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Old 6th August 2022, 01:04 PM   #361
theprestige
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I'm beginning to wonder if there's not some sort of cognitive idiosyncrasy at play here. I don't think this degree of Alien Space Robot often manifests, except as a rhetorical gambit or a real confusion about how language conveys meaning.
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Old 6th August 2022, 01:04 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You are mistaken. These are not the definitions used by biologists. We would hardly be able to have a meaningful conversation or write meaningful articles if that were the case.
No true Scotsman ...

I assume you think that those "biologists" who were misusing "gender" to describe fish got their degrees out of a box of crackerjacks.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
<snip>

You're heading the same way. How many biology texts do you need to read referring to male and female embryos, male and female foetuses, male and female puppies and kittens, castrated males, infertile males and females - and indeed fertile males and females (because fertility is not implied or assumed from the use of male and female alone) before you will finally get this into your head?
I'm still waiting to see your citations and quotes of authoritative journals, dictionaries, and encyclopedias that explicitly endorse that "past-present-future functionality" schlock that Hilton and company were peddling ...

https://twitter.com/FondOfBeetles/st...63359589527554

For bonus points, I'd like to see you and or her explain how that definition doesn't lead to the conclusion that clownfish - and other sequential hermaphrodites - are, contrary to that premise, male and female right from hatching/birth:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequen...ermaphroditism

An earlier version of that article did acknowledge that dichotomy, but then woke and gender ideologues got their dirty mitts on it; probably those peddling the idea that fish have personalities ...

Quote:
Dominance is based on size, the female being the largest and the male being the second largest. The rest of the group is made up of progressively smaller non-breeders, which have no functioning gonads. If the female dies, the male gains weight and becomes the female for that group. The largest non-breeding fish then sexually matures and becomes the male of the group.
Can't very well "become" a male if one WAS a male right out of the chute, right from conception. Ditto on female.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php...ldid=917680304

But I guess in that latter case my pie chart for clownfish would show only two members with a sex (male and female) and the rest as sexless ...
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Old 6th August 2022, 01:10 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
No true Scotsman ...
If we followed your reasoning, the only true Scotsman would be an actively sperm producing male standing on Scottish soil right this moment.

And even then you'd plead confusion about whether Scottish estates granted to English nobles count as Scottish land.
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Old 6th August 2022, 01:14 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Steersman, how would you define male and female in a way that preserves access to sex segregated spaces for females, such as women's shelters, women's sports, and women's prisons?
How many times do I have to say this?

Using "male" and "female" - however we define those categories - to control access to "sex segregated spaces" is probably or largely the RONG tool for those jobs.

One set of toilets, change rooms, prison cells, and shelters for the vagina-havers - and reasonable facsimiles thereof - and another set for the penis-havers - and reasonable facsimiles thereof.

Women's sports is something of a proverbial edge case where the criteria should probably be - as I've said several times: no XY need apply.

Reproductive status is largely irrelevant, a red herring the size of Moby Dick.
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Old 6th August 2022, 01:27 PM   #365
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Why do you privilege facsimiles?

Why doesn't XY/no XY not work for you in all contexts?

How have you not yet grasped that XY/no XY is the basis for the current definitions of male and female?
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Old 6th August 2022, 01:45 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
How many times do I have to say this?

Using "male" and "female" - however we define those categories - to control access to "sex segregated spaces" is probably or largely the RONG tool for those jobs.

One set of toilets, change rooms, prison cells, and shelters for the vagina-havers - and reasonable facsimiles thereof - and another set for the penis-havers - and reasonable facsimiles thereof.

Women's sports is something of a proverbial edge case where the criteria should probably be - as I've said several times: no XY need apply.

Reproductive status is largely irrelevant, a red herring the size of Moby Dick.

How many times do I have to ask whether a credentialed Fellow of the Institute of Biology telling you that the definitions you can't let go of are not the definitions in use in biology and so not the "biological definitions" is something you might take on board?

There are a lot of competing proposals for who should be allowed in which ostensible sex-segregated spaces. Women do not by and large agree with your proposals, which means that while you get to propose them you do not get to talk as if these proposals are the last word on the subject.

Having or not having a vagina or a penis, or indeed a reasonable facsimile thereof, is one proposal which has been put forward. As regards places like women's lavatories, where entry is unrestricted, by the time I find out that a male person who has come in has or has not had his dick cut off, things have gone way too far in a direction I don't want them to go in at all.

The main thing women want is the ability to police our spaces so that males can be ejected. A law which allows males who have had invisible surgery the right to enter is no bloody use to us. Women use our female-only loos in ways men do not understand and I for one am tired explaining to men that their idea for solving everything is a dud because of factors they're not even aware of.

There are plenty creepy, fetishistic autgynaephilic men who have had "bottom surgery" and we don't want them in our intimate spaces any more than we want the ones who haven't. Particularly since they look exactly like creepy fetishistic autogynaephilic men who have not had "bottom surgery" and we won't find out until too late.

