Instigator / Pro

There are only two genders


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics

After 5 votes and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
Voting period
Two weeks
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Winner selection
Voting system
Contender / Con

I believe there are only two genders.

Round 1
My first point will be very simple.

There are two genders, man and woman.
There are two genders, man and woman.
Even within those two there’s more variety. There’s cis-man, cis-woman, trans-man, and trans-woman.

We’re already up to four with your simple example. We can raise that to six due to the existence of people who are Omnigender and/or Pangender [1].

According to Tracy Marsh, PhD, et al, there are 14 gender categories, each with several sub-genders [1].

Round 2
With great respect to con, you named cis man as a gender.
What is a cis man exactly?
 A cis man, shorthand for "cisgender man," is a non-trans man—a man whose assigned sex at birth is male, and whose gender identity aligns with that typically culturally associated with his sex. This is a man, the gender I had named originally. Now for a cis woman, "Cis woman" is shorthand for "cisgender woman." It defines a non-transgender woman. Her assigned sex is female, and she still identifies with the gender culturally associated with her sex: woman. So, we have the genders I had already mentioned. Cisgender men and women are just men and women. 

A trans man is defined as: a transgender person who has transitioned from female to male. So, we still stick to the term male and female. A trans man is just a man, that person deems themselves as a man, has genetically had their body changed to be a man, so therefore, is a man. The same can be said for a trans woman.

So, as I previously stated, we end up with the two genders: Man and Woman/Male and Female

Now, let's focus on the gender: Omnigender or Pangender. Both are similar and are basically the same thing.

What exactly is pangender? It is defined as: Pangender is a gender identity defined as experiencing many or all genders. As an identity that is multigender—experiencing or having multiple genders—the number of genders experienced may be unknown or may fluctuate, and they may be experienced one at a time or simultaneously. Pangender falls under the non-binary and transgender umbrella terms.

So pangender is being many genders? So, it is a gender of being many genders? 
But, as I stated, there are only TWO genders. Pangender in itself isn't a gender, it is the feeling of having many genders. So, pangender is basically having the feeling of being a man and a woman at the same time, or at different, fluctuating times. This could be described as "trans", but as I said before, "trans" leads us back to the two only genders, man and woman/male and female.
Nice rebuttal.

The main problem is nuance. A cis-woman and a trans-woman may strive to be the same thing, but  psychologically they are not.

While it’s a fictional example, Heather Swanson from South Park is mentally weaker than cis-girls. They had the unfair advantage growing up as girls, rather than as Macho Man Randy Savage [1].

There is the additional problem that even were anyone to disagree with the experts on how many genders there are, Native American Two-Spirits exist. They are a unique third gender within their culture, neither male nor female, and not non-gendered either (which the experts consider to be yet another gender) [2].

All references to expert opinion this round, refers to the source from the previous round.
Round 3
This is a really good point. 

Although a man that has transitioned into a woman isn't psychologically on the same level as a person who was born a woman, gender is more about identity in this case. There is only a slight difference in the case of cis-men and transgender men, but the difference is more biological. When a trans-woman wants to become a woman, they transition into that position as a woman. Although woman and trans-woman will share some differences, biologically or psychologically, this doesn't mean their "gender" is any different from the other.

Now to the case of Native American Two-Spirits. What is a Native American two Spirit? Two Spirits are Native American or First Nations individuals who identify with multiple genders. There is some question about the historical context of Two Spirits, because there are hundreds of Native tribes, all of which have their own unique cultural traditions. It is inappropriate for a non-Native individual to use the term Two Spirit to describe themselves.

Now Two Spirits sound really familiar to a term used in the last argument, pangender. Also, take a look at this statement in the description, "It is inappropriate for a non-Native individual to use the term Two Spirit to describe themselves". If it were true that Two Spirits was a valid gender identity, then why would a non-native person not be able to use it? Now, here is an even more interesting description of the word, "Two Spirits".

"... the term Two Spirit was coined to refer to Natives who define themselves as having both masculine and feminine spirits.". It seems here that the term Two Spirits is almost like the term pangender. What Two Spirits really means is having both a masculine and feminine gender. Now, let's go back to the two genders I had stated as the only two genders. Man and Woman. Even though the term does not clearly state that a Two Spirit is a person that has the gender of man and woman, it can be inferred. The masculine spirit would be the man, while the feminine spirit would be the woman.

