent than another? And what if those same genes differed from the ones governing their anatomy?

What would you call a male-bodied person had a female-leaning brain, or vice versa?

If I were to take a hamburger, for instance, and I keep the outside the same - buns, toppings, condiments - but removed the quintessential hamburger patty and substituted a T-bone steak, would this creation still be called a hamburger?

Or to give another example, assume I take the engine out of a Toyota and put it inside of a Lamborghini, and assume it could still run, if I sold it as a Lamborghini would that be an inevitable false advertisement lawsuit?

One could argue that beef is beef and that it doesn't matter what's inside because it's the outside that matters. Or that the little logo on the hood tells you everything you need to know about the car in question.

I don't have a definitive answer here. The research on transgender brains is so far inconclusive. I just thought it was worth considering that maybe it would be reckless, among other things, to dismiss trans people without resolving questions like these
CrazyMusicLover · 31-35
It could be just personality traits but also mental illnesses, personality disorders or neurological disorders that "mix cards". In such case, I believe that two people of different genders but the same ailment might be able to relate to each other way more than to a person of the same sex without it.
trollslayer · 46-50, M
Interesting, but what it ultimately comes down to for me in a social sense is how does someone else being transgender affect me no matter what the reason they are transgender? It doesn't.
TinyViolins · 31-35, M
@trollslayer True, but other people are much less accepting. Whether it's fear-based or just plain intolerance, having some scientific understanding of the underlying factors behind transgenderism will do a lot to bypass the hateful rhetoric trans people have to face
HoraceGreenley · 56-60, M
A child cannot obtain more genes from one psrt than the other. It's 50/50 and any statement to the contrary is absurd.
TinyViolins · 31-35, M
@HoraceGreenley That's false. Males inherit more genes from their mother than their father. That's not even including mitochondrial DNA. It's might be close, but it's not 50/50.
HoraceGreenley · 56-60, M
TinyViolins · 31-35, M
@HoraceGreenley For you, perhaps. People with at least a modicum of intelligence just call it science
ffony · M
Male & female are confining labels relating to human concepts that probably have no 'pure' physical existence.
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ffony · M
@TinyViolins I think that's what Mumbo said to Jumbo.
ffony · M
it's also a bit of a stretch for everyone to try to reduce every topic down to being "just labels".
It would be, I agree - a HUGE stretch.

I won't try to relate human sex or gender to the operation of light switches etc. Much rather picture people as people in their full, complex & infinite variety.
Panamared · 70-79, M
RAD10HEAD · 16-17, M
That isn’t a hamburger, that’s a man vs food challenge
TinyViolins · 31-35, M
@NativePortlander1970 The ironic thing is that I've been called quiet my whole life. I just can't catch a break
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@WhyThooo Ever heard of genetic mosicism? especially from an absorbed twin?? Different parts of the body can have VERY different genotypes.
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@WhyThooo Developmentally speaking, what modifies a brain to become more male or more female? Certainly male & female hormones must play a big part, just as they modify other bodily systems (breasts, body hair, muscles, etc).

What, then, is the effect of ingesting hormones fed to cattle that remain in the meat? DES used to be fed to cattle until it was found harmful to people; there are still a raft of other hormones fed to most cattle. Is it possible that these hormones are affecting the brains and bodies of growing children?

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