Resolved: Gender is not a binary
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With 3 votes and 14 points ahead, the winner is ...
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Resolution: Gender is not a binary
Theweakeredge’s position: Affirmative (Pro)
Contender’s Position: Negative (Con)
As the claim is phrased as a: “x is true” or “x is not true”, debaters share a BoP. Pro’s goalpost’s is “Gender is not a binary”; whereas, Con’s goalpost is “Gender is a binary”
Gender - “refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex, : the condition of being male, female, or neuter.”  Where Neuter is synonymous with Neither
Binary - “a division into two groups or classes that are considered diametrically opposite” 
- The housekeeping I have to uptake: I have made the claim “Gender is not a binary”, thus I will use this argument to establish my case as such.
- My opponent will have to both rebut these arguments and provide their own demonstration of their claim in order to properly fulfill their BoP.
- Gender, by definition, can not be a binary
- Spectrum - “ continuum stretching from x to y” whereas x to y is masculine to feminine
- Definition - “a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol”
- Gender - “refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex, the condition of being male, female, or neuter.” Where Neuter is synonymous with Neither
- Binary - “a division into two groups or classes that are considered diametrically opposite”
- As noted in definitions neuter, the third condition when relating to gender, is a synonym for neither and contextually means so in the definition provided.
- Neither does not have to only apply to the state of being no gender, neither can also refer to a gender that is neither male nor female.
- Oxford Languages - Gender I - “The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.”
- APA Dictionary of Psychology - Gender II - “the condition of being male, female, or neuter. In a human context, the distinction between gender and sex reflects the usage of these terms: Sex usually refers to the biological aspects of maleness or femaleness, whereas gender implies the psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female (i.e., masculinity or femininity).”
- Opentext.wsu.edu - Gender III - “a socially constructed (presumed after a sex is assigned) and leads to labels such as masculinity or femininity and their related behaviors. People may declare themselves to be a man or woman, as having no gender, or falling on a continuum somewhere between man and woman. “
- Recall the definition of spectrum: “continuum stretching from x to y” whereas x to y is masculine to feminine”
- The definitions of Gender as specified above
- Compare the two
- “The gender spectrum visualizes gender as a continuum stretching from men to women and masculine to feminine. Gender identities other than man or woman are considered to be non-binary. “
- “A person’s gender is the complex interrelationship between three dimensions: body, identity, and social gender”
- “Science tells us that gender is certainly not binary; it may not even be a linear spectrum. Like many other facets of identity, it can operate on a broad range of levels and operate outside of many definitions. And it also appears that gender may not be as static as we assume. At the forefront of this, transgender identity is complex – it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to attribute it to one neat, contained set of causes, and there is still much to be learned. But we know now that several of those causes are biological. These individuals are not suffering a mental illness, or capriciously “choosing” a different identity. The transgender identity is multi-dimensional – but it deserves no less recognition or respect than any other facet of humankind.”
- Demonstrate that Gender is Binary
- Rebut Pro’s contentions on why Gender is not binary
There are exceptions to every rule, of course. Male seahorses get pregnant. Female spotted hyenas dominate males and sport a pseudo-penis (enlarged clitoris) that is capable of erection and can be as much as 90 percent the size of a male’s penis. As matriarchal as spotted hyena society is, it doesn’t quite reach the level of the northern jacana, a wading bird species whose common territory ranges from Panama to Mexico. Female northern jacanas patrol a territory full of males and fight off intruding females; the smaller males engage in less territorial behavior than females, instead spending that time caring for a nest full of the resident female’s eggs.
Turning to our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, we see additional illustrative examples of the natural variation that exists in sex-correlated behavior. Although the two species are 99.6 percent genetically identical (and equidistant from humans), they are quite different. In general, adult male chimpanzees, like males of many species, are aggressive, domineering, and status-seeking. Much of their time is spent either patrolling territorial boundaries to deter or even kill members of other communities, or vying for social power within their own group. Adult females are generally less political and less violent—they have other priorities, like caring for offspring—but they can still influence the state of social affairs by breaking up male fights or leading rival males to reconcile. After all, as is the case in many species, much of what males stand to gain from high status is access to mating opportunities with females.
It’s been said that if chimpanzees are from Mars, then bonobos are from Venus. Bonobo society is generally female-dominated. Unlike female chimpanzees who mostly, though not always, keep their noses out of politics, female bonobos reign by forming male-dominating coalitions. They bond partly through genito-genital rubbing (it is what it sounds like), forming stronger relationships than female chimps typically have with one another. As for male bonobos, they are much less violent on average than male chimps. Unlike with chimpanzees, lethal aggression has never formally been observed in bonobos (though there has been one suspected instance); bonobos are more likely to share food (and maybe sex) with a stranger than to fight.