I would like con to notice, all of these genders have strayed back to the original point of their being only two genders, man and woman. It seems most of the genders you have brought up seem to be variations or subclasses of the only two genders. 

Now that I’m not writing from my cell phone while stuck at the airport…

Differences Matter:
We agree there are differences between the various gender identities; but we disagree if they are of enough significance to create notable distinctions. The problem with such hand-waving [1] is quite simply that differences are how we separate things, which isn’t a new and novel idea.
For example: Living in America or Africa will both contain land, oxygen, water; and yet they are not the same even if they are made from different arrangements of the same basic components. Likewise there are more than 26 words, even if they’re made of the same 26 character alphabet.

If we ignore that there are differences between genders, why stop at two instead of just one or even none? They are after all just variations of human identity. Better yet, if going down this path it has the benefit of simplifying things for the weak minded, such as users of The Right Stuff, conservative dating app exclusively for male-sexed people who wish to birth kids together and do not believe in the existence of multiple genders (I wish I was making this up…) [2].

Dating Ease
Accepting that there are many genders, leads to an easier time navigating the complexities of a social life. The average male sexed person is mono-heterosexual, in that they only desire dating cis-gendered female-sexed individuals. A woman telling him she is trans-gendered, avoids greater awkwardness later. Ignoring that there is a difference, does not suddenly make him happy if he gets her pants off. Trans people are already four times more likely to be victims of violence [3], springing such surprises on non-trans people when alone, would only heighten this problem.

What is Gender?
People's genders are most simply a personal thing for them. Much like calling someone by the name they tell you, instead of whatever one you made up for them in your head, it’s not a significant burden to respect their differences and address them to their stated preferences.

All the experts agree that there are many genders [4, 5, 6], even to include someone being cis-gendered intersexed. Intersexed people account for roughly 1.5% of all people born [7]. For those who don’t know, intersexed people are those born outside of the common binary sex types.

Other Usage
I’d be remiss not to mention that gender can refer to more than people. The very word Neuter refers to things neither Masculine nor Feminine,  as supported by the major dictionaries [8, 9, 10]. While some languages insist that everything must be male or female, English allows a table (or even a person) to be neither.

What is Sex?
This shouldn’t have to be spelled out, but sex refers to the biological shape, distinct from the psychological.

According to expert opinion:
“Traditionally, Native American two-spirit people were male, female, and sometimes intersexed individuals who combined activities of both men and women with traits unique to their status as two-spirit people. In most tribes, they were considered neither men nor women; they occupied a distinct, alternative gender status. In other cases, two-spirit females were referred to with a distinct term and, therefore, constituted a fourth gender” [11].
Again: “neither men nor women; they occupied a distinct, alternative gender status.”

While having similarities to pangender, they have a cultural history and precise usage which makes them distinct. To refuse to address them as they wish to be addressed, would be an act of colonialist supremacy against them; likewise to call outsiders Two-Spirited would be a blatant act of cultural appropriation.

Round 4
Extend all.

The content of this round need not be read, as it is just a discussion of tactics employed earlier.

This is a damned if you do, and damned if you don’t dilemma.
Either differences between genders are immaterial (as pro argued) which reduces them to less than two; or they are material (which I argued) in which case they are a category of human experience and expression, which is not limited to merely two.

The idea of using this tactic is two fold: It limits counter arguments, as it is difficult for most to argue against one without implicitly conceding the other. And for a controversial topic such as this, a voter which fundamentally disagrees with my main case, has a good reason within the opposing framework to still favor me on arguments.

Argument by Assertion:
This was my opponent’s core argument (his refutations were better).
When faced with this, burying it under the weight of evidence is an ideal solution.

Truisms and Tautology:
While many people will consider either side of this topic to be a self-evident truism, by using tautology the definitions (and structure of the English language) are able to shine past that.
This leaves the conclusion subjective to English; but for a debate occurring within English, that is not a significant problem.

Suggested Reading:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig.
Round 5
As a final educational note, MRI scans can reliably identify the difference between cis-male and cis-female brains.
Via these scans and prior to any hormonal treatments, a trans-woman’s brain anatomy is not quite male, falling somewhere in the middle between the two (leaning more towards cis-male than cis-female but still notably distinct from cis-male) [1].

Ending With a Laugh:
The very existence of The Right Stuff is seriously hilarious...

A bunch of right-wing male-sexed people; who believe that gender does not exist, therefore, they can have babies with each other; and that anyone doesn’t join their man-on-man breeding program ain’t really conservative! [2]