No XY need apply in women's sports? Why not? Who are you to tell women with Swyer's syndrome or CAIS that they can't compete in women's sports? That definition is so outdated it's a wonder to see anyone putting it forward. Maybe you'd let XX men compete? The one they seem to be going for is that nobody who has been through any part of male puberty can compete in women's events. That is a pretty good rule. (And you know what? Who are the people who will never go through male puberty? Funnily enough, the people who do not have a functional SRY gene system (as defined above). The Venn diagram is a perfect circle.)

Reproductive status, as this is normally understood, is indeed irrelevant. Reproductive status is things like have you ever had a child, are you pregnant, are you currently cycling normally, are you amenorrhoeic (due to too much training probably), are you post-menopausal. Women come in a wide variety of reproductive statuses. Men too, though not as wide a variety. Your reproductive status is irrelevant. It's your membership of one or the other sex class which is important.

And having gone through any part of male puberty will do just fine for me. It will also do just fine for entry to toilets and so on, because we let little boys come into the Ladies so long as they're pre-puberty anyway.

People have pointed out that this allows males who were puberty-blocked before starting puberty, and then castrated, to enter women's sports. It's a non-objection, because the adverse effects of the hormones their bodies have been given is unlikely to get them any further than their first fracture. We can also let them slide in the single-sex accommodation too. They are to be pitied, genuinely, and they're not going to create trouble in women's spaces.

So, while it doesn't do a biologist's job in distinguishing between male and female children, the "has undergone any stage of male puberty" works pretty well for most practical purposes.

And if you want to know with 100% certainty who WILL go through male puberty, find out if they have a functional SRY gene and all the associated enzymes and receptors for it to be expressed normally.
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Old 6th August 2022, 01:51 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Why do you privilege facsimiles?

Why doesn't XY/no XY not work for you in all contexts?
Hardly "privileging". XY really doesn't work in cases where it's the shape of genitalia that seems more important to many people, even many women, than is the actual reproductive plumbing behind them.

In addition to which, genitalia is a "proxy variable" that is much easier to detect and thereby use:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_(statistics)

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How have you not yet grasped that XY/no XY is the basis for the current definitions of male and female?
Have you not yet grasped the fact that the standard biological definitions - those endorsed by various reputable dictionaries and encyclopedias - say absolutely diddly-squat about any chromosomes at all? That many species don't use X & Y chromosomes at all?

https://www.lexico.com/definition/male

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-determination_system
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:01 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Hardly "privileging". XY really doesn't work in cases where it's the shape of genitalia that seems more important to many people, even many women, than is the actual reproductive plumbing behind them.

In addition to which, genitalia is a "proxy variable" that is much easier to detect and thereby use:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_(statistics)



Have you not yet grasped the fact that the standard biological definitions - those endorsed by various reputable dictionaries and encyclopedias - say absolutely diddly-squat about any chromosomes at all? That many species don't use X & Y chromosomes at all?

https://www.lexico.com/definition/male

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-determination_system

There you go, citing the lexico definition again. It has already been pointed out that lexico disagrees with you. "Male children" is part of the entry. Everybody understands that but you.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:15 PM   #369
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Regarding Lehtonen and Parker:

It seems highly doubtful to me that the authors intended their one-sentence, glossary definitions of male and female to be thorough and complete. I think they are merely conveying the usage of the terms for the purposes of this particular article. What I am highly certain of is that they consider their definition to be one of several. Why am I certain of that? Because of the same glossary: https://academic.oup.com/molehr/arti...62990#71570537

Quote:
Sex

The definitions of ‘sex’ and ‘sexes’ vary. Here we define ‘sex’ as the union of gametes and genomes from two individuals (or in some hermaphrodites, from the same individual), and ‘sexes’ (male, female) are defined by the type of gamete an individual produces (see above).

Hilite mine.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:16 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
How many times do I have to ask whether a credentialed Fellow of the Institute of Biology telling you that the definitions you can't let go of are not the definitions in use in biology and so not the "biological definitions" is something you might take on board?
How many times do I have to point out that usage is no guarantee of anything? Certainly not of any logical coherence or consistency.

How many times do I have to ask for "your citations and quotes of authoritative journals, dictionaries, and encyclopedias that explicitly endorse that 'past-present-future functionality' schlock that Hilton and company were peddling ..."?

How many times do I have to ask for you and Hilton to deal with the conflicts that follow from those definitions of hers?

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=362

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

There are a lot of competing proposals for who should be allowed in which ostensible sex-segregated spaces. Women do not by and large agree with your proposals, which means that while you get to propose them you do not get to talk as if these proposals are the last word on the subject. ....

