What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
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13-12-2016, 04:12 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 03:26 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Vosur, I understand your point, but I also think you're looking for the impossible. As a guy, I feel like a man. I have no clue what it means to feel like a woman because I have never experienced that and never will. So, if I were to attempt to tell you exactly what I mean by I feel like a man, I doubt it would make much sense to you because I have nothing to contrast with. Mostly, I just know that's what it is because I'm a man and perfectly comfortable being a man. I would imagine that when biological factors make a man feel like a woman, those people similarly just know, but would have enormous difficulty explaining it to anyone else.
What you said here strikes close to the heart of the issue. I'm a naturally skeptical person so there are two questions I always ask myself when someone tells me that they are transgender. The first, and you already hinted at this in your post, is how someone can determine that they are feeling "like a man" or "like a woman" when they don't have anything to contrast their feelings with. They, as far as I can tell, not only have no way of finding out if what they think to be the feeling of a woman isn't in fact the feeling of a man and vice versa, but they also cannot tell whether or not other transgender people who identify as the same gender are referring to the same feeling when they say that they feel like a certain sex. The second question is about the underlying assumption of these statements, that there is a distinct feeling that virtually all cisgender members of both sexes feel. I don't know how we could possibly know that to be the case.

You may very well be right that it's impossible to get any concrete answers to these questions because our current technology isn't nearly sophisticated enough to give them to us. Now, does that mean that transgender people are making it all up? No, I don't believe so. It think it's equally ludicrous to say that homosexuals voluntarily chooses to endure abuse that is so bad that it drives them to suicide as it is to say that transgender people voluntarily choose to endure the same. I have no problem accepting transgender people for what they are and I support giving treatment to those whose feelings cause them significant distress (e.g. those who experience gender dysphoria), but I will likely always have a very hard time relating to and understanding their feelings on any meaningful level.

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13-12-2016, 04:14 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 03:39 PM)ViolexTV Wrote:  ITT: people who are not trans assume they know what being trans is, or what it's like.
Are we reading the same thread? A trans person and a mother with a trans daughter have shared their experiences here and several users have expressed interest in finding out, rather than assuming, what it's like to feel transgender feelings.

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13-12-2016, 05:17 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 02:33 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I'm sorry, Vosur and Stevil... I thought I was defining it in a precise fashion, by reference to the science and psychology of the issue (I'm still a bit hesitant to call psychology a "science", but that's another conversation).
Hey RocketSurgeon, thanks for your efforts, I appreciate it. I'm with you on the ïs psychology a "science", for the time being I consider it a "soft science".

I'm not challenging the idea of "brain being measurably different", I haven't researched it, but I'll take your word for it. It is an interesting fact.

I would be interested to know if some people who don't identify as transgender also have this measurable difference or whether it is the case that all people with this difference associate that way. But that is an aside.

My interest is with the idea of "feeling like a man/woman".
I am a person, physically a male. I have no idea what it feels like to be a male. I am, just me. I also have no idea what it feels like to be a female. I have no idea on what the difference would be in terms of internal feelings.

With regards to sexual attraction. I understand what it feels like to be attracted to females and hence I would imagine that most females feel an attraction to males (some males). If I were attracted to males rather than females, I'm pretty sure I would know it. I don't think my feelings on attraction are conditioned, I'm pretty sure they are biological, although, perhaps there is some conditioning e.g. it is often promoted that skinny is more attractive than fat, perhaps we are conditioned to be more attracted to our own race or to a race that we generally hang out with. (IDK). But to some degree I understand sexual attraction enough to consider that a gay male is attracted to other males. Sure, I get that. I'm not going to ask them to describe to me how it feels to be attracted to someone of the same gender.

With regards to transgender, as far as I understand it, it is not necessarily about sexual attraction. So, what I am confused on, is with regards to the statement "I feel like a woman" or "I feel like a man". I am interested in that, because I have no idea what that means.

Personally, I am a male, I have no interest in cars where as it seems most men do. I enjoy cooking, where as is seems there are many men who are adverse to cooking. I like boxing and cricket but there are many women that like boxing and cricket too. I don't wear dresses, but is that because it would be socially awkward for me. What if it were common for men to wear dresses? In some societies e.g. Samoa, men wear wear a lavalava, which could be considered a skirt.
[Image: Mens_ie_faitaga_sunflower_yellow_mustard...1443404905]If I was brought up in Samoa, I would probably think it's fine and may wear one myself (who knows?).

