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originally posted by: Serdgiam
a reply to: Cutepants
I would definitely say they are different situations. However, how much of what a female or male "is," is defined by culture?
Clearly, there are physical differences, but those are essentially removed as determining factors by advocates. Now, what happens when neurology, etc. are examined? Well, the structures that would result in "being a man," or "being a woman" would inevitably be attributed and defined according to cultural norms. What happens when what it means to be a man or woman inevitably changes over time?
Lets take a hypothetical culture that makes absolutely no differentiation between male and female beyond physicality. Would the science of this culture attribute specific brain structures to gender recognition, or something else entirely? Even if concepts like femininity and masculinity were used, would they be assigned to gender at all? Or, more along the lines of the different structures that illustrate increased creativity, or decreased spatial awareness?
I don't think we have much, if any answers either. The issue I have is that conclusions are driven by narratives and standing expectations. Which, in my opinion, is a more widespread problem than just this topic. It may be the case that gender reassignment surgery is more a result of cultural expectations than any sort of actual treatment. In that case, it would be more a matter of surgically matching neurology with culture, rather than matching neurology with what the individual "really is."
Beyond all that, I'm not sure that many (if not most) understand how deeply and profoundly culture defines our experience. There is a shallow acceptance of the concept, but from what I have seen, not much comprehension and understanding of what that really means.
For the handful of people (if that many!) that might read my posts, its seen that I frequently harp on about our Cultural Story. I really do feel it is at the core of many, many issues from social to economic, and that includes this one. My personal concern is that, if it is true, literally none of our current approaches will be effective..
Thank you for the thoughtful reply