The fears are not always groundless. Side-effects can also include fatigue and weight gain. But Ryan has witnessed positives, too. As professor of medicine and urology at the University of California, he has noticed that the medical students who have passed through his clinic in the 18 years that he has been treating prostate cancer invariably comment: “Dr Ryan, your patients are so nice.” He replies, jokingly: “It’s because they don’t have any testosterone. They can’t be mean.”
- Aggression without provocation is extremely masculine, whereas aggression solely based on provocation, especially when done without hesitation or forethought, is feminine. This is because while oestrogen makes one's baseline more passive, their sensivitiy to provocation, pain and other such stimuli is increased. Tesosterone makes one aggressive regardless of outside stimuli, masculine beings are prone to change their environment and be the dominant 'gamechangers' in any competitive scenario whereas feminine beings are those that adapt to the masculine beings fastest as they're the most sensitive to the stimuli. This dichotomy is very complimentary even as without feminine beings, masculine beings will hurt each other too severely and readily without anyone to passionately defend them and maintain peace.
- Being very aware of physical surroundings in terms of space and calculations is masculine whereas being very aware of emotional surroundings and the weather based on psychological perkiness to anguish vs pleasure in others and sensory alertness to surrounding temperature and other such variations is feminine.
- Being open to persuasion and negotiating in a very win-win manner, if not even one where one is willing to lose out in the short-term, is feminine. Being extremely self-centred and wanting immediate gains is a masculine behaviour. In human beings this dichotomy has been over-amplified by societal norms in the past, the split is very real however it's just that because masculine women were suppressed in the past and feminine men were teased and humiliatied for being weak, this split is disregarded as true and instead as arbitrary (it's not though and hormones play a bigger role in this one than brain chemistry itself).
- Wanting to be extremely good at one or two things is masculine, wanting to be bad at very little and a 'jack of all trades' is feminine. Indeed, the term 'jack of all trades' is based on sexist ideas from older societies where only males were able to be experienced in any line of work. Women are more balanced in their skillsets, while men are more pushed towards specialisation, this is both due to the hormones and the brain wiring. This is part of the reason why, despite actual laws and opportunities being equal, males are still dominating all fields of work while finally a few masculine females are being allowed to excel and I am happy for that. Masculine beings want to push boundaries, change norms and fight, feminine beings want to avoid the 'bad boundary' of any particular lacking skillset and aim to be all-rounded in both temperament and expertise.
- Sadism is masculine but masochism is not exactly feminine. Masculine beings embrace pain itself a lot more readily than feminine beings do, both in terms of inflicting it and being willing to receive it. This is proven in all species, especially mammalian ones. This is not aggression, I am speaking of enjoying pain and play-fighting tendencies. Spiders and insects often have females that are more aggressive in actions but the males still are proven to relish in the aggression more. The concept of enjoying pain, especially inflicting it, is something that when it's seen in females is because they are masculine females who are outliers of their gender, towards 'masculine' in the spectrum.
- Remembering and even in the present relishing in visual stimulation, both sexually and emotionally, is a masculine trait. Paying attention to sounds and feelings (physicaly sensations as well as emotional) is feminine. Males are sight-driven beings and the role of males in hunting was seen in absolutely all cultures throughout history, even in matriarchal tribes, simply because males are better suited to it and much more capable at aiming and reacting to visual stimuli, both close and far. Feminine beings are driven to pay attention to sounds and emotions of those around them, their alertness to a baby's distant cry or even adult's groan of pain (or joy) helped them be the alarm system and 'problem patchers' of absolutely all tribes, cultures, societies etc throughout our history as a species as well as in many other species.
- Digital vs Binary, Analogue vs Tertiary,
- Masculinity vs Feminity and the problem with ‘gender’ being based on societal norms
“When you have a temperature, brightness or gender-severity measuring scale, it isn't going to be digital, where one is either 'male' or 'female' in a flat-out sense, instead, there will be binary poles (hot vs cold, bright vs dark, masculine vs feminine) that are binary and similar even to yang vs yin but are indeed scaled.”
- First, Con goes on to point out that a lot of genders is along with an arbitrary basis of reasoning, such as the color associated with each gender, but, that hormones which transgender individuals use to transition demonstrate that there is more to gender than a societal basis.
- Second, Con goes on to note the difference as recorded in separate species, to further increase the impact of their argument, linking it to further studies which suggest even more clear separations between femininity and masculinity.
“Turning to our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, we see additional illustrative examples of the natural variation that exists in sex-correlated behavior.”
- Let’s explore the topic further shall we?