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If a female can not bear children, are they female? watch

  • View Poll Results: If a female cannot bear children, is their sex by definition female?
    Yes
    94.34%
    No
    5.66%

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    It seems harsh to say but I am having this debate currently since the definition of female is:
    'of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which can be fertilized by male gametes.'
    Except some women cannot have children, does this mean that by definition their sex is not female?
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    if they are not female...then what else would they be called? >_< I don't really agree with that definition.
    Is it a same definition for guys like "denoting the sex that can fertilise eggs"? because some guys cant! xD
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    (Original post by Froppy)
    if they are not female...then what else would they be called? >_< I don't really agree with that definition.
    Is it a same definition for guys like "denoting the sex that can fertilise eggs"? because some guys cant! xD
    Yeah I believe that just because they cannot have children, it doesn't change their sex, but due the definition others think that technically they do not categorise as female which is true by the definition, but it is a poor definition really because I don't feel that's the only think that defines a female.
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    This is the definition of the female sex in general, not the definition of whether an individual of a species is male or female.
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    Does a female or a male Seahorse give birth? Being able to give birth to children is not some weird requirement to be female.

    Furthermore, the OP specified sex, which denotes only to the physical characteristcs that make someone male or female. Or in simpler terms, does it have a penis or vagina.

    Where are you getting this definition of sex because it doesn't sound all that accurate.
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    That definition is wrong. You're female if you have a vagina and the XX chromosomes, it's your biological make-up. Fertility isn't a part of it.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    Does a female or a male Seahorse give birth? Being able to give birth to children is not some weird requirement to be female.

    Furthermore, the OP specified sex, which denotes only to the physical characteristcs that make someone male or female. Or in simpler terms, does it have a penis or vagina.

    Where are you getting this definition of sex because it doesn't sound all that accurate.
    It was just Google's definition so could mean it is a load of rubbish but it is defining for sex, I know gender is a different matter.
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    No, because what about female children or those who have gone through the menopause? It would absurd to suggest they’re not females.
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    (Original post by lilafernim)
    It was just Google's definition so could mean it is a load of rubbish
    /thread.
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    (Original post by Froppy)
    if they are not female...then what else would they be called? >_< I don't really agree with that definition.
    Is it a same definition for guys like "denoting the sex that can fertilise eggs"? because some guys cant! xD
    Exactly, there are some of us that can't fertilise.
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    ‘I don’t see this definition as true because if someone can’t have children it does not necessarily mean they are not female. Female is someone with XX chromosomes in terms of humans, the female is not always the one to bear children for other species.’



    I sent Google a correction
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    (Original post by lilafernim)
    It was just Google's definition so could mean it is a load of rubbish but it is defining for sex, I know gender is a different matter.
    Okay, so a rather key part you're missing from the definition itself is being able to give birth OR produce eggs. If a women cannot give birth or have a child, that does not necessarily mean they cannot produce eggs.

    So you might say, what if a women cannot produce eggs or give birth? Well my knowledge of female reproduction is hazy at best but I believe the eggs are there from birth, but not readily usable for reproduction until puberty sets in. So biologically, if a female is not born with eggs, they are missing a key part of their reproductive system. Otherwise they should fit the criteria fine, even if some reason prevents the eggs from ever being fertilised.

    It's also important to realise that you are trying to define sex using female. Sex refers solely to the reproductive organs. Female is more likely to refer to one of two genders, unrelated to the sexual organs you have. If you want to use female as a way to determine the sex of something, you should use the established definition for sex.

    In short, you can categorise people by their sex (male or female) or their gender (male or female). Sex refers to reproductive organs, gender refers to a state of being of "what you feel". In neither case is the ability to have children relevant.

    Of course you could say a women who is infertile and unable to give birth is less of a women than one with 10 children. But that would be a massive step back to the dark ages. If you want to define female, pick whether you are actually defining sex or gender and go from there
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    (Original post by lilafernim)
    It seems harsh to say but I am having this debate currently since the definition of female is:
    'of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which can be fertilized by male gametes.'
    Except some women cannot have children, does this mean that by definition their sex is not female?
    it means they are a slightly defective female.

    They meet some of the criteria by which we define a persons sex, but on some accounts they do not.

    It sounds harsh, but the reality is we are all defective in certain ways, and we become far more defective with age - its a cold word to use, but I cant think of anything better.

    They are still female though, because bar a very small minority of intersex individuals we define sex as a binary set of options: male or female. You are what ever you match closer, using the combination of sex organs, reproductive function, XX/XY chromasomes, hormone levels, etc. etc.

    A women who cannot fulfill one of these, is still a far better match in the catagory of 'women', so they are a women.
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    following on, its also by extension to this why the majority of the population has a hard time fully accepting sex-changes.

    As of right now, we cant change any of the major biological factors that define someones sex.. and we can only mimic the appearance of one. So people feel unnerverd, because they see someone who is not what they seem, and their brain tells them something is wrong, even if they cant quite put their finger on it.

    I have no doubt that transgender tolerance will become near universal, once medical advances make it so that the characteristics by which we define sex can actually be changed.
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    As you said it really depend son your definition of a female but if you abide by conventional definitions then yes. It is perhaps unfortunate they cannot bear a little parasite but it does not make them any less a woman.
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    if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it did it still fall?
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    (Original post by fallen_acorns)
    following on, its also by extension to this why the majority of the population has a hard time fully accepting sex-changes.

    As of right now, we cant change any of the major biological factors that define someones sex.. and we can only mimic the appearance of one. So people feel unnerverd, because they see someone who is not what they seem, and their brain tells them something is wrong, even if they cant quite put their finger on it.
    But, for the vast majority of people, external appearance is the only thing we ever see. Why does it matter to you whether a particular woman (whether cis, trans, intersex, or whatever) can have kids, unless you're her partner and want to have kids with her?
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    (Original post by lilafernim)
    It seems harsh to say but I am having this debate currently since the definition of female is:
    'of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which can be fertilized by male gametes.'
    Except some women cannot have children, does this mean that by definition their sex is not female?
    If a male cannot ejaculate or produce sperms, does this mean that by definition their sex is not male?

    Females should be judged based on their motherly instincts, emotional qualities which makes them unique. Hope that helps!
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    Of course they are still female, all the definition means is that the female of a species carries the child, not that one must do so to be considered female.

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    (Original post by Acsel)
    Does a female or a male Seahorse give birth? Being able to give birth to children is not some weird requirement to be female.
    Giving birth is not the definition of female - it is the egg producer. The female seahorse produces unfertilized eggs and lays them in the male's brood pouch.

    This is unusual among animals where the female either just lays eggs and leaves or lays them and broods them herself (rarely the male helps too). But it doesn't deviate from the standard definition of male and female.
 
 
 
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