So let's just say that the desire to wear skirts and dresses and put on make-up doesn't make a man less of a man, doesn't make him feel like a woman.

Perhaps a man likes to watch romance movies, perhaps he gets emotional and teary at the happy ending. So what, I sometimes get a little like that. That's just me, I don't worry about whether it makes me appear feminine or less manly.

So what is it about a transgender person?
Do they want to wear dresses?
Do they want other people to treat them like a woman or man?
What is their perception of how a woman ought to be treated?
Is it that they get freaked out when they see their own sexual organs? Is it that they are constantly wishing they had a vagina or penis instead?

I don't get it, but I am open to trying to understand.
I do find it interesting what you have brought up about the brain differences, but I'd like to know what that manifests within the mind, in particular, what is meant by "feel like a woman in a man's body"?

This is about me trying to understand.
I respect if a person associates as transgender. I don't put them down, I don't assume they are nuts. They are a person and their choices are theirs. It's not my place to judge them or tell them how they ought to behave.





(13-12-2016 02:33 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  The answer to the other question is really very simple: [b]because there is no component of the brain that determines "feeling like" a race.
I remain skeptical on this claim. We don't know everything, we cannot categorically make this statement.
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13-12-2016, 05:29 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 03:39 PM)ViolexTV Wrote:  ITT: people who are not trans assume they know what being trans is, or what it's like.

hold up im eating an entire bag of popcorn every time someone cracks one of those "duhhhh triggered!!!" jokes like they're constructive or anything.

wow you seem really triggered m8.
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13-12-2016, 05:36 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 03:26 PM)Impulse Wrote:  As a guy, I feel like a man. I have no clue what it means to feel like a woman because I have never experienced that and never will. So, if I were to attempt to tell you exactly what I mean by I feel like a man, I doubt it would make much sense to you because I have nothing to contrast with.

Is it possible for you to try and describe what it feels like to be a man?
I mean, would you relate it to liking mens clothing? liking sports, do you use some kind of stereo-type with regards to what is a man or what is a woman?

I find it interesting that you say you know what it feels like to be a man because I have no idea, even though I am a man.

If, let's say, I had a woman's brain in a man's body, then how would this manifest? How would I discover that I am a woman rather than a man? What would be my clues (rather than some scientific scan of my brain)

I mean, if the evidence were the brain scan and if I had a brain scan and they told me I actually had a woman's brain, would that impact me? Would I then start wearing dresses, watching soap operas, and get pissed off when I take showers and look down. I'm sure the compelling evidence isn't the brain scan, that is just supporting evidence, but what is that makes a person think that they are a man or woman?
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13-12-2016, 06:27 PM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2016 06:31 PM by Stevil.)
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 03:20 PM)Leela Wrote:  Gender dysphoria is a feeling that I have when I see myself naked in the mirror or when I get my period although I am a guy in my brain.

What feeling?

I'm speculating here, (please forgive if I'm way off base).
Is it that you think that you shouldn't be having a period, being a guy and all?

If that is the case, it would seem to be a silly assumption, because guys can and do have periods, just look at you, and it seems there are other guys in the same situation as you.

It's not common, but it does happen. Periods are just something you have, it is a feature of you and doesn't make you any less YOU. (about half the population have periods, so, as unpleasant as it is, it's just something you have to deal with). It obviously doesn't mean that you aren't a guy. No more than my lack of interest in cars makes me any less of a guy.

I don't worry about my lack of interest in cars.
I'm sure that a doctor isn't going to tell you that having a period is something to worry about.

Anyway, sorry, not trying to trivialise your experience, and obviously I have no understanding, but I am assuming you are troubled by having certain female conditions or features. This perhaps could lead to denial or resentment or disappointment or something?

Is acceptance a possibility, like perhaps, "I have this condition that is typical for females but extremely rare for guys, unfortunately I have it. It doesn't mean I'm not a guy though, it just means I'm unlucky that it is a feature of me.
I think there are quite a lot of people with physical conditions that are quite rare, these are dealt with/managed and life goes on."

