The misgendering of Brittney Griner

You’d think I’d have learned by now, but alas, I have not.  I go onto Twitter for just about every major national event, and every time I am astonished by the things I read and see.  Why should the NCAA women’s tournament be any different?

I’m not going to repeat the things I saw about Brittney Griner; I’ll leave that to your imagination.  I will say that I find our culture’s ongoing obsession with policing gender completely baffling, and the misgendering of Griner is no exception.

In case you are not familiar with Griner, she’s the totally sensational junior who plays for the Baylor Bears.  She’s 6’8″, has a wingspan that is wider than most people are tall, she dunks hard and blocks like a wall, and has been noted for her androgynous looks.  She also happens to have a pretty deep voice.

Thus, her detractors say, she must be a man!

Of course, you don’t have to have a long memory to recall just how many times a similar criticism – that a woman is a man, is a lesbian or is a doper or is just a plain freak – has been leveled at a woman who dominates her sport.  As Everett at I Fry Mine in Butter notes, it’s also been said about Caster Semenya, Dara Torres, the Williams sisters and Martina Navratilova.

Everett goes on to write:

The female body in sport is a contradiction for a culture used to plopping gender into neat, tight boxes. It is sweating and contorting in the way that any body does when exposed to physical stress. Looking at muscles up close—and these women have them some muscles—one wouldn’t know what kind of body is doing what action.

Our culture expects women’s – and men’s – bodies to be a certain way.  People are very invested in the idea that Men Look Like This and Women Look Like That and Never the Twain Shall Meet.

Well, guess what?  Nature doesn’t give a fuck about your sexual binary.  Nature puts us together in a million different ways – actually, about seven billion, give or take a few hundred thousand – and a lot of us are going to walk that imaginary line.  There are going to be short, hairless men with high voices and tall women with deep voices and people who are intersexed in a bunch of different ways, and here’s the great thing – it’s all okay.  Every single one of us.  There’s not a thing wrong with any of us.

Yet so many disagree, and they are not shy about making it known.  In the particular case of Griner, I’ve seen people say they worry about her potential “unfair advantage.” I say that if we are suddenly in the business of weeding out people with biological advantages, then we need to get rid of Lance Armstrong and his preternatural VO2 capacity, we ought to not allow seven-footers to play in the NBA and we we should start testing to make sure all athletes have a similar ratio of slow twitch to fast twitch muscle fibers.  I mean, since we are so concerned about people having biological advantages and all.

Not all of her haters even bother with the facade of concern trolling.  Some of the things I read were just downright revolting. I don’t just mean they misgendered her, but they totally dehumanized her. And according to her coach, people actually say things like this to her face.

Griner knows what people say about her and she doesn’t care. “I know things they say aren’t true,” she said. “They are trying to get into my head and try to stop me. It’s not going to work.”

Griner is as classy as they come.  Too bad we can’t say the same about her haters.

Here’s a really excellent article I came across while reading up for this post.  I couldn’t work it in but I wanted to share it anyway:  Not Entertained: Brittney Griner continues to challenge expectations” by David L. Leonard at SLAM.  Leonard drops some seriously excellent analysis not just from a sex/gender perspective but also a racial one, and in the context of the sex-drenched marketing of women’s sports.  SO GOOD.  And by the way, can I cosign his call for a touch of Britsanity?  I am so on board with that.

Edited to add that I am moderating every comment that goes through from now on and I will not hesitate to trash comments that either attack me or are hateful/transphobic/crude (and there have been several of those).  Disagreement and dissent is fine and welcome but I will NOT tolerate anything that does not meet that standard.  Consider yourself warned.

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52 responses to “The misgendering of Brittney Griner

  1. It’s unfortunate that amid all the cruel attacks against Griner, we have lost sight of a very real situation. Brittney Griner is very possibly intersex. That means she was born appearing female but is genetically male. This accounts for her size, her lack of breasts, and her deep voice, among other things.

    Why does this matter? Because she’s playing WOMEN’S basketball, which is a sport intended to be played by women, not by men.

    This goes beyond just a woman who is just big and tall and very skilled at basketball, all of which she is. This is about an individual whose very gender may be misidentified.

    We are too afraid of saying the wrong thing or discussing a difficult issue and instead we shut off all discussions.

    • Okay, so let’s discuss it.

      First of all, let’s talk about why we are saying she might be intersex. It’s because we observe things about her that don’t align with what we expect women to look like, right? But there are a lot of intersex people who do look quite a bit like women. So do we start instituting sex testing for everyone, just in case? Or do we only do it for the women who “look like men”? And who is going to make that call?

      So let’s say she undergoes this testing and it turns out she’s intersex. What do we do then? Put her in the special intersex league with four other people (all of whom are going to have their particular sex manifest in different ways) and effectively bar her from playing basketball? Put her in with the men? What would you think is the right move after that?

      When you say she’s playing “women’s basketball, which is a sport intended to be played by women, not by men,” you are saying that if she’s intersex, she’s basically a man. So which is it?

