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Old 02-15-2012, 11:30 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by Sociopath View Post
I think we're butting heads over the classic case of semantics. What's apparent, only, is that you and I use the word gender differently.

We're speaking through the English language, and most English-speaking people have reached a consensus on what the word means.
When you say "it takes two genders to make a baby," it really does prove that you do not know what the word gender means. Gender is not the same as biological sex. Duh.

From Core Concepts in Health, which was the textbook for the basic Health Education class I was required to take a few years ago:
The World Health Organization defines sex as the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women; these characteristics are related to chromosomes and their effect on reproductive organs and the functioning of the body. Menstruation in women and the presence of testicles in men are examples of sex-related characteristics. Gender is defined as roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. A person's gender is rooted in biology and physiology, but it is shaped by experience and environment--how society responds to individuals based on their sex.
From the WHO's website (
"Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories.

Aspects of sex will not vary substantially between different human societies, while aspects of gender may vary greatly.

Some examples of sex characteristics :
  • Women menstruate while men do not
  • Men have testicles while women do not
  • Women have developed breasts that are usually capable of lactating, while men have not
  • Men generally have more massive bones than women
Some examples of gender characteristics :
  • In the United States (and most other countries), women earn significantly less money than men for similar work
  • In Viet Nam, many more men than women smoke, as female smoking has not traditionally been considered appropriate
  • In Saudi Arabia men are allowed to drive cars while women are not
  • In most of the world, women do more housework than men
About gender identity, which I believe is what Magdlyn was mostly referring to when citing 33 genders, from Encyclopedia Brittania:
Gender identity is not fixed at birth; both physiologic and social factors contribute to the early establishment of a core identity, which is modified and expanded by social factors as the child matures.

Basic gender identity—the concept “I am a boy” or “I am a girl”—is generally established by the time the child reaches the age of three and is extremely difficult to modify thereafter. In cases where biological sex was ambiguous at birth and errors in sexing were made, it has been almost impossible to reestablish the proper identity later in childhood or adolescence. Furthermore, a secondary gender identity can be developed over the core identity, as sex-associated behaviours may be adopted later in life; heterosexual or homosexual orientations also develop later.

Like an individual’s concept of his or her sex role, gender identity develops by means of parental example, social reinforcement, and language. Parents teach sex-appropriate behaviour to their children from an early age, and this behaviour is reinforced as the child grows older and enters a wider social world. As the child acquires language, he also learns very early the distinction between “he” and “she” and understands which pertains to him- or herself.
From Planned Parenthood's website (
Each of us has a biological sex — whether we are female, male, or intersex. Our gender is our social and legal status as men or women. And sexual orientation is the term used to describe whether a person feels sexual desire for people of the other gender, same gender, or both genders.

Each of us has a gender and gender identity. Our gender identity is our deepest feelings about our gender. We express our gender identity in the way that we act masculine, feminine, neither, or both. Some of us are transgender — which means that our biological sex and our gender identity do not match up.

Each of us also has a sexual orientation. You may be bisexual, gay, lesbian or straight. Or you may be “questioning” — unsure about your sexual orientation.

The more you understand biological sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, the more you may understand yourself and how you relate to other people. Because sex and gender are so complex, you may have many questions. You may wonder about your own sexual orientation or gender identity, or you may wonder about someone you know. You may have questions about how society views sex and gender — including homophobia, sexism, and transphobia.
Both sex and gender have a range of possibilities. See: Breaking through the binary: Gender explained using continuums

And polyamory has a range of possibilities. You designed this poll only to ask about male-female couples and how they feel about a partner getting it on with someone of the opposite sex, while claiming that "most people are in some form of heterosexual relationship." You are coming from a hetero- and couple-centric viewpoint, and therefore, your poll cannot be answered by very many people who are in polyamorous relationships.

I think that, not only do you not really know what gender is, but you also don't really understand polyamory and the many configurations possible, nor do you know enough about the poly community. Maybe after learning more, you could devise a poll that would be useful. This one is not.
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-15-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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