• Question: Is there any physical scientific evidence to support the modern day theory of a spectrum of genders? If not, is it a case of not simply having the technology to examine it at this point in time?

    Asked by 344perq48 to Vassilis, Tirso, Matthew, Jane, Dawn, Alexandra on 13 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Dawn Rose

      Dawn Rose answered on 13 Mar 2019:

      Interesting question. The difficulty is that the terms gender and sex are not really interchangeable. Someone’s sex might be different than the gender they choose to identify as. Which is an interesting field of social pscyhology.
      If we think about the term ‘sex’, although sets of genitals might be linked to male and female bodies, there are also many hermaphrodites who have both sets of genitals.
      Whereas gender is more of a concept of social identity, about how society portrays ‘sex’ in stereotypical ways.
      I think it is always tempting to try to simplify (or reduce) things to be ‘either’/’or’ in science and in life in general, but that never really explains the whole picture.
      Therefore, I like the concept of spectrums because it promotes tolerance and understanding amongst us humans!

    • Photo: Vassilis Sideropoulos

      Vassilis Sideropoulos answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      As Dawn says below, there’s a difference between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’, the latter is a social construct whereas the former is the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics. Keeping that in mind, you can see that the spectrum of genders can be anything, ranging from man, woman to non-binary to gender non-conforming. To understand this better, our gender is depending on these characteristics: biological sex (i.e., the state of being male, female, or an intersex variation), sex-based social structures (i.e., gender roles), or gender identity.

      Regarding the second part of the question, there’s a lot of research out there on the spectrum of genders, you can find more here: https://www.ted.com/playlists/459/the_gender_spectrum