There are plenty creepy, fetishistic autogynephilic men who have had "bottom surgery" and we don't want them in our intimate spaces any more than we want the ones who haven't. Particularly since they look exactly like creepy fetishistic autogynephilic men who have not had "bottom surgery" and we won't find out until too late.
I really do sympathize; I wouldn't have been defenestrated by Twitter and Wikipedia if I didn't. The question is one of ways and means. Shall we insist on airport-type scanners at the entrances to those spaces that check genitalia? Sections on passports and driver's licenses with karyotypes and genitalia type that have to be scanned first as in subways?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
No XY need apply in women's sports? Why not? Who are you to tell women with Swyer's syndrome or CAIS that they can't compete in women's sports? That definition is so outdated it's a wonder to see anyone putting it forward. Maybe you'd let XX men compete? ....
Same answer: airport scanners or driver's licenses? For women's sports, XY seems a reasonable "first approximation" to be qualified with other conditions.

The point is still that the biological definitions for the sexes - you know, the ones on the books, not just the ad-hoc ones based on folk biology - are the wrong tools for the job.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:17 PM   #371
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Have you not yet grasped the fact that your interpretation of these definitions does not accord with actual usage of the words in actual biology?

You keep doing this goalpost moving thing where one minute you're only talking about human beings, and the next minute you want to talk about every species of sexually-reproducing life on the planet. One minute you're complaining that people are bringing in "guinea-pigs" (which I don't think anyone actually did), and the next that our criteria don't work for bird life.

It's only human beings we need to talk about if we're discussing entry to sex-segregated spaces, so talking about X and Y chromosomes and SRY genes is entirely adequate. I really don't think we need to frame our criteria for access to single-sex spaces intended for human use to remain valid in case a peacock or an eagle happened to challenge these.

Have you not yet noticed that the example usage of that first dictionary you link to given for the word "male" is "male child"?

It's not the shape of the genitalia that women are most concerned about, or not until you get to the point when you might be facing actual rape, which we hope is not a point we will reach. It's the fact that we can tell a (post-pubertal) man from a woman to an extremely high degree of accuracy, whether or not he's wearing a dress and makeup and whether or not he's had his dick lopped off. Our concern is retaining/regaining our ability to police our single-sex spaces, that is our right to ask that anyone who is obviously male should be escorted out. We do not want to have to wait until we can see that he still has his dick, thank you very much. And we certainly don't want the present proposals in which all the creep has to say is "I'm trans how dare you, that's a hate crime and I'm calling the police," even if he has a full beard, a bass voice, and is wearing a business suit.

There are very good reasons for all this, incuding the uses to which we put the communal grooming areas in our intimate spaces, and the need to have a defensible area outside the lockable cubicle doors so that men cannot loiter there waiting for an opportunity to push a vulnerable woman into a cubicle, go in after her, and lock the door. So many proposals for mixed-sex facilities fall foul of this requirement.

The more I think about it, in terms of segretation, the more I like the one that says that nobody who has experienced any stage of male puberty has any right to be in a female intimate space. That lets in little boys (as at present), and it's also reasonable as regards boys whose puberty was blocked and then they were castrated and had a penectomy, at least as I understand the issue at present.

It's just another way of identifying people who have fully-functional SRY gene systems anyway.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:26 PM   #372
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

Originally Posted by porch View Post
There you go, citing the lexico definition again. It has already been pointed out that lexico disagrees with you. "Male children" is part of the entry. Everybody understands that but you.
<snip>

Have you not yet noticed that the example usage of that first dictionary you link to given for the word "male" is "male child"?

<snip>
Christ in a sidecar. What's the point of responding if nobody is willing to listen to what I've already dealt with:

Quote:
Just because someone says, in one form or another, that "2+2=5" is hardly shaking the foundations of mathematics; it only proves them to be innumerate or mathematically illiterate or politically motivated:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=337

Y'all might actually try reading through the JPG included there.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:27 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
How many times do I have to point out that usage is no guarantee of anything? Certainly not of any logical coherence or consistency.

How many times do I have to ask for "your citations and quotes of authoritative journals, dictionaries, and encyclopedias that explicitly endorse that 'past-present-future functionality' schlock that Hilton and company were peddling ..."?

How many times do I have to ask for you and Hilton to deal with the conflicts that follow from those definitions of hers?

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=362

You know what? Usage is the be-all and end-all of dictionary definitions. Usage is exactly what they are trying to capture.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I really do sympathize; I wouldn't have been defenestrated by Twitter and Wikipedia if I didn't. The question is one of ways and means. Shall we insist on airport-type scanners at the entrances to those spaces that check genitalia? Sections on passports and driver's licenses with karyotypes and genitalia type that have to be scanned first as in subways?

