If you have been living on this planet for the last few years and have from time to time concerned yourself with things other than a very narrow job field or have done anything else than playing video games all day, you might have noticed a lot of discussions, videos, articles. tweets (or is it “Xs” now?) and memes about gender or gender issues.

Introduction & Motivation

It almost seems as there’s an entirely new cultural battlefield for liberals and conservatives out there – or worse yet, as “Gender Issues” are often considered equal to “Gay Issues”, sometimes it almost seems as if there is now a World War II-Type of LGBTQ-Cultural War. It is like the liberals have already won the “Gay Cultural War”, meaning that society has finally start to feel that someone being gay doesn’t mean that they should be discriminated against, and now the issues of gender are being used not to only wage war against so-called “gender ideology”, but to restart the “Gay Cultural War” all over again.

Look at this interactive chart from “Our World in Data” -it shows how LGBTQ+ Rights have progressed from 1991 to 2019, based on several factors.

Bastian Herre, Pablo Arriagada and Max Roser (2023) – “LGBT+ Rights” Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: ‘https://ourworldindata.org/lgbt-rights

Things are slowly getting better. And even if you disagree that these trends are “better” for the world, hopefully you will still choose to read on.

The problem with discussions today is often that people have only a basic level understanding of some of the issues, yet they feel compelled to thump on the table when saying half-truths, when using poor science or when simply repeating religious dogma. Many also just say things like “they are now saying there are 274 genders” and end the discussion there as if in their mind the sheer absurdity of that number will make people concede or become convinced that there are in fact only two and that they are identical with biological sex.

But is that how we wish to make up our minds? Based on the flimsy arguments or memes? Certainly not.

So, to bring some rationality in the discussion, we will be acquiring and sharing knowledge concerning LGBTQ Issues and the issues of Gender. We all wish that out arguments stand on a firm ground, so we will be concerning ourselves with facts and arguments and leave the religious and other acquired beliefs on the side. Even if the philosophy of acquiring a belief is complex, one would certainly hope that we all do wish that our beliefs come from the facts, rather than starting with the beliefs and then cherry-picking the facts that suit us. So, let’s get started with the exploration of this complex issue and see where it takes us.

Biological Sex

Sex is, basically, a set of properties that define men, women, and intersex persons. Reproductive organs, chromosomes, hormones, what have you.

Gender interacts with but is different from sex, which refers to the different biological and physiological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs.

Gender (who.int)

Humans have 46 Chromosomes, in 23 Pairs. As we all know, X and Y Chromosomes define a person’s sex. Most women are XX and most men are XY. However, some are born with a single X or Y Chromosomes, and some are born with 3 or more, so we can have XXX, XYY, XXY and so on. So, there is a range of Chromosome and hormonal balances that determine sex – WHO | Gender and Genetics

Intersex people are born with sex properties (sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, hormones) that “do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies”. – Intersex people | OHCHR.

We will not get deep into sex differentiation and determination as this is not meant as a biology textbook. It should be clear, however that even when it comes to the biological sex, thigs are not as black and white as some would hope – as it can happen that the genitals are ambiguous, see for example 45,X/46,XY mosaicism condition.

Now, as the sex refers to the biological characteristics, we are also able to see how using sex-assignment surgery, together with administration of hormones, sex can be changed.


Ok, so you might be wondering, if even biological sex is not always black and white, why do people talk about gender as separate term? Intersex should cover all grey areas, right? Well, no. You see, gender is different.

While gender is often determined at birth (to be understood as: during development gender aligns with the sex that was assigned at birth), it does not have to be. While in most cases gender identity is developed based on the sex assigned at birth, for some their assigned sex and gender identity do not align. But we are being a bit too fast. First, let us see what gender is.

According to the World Health Organization, gender is a social construct which varies from society to society and can change over time:

Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed.  This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time.

Gender (who.int)

So, we should be able to briefly summarize their stance something like this:

  • Sex – biological properties that define men, women, and intersex people.
  • Gender – refers to the socially constructed behaviours and properties that society considers appropriate for men and women

Gender can be but is not necessarily defined by biological sex – gender is how society expects or defines that people should behave. This is often relative to a specific society – and not all societies are as “strict” when it comes to gender, as is the case with third and fourth genders in Samoa – Faʻafafine, or Kathoey in Thailand.

The story of Samoa is particularly interesting, because, according to the linked article, Samoans reject many of the terms like transgender or “transvestite” as they have been created to categorise males and females, as they identify fa’afafines and fa’afatamas as separate genders.

Gender identity

What is gender identity then? Well, under gender identity it is normally understood as a person’s deeply felt experience of gender. This experienve may or may not correöate to the herson’s designated sex at birth.

Trans Sexuality
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What that means is that for example a person born with mal sex organs would feel internally more at home with taking on the role of a woman – they would say that their gender is female.

As I understood it, the most widely accepted theory is that the gender identity is influenced by a combination of biological and societal factors, even if there are some positions that gender identity cannot be changed externally, by for example exposing a male to a “female-specific” environment or toya it is my understanding that the societal factors can influence the gender expression, for example if the child’s family or home town is very traditional and does not encourage expression may causethe child not to be comfortable with expresing or even identifying with a different gender.

This can, of course, cause mental stress on the child and lead to depression, self-harm or suicide.

Final Thoughts

This blog post, like many other posts on the site is to be understood as a living document and will evolve and grow together with my understanding of the topics at hand, Shortly said, I intend to keep it up to date.

That being said, I am not even sure if these types of posts are even useful,, as my experience online with regards to this subject has been that not many people, especially on the right are even engaging with the actual science or definitions and are criticising straw-men instead or engage ini Bible-thumping.

While I am sure there are some conservatives out there who do read the literature of the “gender studies” and then attempt to discredt or critique the actual content found there, I am afraid that many are simply ignoring the very definitions and instead try to spread disinformation abot what the definitions actually are.

But what are we to do? we must try to give the benefit of the doubt and try to bring the actual theory, facts and science to the table and hope there are enough rational people out there who are not simply responding to the so-called “gender ideology” with an ideology of their own.

Further reading

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