Resolved: Gender is not a binary
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 3 votes and with 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?
Welcome to the club. I've had to wait almost a month too on the flat earth debate lol
Is there any way that you could lower the debate time? Considering that RationalMadman said in the forums that he was leaving the site.
There is a fundamental difference between the two that makes this a false equivalence, that I have already explained.
Climate change effects people worse than misgendering does. It's not directly effecting people, but it's still effecting people. If we don't jail climate deniers, we shouldn't jail misgenderers.
Many paths to victory for both sides here, I look forward to it.
That's cool... I guess... I don't need that, nor do I care. Thank you? The entire axiom of your argument is fallacious, I think I'll attack that instead.
By the way, birds have many more exceptions than just the one mentioned there. Birds don't have XX vs XY they have it flipped. In birds, males are the identical chromosome and females are the opposite one. I'm letting you know this because it's a five-round debate and I saved comebacks and points for later. I want your attack on my 'masculine females in other species' to be fully equipped.
Yes but it affects people "differently" and that is my point. Global warming does not affect people's psychological state as directly as being transgender does, as being transgender is about an individual's gender, i.e, they're psychological perspective.
I think we fundamentally agree that people generally shouldn’t be jailed for misgendering people.
People with depression should take meds to deal with it. I have mental problems and I take meds. It works effectively.
"Climate change does not directly relate to these people's psychological states."
I could argue that climate change is a more serious issue than transgenderism because it effects everyone. Transgender rights only effect transgenders and their families primarily. We don't jail climate deniers for denying climate change even though it is something much more serious to be "wrong" about. We shouldn't jail people for misgendering regardless on whether or not such people are "wrong".
Care workers aren't bullying transgenders by using non preferred pronouns. Ultimately, the transgender person should find a therapist that is fine with using preferred pronouns. There is enough therapists for them to pick from.
Did you finish the article, where it explained how jail time almost certainly wouldn’t happen?
Also, does not apply to the general public—it refers specifically to care workers who are using pronouns to bully their patients.
A quote from the article is,
"Violations of the bill could, under limited circumstances, be treated as a misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine."
This is off topic, but if you don't believe anyone should go to jail, how would you punish murderers?
Your understanding of the bill is misleading. No one is going to jail.
Who has gone to jail for misgendering someone? Do you have an example? I personally don’t think people should go to jail period.
That's like saying people with depression ought to, "Grow a thick skin" what the actual h*ll? That kind of rhetoric is what increases the suicide rate in America, "Ah we shouldn't do anything to help people who are at risk, let's just tell em' to deal with it." or "Ah, that woman has been sexually harassed, tell her to get over it." Both are insanely harmful and are wrong.
As for the majority offense, that's a false equivalence - as well as the pro-choice example. Yes, hate speech is protected, but if you read the actual bill it's not covering it on the basis of hate speech but of equality and non-discriminatory laws. Most of which have already been established and are already in law. Climate change does not directly relate to these people's psychological states. It is a major phenomenon that has the potential to wipe life on earth, they do not correlate. The same to the abortion thing, that is relating to something that does not yet have human rights, they do not correlate.
Whether or not one is factually wrong is up to the facts isn't it? For example, many people say that climate change is a fact. Yet we don't jail climate change deniers. If a transgender person gets psychologically damaged by someone misgendering them, they need to grow a thick skin. A majority of America believes that there are only 2 genders and they should not be put in jail for this.
For example, imagine if saying something pro choice was deemed hate speech towards the unborn. Every open pro choicer would go to jail. Yet hate speech is protected by the first amendment and the supreme court ruled this multiple times.
Except your factually wrong, saying there are two genders. Not to mention the clear psychological damage done to the trans person. It's not a violation of the first amendment under certain exceptions, this can just be another one of them.
"Willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns."
"And the punishment is a misdeamnor which is: "Standard California misdemeanors are offenses that are usually punishable by a maximum of: 6 months in county jail, and /or. A fine of up to $1,000.""
So this means that if you believe that there are only 2 genders and you act on that in a peaceful manner by misgendering on ideological grounds, you get punished? If so, that is a violation of the 1st amendment.
Have you read the actual law? I have:
1439.51. (a) - (5) reads: "Willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns."
And the punishment is a misdeamnor which is: "Standard California misdemeanors are offenses that are usually punishable by a maximum of: 6 months in county jail, and /or. A fine of up to $1,000."
Notice the "Up to" part? You are drastically taking this out of context. Not to mention, basing the misdeamnor charge on Texas standards instead of california standards. This is why we actually research things please.
In California, misgendering on ideological grounds gets you put in jail for a year. By comparison, willingly spread HIV/AIDS is punishable by 6 months in jail in the state of CA. Now you know why people are fleeing the state. The state needs to sort out its priorities.
Interesting, I suppose I'll see for my self whenever you post your arguments. To a good debate and all.
Of course it is binary. Us vs Them.
Digital vs analogue isn't the same as binary vs multi-polar.
I believe genders are real and inescapable but that a very masculine female should be allowed to refer to herself by pronouns he/they feel/s comfortable with. Same goes for feminine males. I'm not one to make fun of people.
Are you devil's advocate or do you genuinely hold the position?
Your answer has no bearings on the debate itself, just curious.
I've got enough debates on my plate, maybe another time!
Looking forward to reading this
I see, that makes more sense.
They can argue the definitions, or try to provide a better one. I simply gave a definition of gender which is topical.
Your definition of gender includes three groups - male, female, and neuter. Wouldn't that definition already contradict the idea of gender being binary? I'm just thinking it would be hard to argue if the provided definition already assumes more than two groups.
As someone who's dated Transgender people, and has spent a lot time researching the subject, and it's implications and things of that nature, I would be inclined to agree. Unless maliciousness could be proven, that shouldn't be a thing. Of course I'm not familiar with the law there, so there could be context we're both missing.
I don't know enough about this issue to argue it but the notion that you can get jailed for misgendering in California is insane.
Hmm, I would disagree. Hypotheticals can be interesting and all, but not when the thesis is completely contradictory. Gender is itself, definitionally non binary. Of course, if someone could demonstrate this untrue, or provide a definition that does not imply this, then fine. Until then, I find the topic insensitive to say the least. Not to say I would report it, simply a matter of fact on my feelings on it.
Never mind. I thought it over and I feel like the "assigning roles" in society is probably outdated. If we were arguing about 1600's, Binary vs non-binary might be worth a shot.
Here's an interesting philosophical topic though: In an alternate universe where Gender was binary, would this world be superior to live in than our world? After all, now there are no transgender people being made fun of. And yet, if Gender WAS binary, that could reinforce the stereotypes of man being strong and brave, and women being weak and kind.
Nah, Con can argue the definitions, or just make a convincing argument in opposing. If I were to tweak it, how would you suggest I do so?
this debate is impossible for con to win. A bit of tweak, please?
This debate may interest you.
Wouldn't have been my main argument, but okay then.
I've been wanting to debate this for a bit, but I thought no one would accept. I have a feeling our pro of a new debater, 9.9.9, might have something to say to this.
In my opinion, a dictionary saying something is something does not mean that it is true unless it is corroborated by evidence... Still, good luck fighting the "this is a truism" battle..
If anyone accepts this, they will probably argue that it should be because of their precious feelings.