Oh God not that old canard again. The question is one of ways and means. Women need the ability to police their intimate spaces. It is a question of who has the right to be there and who has not. If post-pubertal males are not allowed there, then women can sort them out. We know a post-pubertal man when we see one. We can call the attendant and ask that this person be removed. That's how it always worked in the past. That's how it can work again.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Same answer: airport scanners or driver's licenses? For women's sports, XY seems a reasonable "first approximation" to be qualified with other conditions.

Have you really been paying so little attention? The IOC were using presence or absence of an SRY gene in the 1990s, because they recognised that karyotype wasn't good enough.

Nobody needs an airport scanner. All that's needed is a normal medical examination such as athletes get all the time, including necessary samples to look for an SRY gene, ONCE in an ahtlete's career, in their teens. If an ostensible female is found to have an SRY gene then further testing can be done to establish whether it is fully-functional or not. Nobody changes their genetics. Check the girls once and they're good for life.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
The point is still that the biological definitions for the sexes - you know, the ones on the books, not just the ad-hoc ones based on folk biology - are the wrong tools for the job.

Oh, so all my degrees and awards and publications are "folk biology" now? If you can't understand that the short definitions you're relying on were never intended to support the inferences you're intent on drawing, there's really no hope here.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:31 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Christ in a sidecar. What's the point of responding if nobody is willing to listen to what I've already dealt with:



http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=337

Y'all might actually try reading through the JPG included there.

I understand, not everyone can be Voltaire.

Okay, so do you agree or disagree with the lexico definition of male that you keep linking to?
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:35 PM   #375
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Christ in a sidecar. What's the point of responding if nobody is willing to listen to what I've already dealt with:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=337

Y'all might actually try reading through the JPG included there.

Seems to me there's a hell of a lot you haven't read of what's been posted for your attention. And not "read this link" either, but paragraphs of actual typing put together in the hope of educating you. No matter what we explain to you, you ignore it and come back to your misunderstanding of short non-comprehensive dictionary definitions that don't actually say what you think they say.

Honestly, anyone who, after tripping over all these hoops, then comes out and suggests that entry to women's single-sex spaces should be by "presence of a vagina or a reasonable facsimile thereof" is so out of touch they should just keep quiet. If that same person then criticises someone else's criterion on the basis that this would require "airport-type scanners at the entrances to those spaces that check genitalia", that's when I start to laugh.

Anyone who, having tripped over all these hoops, then picks "no XY need apply" for entry into women's athletics events, is again so out of touch they should just keep quiet. If that same person then criticises someone else's criterion for that on the basis that this would require "airport scanners or driver's licenses?", that's again when I start to laugh.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:39 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You know what? Usage is the be-all and end-all of dictionary definitions. Usage is exactly what they are trying to capture.
Nope. Ipse dixit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_explosion

"Shoddy and inept uses of words lay siege to the intellect in wondrous ways"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum_Organum

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Have you really been paying so little attention? The IOC were using presence or absence of an SRY gene in the 1990s, because they recognised that karyotype wasn't good enough.
Hadn't known that; learn something new every day ...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, so all my degrees and awards and publications are "folk biology" now? If you can't understand that the short definitions you're relying on were never intended to support the inferences you're intent on drawing, there's really no hope here.
Didn't say that at all. Because I criticize one aspect of your position that means I think you and your credentials are so much chopped liver?

Seems you have a chip on your shoulder the size of Texas - which apparently precludes, or which provides a ready excuse for evading dealing with what I'm actually saying.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:42 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Seems to me there's a hell of a lot you haven't read of what's been posted for your attention. And not "read this link" either, but paragraphs of actual typing put together in the hope of educating you. No matter what we explain to you, you ignore it and come back to your misunderstanding of short non-comprehensive dictionary definitions that don't actually say what you think they say.
I'm responding to better than half-a-dozen different people here. You can't reasonably expect me to respond to everything that everyone says - particularly in the face of a lack of response to what I DO say.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:43 PM   #378
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All you do say is the same thing again and again.

Since I added a bit to my last post after you quoted it, I'll repost it here.

Honestly, anyone who, after tripping over all these hoops, then comes out and suggests that entry to women's single-sex spaces should be by "presence of a vagina or a reasonable facsimile thereof" is so out of touch they should just keep quiet. If that same person then criticises someone else's criterion on the basis that this would require "airport-type scanners at the entrances to those spaces that check genitalia", that's when I start to laugh.

Anyone who, having tripped over all these hoops, then picks "no XY need apply" for entry into women's athletics events, is again so out of touch they should just keep quiet. If that same person then criticises someone else's criterion for that on the basis that this would require "airport scanners or driver's licences", that's again when I start to laugh.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:54 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
I understand, not everyone can be Voltaire.

Okay, so do you agree or disagree with the lexico definition of male that you keep linking to?


I agree with the definition - particularly since it is more or less exactly what many other sources say - despite Rolfe's unwillingness to consider them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male
https://theparadoxinstitute.com/blog...termining-sex/

The latter starts out with the definitions from the Parker and Lehtonen article on gametes.

