April 04, 2008

Gender Confusion

Alright, we haven't offended anyone in a couple days. So, it's about time.

Could a very effeminate male be considered, in terms of gender, a female?

And therefore, if they are also homosexual, is their natural desire for a male unnatural, or actually very natural?


Marc said...

Interesting query.

let's look at the third sentence: "Could a very effeminate male be considered, in terms of gender, a female?"

I think there's something logically fallacious in that statement, and I'll try to nail it down.

"Effeminate male" is, by self-definition, male. Therefore, any further conclusions that could be made about this individual, from the logician's perspective, are "still male" or "male and female. With the original assertion that the individual is male, there is no conduit through which the person can become considered only female without tossing out or re-defining the initial thesis.

So in order for this to be productive, we have to define "gender." Is it a physical reality, individual choice, or psychosocial construct?

In order to be unambiguous, the question will have to be phrased "Could a person who is anatomically recognized as "male," but exhibits feminine characteristics, be re-defined as "female," either as a function of his (neuter pronoun) own choice in identity or as a social observation, simply on the basis of those observed behaviors?"

Cumbersome, I know, but the ambiguity in the initial language caused many internal contradictions.

So with this arrogantly re-stated postulate, let's try to answer the last question.

As sexuality is inexorably tied to the physical self, a physical definition of "gender" must be used. By way of qualification, I am not discounting the other elements of self, e.g. emotional, intellectual, etc., in the area of sexuality, but the physical element is the only one that is precisely necessary.

So with all elements of "gender" as defined as an anatomical reality, I will answer "unnatural" to the final question, at least until my line of reasoning is overturned (in 5, 4, 3....).

Sabai said...

yeah, that's why i used the term "gender", wondering if we could allow it be something other than sex. but, you didn't bite.

lauren said...

I read an article once about how the estrogen/testosterone levels affect one's personality and in many cases sexual preference.

this article began at the beginning-conception. yes, a child starts with either an x or a y, but at conception when the cells begin to divide, sex is not yet physically determined. both male and females progress in the same way until either female hormones push the body to progress female or male hormones to progress male. In this very crucial time of gender formation a number of things could go wrong. Enough testosterone can be produced to push the body male, but it could be low enough and only slightly higher than the estrogen and other hormones that swing a kid female. In these instances, could a child have the mind of a female in a male's body? All this can be to varying degrees, of course. A more effeminate male vs. an extremely effeminate male. There is also consideration to the timing release of such sex forming hormones. Could the late onset of estrogen mold the already male formed body's mind into a more feminine one? all this is very interesting and very much worth considering. This theory could account to the wide spectrum of masculinity-femininity... the tomboy to the flamboyant...mere behavior to sexual desire. It's all very interesting.


Anonymous said...

First question: All people could, and should, be considered whatever gender they identify as. If this effeminate male maintains a male gender identity then consider that person a man. If that effeminate (or butch for that matter) biological male considers herself a gendered female then consider that person a woman. Sex and gender have very little in common aside from social assumptions and expectations of how one should act depending on his or her anatomy. So, of course, some effeminate biological males should be considered female (complete with appropriate pronouns) even if some folks take awhile to catch up with the reality of gender.

Second question: Well, all natural desires are natural. But I'm not sure that's the question you are trying to ask. I think what you are hinting at is is this hypothetical transgendered female (biological male) gay if she is attracted to men. The answer is absolutely not. Sexuality is a separate construction from sex and gender, although gay is usually considered the attraction to the same gender. The hypothetical person we are considering here is gay if she is attracted to individuals who maintain a female gender. The person is straight if she is attracted to gendered males. But again, the sexuality of anyone should be whatever identity the place upon themselves.

ukcjay said...

anonymous is me. just didn't know how to work this thing.

Sabai said...

so i guess my real question is:

are many "homosexual" males simply gender females who are attracted to sexual males? And since most sexual males are attracted to sexual females, then the "homosexual male - gender female" ends up with another "homosexual male - gender female"?

ukcjay said...

no, not many. most are good ol', testosterone filled men - by sex and by gender. but you are on to an issue that people confuse...the trans woman (who might have boy parts) who dates a man is not gay.

if two gendered females end up together like you mention then you'd have to lesbian women.

Sabai said...

so, just because a male is very effeminate, doesn't mean that he can be identified GENDER-FEMALE? you're saying that gender is the person's choice, whatever they feel most comfortable identifying with?

ukcjay said...

yeah, that's a big part of it.

but also, the gender piece (like for people who are transgender) is this feeling that they are NOT a man...like they are a woman trapped in a man's body. some of those people know immediately that they are trans and some it takes awhile to realize and come out as trans.

on the other hand, there might be even more effeminate men (some gay, some not?) who are not trapped...they just recognize that there is a range of masculine experiences and they are on one end of that range. but their gender is definitely that of a man.

Swistle said...

I think whether the effeminate male identifies as a male or as a female, his interest in either males or females is natural.