Scientists: Biological Sex is, in Fact, Not Binary

Phaylen Fairchild
Dec 23, 2019 · 4 min read

Transphobic hostiles have attempted to peddle biological sex as Male and Female. Science has proven them wrong.

In 2018, a Biomedical Scientist with a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology focusing specifically on molecular determinants of polarized exocytosis quietly entered the tumultuous fray between the self described “Gender Critics” and transgender people.

While transphobic individuals have attempted to rebrand and legitimize their transphobia as “Gender Critical” instead of old-fashioned bigotry, it has been largely dismissed by the majority of experts as baseless and purely motivated by personal prejudice. Yet, the abuse they hurl upon transgender users of social media has only increased.

In a lengthy thread, the Twitter user Science Vet put forth some interesting information on the spectrum of biological sex and made clear why it isn’t simply a matter of black or white.

Have a read:

Science has determined long ago that Sex was not as easily explained away by just pointing out the genital present, since far more complex mechanisms in the human body react with differing sex orientated functions. Some of those functions, often associated with males, some females possess and vice versa. These functions include chemical responses, hormone balances and even the shape of the brain, which Science recently discovered, in transgender people, reflects that of their preferred gender and not their presenting sex.

The problem with Sex as it has been identified in past has made it an oversimplified demonstration of reproductive anatomy. However, ScienceVet deliberately avoids using terms like “Transgender” and “Intersex” both human conditions which they argue is not as anomalous as some would like you to think, but are, in fact, a natural state of human biology on the spectrum of Sex.

Medically speaking, we, as a diverse human species, overlap sexes in countless ways- literally in so many ways that they cannot be counted. Everything from the sensitivity of smell to the backward tilt of the pelvis in some men, to the deeper voice and naturally abundant testosterone in women, the body varies far too dramatically within our species and thus disallows a conclusion as narrow as there being merely two binary sexed bodies which function identically and only as informed by their genitals. In fact, it’s impossible.

However, modern culture has placed firm taboos on allowing sex to exist outside of the two boxes we must tick at birth. That construct then defines the role we must play in society as a “Male” or a “Female” and anything that deviates from that has been historically labelled as incorrect and abnormal- even shameful when those overlaps can be perceived through our behaviors or mannerisms. There has been little consideration given to the biological triggers responsible for aspects of our biology which betray our observable sex. ScienceVet points out that not everyone who isn’t 100% biologically male or female identifies as transgender and exist quite happily in their birth assigned sex while others have more biological cross-overs that move them to find greater peace and personal fulfillment living as a sex that may contradict their genitals, but align completely with internal biological function.

Arguing sex down to something as rudimentary as presenting genitals has been a tremendous error within the medical community, which has, within the last decade, seen leading scholars openly admit.

Sari Van Anders, the research chair in social neuro-endocrinology, sexuality and gender/sex at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada explained on the program Quirks and Quarks, “The idea of female and male brains is outdated and never reflected the science. It’s not a one size fits all when it comes to your sex and gender.

She goes on; “I think people think that sex is the simple one and gender is the complicated one … even as we know that they often exist in different ways and there’s multiple aspects of each. People are expected to move through their life in the world in accordance with whatever that identifier is. But as we know, for many people that doesn’t work out.”

Van Anders, who spoke to the CBC, published a formal study that closely examined the relationship between testosterone and human behaviors such as competition and aggression.

The Scientist discovered that engaging in these behaviors was enough to increase testosterone in both sexes — what she discovered was the behavior when observed was affecting hormones rather than the hormones affecting the behavior. “So we know that living life as women or men, or as non-binary people, and the gender norms that that involves, can actually influence the ways our hormones act.

Van Anders concluded the long held belief that our biology dictates our behavior is not reliable Science- and worse- often incorrect.

She says to the CBC; “They’ve done that with women saying, ‘Well, women have uteruses and somehow that pulls all the blood from their bodies from their brains and they can’t actually study,’” she said, referring to the incorrect historical belief that the uterus was responsible for a wide variety of ailments including fevers and kleptomania.

“I would say that genitals matter, but they’re not determinative. And I think that’s the key.”

Written by

Comedian, Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade