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Topic

THBT: We ought to use the definition of “female” which prohibits non biological females from being female.

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Voting

Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

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THBT: We ought to use the definition of “female” which prohibits non biologically female beings from being female.

Definitions
Sex - a scientifically and biologically grounded concept which differences between "male" and "female".
Gender - the way in which one feels in relation to their sex.

Rules
1. No arguments made in bad faith i.e, kritiks.
2. No new arguments are to be made in the final round.
3. Rules are agreed upon and are not to be contested.
4. Sources can be hyperlinked or provided in the comment section.
5. A breach of the rules should result in a conduct point deduction for the offender.
6. Only Nyxified can accept this challenge.

Round 1
Pro
THBT: We ought to use the definition of “female” which prohibits non biologically female beings from being female

0.     Preliminary

Given the wordy topical stipulation of this debate, we ought identify key inferences to better gauge the parameters of this discussion. 

  1. The counter-thesis which CON will be supporting can be identified as follows.
    1. We ought to use the definition of “female” which allows non biologically female beings from being female
  2. The distinction between PRO and CON is as follows. 
    1. A disagreement in the definition of female
      1. in which PRO argues biology ought be the determining factor (hence the topics proposed prohibition of non biological females from being females)
      2. whilst CON holds that biology is not a determining feature of "female" (hence their established burden which stipulates that non biological females from being female)
        1. Thus the disagreement boils down to whether biology is a sufficient criteria in determining whether a being is a "female". 
  3. As "definition" is a key term in the resolution, I request that CON clearly provide their definition of "female". 
-

I.     Gender does not facilitate for a cogent defining of “female”

The topical mention of "definition", corroborated with the preliminary analysis narrows the conversation down to essentially which of two competing definitions we ought to use - one biological, the other not. This immediately begs the question of what the two competing definitions are. PRO establishes their definition of female as follows - "the presence of the plethora of female typical biological complexions, e.g the presence of the XX genotype in somatic cells, gametes, and bone structure". This is a non controversial and scientifically accepted term, which is in fact so well established that it affects virtually every aspect of medicine and biomedical research (American Association for the Advancement of Science).

On the other hand, I assert that CON is unable to produce any definition at all (under the "gender" position) which is not internally contradictory, circular or nonsensical. Syllogistically, 

P1. If defining female in terms of gender results in incoherence, we ought not define female in terms of gender. 
P2. Defining female in terms of gender results in incoherence. 
C1. We ought not define female in terms of gender. 

P1.
Truism. If a definition is incoherent, it cannot be adopted coherently or properly into our vocabulary. Vocabulary (especially nouns and adjectives which is what is in contention) refers to objective features of the world, and as these features cannot, prima facie, be contradictory, the labels referencing them cannot be either. 

P2.
CON can nullify this if they can provide a definition for “female” which is 1) cogent and non contradictory, 2) one which ought to be used on top of sex i.e. the definition is superior. I assure voters that they cannot - any definition of "female" which does not lie within biology and instead in gender (which I assume CON will support), is untenable. The gender ideology is fundamentally an attempt at making it is possible for anyone who wishes to, to identify as “female”, so long as they desire (note desire/feeling as the vehicle for determining "female"). The broad range of people (everyone) which the ideology must accommodate for makes it near impossible for there to exist a critical criteria. 

Furthermore, if CON is able to somehow scraper a definition, I can almost guarantee that it will be something along the lines of "a female is that who identifies a female". This is wholly inappropriate and would be akin to me defining "Gluglu" as "that who identifies as Gluglu". Defining a word as the identification presupposes that there exists a cogent definition for the term in use. There is no word in the English dictionary (other than those associated with the wave of gender ideology) which contains this level of circularity. 

C1. 
The conclusion is thus sound. I must reiterate that if it is the case that CON cannot provide a definition for "female"that is non contradictory, the contest is over. In a battle of which definition ought to be adopted, that is either one which prohibits or allows non biological females from being females the failure to produce a definition for your position calls for an immediate loss. 

-

II.     "Sex" is precise, whilst "gender" is not

"Sex", as defined in the description is a scientifically and biologically grounded concept which differentiates between "male" and "female". This means that it is reducible to facts that are grounded in the physical world. This is contrary to the nature of gender, which is irreducible to physical facts.  

In the science, all observations are reducible - if we were to analyse the temperature of water, we can find the temperature is reducible to particle vibrations thus temperature supervenes on facts regarding some physical property (thermodynamics). This distinction is known as one between "primary A properties" and "secondary B properties", in which the A property is one which is objectively featured in the world, whilst a B property is ungrounded and mindful. B properties can only change if A properties are modified - temperature can only raised if vibrations are increased. To return to the scopes of this debate, "sex" is a characteristic which supervenes on genotypes in somatic cells and thus is grounded in biology. Gender, on the other hand, supervenes on "social" and "cultural" factors, characteristics which are not reducible to the biology, science or even the physical world. Thus, to define "female" in the scopes of gender, that is,  in the absence of supervenes in science, biology or even physical properties is simply absurd. Cultural and social factors do not supervene on anything empirical, thus “male”, “female”,  cannot be coherently assigned to anyone. Syllogistically. 

P1. The definition of "female" must be grounded in some A-property. 
P2. A-property is either biological (sex) or cultural/social (gender) 
P3. The grounding is biological. 
C1. "Female" is therefore not grounded in cultural or social factors. 
Ergo. "Female" is not grounded in gender. 

II.I Sub Contention which corroborates the precision of the term "sex"

The precision of sex can be observed through the fact that it can be identified even after an individual has died. The fact that archeologists were able to identify that Cleopatra was a "female" is a testimony to the exceptionally accurate and objective tool which "sex" is. The fact that this identification could be made on a body which was over 2000 years old should be indicative that the tools by which we use when referencing "sex" is exceptional. Now consider live, human persons - if it can be determined that some long dead corpse is a "female", we ought to have no hesitation in the abilities of modern day science to differentiate between a "male" and "female". Though this point may seem insignificant, it is extraordinarily important - it shows identification via sex is an accurate tool which can identify the differences between "male" and "female" even on long dead humans. 

On the other hand, if we were to use "gender" as the indicator, we would not have be able to determine whether Cleopatra was a male or female. In fact, we would not be able to determine the gender of anyone who has not explicitly stipulated what their "gender" is. 
-

III.     Argument by Reductio ad Absurdum 

P1. If adopting X as opposed to Y leads to incoherence, we ought not adopt X as opposed to Y. 
P2. The adopting of X as opposed to Y leads to incoherent and untenable concepts. 
C1. We ought not adopt X as opposed to Y. 

Let X be the way in which one feels in relation to Y. 
Let be the manifestation of some biological complexion. 

P1.
This is truism. A concept which is incoherent cannot be reasonably adopted. 

P2.
Suppose that we accept the gender ideologists postulation that we ought define "female" in terms of self identification as opposed to biology. This axiom leads to much incoherence. Consider

  • Gender (X) is the way in which one feels in relation to sex (Y). 
  • Spocies (X) is the way in which one feels in relation to species (Y). 
This is clearly a significant issue for CON - their position logically entails that we ought preference the feelings of an individual more than biological facts. If feelings trump the significance of biology in regards to the term "female", then it must also trump the significance of biology in regards to every other biological fact, if all else is equal. In order to maintain consistency, CON must do one of two things. 

  • Provide a reason why we ought preference X over Y in the case of "female" but neglect the overarching principle when considering species. 
  • Jeopardize all biological facts and favour feelings. 
  • Accept the principle and agree to use "spocies". 
C1.
The intellectual price tag of CON's position is apparent - we must either admit that their position is contradictory and only applicable to their taylormade scenario or we must jeopardize our scientific understanding of biology. 

III.I     Subcontention in regards to the veracity of one's feelings 

If CON maintains their position they must accept that "feelings" is a stronger vehicle of determining one's objective identity than biology, then they must also reverend all other feelings to maintain consistency. I ask how they would respond to someone with apotemnophilia, the condition where people have a desire to amputate a healthy limb. Their feelings tell them that their limb ought not be apart of their body. How will CON's position respond to such a situation? Their reverence for one's feelings obligates them to respect the person's decision and provide them a saw. Any scrutiny can be viewed as harmful, an act of undermining one's identity and fundamentally apotemnophiliaphobic. 

-

IV.     Accepting CON's position entails that we must jeopardize our understanding of "female" with regards to animals

Though this debate has centered largely around homo sapiens, the term "female" is not only on which regards human beings, but also every mammal in existence. 

P1. If "Female" is determined by one's feelings, then we cannot categorise "female" animals. 
P2. "Female" is determined by one's feelings. 
C1. We cannot categorise "female" animals. 

P1.
Like the previous, this argument is a reductio ad absurdum which concedes a contention from CON in order to demonstrate the incoherence of their concept. We can accept the first half of the stipulation as true for the sake of this argument. The second half seems trivial. Humans do not possess any way to seriously communicate with animals and thus any labelling of them in terms of "female" is "assuming one's gender" - a hideous crime. As, under gender, the only way for determining whether one is "female" is by their self expression, there is no sound way for determining whether one is "female" and as such, we must abolish the idea on the grounds of it undevelopable. 

P2.
Premise held by CON and granted by PRO in this argument. 

C1. 
The conclusion logically follows. The implication of this is that we cannot differentiate between "male" and "female" within animals and thus lose essential knowledge in biology and zoology. CON may wish to refute this by arguing that the term"female" for Homo Sapiens serves a different purpose than to the other 5400 species of mammals alive, however, this will not suffice - the debate specifically mentions "female" which, whether CON likes it or not, is a term deeply imbedded in the scientific community when defined in biological terms. The only refutation possible is to either accept "female" as they defined universally, or to forfeit their position. If CON wishes to take the approach of redefining the term, they must still do so within biological terms, which is, as a concept, incompatible with their world view. 

-

Conclusion 

As my seven arguments show, CON's position is thoroughly untenable, especially when considering the fact that PRO's position is both logical and consistent with the scientific enterprise. 

Con
GBD = Gender-based definition
SBD = Sex-based definition

1. Introduction
Thanks, Bones!


1.1 Bias
I recognize that many people on this site have biases that lead them to instinctively oppose or support 'transgenderism', but I ask everyone, before reading the rest of this debate and/or voting, to try and account for and look beyond your biases regardless of which side you may be inclined to support. Neither of us want to win because of an ideological battle rather than our ability to make convincing cases. I humbly request everyone to think of this debate objectively and to set your emotions aside as much as you can.


1.2 Clarification
Using a GBD of 'female' would not result in it being impossible to distinguish between male and female sex in medical situations. Though 'biological female' is not in the average English-speaker's vocabulary, to frame con's case in the perspective of abolishing that distinction is false.

This debate is about which definition is better suited for this word that almost all English-speakers understand and will use in conversation. Where it is relevant to distinguish male and female sex, that distinction is still easily possible. My case is that a GBD of 'female' will be more useful, accurate, and consistent for the majority of English-speakers.


1.3 Burden of Proof
Definitions should be chosen based on what is most useful. Therefore, the definition ought to be which is most useful. This is something both pro and I agreed with outside of the debate. Language is designed to convey information, and so it's intuitive how definitions should be based on what can convey the most information in the most contexts in the simplest way with the least inconvenience.

Taking into account how words are already used can sometimes mean that changing definitions would be such that, even if the new definition is more useful in isolation, the confusion alone makes it less useful than the original. However, this is not the case with this debate as I will go on to show.

In my speech, I'll prove:
  • A GBD for 'female' is the most relevant in more contexts (Context),
  • Conveys more useful information (Info),
  • Is the only way to have a consistent, unchanging definition of the word (Consistency),
  • Is representative of the fact 'woman' is an identifier that exists irrespective of sex, but is respective of the experience and personal identity of womanhood (Identity),
  • Would not cause substantial inconvenience/confusion (and, in fact, the resolution would cause that instead) (Confusion),
  • And, for all the reasons above, is the more useful definition. Thus it ought to be the definition.

Keep what's in the italicized brackets for each point in mind. I will use them as a shorthand to categorize pro's arguments with respect to those points.



2. Rebuttals
2.1 Cogency

Pro claims it's impossible to provide any coherent GBD, but this is false. A female is someone who identifies as a female; someone who feels and considers themselves to be a female. This is not circular, contradictory, or nonsensical because gender is innate, unchanging, and determined before birth. It objectively exists independent of physical characteristics[1|2|3|4] (though some people deny it or get confused in the process of figuring it out).

Trans people have brains more similar to their gender then their assigned sex[1&2] in ways that cannot be changed by nurture. Therefore, gender identity exists in reality/objectively, has defined causes, is observable, provable, innate, consistent, and thus coherent. To define one's gender based on the identity they identify as is, at worst, no less coherent than any other personal identifier, and, at best, as I have proven with my sources, is just as grounded in neuroanatomy as sex is grounded in biology.

In other words: the gender of any given person is defined by that person's gender identity which is caused by/rooted in objective factors.

“When we look at the transgender brain, we see that the brain resembles the gender that the person identifies as.” -Dr. Murat Altinay, MD.

Context) A SBD of 'female' is incoherent in the majority of contexts. To cohere is to follow naturally and logically, as the parts of a discourse, or as arguments in a train of reasoning. The VAST majority of people will encounter much more scenarios where a GBD provides more useful information than they would with a SBD. Therefore, a SBD is not coherent because it is arbitrary, unnatural/out of place, and irrelevant.

Regarding romance, most heterosexual males can only be attracted to a trans female if they have the appearance typically expected of/associated with females. However, gender-presentation is independent of sex. If a cis-male were to convincingly disguise themself as a female, their sex has not changed at all, and yet a heterosexual male could find themselves attracted to the disguised cis-male. Therefore, both a SBD and a GBD is irrelevant in romantic contexts. It's based on gender presentation/performance (since a SBD is irrelevant this contradicts the resolution).

For a gay, trans female, a SBD would imply that since they are a biological male and they are gay, they are attracted to men. That's obviously false; a gay, trans female is attracted to those who present as female.

A GBD can often tell you preferred pronouns, experience of womanhood/manhood, their identity, what spaces they want to be apart of, what might make them uncomfortable (for a trans woman, ex: using male pronouns, calling them 'dude', referring to them as 'one of the boys', etc...), etc.... This gives you incredibly valuable insight that will make it possible to avoid making someone uncomfortable or sad in a conversation; it expresses the respectful way to refer to them and which spaces they may or may not wish to be a part of. These are ALL incredibly useful for social situations.

A SBD (based on a collection of sex characteristics on a gradient from the male sex to the females sex) can tell you that they might have male genitals, might have no uterus, might have high testosterone levels, etc... None of this is relevant in social contexts. In fact, to categorize someone's identity based only on their sex characteristics can cause deep discomfort. To be put in a box based on if I have tits or not would make me uncomfortable. It would make any cis woman uncomfortable. It would functionally irrelevant in almost all contexts and thus is arbitrary (not based on what is most useful but based on sex characteristics for no good reason).

Medical contexts and other contexts where biology is more relevant than gender represent the vast minority of contexts. Think about how many social situations you've been in between now and the last time you talked to a doctor. For me, it's at least 100.

These represent the majority of contexts. I will discuss medical contexts in 3.3.


Consistency) I believe my opponent agrees that sex shouldn't be based on a singular characteristic (like chromosomes), but rather a collection of sex characteristics forming a gradient between male and female sex. If they do not agree with this, I will address how a definition based on a single/few sex characteristic(s) is fallacious, harmful, and useless in my next speech.

Under the assumption pro agrees it's a gradient, a SBD cannot tell you consistent information. To obtain any certain information would require deeply-personal questions.

With a GBD, you can safely assume and be correct 99% of the time that:
  • A female doesn't want you to use male pronouns
  • They want to be a part of women's spaces and not men's spaces
  • Certain terms ('dude', 'one of the boys', etc...) might make them uncomfortable
  • Their gender identity is that of a female
  • They experience womanhood
  • They wish to be treated like a female
With a SBD operating on a gradient, if someone has any given sex characteristic is uncertain (a female missing one or a few sex characteristic still leaves you on the female side of the gradient because you have more female characteristics than male). Very little relevant information can be safely assumed. It cannot easily express necessary information for social contexts.

With a SBD (?)=uncertain, (!)=almost always irrelevant:
  • They have a uterus, ovaries, and can bear children(?)(only relevant in sexual contexts)
  • They have high estrogen(?)(!)
  • They have more sex characteristics expected of a biological female than a biological male(!)
  • They have female-pattern muscle/fat distribution(?)(!)
  • They have breasts and female genitalia(?)(only relevant in romantic/sexual contexts)
  • They have female chromosomes(?)(!)
Even if we could ascertain the above facts with certainty, a SBD doesn't express necessary information that a GBD does and any information ascertained from it is of little certainty or usefulness.


Identity) A cis-woman who identifies as a female is not doing so because they think "well, I have female sex characteristics, so therefore I am a female." They're doing so because they identify as a female; their gender identity is innate and it tells them that they are a female. Sex characteristics say nothing about a sense of womanhood or personal identity.



2.2 Precision
"Sex", as defined in the description is a scientifically and biologically grounded concept which differentiates between "male" and "female". This means that it is reducible to facts that are grounded in the physical world. This is contrary to the nature of gender, which is irreducible to physical facts.  
I have already provided a GBD that is reducible to neuroanatomical facts based in scientific studies. Because I have done this, since gender isn't dependent on context, if I can prove there are a many contexts where a SBD is imprecise/inconsistent, I will have defeated this argument.

For example: an endocrinologist and a gynecologist have the same patient. This patient has both a male hormonal profile and female genitalia (for example: a trans woman who can't take female hormones for a medical reason and has underwent several surgeries to change their genitals). To the endocrinologist, the patient is a male. To a gynecologist, the patient is a female. Two different answers to the same question, both of which are correct answers due to the difference in context.

A hypothetical patient who has every female-sex characteristic except for producing female hormones is a female according to a gradient-based SBD. Even if they are a female according to an SBD, that definition is useless to the endocrinologist. The endocrinologist has to use the relevant definition for the context and define if they are a female based on their hormones or else they will give them the wrong care. Thus, two correct, necessary definitions coexist.

A hypothetical patient who has every male-sex characteristic except for male genitalia is a male according to a gradient-based SBD. Even if they are a female according to an SBD, that definition is useless to the gynecologist. The gynecologist has to define if they are a male based on their genitalia or else they will give them the wrong care. Thus, two correct, necessary definitions coexist.

Therefore, a SBD cannot be consistent. Different definitions must be used to determine who should be treated as what sex based on the context or else it is arbitrary and useless.



2.3 Reductio ad Absurdum
2.3 is very similar to 2.1.

"This is clearly a significant issue for CON - their position logically entails that we ought preference the feelings of an individual more than biological facts. If feelings trump the significance of biology in regards to the term "female", then it must also trump the significance of biology in regards to every other biological fact, if all else is equal."
Pro's depiction of my case is phrased in a way designed to make potential voters feel as though I am using 'feelings' to deny biological fact. This is not the case. My case is that 'female', if defined based on one's gender identity, which has its basis in neuroanatomical fact, can convey more information in more contexts and is thus more useful.

Since definitions should be based on what is the most useful (especially considering the entire function of language is to convey information in the easiest, fastest, least confusing manner), a GBD is preferable to a SBD.

Adopting a GBD for 'female' doesn't make it impossible to categorize people or animals into which side of the gradient of sex characteristics they fall upon. 'Biological female' is a term that exists. I feel the need to mention this because my opponent makes it seem as though it is impossible to acknowledge the existence of sex whatsoever should the resolution be proven wrong. We can still determine the sex of monkeys irrespective of if 'female', at least in regards to humans, should be based on gender identity.

Feelings do not change biological fact, but that's irrelevant. We can acknowledge biological fact and still decide that a GBD is more useful than a SBD.

All we're doing is deciding what label we put on the female sex and the female gender. Biology obviously still exists regardless of this resolution.

If animals could understand and convey their gender identity, I'd probably say that a monkey identifying as a female provides more useful information with a GBD than a SBD regarding how to speak to them, but that's literally impossible for them to do.



3. Constructive Arguments
I was gonna make a separate section for my constructive arguments, but out of my own laziness, the character count, and the fact I basically said all I wanted to say in my rebuttals, I don't see that as necessary. Refer to 1.3 for all of the areas where I clash with the resolution and prove that a GBD is preferable in those areas.



4. Conclusion/Summary
Gender essentialism has only ever been used to oppress women. Women are not only reducible to their physical characteristics; the notion that they are is and has been a major target of the feminist movement since its inception.

I have shown you why a SBD is incoherent and not nearly as useful as GBD. A SBD is arbitrary, unnecessary, and less useful.

It would be self-evident even if I had not proven that in the vast majority of contexts, a SBD is irrelevant. You do not need to know someone's sex characteristics most of the time. With a GBD, if someone tells you they are a female, that gives you useful information in every social context. This is not true of a SBD.

Identifying as a 'penis-haver' or 'vulva-haver' would be weird. To identify someone else as such would be insulting and disgusting. To break someone's identity and who they are down to their physical characteristics is as nonsensical as it is tyrannical.

To be a woman means more than to have a uterus or female chromosomes. Womanhood is not determined by anyone's body.

We are not the sum of our parts. I am me and you are you.

Vote con.



Round 2
Pro
Thx Nyx

0.     Preliminary 

  • As CON structured their argument in a way which imbeds substantives with rebuttals, I too will merge defences of my contention with refutations of CON's case.
  • CON often exchanges two definitions of "female" which muddies their argument - on one hand, they argue that a female is someone who "identifies as female" whilst on the other hand, they argue that female is "a neuroanatomical fact". This is contradictory - it is possible for someone to have the "neuroanatomical fact indicating at female" whilst also having them desire and thus identify as female.
-

I.     Gender does not facilitate for a cogent defining of "female" & CON's "context", "consistency" and "identity" contention

CON stipulates that a female is someone who identifies as female. This is completely circular. Consider the following:

  • CON argues that female (x) is that who identifies as female (x)
    • ∴ x is a label for that who identifies as x
  • PRO argues that female (x) is that who has female typical biological complexions, e.g the presence of the XX genotype in somatic cells, gametes, and bone structure
    • ∴ x is a label for that who possess x typical characteristics, which include but are not limited to the presence of the XX genotype in somatic cells etc... 
CON contends that this position is not circular by arguing that gender is innate, unchaning, and determined at birth. This is clearly a different from their aforementioned definition - it restricts the clause that female is  that who"identify (defined as to feel and say that you belong to a particular group of people) as female", for it can be true that the "feel and say" of an individual are contradictory to their gender determined at birth. 

Though CON's assertion of gender's status as one which is "innate" and "objectively exists", it is never specified what "unchanging" factor which is "determined at birth" they are grounding gender in (genes, neuroanatomical, organs etc). They do, however, provide three lines of argumentation to support this.

  1. Three sources indicating that gender "objectively exists independent of physical characteristics". 
  2. Stipulation that trans people have brains more similar to their gender. 
  3. That "transgenderism" is something which cannot be "changed by nurture". 
1.
The first is a blog post by an individual who merely opines on their opinion (the link to the hopkins medicine press [primary source of the article] is nonfunctional, so we ought take the word of the author with trepidation). The second link (BBC) which is functional merely opines on the case of "John/Joan" case. I don't wish to dwell, but the case was conducted by John Money, the man considered as the founder of gender ideology, who attempted to argue for the separation of gender and sex. The experiment ended with John blowing his head off with a shotgun in an empty car park. Overall, no mention of the "innate" foundations of gender.

The second contains merely an abstract (thesis hidden behind paywall) stating the intentions of the authors. The paper itself, it seems, reviews evidence (review ≠ prove as true) and study the hereditary nature of gender - here we review the evidence that gender identity...Overall, no mention of the "innate" foundations of gender.

The third inspects actual concrete foundations which gender could supervene on, however to no avail. 

  • When regarding genes: Evidence of a genetic contribution to transsexuality is very limited
  • When regarding hormones: The evidence that prenatal hormones affect the development of gender identity is stronger but far from proven.
  • When regarding neuroanatomy: However, in some cases, the interpretation of these studies is complicated by hormone treatments
Publication concludes: our current understanding of these factors is far from complete and the results are not always consistent.

I add that, even if it can be found that there is some biological condition which makes people feel as though they are the opposite gender, this does not support CON's argument - even if there is a biological grounds for trans individuals beliefs, the question becomes are those beliefs valid and do they correspond to reality? After all, is objectively the case that, if someone wishes to identify as a mouse, some part of their brain corresponds these desires, however, despite the presence of the biological groundings of such beliefs, we can still exclude these beliefs as absurd and incongruent with reality. 

2. 
CON then argues that trans people have brains more similar to their gender. This is false - a meta-synthesis of three decades worth of research finds that sex differences in the brain are tiny and inconsistent, once individuals' head size is accounted for. The idea of a gendered brain is a neurosexist myth. 

3.
CON argues that transgenderism cannot be affected by nurture/social factors. This stands in contradiction to the relevant literature. In the last decade, there has been a 4,415 percent increase in number of teen girls seeking gender transition treatment in the last decade. CON would argue that, as nurture plays no role in transgenderism, there has always been this number of teen girls (or thereabouts) who wish to transition. The fact that there exists such a dramatic incline in a specific cohort is highly dubious and implies that the "social" aspect is overwhelmingly present, and that to be "trans" is, in a majority of cases, a mere social activity. CON may argue that there has always been this many teen girls wishing to transition and that they have merely been denied, however, they will then have to account for the reason why there isn't a 4,415 percent decrease suicide in teen girls -  it is often stated that denying the identify of trans people may lead to suicide, so with such a large amount of trans girls being affirmed, a dramatic decrease in suicide must be observable. 

Thus, the three factors which CON argues for the case that gender is "innate" fails. 

CON then argues, under context, that "sex" is functionally irrelevant and that, in society, we do not identify "sex" by organs or chromosomes. However, this is why I argued that sex is a plethora of biological complexions - in society, we base the sex of an individual from the manifestations of their biological appearance - facial features, hair etc. CON may argue that transgender people can often look akin to their desired sex, however, this is only due to society's ability to sculpt and apply  "costumes" to any individual. Star Wars, for example, contains human actors in convincing Wookie costumes, yet people would seldom consider them actual interstellar creatures. There is a fundamental difference between looking like x and actually being x which is being ignored by CON. 

CON also argues that GBD is pragmatically superior to SBD. This is, however, untrue - if we adopt the GBD model, it is impossible to conduct any conversation without first identifying the pronouns and gender of an individual. This is an extraordinary inconvenience, considering the fact that 0.1 to 2 percent of people are actually trans i.e, it is difficult to determine their sex based on appearance. 

CON then critiques PRO's position on the following grounds 

(?)=uncertain, (!)=almost always irrelevant:
  • They have a uterus, ovaries, and can bear children(?)(only relevant in sexual contexts)
  • They have high estrogen(?)(!)
  • They have more sex characteristics expected of a biological female than a biological male(!)
  • They have female-pattern muscle/fat distribution(?)(!)
  • They have breasts and female genitalia(?)(only relevant in romantic/sexual contexts)
  • They have female chromosomes(?)(!)
I take two issues with this.We can apply a reductio ad absurdum by adding CON's argument that "GBD that is reducible to neuroanatomical facts based in scientific studies"

  • Neuroanatomical facts (?)[the 4415 percent increase in girls transitioning makes this uncertain] (!) [who in society actually checks the neuroanatomical factors of an individual?]
Under the "identity" section, CON argues that a cis-woman who identifies as a female is not doing so because they think "well, I have female sex characteristics, so therefore I am a female." They're doing so because they identify as a female. Cis-women identify as female because they are biologically hardwired in a way which instills womanhood into their bones. It is not a "logical" process in which you calculate your biological characteristics, it is an objective feature of one's being. Just as how one doesn't assess whether they are homo sapiens, one doesn't need to assess whether they are a women or not. 

-

II.     "Sex" is precise, whilst "gender" is not

CON argues that I have already provided a GBD that is reducible to neuroanatomical facts based in scientific studies, however, as argued, neuroanatomical facts are neither certain, relevant and also jeopardize the idea of "self identification" (if it is true that neuroanatomical facts determine gender identity, then you can't "self identify" yourself - gender would be a physical fact which prohibits people who have a certain neuroanatomical structure from being "female"). Furthermore, CON's own study stipulates that interpretation of these (ones which attempt to associate "gender" with neuroanatomy) studies is complicated by hormone treatments, small sample sizes and a failure to disentangle correlates of sexual orientation from gender identity.

CON then argues that it is necessary for two coexisting definitions to exist, proven with the example of the endocrinologist and gynecologist. The issue is that the specialists listed do not actually define the sex of an individual, they merely identify specific parts of an individual. To use an example, suppose that we have a Toyota which is to be serviced by an engine and tyres/wheels expert. The Toyota, however, has been modified - the owner has changed the tyres/wheels so that they are using Nissan typical tyres/wheels. When the cars go to the two experts, they will respectively find that there is a Toyota typical engine and Nissan typical tyres/wheels. The point is that the experts only claim that their specific part which they are investigating are Toyota/Nissan, not the entire car. This is applicable to the analogy CON provides - though the endocrinologist and gynecologist finds "contradictory" body parts which indicate different sex, they are merely investigating different parts. They never argue "because you have female genitals, you must necessarily be female", just as how the engine expert doesn't determine the brand based on their one expertise. 

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III.     Argument by Reductio ad Absurdum 

CON asserts that my case is that 'female', if defined based on one's gender identitywhich has its basis in neuroanatomical fact. However, neuroanatomical (defined as the study of the structure and organization of the nervous system) facts do not necessarily correspond to what is true - arguing so would be a naturalistic fallacy. As argued, people who wish to identify as a species other than homo sapien by virtue of truism must have this desire because some fact about their neuroanatomical complexion is wrong or miswired. It is true that, just because such a desire has a physical grounding, it must therefore be most true? 

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IV.     Accepting CON's position entails that we must jeopardize our understanding of "female" with regards to animals

CON asserts that adopting a GBD for 'female' doesn't make it impossible to categorize people or animals into which side of the gradient of sex characteristics they fall upon, however, this is clearly untrue. If we adopt the GBD, then it means that we ought to preference the neuroanatomical complexions of people, which manifests itself in the form of feelings.  As these neuroanatomical complexions cannot be accurately identified in the brain and only through its manifestation, it follows that animals, who cannot express their feelings cogently, cannot be labeled as male or female. 

-

Conclusion

CON's case is erroneous on the following grounds

  • Defining female as "that who identifies as female" is circular and unacceptable. As such, in a debate regarding "definitions" the failure to produce a definition yields instantaneous loss. 
  • Their stance is impractical (no one checks other peoples neuroanatomical complexions)
    • The only practical way to use CON's GBD is to assess their feelings, which bring a plethora of issues explored in my r1. 
  • Just because some certain feelings have biological basis (as all of them do), does not mean they are valid. Such would be a naturalistic fallacy. 
Con
NA=Neuroanatomical
TG=Transgender


1. Introduction
Thanks, Bones! This debate's definitely a good one and I thank you for the chance to challenge myself with a resolution that's out of my comfort zone against an opponent as formidable as you.


1.1 Common Ground
What we agree on:

  1. Sex is not reducible to any singular sex characteristic and is a gradient between male and female.
  2. Definitions should be based on what is most useful with the least confusion and inconvenience.
These statements must be considered true when judging this debate since we both agree to them.


1.2 Points of Clash
Pro's contentions to my case:

c.1 Gender can not simultaneously be defined by how one identifies and be based on NA fact.
c.2 A GBD is circular and less useful.
c.3 Studies show male and female brains are nearly if not indistinguishable.
c.4 Evidence provided to prove that gender is based on NA fact is inconclusive.
c.5 An increase in people identifying as TG proves that being TG has a significant social component.
c.6 Identifying as another animal is caused by wiring in the brain just as much as identifying as another sex.
c.7 A GBD makes it impossible to define/categorize humans or animals based on sex characteristics.

I will use c.1-7 as a shorthand to refer to these points.




2. Rebuttals & Defence
c.1: Gender Can't Be Defined By Identity and Neuroanatomy
Pro takes issue with my sources' validity, so allow me to clarify.

First source: This isn't just some random 'blog post' like pro says. This was made by the Pennsylvania State University's Center for Global Studies that reviews the John/Joan case to prove that gender identity is not based on nurture and is innate. The sources likely just refer to the existence of the John/Joan case, which is not disputed.

Just because 'innate gender' was not mentioned doesn't mean it's painfully obvious how that's proven. By taking a cis male infant and changing their sex characteristics to a female only for them to later identify as TG and commit suicide due to the grief of having to live as a sex they weren't easily proves the concept. Even if the guy who did the experiment argued for the separation of gender and sex, the experiment tried to prove that they are one in the same by saying that because their sex was changed, their gender would change as well, which is incredibly false.


Second source: You can't say it doesn't give evidence that gender is innate because it's a review and not a study. A review is taking a series of studies and then creating a conclusion based on the evidence from those studies. If a single study were taken, it may be an outlier that provides an incorrect conclusion. That's why all science is/should be based on reviews and not single studies or experiments. To say that a review is worse evidence than a study, or even to say that it doesn't give reason to believe its conclusions at all, is therefore ludicrous and the opposite of the truth. I don't know how my opponent could justify saying that a review of several studies that provide proof for the review's conclusions is not sufficient evidence.

It's wrong to say the study says nothing about the innateness of gender just because it doesn't use those exact words. Here's a direct quote from that source:
"Here we review the evidence that gender identity... [is] influenced in part by innate factors including genes. Based on the data reviewed, we hypothesize that gender identity is a multifactorial complex trait with a heritable polygenic component..."


Third source: Pro claims that, because the source itself claims that the research into the topics it covers (how genes, prenatal hormones, and NA affect gender identity) is incomplete, the source cannot be used as evidence for my claims. Incomplete evidence does not mean that the evidence is not deserving of consideration and many, many things in science have incomplete (but not insufficient) evidence that is still considered true.

Take the example of ADHD medication: Long-term consequences of ADHD medication are largely unknown and have VERY limited research, and yet they are routinely prescribed and help millions of people live better lives.
"...although the short-term effects are well-researched, there is limited info on how the medication affects those who take it for an extended period.

...carrying out a controlled study for many years is not realistic or ethical.

Therefore, experts rely on observational studies to understand the long-term effects. They cannot control for variables in these studies, so the results will never be completely accurate." -MedicalNewsToday

Even though the study acknowledges the incompleteness of the evidence, the study also has this to say:
"...despite the many challenges to research in this area, existing empirical evidence makes it clear that there is a significant biological contribution to the development of an individual’s sexual identity..."

When several studies have been done, even if the evidence they produced is incomplete, the evidence should be taken at face value unless other studies dispute it. Thus, disputing my sources' validity is not a substantive attack on my case.



c.2: A GBD is Circular/Less Useful

1. If A, then B.
2. If B, then A.
i.e. the conclusion is used in the argument.

My definition of gender (a female is someone who identifies as a female) does not fall into this. You can frame any logic as being circular because the premises imply the conclusion and the conclusion implies the premises.

1. If someone has more female sex characteristics than male ones, they are a female.
2. If someone is a female, they have more female sex characteristics than male ones.

1. If someone identifies as a female, they are a female.
2. If someone is a female, they identify as a female.

The only difference is that non-circular logic does not require the conclusion for the premises to be true. A SBD is based on observable sex characteristics. A GBD is based on identity due to neuroanatomy.  A GBD does not require the conclusion (x is a female) for the premises (x identifies as a female) to be true.

This is true of any identity. To use pro's argument against them: If a person identifies as a mouse, they do not need to be a mouse for that fact to be true. Even though if you replaced 'female' with 'mouse', the conclusion (x is a mouse) is false. Even though the conclusion is false, the premises (x identifies as a mouse) are true. This is indisputable reasoning that a GBD is not circular because the conclusion is not necessary to prove the premises.

To clarify: just because the argument "x identifies as a mouse, therefore x is a mouse" isn't circular doesn't mean it's true. It's obviously false. Identifying as a different species has no basis in reality.

"if we adopt the GBD model, it is impossible to conduct any conversation without first identifying the pronouns and gender of an individual."
This is true of both definitions. A GBD doesn't somehow change the rules of conversation or the need to know how to refer to people, but with a GBD, if someone identifies as a female, 99.999% of the time you can refer to them with she/her pronounsand you can treat them as you would anyone who experiences womanhood with no problem. If you're wrong, they can simply correct you. A GBD makes it much easier to engage in a social relationship with a person without needing to ask the awkward 'what are your pronouns?' question since there is a much higher likelihood you can determine the necessary information that I mentioned in my previous speech.

The percentage of trans people increases more with each generation as acceptance increases (almost 2% of youth in 2022).



c.3: Indistinguishable Male and Female Brains
I find it ironic that my opponent uses a review to prove their point after saying that "review≠prove as true" in c.1.

Pro is correct that cis males have an 11% higher brain weight than cis women on average. Pro is incorrect that this proves there is no difference.




c.4: Inconclusive NA Gender Differences
Refer to c.1 where I defended my sources. Any evidence I could provide regarding how there are definitive NA similarities in TG women and cis women all boils down to the fundamental fact my sources point to: TG women have similar characteristics to cis women in ways that cannot be changed by nurture.

A summary of the evidence (both NA and otherwise):

Seven different sources from accredited researchers, institutions, organizations, and websites all saying the same thing. If this is not sufficient evidence, no amount of evidence is sufficient.



c.5: Transgenderism's Social Component
Trying to claim that, because more people identify as TG now than in the past, the TG identity must have a social component is blatantly false. I don't think many people identified as a 'woman' before English existed as a language either.

The painfully obvious answer is that people didn't identify as trans in the past because of the following:
  • TG people lacked the understanding and terminology to identify as TG in the past (ex: James Barry).
  • TG people feared persecution or death.
  • TG people faced IMMENSE stigma and discrimination.
  • TG people did not have easy access to gender-affirming care.
  • Anti-LGBTQ+ bias throughout history has led to historians erasing TG people from history.
  • Some religions claimed expressing your identity would lead to eternal damnation.
  • Many other reasons.
The fact the terminology literally did not exist and it was nearly impossible to outwardly say you were TG without fearing for your life makes it impossible to know how many trans people there were throughout history.

The immense societal pressure and punishment faced by those who openly identified as TG made it impossible to know how many people wanted to come out as TG.

The lack of education and knowledge in conjunction with peer/societal pressure to 'be a man' made it impossible for most people who experienced gender dysphoria to know they were/could identify as TG.

To say the increase in people identifying as TG is due largely to a 'social' component when there was such a blatantly obvious fear of having your life ruined or ended if you came out, if you could even be aware of TG people at all, is as false as it is revisionist. This is not ancient history, it's barely been half a century. While I take no offence since I trust my opponent is acting in good faith, there are few LGBTQ+ people who would regard this claim as anything less than an egregious insult.

I don't think many people would call themselves 'human' if doing so would get you shot. That doesn't mean there's a 'social' component to being a human just because more people refer to themselves as such if it later because acceptable/legal.



c.6: Identifying as Another Species/Gender
"...if someone wishes to identify as a mouse, some part of their brain corresponds these desires, however, despite the presence of the biological groundings of such beliefs, we can still exclude these beliefs as absurd and incongruent with reality. "
If you could prove to me definitively that there are some people who identify as mice who possess traits that mice typically possess and humans typically don't and that there is a way for them to become biological mice and that not having their identity respected/trying to change their identity to non-mice led to substantial distress and dysphoria to the point it would lead some to commit suicide, then yeah, I'd refer to them as mice.

The problem is that you can't prove that. With trans people, you can. Humans aren't mice.

This comparison is irrelevant. I have already conceded that feelings do not alter biology, I am advocating for the precedence of personal identity when it comes to labelling someone as 'female'.



c.7: Inability to Distinguish Sex Characteristics
"If we adopt the GBD, then it means that we ought to preference the neuroanatomical complexions of people, which manifests itself in the form of feelings.  As these neuroanatomical complexions cannot be accurately identified in the brain and only through its manifestation, it follows that animals, who cannot express their feelings cogently, cannot be labeled as male or female."
Yeah, gender can only be expressed by humans. That's why we don't assign gender to animals.

Saying that we should give precedence to personal identity when using the term 'female' to describe a human doesn't make it impossible to label an animal as biologically male or female.

They can't be labelled male or female. So what? What is the incredible need to use the term 'female' to refer to the sex of a monkey? Why is biological female not sufficient? What is the problem with giving them different labels? It's not as though the counterfactual to the resolution mandates all people must adapt to saying 'biological female' and that nobody would be allowed to use 'female' to describe an animal, just that they ought to use 'female' to describe gender in most cases.

There is no functional application that would be significantly undermined by adding a single adjective behind the word 'male' or 'female' when referring to the sex of animals.




3. Conclusion
"Cis-women identify as female because they are biologically hardwired in a way which instills womanhood into their bones."
Biological essentialism called. They'd like you to return their justifications for oppressing women.

For centuries the concept that women had an unchangeable 'essence', the likes of which warranted treating them differently than men with different rights, has been used to justify misogyny. The belief that women are different from men not based on their experience of womanhood, but by their sex characteristics has been used for centuries to prove claims that women are inherently inferior and that a woman's role in life is to be nothing more than the purpose of their sex characteristics: having and nurturing children.

Obviously we can recognize that those beliefs are self-evidently unjustifiable. Women are women, they are not baby-making machines or slaves to their husbands. Sex characteristics do not determine who you are. No sex characteristic can 'biologically hardwire' your gender identity.

Gender, just like every aspect of everyone's sense of self that is unrelated to the body, is not reducible to just the body. We are not biological automatons representing naught more than the sum of our parts. We are human beings. To reduce such a fundamental tenet of humanity to our sex characteristics is as nonsensical as it is tyrannical.

Our identities, experiences, and consciousnesses, while sustained and expressed through our physical form, are not defined by it. It is our sentient minds steering the ship, so to give our bodies the title of 'captain' just because they keep the engine running wouldn't make any sense.

Yet, that is precisely what my opponent believes we should do.

"[The] end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege, but of sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally." -Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex, Oct. 1970

Vote con.

Round 3
Pro
Thx Nyx, 

0.     Preliminary 

  • CON didn't contend my stipulation that they have utilized two definitions - that female is "that who identifies as female", and "female is a neuroanatomical complexion".  As aforementioned 
    • This is clearly a different from their aforementioned definition - it restricts the clause that female is that who"identify (defined as to feel and say that you belong to a particular group of people) as female", for it can be true that the "feel and say" of an individual are contradictory to their gender determined at birth.
      • This distinction is critical, perhaps PRO's biggest takeaway for voters,  and it is that CON uses the "neuroanatomical complexion"  definition of female to render scientific credence, and when successful,  bait and switch to the common definition of female utilizing self identification. CON does not actually care about what someone's neuroanatomical complexions are - we can know this through their constant stipulation that "a female is someone who identifies as female, as opposed to "female is that who possess X neuroanatomical complexions".   CON only mentions neuroanatomical complexions as a means of rendering perceived objectivity. In reality, no one goes around scanning peoples neuro-profiles to determine if they are female.
  • Thus far, the only definition CON has provided for defining "female" is as follows 
    •  If someone has more female sex characteristics than male ones, they are a female
      • This is clearly circular reasoning, CON has used "female" in her definition of "female". Though CON attempts to defend this definition (to which I will respond in my substantive), voters will be urged to apply common sense. 
      • Further, as this debate regards how we ought define "female", CON's inability to define "female" in non-circular terms should make their position utennable. 
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I.     Gender does not facilitate for a cogent defining of “female” & CON's three sources and circularity 

Three sources

CON equivocates "nature/biology" with a singular "unchanging, innate, determined before birth" characteristic. Recall that  in r2, PRO was responding to CON's specific claim of there being an objective neuroanatomical fact, not that gender is not biological. PRO doesn't contend that gender, at some level, coordinates with some biological fact (the same way that ones transphobic desires, one's depression, or one's joy corresponds to some biological complexion), the question is whether these biological fact (which manifest practically into feelings) are relevant. PRO was, in critiquing the sources, firstly expressing incredulity to the fact that there exists some "unchanging, innate, determined before birth" characteristic which determines gender (which no source corroborates), and who specifically clarified that even if such characteristic exists (which CON has not proven), the debate then becomes are those feelings societally more relevant than any other human feeling. 

Regarding the first source, CON argues that in the case of John/Joan, the experiment tried to prove that they (sex and gender) are one in the same by saying that because their sex was changed, their gender would change as well, which is incredibly false. The stipulation that "their sex was changed" is morbidly false - John's sex was still "male" after Money's (nonconsensual) mutilation off him - that fact never changed. 

Regarding the second, I must note that only the abstract is provided and not the actual study. If we are to take CON's quotation, that , we hypothesise that gender identity is a multifactorial complex trait with a heritable polygenic component, my aforementioned critique remains - just because some factor is biological and heritable, doesn't mean that it ought be socially accepted. There is, for example, a gene that appears to be prevalent in multiple family members with depression, yet the existence of such a heritable gene does mean we ought propel the mental manifestations of depression patients. 

Regarding the third, CON compares the limitations of their source is comparable to the limitation of ADHD medication. However, an inspection of the primary sources exposes this as a disingenuous comparison. Whilst ADHD is asserted to be "never completely accurate", the postulation that gender is innate is "very limited", "far from proven", "for from complete" and an outright "failure to disentangle correlates of sexual orientation from gender identity".. Further, the limitation of ADHD medication is only strained when regarding paradigmatically uncontrollable variables, whilst the limitations of CON's gender study complicates even the simple defining of gender and the trivial question of where this phenomenon comes from. 

Circular reasoning 

CON then attempts to defend what PRO alleges as a circular reasoning, which is that a female is someone who identifies as a female. They draw the following comparison. 

1. If someone has more female sex characteristics than male ones, they are a female.
2. If someone is a female, they have more female sex characteristics than male ones.

1. If someone identifies as a female, they are a female.
2. If someone is a female, they identify as a female.

This is disingenuous. My stance ought to be modified to 

1. If someone has eggs as gametes, XX chromosomes etc, they are female. 
2. If someone is a female, they have eggs as gametes, XX chromosomes etc

Notice how in the PRO stance, there is a reference to factors which do not use the term "female" and thus is noncircular. Though "female oriented biological complexions" includes female, it is a shorthand for a plethora of objectively existing criteria, seperate from the term "female". CON's position, however, funnily enough, conforms perfectly to their proposed model of what a circular argument is. 

CON then asserts the following, in regards to self identification 

If a person identifies as a mouse, they do not need to be a mouse for that fact to be true. Even though if you replaced 'female' with 'mouse', the conclusion (x is a mouse) is false. Even though the conclusion is false, the premises (x identifies as a mouse) are true. This is indisputable reasoning that a GBD is not circular because the conclusion is not necessary to prove the premises.

CON essentially argues that "identifying" as something does not require you to actually be that thing. This is akin to arguing "God exists because his name exists in the bible" - it is a mere linguistic trap which prevaricates from the intended argument.  If it is the case that one identifies as a mouse, and they are not, even though it is true that they are engaging in the act of identifying as a mouse, we can safely assert that there is a cognitive disconnect between the person's mind and reality. To write out CON's assertion

  • p1. I identify as a female (true regardless of the conclusion)
  • p2. I am a female 
Though one cannot contend that you are actively "identifying as a female", the second premise can be refuted and thus a misalignment can be identified. 

Male and female brains

CON asserts 

Pro is incorrect that this proves there is no difference.
Even if this were granted, none of these factors effect self identity. Personally, I am not invested enough to dive into every source, sub-source method and study formulations as I have with all the past ones, but I can say prima facie that my meta-synthesis of three decades worth of research concluding sex differences in the brain are tiny and inconsistent, once individuals' head size is accounted for is likely true. Though CON may find some small differences, they can be categorised as "tiny and inconsistent" differences. 

CON's Inconclusive NA Gender Differences

CON bombards with 6 sources. Their conclusions are as follows 

Again, their being a "significant biological contribution" is irrelevant on two grounds. 
  • As state in the preliminary,  CON doesn't actually care about the biological contributions, all they care about is self identification and thus all sources are unnecessary. Even if I grant that there is a biological ground for gender identity, practically, we rely the biology to manifest itself into feelings which are vocalised. In society, it is the feelings which matter, not the biology. CON doesn't advocate for people to be neuroscanned, she advocates for society accepting the self identification of a being. Consider the following 
    • I feel like a female because this is what some unchanging biological fact manifests
    • I feel like a female because it is a social trend and all my friends are doing it
      •  CON isn't here vehemently excluding the second category because it is pragmatically impossible to do so. The reasoning behind why one feels like a women, whether it is biological or social, doesn't matter because even if it did, it would be impossible to regulate. In reality, CON's position is completely reliant of the feelings one portrays.  
  • The second ground the aforementioned notion that not all feelings are relevant. Depression, for example, isn't affirmed by "depression affirming therapists".
Transgenderism's Social Component

CON asserts that the reason for the incline of people identifying as transgender is as follows 

  • TG people lacked the understanding and terminology to identify as TG in the past (ex: James Barry).
  • TG people feared persecution or death.
  • TG people faced IMMENSE stigma and discrimination.
  • TG people did not have easy access to gender-affirming care.
  • Anti-LGBTQ+ bias throughout history has led to historians erasing TG people from history.
  • Some religions claimed expressing your identity would lead to eternal damnation.
  • Many other reasons.
This ignores my aforementioned arguments in two manners

  • If every (or the majority) of people coming out as trans are only doing so now because the above repercussions are not so prevalent and it is the case that people who are not affirmed are at a high risk of suicidewhy is it the case that we don't have a 4415 percent decline in suicide rate in teen girls? If it is the case that such a large amount of teenager girls were forced to hide their true identity, it follows that there should have been an extraordinarily high suicide rate in the years where they were forced to hide themselves. There is no such suicide rate, in fact, the suicide incline is now
  • Even if it were the case that there were extraneous factors forbidding people from affirming their gender, why is it the case that teen girls have a 4415 percent incline desires of wanting gender reassignment therapy, whilst all other populations have had a much more modest incline? 4415 is simply an undeniably unnatural figure. It should be almost truism that such an incline is socially created.   

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II.     "Sex" is precise, whilst "gender" is not (supervenience

Dropped. To reiterate, PRO's position supervenes female on biologically reducible factors, whilst CON supervenes on feelings. CON may wish to argue that they aren't supervening on feelings and that they are instead relying on neuroanatomical facts, but as mentioned earlier, this is a red herring - in practice, in society and in reality, CON allows for all who outwardly opine that they are a "female", to be a "female". 

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III.     Argument by Reductio ad Absurdum (comparison to species)

CON states: If you could prove to me definitively that there are some people who identify as mice who possess traits that mice typically possess

Both mouse and trans-mouse feel like they are mouse, so the criteria is fulfilled.

-

IV.     Accepting CON's position entails that we must jeopardize our understanding of "female" with regards to animals

PRO stated in their last round

"If we adopt the GBD, then it means that we ought to preference the neuroanatomical complexions of people, which manifests itself in the form of feelings.  As these neuroanatomical complexions cannot be accurately identified in the brain and only through its manifestation, it follows that animals, who cannot express their feelings cogently, cannot be labeled as male or female."

To which CON responds 

Yeah, gender can only be expressed by humans. That's why we don't assign gender to animals.

CON misses the point - we are not talking about gender (or at least I am not), we are talking about how we ought define female. CON uses gender whilst PRO uses sex. By virtue of truism, female is a term used outside of humans, so therefore the distinction must follow outside of humans as well. As the "gender" variant of the definition of "sex" does not allow for a cogent defining of "female", it oughtn't be adopted. 

CON accuses the PRO position for being "biological essentialism" when PRO asserted "cis-women identify as female because they are biologically hardwired in a way which instills womanhood into their bones." PRO was referring to biology, not social roles. To revive my Cleopatra example, 

 The fact that archeologists were able to identify that Cleopatra was a "female" is a testimony to the exceptionally accurate and objective tool which "sex" is. The fact that this identification could be made on a body which was over 2000 years old should be indicative that the tools by which we use when referencing "sex" is exceptional. Now consider live, human persons - if it can be determined that some long dead corpse is a "female", we ought to have no hesitation in the abilities of modern day science to differentiate between a "male" and "female". Though this point may seem insignificant, it is extraordinarily important - it shows identification via sex is an accurate tool which can identify the differences between "male" and "female" even on long dead humans. 

-

Conclusion 

Through the positive arguments PRO provided, the resolution is upheld - we ought to use the definition of “female” which prohibits non biological females from being female. This is supported via multiple avenues - the "sex" variant of the definition is more precise and scientifically sound whilst the "gender" variant can be cut by Reductio ad Absurdum, is non-cogent and inapplicable to non-humans. 

Thank you to Nyxified for an engaging debate, and thanks to any potential voters. 

Con
1 - Introduction
I'd like to thank my opponent for a wonderful debate! Bones has generously allowed us to conduct the third round as though it had a ~10K character limit because I am quite busy at the moment. Pro has been nothing but courteous to me and I felt that was at least worth a mention, especially when considering that this topic is usually very emotionally-loaded.


1.1 - Clarification
Gender - As per the rules, gender is "the way one feels in relation to their sex." A large part of my case is dedicated to proving that gender is based in NA/biology irrespective of sex characteristics.

"CON does not actually care about what someone's NAcomplexions are - we can know this through their constant stipulation that "a female is someone who identifies as female, as opposed to "female is that who possess X NA complexions".   CON only mentions NA complexions as a means of rendering perceived objectivity. In reality, no one goes around scanning peoples neuro-profiles to determine if they are female."
I apologize if it was unclear, but allow me to clarify my line of reasoning:

  • Gender is the result of feelings/thoughts.
  • Certain feelings/thoughts should be considered as having an objective basis as a result of being caused by objective events/factors.
  • Take the example of pain: it's a feeling with an objective basis because it's a neurological response to stimuli as communicated by the nervous system. Pain should therefore not be considered a solely subjective experience which can be controlled, caused, or stopped solely by an individual's subjective thoughts and feelings. Though it has a subjective basis (one's perception of the severity of pain may be different from another), it is reducible, provable, observable, and has identifiable causes.
  • Pain, while being a subjective experience, is caused by objective events (getting hit in the head) or objective factors (having genes or other factors that cause chronic pain). It is nonetheless not something that can be thought away. It exists objectively.
  • Gender, while being subjectively experienced and felt, has an objective basis in reality due to NA structure and other biological factors irrespective of sex characteristics. It is a feeling with objective causes.
  • Therefore gender is reducible, provable, observable, and has identifiable causes.
  • Therefore gender is coherent, specific, and objectively exists irrespective of the fact it is based on one's feelings/thoughts (due to the fact said feelings/thoughts are related/caused by objective events/factors)
I am not attempting to trick voters by using interchangeable definitions of gender (one where gender is based on self-ID and another where gender is based on NA structure). Gender is based on self-ID, but, assuming honesty for those who self-ID as TG, what leads people to feel like they are and identify as TG is based in objective factors and therefore is the result of more than just thoughts/feelings. It cannot be 'thought away' any different than pain can be thought away. It thus objectively exists. To think otherwise logically leads to conversion therapy, which we have known doesn't work for decades[1&2].

We don't need to scan people's brains to determine if they are one gender or another. That is a conclusion everyone must come to individually (we also don't possess the technology to be able to do that anyways). We can determine these facts by knowing that 99.999% of the time, someone who identifies as TG for many years and reports being happier as a result of doing so has biological and NA factors that ground their gender identity in reality.


Circular Definition - I don't know why pro takes issue with my definition for a SBD of female. Isn't it their job to provide that definition? I used 'female' in the SBD definition of female because it's easier and pro hasn't taken issue with this until literally just this round. Here's a more stringent SBD of female: a female is someone who possesses more sex characteristics of the sex that typically bears children and produces eggs than sex characteristics of the sex that typically fertilizes eggs.



2 - Rebuttals
2.1 - Circular Reasoning
Circular reasoning requires the conclusion to be true for the premises to be true. This is an objective fact. "I identify as a female" can be true without "I am a female" being true the same way "I identify as a mouse" can be true without "I am a mouse" being true. The conclusion is not required for the premises.

If the premises can be true while the conclusion can simultaneously be false, the logic is, by definition, non-circular. The comparison to "god's name is in the bible therefore god exists" is incorrect logic, sure, but not circular logic.

If we accept that 'female' should be based on identifying as such (and identifying as such has observable, objective, reducible causes), this proves that "I identify as female, therefore I am a female" is non-circular and logically correct. This isn't a 'linguistic trap', it's logical reasoning.


2.2 - NA Sex Differences
I leave it to the voter to decide if the differences I have proven are 'insignificant' as pro claims (though not nonexistent). We have both provided substantial evidence and the many, many conflicting reports make it clear there is no scientific consensus on the matter.


2.3 - Gender's Biological/NA Basis
Refer to 1.1 Gender. Self-ID has a biological and NA basis. That fact does not change how self-ID is the basis of gender due to the fact we cannot just scan someone's brain to determine if they are TG.

"...given the variety of transgender people and the variation in the brains of men and women generally, it will be a long time, if ever, before a doctor can do a brain scan on a child and say, “Yes, this child is trans.”" -Scientific American
I have proven undeniably that gender has a significant biological and NA component. This proves it must be considered, just as sex, to be objective fact and respected as such. In conjunction with this fact, I have proven that gender should take precedence over sex when it comes to one's identity for all the reasons I provided.


2.4 - Transgenderism's Social Component
"If it is the case that people who are not affirmed are at a high risk of suicidewhy is it the case that we don't have a 4415 percent decline in suicide rate in teen girls?"
Here's an example. Let's say there was 1 TG male in 2010 and 44 TG male in 2020. This is a 4400% increase. With 3.5 billion people who are assigned female at birth (AFAB), they represent 0.000000126% of AFABs. Even if all 44 were prevented from committing suicide, it's such a minute fraction of the total AFABs who commit suicide that no substantial difference would be seen.

My opponent's logic is therefore misleading. Here's proof that TG people, when affirmed, have a lower risk of suicide and report high satisfaction with their transition[1&2]. Using this data, we can calculate that TG people in the USA were 0.4% of the population a decade ago and 0.6% this year. Evidence suggests there is a stark generational divide.

The so-called '4415% increase' is as much fearmongering as it is bad science.


2.5 - Precision
I have already made my case regarding precision. I see it as a foregone conclusion that the examples I provided in R1 definitively prove that a SBD cannot be precise and consistent. A SBD must change depending on the context to decide which biological 'box' they put any given person into. Moreover, a SBD is irrelevant and provides very little useful information.

A GBD provides immense amounts of useful information as I have already shown.


2.6 - Transgender vs Transspecies
Both mouse and trans-mouse feel like they are mouse, so the criteria is fulfilled.
I outlined 5 criteria that would make identifying as a mouse even remotely similar to identifying as a woman.

  1. Identifying as a mouse
  2. Possessing traits mice typically do and humans typically don't
  3. Capability of biologically becoming a mouse
  4. Failing to affirm their identity as a mouse leads to significant distress and
  5. can lead them to commit suicide at a significantly higher rate.
Replace 'mouse' with 'female' and 'human' with 'male' and TG women fulfill all 5 criteria.

Identifying as a mouse is nowhere near comparable to identifying as TG due to the fact transspecies people do not have ANY biological basis for wanting to be/identifying as another species, cannot biologically become another species, do not possess traits of other species that humans typically don't, and don't experience extreme duress due to non-affirmation.

This is like comparing an apple to the moon on the basis that both are spheres.


2.7 Gender and Animals
We can just call animals biological females or males. As I said before, there is no functional application that would be harmed/hindered in any non-insignificant way as a result of putting a single adjective before these words.

Trying to say that we can't use 'female' or 'male' to describe animals because those are terms that describe gender and animals don't have gender is pointless. I ask the same question as I did last round: Is there a single reason that it is absolutely imperative we use these exact terms?

To put it bluntly, there isn't.

The idea that the counterfactual would somehow render it impossible to discuss biological sex of anything ever again is ridiculous.



3 - Conclusion
I. Definitions should be based on what is most useful with the least inconvenience and least amount of reasons to use an alternative definition.
II. A GBD is the most useful in providing useful information.
III. A SBD does not provide useful information and is incapable of being consistent.
IV. A GBD is the only definition that can be respectful and acknowledge one's gender identity and experience of gender. You are not entitled to know anyone's sex characteristics. That is private, often unnecessary information. Therefore a SBD is inconvenient, unnatural, unaccommodating, useless, and unnecessary in ways a GBD is not.
V. Gender is coherent/cogent and has a biological and NA basis that base gender in reality and imply gender is deserving of being treated as objective fact.
VI. My opponent has failed to provide any substantial reason that gender is illogical or a GBD shouldn't be preferred.
VII. I have provided many substantial reasons that gender should take precedence over sex when it comes to identity and the term 'female' specifically.
IX. For all these reasons, the definition of 'female' should be based on gender.
X. Therefore, 'female' ought to be defined based on gender.


I have refuted incoherence, reductio ad absurdum, the transspecies comparison, and circular logic. I have proven the usefulness, importance, and necessity of gender taking precedence over sex when it comes to the definition of 'female'.

Whether it be womanhood or humanity itself, to define identity as a factor of one's biology at the behest of one's conscious desires and personal identity is as nonsensical as it is tyrannical.

We are not the sum of our parts. I am you and you are me.

Vote con.


Thank you to Bones and to everyone who has read this far. I am grateful for the chance to expand my horizons with this debate. It's definitely been one of the funnest!