Again, I'm not trying to trivialise your situation/experience, I'm not trying to deny that it is a problem for you. I'm not telling you to forget it and move on.
All I'm saying is that it is a feature of you and doesn't make you any less a guy.
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13-12-2016, 06:28 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 05:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I would be interested to know if some people who don't identify as transgender also have this measurable difference or whether it is the case that all people with this difference associate that way. But that is an aside.

This is a fascinating area of research, really. I wish there were more available on the topic but we're just beginning to really break the ice on it. If you haven't already, you may want to look into hyperandrogenism. As far as I know, there haven't been brain scans performed on the notable females affected by this, but I would be surprised if there was no correlation between the two.

(13-12-2016 05:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  So what is it about a transgender person?
Do they want to wear dresses?
Do they want other people to treat them like a woman or man?
What is their perception of how a woman ought to be treated?
Is it that they get freaked out when they see their own sexual organs? Is it that they are constantly wishing they had a vagina or penis instead?

I don't get it, but I am open to trying to understand.

I think the best and only viable answer to this is to understand that sex and gender mean different things to different people. I hate shopping and makeup. That stuff doesn't define what being a woman is to me. But that experience of dressing up and being glamorous does mean something to one of my trans friends. The moment when she was free enough to do those things was when she felt most like herself.

For some - many, probably - it will be at least partially disgust at their genitalia. I've known people like that too.

I imagine that at least some trans folks experience what they experience because society has pushed them outside of the binary box they never could fit into as their birth sex, and that maybe a society free from such strict gender norms might see fewer transgender people. That's just a guess and might completely miss he mark - and even if there is some truth to it it certainly isn't the case for most trans people.

I get what you're asking, because I can't really describe what being a woman feels like for me. I'm a woman because I was born that way, although if I wanted to reach for a more descriptive term it would probably be androgynous or non-binary. I don't feel like I would experience any dysphoria if I had been born exactly the same person only with a penis instead. But I think that's because I'm pretty squarely in the middle of the gender continuum. I'm far more masculine than most women. I don't often get along with other women. I have experienced some slight discomfort with my gender at times, although I don't necessarily consider myself trans. The ways in which that has manifested itself are very personal for me and probably TMI for others but I would be happy to share what I have experienced, and what some of my trans friends have relayed to me about their experiences privately if you wish.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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13-12-2016, 09:24 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  [
I mean, if the evidence were the brain scan and if I had a brain scan and they told me I actually had a woman's brain, would that impact me? Would I then start wearing dresses, watching soap operas, and get pissed off when I take showers and look down. I'm sure the compelling evidence isn't the brain scan, that is just supporting evidence, but what is that makes a person think that they are a man or woman?

Cart before the horse, there, Stevil. The evidence is the brain scan, but if the brain scan showed you had the areas of the brain which developed as it does in a woman's brain, they wouldn't need to tell you that you had it; you'd already know. The scan would simply confirm what your brain already told you.

Similarly, we know there's a region of the brain that causes higher-level moral thinking (the one that considers intent, rather than simply degree of harm), and that when this area is damaged, the person loses that ability. Let's say you were born without this area fully developed. According to your statement, above, I would have to take a scan of the area and tell you about it before you went "oh, yeah I don't have to consider intent when weighing the harm done to me!" But of course that's not so. It would already be part of your behavior pattern, because our brains dictate our behavior patterns.

What we "feel" is who we are, because that's what the biological computers inside our skulls tells us we are... how we think, how we react, and how we self-conceptualize.

Introverts (for instance) are genetically predisposed to that behavior/identity, regardless of how they are raised, and if we told them things like "What? You just feel like you don't enjoy interacting with social groups?", it would be ignoring the biological basis for that feeling. It would also cause them a great deal of stress if forced to do so because of social norms. It's integral to who they are because it's generated by a gene-set (or developmental epigenetics related to that gene set) and the brain that develops as a result.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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13-12-2016, 10:00 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 09:24 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Cart before the horse, there, Stevil. The evidence is the brain scan, but if the brain scan showed you had the areas of the brain which developed as it does in a woman's brain, they wouldn't need to tell you that you had it; you'd already know. The scan would simply confirm what your brain already told you.
That was the point that I was making. That the person would already know, without needing the scan. My point was to ask, how they know? What is it that tells them?
I personally think it is impossible to know what a woman feels like hence I am dubious when a man says that he feels like a woman.
I hence want him to describe to me what it is that makes him think that he feels like a woman?

