A Third Gender?

Male, Female Sex SymbolsI’m pretty sure, at least according millions of years of evolution, there are two viable sexualities allowed by the human genome. This is generally considered the provenience of the curious combination of two grossly mismatched DNA polymers affectionately known as the X and Y chromosomes. One particular segment of the Y chromosome, known as the SRY gene, is responsible for starting the cascade of developmental changes, resulting in the expression of other Y genes that radiate from the testes. Lack of this gene ultimately results in a lack of male sexual development, a decidedly feminine body-type, and other problems, and is relatively rare. Translocation of the SRY gene onto a female X results in male-like development, albeit with considerable variance, and sterility as a result of non-existent reproductive genes, and occurs in less than 1 in 20,000 individuals.

These real medical conditions, among other relatively rare genetic disorders that can result in unusual sexual development, are not to be confused with the situation of most of the so-called “trans-gender” community, generally physiologically normal people who have felt some mental trauma in regards to their biologically assigned sex and have decided to take medicinal, therapeutic, and sometimes surgical means to change this assignment. CNN.com recently ran an article describing the lives of a handful of American transgenders and describing their disorder in terms of a life decision, one that we should even accept and embrace as an inclusive, free society.

I say no. As stated above, there are real, genetic disorders that result in confused biological development. These are unfortunate, however considerably uncommon, and the questions of how one of these individuals can fit into a two-sex society are difficult to answer. Surgery, hormones, therapy, none of these will ever make a square peg fit in a round hole. But at what point does the “genetic destiny” line become fuzzy to the point of nonsense? And why should I accept someone into my society who decides, without any real medical evidence to support it, to mutilate their bodies and deceive the society around them? I can’t come up with a good reason to suggest that these people are even sane. I wouldn’t consider someone who cut off their own healthy arm or leg to be sane, nor would I consider someone who dyed their skin to resemble another race to be sane. Without going on, I am apt to criticize CNN for encouraging the clinically insane to pursue their insanity in such a way.

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