What I disagree with is that one example sentence, largely because, as I've argued, it's contradicted by the definition itself.

I certainly don't understand how dictionaries acquire those examples, but I recently saw one dictionary indicate that the process of doing so is largely automated, and that people shouldn't get their knickers in a twist if some uses "offend" them. Not surprising then that in that case many of them will be inconsistent with the definitions.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:54 PM   #380
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It seems the crux of the problem is that Steersman certainly understands the physical disparity between men and women, but refuses to acknowledge it without a definition that satisfies the demands of a perfect system of formal logic.
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Old 6th August 2022, 02:59 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post


I agree with the definition - particularly since it is more or less exactly what many other sources say - despite Rolfe's unwillingness to consider them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male
https://theparadoxinstitute.com/blog...termining-sex/

The latter starts out with the definitions from the Parker and Lehtonen article on gametes.

What I disagree with is that one example sentence, largely because, as I've argued, it's contradicted by the definition itself.

I certainly don't understand how dictionaries acquire those examples, but I recently saw one dictionary indicate that the process of doing so is largely automated, and that people shouldn't get their knickers in a twist if some uses "offend" them. Not surprising then that in that case many of them will be inconsistent with the definitions.

You don't understand dictionaries. The usage clarifies the definition.
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:22 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It seems the crux of the problem is that Steersman certainly understands the physical disparity between men and women, but refuses to acknowledge it without a definition that satisfies the demands of a perfect system of formal logic.
"Nice" that you acknowledge that I "understand the physical disparity" , but not sure that "refuses to acknowledge it" is really the case.

For one thing, I readily, and frequently, acknowledge that "disparity" in championing the standard definitions for "man" and "woman", i.e., "adult human male (sex)" and "adult human female (sex)". Though there are a few devils in the details there.

And for another it really isn't a question of a "perfect system of formal logic", particularly since it isn't a matter of any "system", but of simple definitions. Do you think that the definition for "teenager", as a "person between the ages of 13 to 19, inclusive", isn't "perfect" and perfectly clear? Isn't "perfectly" able to distinguish between those who are and are not teenagers? Regardless of whether they "self-identify" as such or not?

Same thing with the biological definitions for the sexes: perfectly able to distinguish between those who are male or female or neither - as opposed to the "patchwork definitions of the social-sciences" many of whose proponents generally don't know whether they're on foot or horse back, ditto those, like Novella, peddling the sex-as-a-spectrum schlock.

That's the problem - too many "definitions" in play, and no or little understanding of, or willingness to grapple with the principles that might reasonably adjudicate between their competing claims. That's more or less my focus, my objective - to promote something in the way of a better understanding of the processes and principles we use to create various definitions.

ICYMI, you might be interested in my "opening salvo" on that score, particularly the section on Sex: Binary, Spectrum or "Socially Constructed?":

https://humanuseofhumanbeings.substack.com/p/welcome
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:24 PM   #383
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Steersman,

if you had to task someone with purchasing a neutered male puppy, how would you phrase the request?
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:26 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
You don't understand dictionaries. The usage clarifies the definition.
Horse crap. Not quite sure how much "clarification" you think examples that contradict the definitions actually provide.

If they do then they might just as well say that black is white:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_explosion

Quote:
Since the mid-20th century some dictionaries and style guides, which are prescriptive works by nature, have increasingly integrated descriptive material and approaches.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_prescription
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:27 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Steersman,

if you had to task someone with purchasing a neutered male puppy, how would you phrase the request?
Think I've already answered that ...
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:35 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post


I agree with the definition - particularly since it is more or less exactly what many other sources say - despite Rolfe's unwillingness to consider them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male
https://theparadoxinstitute.com/blog...termining-sex/

The latter starts out with the definitions from the Parker and Lehtonen article on gametes.

What I disagree with is that one example sentence, largely because, as I've argued, it's contradicted by the definition itself.

I certainly don't understand how dictionaries acquire those examples, but I recently saw one dictionary indicate that the process of doing so is largely automated, and that people shouldn't get their knickers in a twist if some uses "offend" them. Not surprising then that in that case many of them will be inconsistent with the definitions.
How does the latter source you have cited support your claim? It outright contradicts it.

"Biologically, sex is defined with respect to gamete type.[1] Because there are only two gamete types, there are only two sexes"

I assume this is what you are saying supports your approach. However, it then goes on to state:

"Based on this definition, we know whether an individual is male or female by looking at the structures that support the production (gonads) and release (genitalia) of either gamete type.[5] In other words, we look at whether the individual develops a body plan organized around small gametes or large gametes.[6] In humans, sex is binary and immutable. Individuals are either male or female throughout their entire life cycle.[7]"

Category membership is determined by the presence of structures that developed according to one of two pathways to support a particular function (production of one gamete type). This makes function central to the existence of the category and distinguishes features that are important for defining sex from those that are simply associated with it (something which gender identity activists try to obfuscate). It doesn't follow from this that the structures must currently be functional for category membership.
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:37 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Hadn't known that; learn something new every day ...

