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Feminism and transexuals/transgender watch

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  • View Poll Results: To what extent are gender roles, behaviour and choices dependent on society?
    Completely, there would be no difference in variance by gender if we were all brought up the same
    1
    12.50%
    Mostly, but our genetics play a part
    3
    37.50%
    Somewhat, but most of it is from our genetics
    1
    12.50%
    Not at all, if you brought up your son/daughter as a stereotypical girl/boy, they would still behave according to their genetics
    3
    37.50%

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    Could someone who believes either of these explain why they think the other side is wrong.

    Some people (usually under the umbrella of feminism) will claim that there are no biological gender roles. That is, what men and women are generally expected to do is only a result of social condition, and if we treated boys and girls the same from birth then they would act and behave exactly the same (with variance, but you wouldn't expect a boy or a girl to be more likely to think something just because of their gender).

    Contrast that attitude to that of transexual and transgender people. Hopefully I don't have my understanding mixed up, but a transexual is someone who, although having being exposed to the 'expected' behaviours of their sex, is still so (mentally, at least) uncomfortable in their skin that they opt for a sex change. Further, a transgender person is someone whose mental biology defies society's pressures on their behaviour.

    Are gender roles, behaviours and choices all created by society as some parts of feminism would claim? Or are some of them at least derived from biology?
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    (Original post by ThomH97)
    Could someone who believes either of these explain why they think the other side is wrong.

    Some people (usually under the umbrella of feminism) will claim that there are no biological gender roles. That is, what men and women are generally expected to do is only a result of social condition, and if we treated boys and girls the same from birth then they would act and behave exactly the same (with variance, but you wouldn't expect a boy or a girl to be more likely to think something just because of their gender).

    Contrast that attitude to that of transexual and transgender people. Hopefully I don't have my understanding mixed up, but a transexual is someone who, although having being exposed to the 'expected' behaviours of their sex, is still so (mentally, at least) uncomfortable in their skin that they opt for a sex change. Further, a transgender person is someone whose mental biology defies society's pressures on their behaviour.

    Are gender roles, behaviours and choices all created by society as some parts of feminism would claim? Or are some of them at least derived from biology?
    What you are asking is something that psychologists and medical professionals have been trying to answer for decades.

    The basic question is "Nature vs. Nurture."
    Feminists (not all but most) would believe that biology dictates what sex you are. Regardless of your sexual organs there are various physiologies that can be defined as male or female.

    However, when it comes to the mind things are far more elastic. A lot of 'girly behaviour' (or vice versa) doesn't come from the womb... it is learned as part of the process of socialisation. How we socialise boys and girls is different. This is why toy departments have gender seperations and why we dress boys and girls differently.
    Feminists would argue that this is not necessary- as really it is a gender constructed by society but based on ideas from hundreds of years ago. An outdated model.

    If you google nature/nurture experiments you'll find plenty of data to show the (sometimes grim) past of psychologists attempting to explain whether behaviour is genetic or learned.

    With regards to transgenderism... this is where the physical biology presents as one sex but the mind presents as another. " I know I am meant to be a woman" type of thing.
    Feminists take issue with this as they feel that a lot of transgender ftm's present in a fetishised way. By this I mean that the individual isn't truly living as a woman's experience but as a media hyped idea of what a woman is and how she should act/sit/participate.

    Some feminists also take issue with this as they believe that historically we have been living in a patriarchal society. One where men have more power than women.
    They would argue that this is just another case of men barging into women's business and telling them how to live their lives.
    In support of this argument there was a particularly interesting case where a FTM individual joined a Uni's LGBT society and basically banned lesbians because they didn't want to be in a relationship with them due to them being physically male. Apparently this was discrimination. (I think it was edinburgh uni.)

    There are arguments against this stance also... feminism is a broad spectrum and some are far more accepting of FTM or genderfluid bodies.
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    Everything is based on genetics. Society is the aggregate of individuals. Individuals are not a product of society, because then we'd be going in a circle, society -> individuals -> society etc. Individuals are a product of their genes. Sure, there is some variation, there are feminine men and masculine women, but they are a tiny fraction, and the general trends form the societal order we have at the moment, or at least used to; women as housewives, since they are generally poor at physical/intellectual labour, but better at raising offspring, and men as providers, since they are better at physical/intellectual labour, but poor at raising offspring.

    Why are men better at some things and worse at other things than women? Genetics.
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    (Original post by TheShrektEffect)
    Everything is based on genetics. Society is the aggregate of individuals. Individuals are not a product of society, because then we'd be going in a circle, society -> individuals -> society etc. Individuals are a product of their genes. Sure, there is some variation, there are feminine men and masculine women, but they are a tiny fraction, and the general trends form the societal order we have at the moment, or at least used to; women as housewives, since they are generally poor at physical/intellectual labour, but better at raising offspring, and men as providers, since they are better at physical/intellectual labour, but poor at raising offspring.

    Why are men better at some things and worse at other things than women? Genetics.
    This is why some feminists take umbrage with FTM joining professional women's sports. As the male physiology- regardless of hormones taken- will always be more powerful than the female.
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    I believe transgenderism is part of transpeople's genetics. There was a study that found fraternal twins to both be transgender, implying there are genetic factors that should be considered.
    http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/20...nder-identity/

    Transpeople have been around as long as cis people have been around. They are just the minority, which is why society was made up along binary lines.
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    (Original post by Det.Hartigan)
    x.
    Actually there is proven medical cases where a person can be genetically both... it used to be known as hermaphroditism- more commonly known as intersex. This affects 1.7% of the worlds population in some way. Which is actually a lot of people but not when you consider the entire population. (It can be skewed to fit either agenda.)

    But personally I don't think we should confuse intersexuality with transgenderism.
 
 
 
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