(13-12-2016 09:24 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  What we "feel" is who we are, because that's what the biological computers inside our skulls tells us we are... how we think, how we react, and how we self-conceptualize.
I understand that we can feel happy, we can feel sad, we can feel angry, but I don't understand what is meant by "I feel like a woman".

What does a woman feel like?

(13-12-2016 09:24 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Introverts (for instance) are genetically predisposed to that behavior/identity, regardless of how they are raised, and if we told them things like "What? You just feel like you don't enjoy interacting with social groups?"
From my perspecting, being an introvert, I feel nervous and anxious about going to social situations, parties and such and meeting new people. It is this nervousness and my inability to overcome it that makes me label myself as an introvert. But perhaps I just need to learn some social skills and to grow confidence. I think my introvertedness might be possible for me to overcome, this is a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset. But that is beside the point, I feel like an introvert because I feel nervious and anxiety.

What does a woman feel like?
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13-12-2016, 10:01 PM
RE: What Is Your Viewpoint on Gender and Gender Identity?
(13-12-2016 04:14 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(13-12-2016 03:39 PM)ViolexTV Wrote:  ITT: people who are not trans assume they know what being trans is, or what it's like.
Are we reading the same thread? A trans person and a mother with a trans daughter have shared their experiences here and several users have expressed interest in finding out, rather than assuming, what it's like to feel transgender feelings.

http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1....85.5.6564

Abstract

Transsexuals experience themselves as being of the opposite sex, despite having the biological characteristics of one sex. A crucial question resulting from a previous brain study in male-to-female transsexuals was whether the reported difference according to gender identity in the central part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) was based on a neuronal difference in the BSTc itself or just a reflection of a difference in vasoactive intestinal polypeptide innervation from the amygdala, which was used as a marker. Therefore, we determined in 42 subjects the number of somatostatin-expressing neurons in the BSTc in relation to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and past or present hormonal status. Regardless of sexual orientation, men had almost twice as many somatostatin neurons as women (P < 0.006). The number of neurons in the BSTc of male-to-female transsexuals was similar to that of the females (P = 0.83). In contrast, the neuron number of a female-to-male transsexual was found to be in the male range. Hormone treatment or sex hormone level variations in adulthood did not seem to have influenced BSTc neuron numbers. The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions and point to a neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder





https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20562024

BACKGROUND:
Some gray and white matter regions of the brain are sexually dimorphic. The best MRI technique for identifying subtle differences in white matter is diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether white matter patterns in female to male (FtM) transsexuals before commencing cross-sex hormone treatment are more similar to that of their biological sex or to that of their gender identity.
METHOD:
DTI was performed in 18 FtM transsexuals and 24 male and 19 female heterosexual controls scanned with a 3 T Trio Tim Magneton. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was performed on white matter fibers of the whole brain, which was spatially analyzed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics.
RESULTS:
In controls, males have significantly higher FA values than females in the medial and posterior parts of the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), the forceps minor, and the corticospinal tract. Compared to control females, FtM showed higher FA values in posterior part of the right SLF, the forceps minor and corticospinal tract. Compared to control males, FtM showed only lower FA values in the corticospinal tract.
CONCLUSIONS:
Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724806

Abstract

Male sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior are thought, on the basis of experiments in rodents, to be caused by androgens, following conversion to estrogens. However, observations in human subjects with genetic and other disorders show that direct effects of testosterone on the developing fetal brain are of major importance for the development of male gender identity and male heterosexual orientation. Solid evidence for the importance of postnatal social factors is lacking. In the human brain, structural differences have been described that seem to be related to gender identity and sexual orientation.


One has to acknowledge that men and women have slightly different brain structure and if people don't recognize this they won't take the next step and understand how having a contrasting brain and body not aligned is quite off-putting. If somehow science could transplant a female brain in a male's body I'd like to see how that person would contend with such a situation because this is what we're talking about here.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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