I only explained that that was the case in two separate posts, when I was explaining to you that when looking for a way to understand the difference between male and female that accounted for edge cases, the SRY definition had already been used by a major organisation.

I also explained at length why they stopped doing the tests.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Didn't say that at all. Because I criticize one aspect of your position that means I think you and your credentials are so much chopped liver?

Seems you have a chip on your shoulder the size of Texas - which apparently precludes, or which provides a ready excuse for evading dealing with what I'm actually saying.

I have no chip on my shoulder. I have nothing to prove, here or anywhere else. I merely respond to your repeated assertion that this nonsense you're promoting is the "biological definition of male and female" with the information that no it is not.

When you repeatedly ignore me, or post sneering put-downs, I naturally wonder why you give so much reverence to people with no meaningful qualifications in biology, but repeatedly disrespect someone who does have these qualifications, and worked an entire career in the biological sciences.
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:40 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Category membership is determined by the presence of structures that developed according to one of two pathways to support a particular function (production of one gamete type). This makes function central to the existence of the category and distinguishes features that are important for defining sex from those that are simply associated with it (something which gender identity activists try to obfuscate). It doesn't follow from this that the structures must currently be functional for category membership.

It doesn't even follow that the structures need ever have been functional, or need ever have been complete. It's a question of defining the two pathways, and then looking at each individual to see which pathway they have developed on, or in a few cases which pathway they have predominently developed on.
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:40 PM   #389
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When they were little my sons always went to the men's room. I guess they got a bum steer.
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:49 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Think I've already answered that ...
I don't believe so..

Can you quote your answer?
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:49 PM   #391
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm beginning to wonder if there's not some sort of cognitive idiosyncrasy at play here. I don't think this degree of Alien Space Robot often manifests, except as a rhetorical gambit or a real confusion about how language conveys meaning.

I did ask about Asperger's/autism. I've known a number of people on the spectrum who grasped hold of what they understood as the literal meaning of something and then refused to let go of it no matter what.

I had an autistic student once with whom I had to be extraordinarily careful about how I phrased an instruction. If I just said, "draw what you see under the microscope", which worked for everyone else in the class, she would refuse to stop drawing and move on to the next task until she had drawn every single little detail she could see. If she was asked to stop and do something else she got very agitated. I had to say "spend ten minutes drawing as much as you can of what you see under the microscope." That usually did it.

It's also quite common for people on the spectrum to be obsessed with categories and classifications.

There are certainly some very fundamental misunderstandings going on here, and the usual ways of explaining to someone that they have latched on to the wrong end of the stick don't seem to be working.

On the other hand, it's also common for people who have invested a lot of time and energy in a concept they think is new and important and that they have a unique understanding of which the world needs to take on board to be very reluctant to concede error. Especially if they have already written a lot and published it. In my experience that is something you grow out of, when you have enough experience of realising you've been wrong and facing up to that.
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:54 PM   #392
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There are only two parties that promote current gamete production as necessary for "the biological definition of sex": Prof. Griffiths and Steersman. There is only one party that says gamete production alone is not sufficient, and that would be Steersman.

Regarding Griffiths:

Using my next level web skills, I checked out Griffiths' wikipedia page. There I am told:
Quote:
Griffiths, together with Russell Gray developed a theoretical perspective on biological development, heredity, and evolution known as developmental systems theory (DST).

Following that link, we get this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Develo...systems_theory
Quote:
Developmental_systems_theory Developmental systems theory (DST) is an overarching theoretical perspective on biological development, heredity, and evolution.[1] It emphasizes the shared contributions of genes, environment, and epigenetic factors on developmental processes. DST, unlike conventional scientific theories, is not directly used to help make predictions for testing experimental results; instead, it is seen as a collection of philosophical, psychological, and scientific models of development and evolution. As a whole, these models argue the inadequacy of the modern evolutionary synthesis on the roles of genes and natural selection as the principal explanation of living structures. Developmental systems theory embraces a large range of positions that expand biological explanations of organismal development and hold modern evolutionary theory as a misconception of the nature of living processes.

Just to give an indication of where he is coming from. He's an ideas man. Griffiths' main point about defining sexes, in the Aeon essay, is that if we try to come up with a universal definition for the sexes based on anything else but gamete production, we run into "problems" with, eg, worms that produce one gamete, then the other, then both, or something like that. But I don't think any biologist working in a specific field has the "problem" of coming up with a universal definition. They need a definition that's functional for their work. I mean, it's a practical definition for a philosopher, because generating ideas that may or may not be relevant is part of the gig. As for his claim that his definition is the one that biologists use, there are no citations to be found.

One line from the Aeon essay, I found kind of funny, cause it seems like Griffiths himself doesn't consistently use his own definition:
Quote:
Most groper are smaller, brown females. They are all born female and become sexually mature after a few years, when 20 or 30 cm in length.
I understand Griffiths, he's nitpicking on the basis of formal logic. But how is it relevant to anyone else? The Aeon essay uses social issues about trans people as a hook at the beginning, tells us what "the biological definition of sex" is in the middle part, and then bookends his narrative by bringing us back to trans issues, and his takeaway is that we should definitely not use this definition when it comes to social policy.

I don't understand Steersman. He seems adamant that everyone adopt his unique definition of sex (which is even more strict than Griffiths') but then also disregard that definition when it comes to trans issues. Sorry, what is the point of this whole exercise?
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:59 PM   #393
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
When they were little my sons always went to the men's room. I guess they got a bum steer.

It's optional. Mothers often bring sons up to the age of about eight into the Ladies with them, and nobody objects. Some places have signs authorising that. Even if there isn't a mother nobody will throw them out. We know little boys aren't creepy perverts, and we also know that they might encounter a creepy pervert if they went into the Gents alone.

I've noticed with my friends' sons that once they get to about seven they start to assert their right to go into the Gents', and their mother will usually allow that unless the venue is unusually seedy.

I remember in about 2018 I was in a restaurant waiting for my order, and a family with a boy of about eight and a girl of about five were eating at the table opposite. When I got up to go to the loo I realised that the two children were also heading there in front of me. I saw the little boy protectively indicate the door to the Ladies to his little sister, then proudly walk into the Gents himself. He knew how it worked, and he was proud to do it the grown-up way.

I also knew it was my job to keep an eye on the wee girl in the Ladies, and either help her if she needed anything, or go and call her mother if necessary. She was perfectly competent however, and trotted back off to their table after drying her hands. I don't think she noticed the "aw how sweet" smile I bestowed on her. It was fairly obvious that the parents, who remained sitting at their table all the time, had chosen this family-friendly and quiet restaurant to let the kids start to practise being grown-up.
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Old 6th August 2022, 04:13 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
I don't understand Steersman. He seems adamant that everyone adopt his unique definition of sex (which is even more strict than Griffiths') but then also disregard that definition when it comes to trans issues. Sorry, what is the point of this whole exercise?

Half the time he's insistent that any definition has to apply to every single species on the planet that reproduces by gamete fusion. The other half of the time he's getting snitty because someone brought up an example of a non-human mammalian species that his pet definition left in an unclear position. And drawing simplistic pie charts that obviously apply only to human beings.

He gives the impression that he opposes the trans agenda, but he's working hard on a project that they'd bite his hand off for.

He insists that "biologists" don't use the words "male" and "female" to refer to individuals not currently fertile, and then when it's shown that they do, he says they're just using the words in a sloppy manner.

He doesn't understand that the entire point of a dictionary entry is to describe actual usage. He thinks the ones he's chosen are laying down some sort of ideal definition that supersedes how the words are universally used in real life.

He thinks the use of the word "gender" instead of sex for non-human animals is some sort of gotcha, rather than being a risible affectation by people who think that gender is the "polite" word and sex is what the coal comes in.
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Old 6th August 2022, 04:33 PM   #395
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I don't believe so..

Can you quote your answer?
It's there on the previous page. I could suggest that you actually look for it but I'm not one to insist on people playing "20 questions" ...

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=354
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Old 6th August 2022, 04:33 PM   #396
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This is an interesting article, and I confess I still haven't got to the end. It's long and comprehensive, but the authors are very knowledgeable.

On Sex and Gender Identity: Perspectives from Biology, Neuroscience and Philosophy

I thought I had followed a link to it from this thread, and I probably did, but I don't know who posted it. I had several links Steersman posted open, but I closed most of them because they were obvious wittering nonsense. Including the article of his own he keeps hyping.

This one was left, and I don't think Steersman can have posted it, because it leaves his entire thesis shredded on the floor. (No doubt he can find the odd line to cherry-pick, such as the observation that some people with DSDs choose to identify as neither male nor female, but the article as a whole holes him below the waterline. There are plenty people who choose to identify as neither male nor female, we've all heard of "non-binary", but that doesn't mean these people don't have a sex!)

Quote:
DSDs represent an enormously wide variety of different conditions, some of which are associated with other health issues. While there are individuals who have characteristics of both males and females, most DSDs affect either males or females specifically. Using the 2006 Consensus Statement definition, the incidence of DSD is approximately 1 person per 100 (Arboleda et al., 2014), and this relatively high prevalence has been widely used as evidence for the assertion that sex is a spectrum. The 1 in 100 figure is based on classification of DSDs to include all anomalies of the reproductive organs, but in the vast majority of cases, there is no doubt about the sex of an individual. Hence, while 1 in 100 individuals has some form of DSD, the incidence of those specific types of DSD leading to any ambiguity about an individual’s sex is substantially lower at approximately 0.02% (1 in 5000), and those individuals with ambiguous anatomies may have both male and female traits, not phenotypes representing other sexes altogether.

Further on we have this quote.

Quote:
A recent large study of gender change and gender dysphoria, including a total of 1040 people with DSDs (women with Turner’s syndrome, n = 325; men with Kleinfelter syndrome, n = 219, women with XY DSD without androgen effects (n = 107) and with androgen effects (n = 63); men with XY DSD (n = 87); and women with 26 XX congenital adrenal hyperplasia (n = 221)) from various European countries (Kreukels et al., 2018)...

Women with Turner's syndrome, men with Klinefelter's syndrome, and so on. Does it sound to anyone as if these authors think these people don't have a sex? (They're actually talking about the prevalence of transgender identities in these people, and conclude that it isn't significantly different from the prevalence in the population as a whole.)

I suppose we'll be told that this is one more example of real biologists using words in a sloppy, colloquial manner, as opposed to the rigorous logical definitions of Griffiths.
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Old 6th August 2022, 04:42 PM   #397
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Sure.

IF we define "woman" as "adult human female (habitually produces ova ...)", and IF we stipulate that "women's spaces" are for the exclusive use of "adult human females (habitually ... ova ...)" THEN, of course, it necessarily follows that neither transwomen nor your mother can be "allowed to access women's spaces"

In which case it also necessarily follows that that interpretation of that definition of "woman" (the one in which "habitually" supposedly also implies "presently") is stupid. No one wants or needs, for any purpose, a definition of "woman" that excludes my mother from the category due to her age relative to the human reproductive life cycle. No one uses, for any purpose, any such definition. That is sufficient grounds for declaring that interpretation of that definition simply and absolutely wrong.
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Old 6th August 2022, 04:42 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
It's there on the previous page. I could suggest that you actually look for it but I'm not one to insist on people playing "20 questions" ...

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=354

Oh, it's the post about how the sun doesn't actually rise! In which you don't actually say how you would describe a puppy (or a kitten) which had been castrated before puberty.

Quote:
Do cats have a prepubescent stage? One would assume so - mammalians and all that, really the only game in town ...

But if so then how about picking up a very young prepubertal cat who has been fixed and who would have become a male otherwise?

Fairly convoluted answer and probably unnecessarily so for most situations. But I don't see, offhand, how it is logically contradictory, how any underlying premises and (biological) definitions are contradicted - which is the issue at hand.

I understand what is meant by a "male kitten" - as I understand what is meant by "the sun rises at 7:02 tomorrow". But NEITHER of those constructions are logically coherent or consistent with facts or a priori definitions.

Snip a whole lot of navel-gazing stuff from Wikipedia about "ellipsis". Which we should probably reject because he didn't actually type three dots every time.

I'm trying to parse this and I'm getting that he'd probably refer to the kitten or puppy as a neutered male regardless, while being conscious that he's using sloppy language.

Isn't it really weird that the language doesn't actually have a way of describing this class of animal that doesn't involve either a two-line circumlocution or "sloppy language"? This class of animal that is extremely common among the pet-owning public.

In point of fact the correct, non-sloppy term is "neutered male" or "castrated male". These are the terms that would be used not simply when communicating to animal breeders and owners, but in scientific publications in biology journals. There's nothing sloppy about them.
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Old 6th August 2022, 04:49 PM   #399
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
In which case it also necessarily follows that that interpretation of that definition of "woman" (the one in which "habitually" supposedly also implies "presently") is stupid. No one wants or needs, for any purpose, a definition of "woman" that excludes my mother from the category due to her age relative to the human reproductive life cycle. No one uses, for any purpose, any such definition. That is sufficient grounds for declaring that interpretation of that definition simply and absolutely wrong.

Yes, of course. But look at all the "IF" words. I think I get a sniff of plausible deniability being set up here.

I'm baffled by the attitude that only Griffiths understands the "true" meaning of the words "male" and "female", but somehow he has divined this from dictionary definitions that are intended to describe actual current usage of the words. Nevertheless his "true" definitions, which are the only logically rigorous ones, are nothing like how the words are used either in general conversation or by actual biologists.

Then somehow we go full circle to conceding that we'll probably have to use the normal usage of the words if we're ever going to get anywhere when we're actually talking about real things, but this is really sloppy because Griffiths said so.

It's like talking to a badly-programmed AI.
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Old 6th August 2022, 04:52 PM   #400
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
It's there on the previous page. I could suggest that you actually look for it but I'm not one to insist on people playing "20 questions"
Just one question; you dodged it.

If you had to task someone with purchasing a neutered male puppy, how would you phrase the request?
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