      • Most top-level international spors competitions, including the Olympics, require gender testing. This is not a radical concept. The determining factor is the level of testosterone in the athlete’s system. Everyone, men and women, has testosterone. Men have a lot more of it. It is testosterone that gives men their bigger size, greater muscle mass and corresponding greater strength. It also drives the development gender characteristics in men like a deep voice and body hair.

        It would not be difficult to establish a maximum threshold for allowable levels of testosterone in order for an athlete to compete in a woman’s athletic event.

        If an athlete exceeds that level, they are excluded from competitions meant for women only.

        This is one of the best ways to determine who should and shouldn’t compete in a women-only activity. It’s not enough for the athlete to self-identify as a woman.

        Where does this leave a player who identifies as a female but actually has a level of testosterone more like a male? She would be excluded from competing in women’s-only events.

        Then what happens if Griner, or someone else, is tested and is found to have excess testosterone? Where can she play? In the WNBA? In the NBA? The answer is the NBA, if she’s good enough. The WNBA is for women only. The NBA is for everyone.

        (This subject has been debated in depth in professional golf and it has been agreed upon that the LPGA is for women only and the PGA is for everyone.)

        People will claim that she’s not good enough to play men’s basketball. She might or might not be good enough, but there are plenty of men, some of them 6’8″, who are not good enough to play men’s basketball.

        This doesn’t mean they get to play on women’s teams.

      • Thanks for the response. Your comment lays out why I think this is such a challenging situation, because we are basically going to set up a threshold – one of testosterone levels – that serves as the line between “man” and “woman” and seriously, how do we define this line? I’ve actually been reading up on the history of sex testing in sports and the only thing I can come up with is that it’s informed very much by the gender politics (and also the wider political environment) of the specific time and place in which that sex testing takes place. The fact that the policy would be used to exclude someone who, for her who life has lived as a woman, and effectively bar her from playing basketball – because even though the NBA is theoretically for everyone in practice is it only for a very physically elite class of cisgendered man – because she did or did not fall in line with an externally determined threshold for testosterone levels.

        I also find it interesting that sex hormones are so often cited as the only biological advantage that can be used to disqualify people. There are so many biological advantages that a person can have, and yet so much attention is paid to sex hormones. Why do you think this is? (Legit question, because I’m trying to understand.) I’m not even talking about the question of men playing with women, but just the regular old variation in sex hormones that happens within the population of a given sex.

        And of course, it’s worth noting that most of the people who are saying Brittney Griner is a man are not actually looking at the situation with this kind of nuance and instead are engaged in the kind of misgendering/dehumanizing rhetoric that can be linked directly to, say, the dramatically shorter average lifespan of transgendered people.

  2. “As classy as they come”. Perhaps you are not aware of the punching incident by Griner against Jordan Barnstone.

    I played ball and never once thought about hitting someone.
    Probably the testosterone.

    • I’m aware of that. I saw the video. I also know that she’s never had another thing happen like that since. But hey, you go ahead and keep bringing up that incident like it defines her entirely.

      P.S. I played ball and while I never took a punch to the face, I’ve had enough skin clawed off me to build a whole new person.

  3. All the rude and insensitive comments toward Brittney Griner are not only distasteful but downright disgusting. However, I disagree with those who think anyone who dares to question the gender of a man/woman where there seems be a question, is out of line. Why shouldn’t there be curiosity about Brittney Griner. She is 6’8, has zero breast tissue, an adam’s apple the size of a man and an extremely deep voice. Her physical appearance certainly brings about a lot of honest curiosity.
    We have had cases not just in sport but life in general, where babies have been born with non-descript gender identities. Parents choose which sex to make dominant. There is a rumor that famous actress Jamie Curtis is such an example. The fact is that it is possible that a person could be born a hermaphrodite and have a decision made to eliminate one sexual gender while “enhancing the other.” This involves hormone treatments as well as possible surgery. If this were the case with Brittney it would not make her less a woman. It would however explain a lot of characteristics that many reasonable folks out there observe when we see miss Griner. We are not blind. Something is different with Brittney Griner and we are not evil for noticing. Those who follow up such observations with insensitive/insulting rhetoric are idiots. But don’t denigrate everyone who questions her gender. Cheers.

    • Regarding your statement that “parents choose which sex to make dominant,” I suggest you read the book “As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl” to see that it’s not quite so easy as simply allowing the parents to assign a sex at birth. http://www.amazon.com/As-Nature-Made-Him-Raised/dp/0060192119

      I don’t dispute that Griner has characteristics that we often associate with men. My point is that a lot of women have these characteristics (just as a lot of men have the characteristics commonly associated with women) and to turn around and go “she’s a man!” is ridiculous and completely ignores the fact that a lot of us cross these supposedly rigid sex-definition lines.

      Seriously, if it was just “honest curiosity” that is out there, I doubt I would have written this. But the fact is, very little of what I saw would qualify as that. The vast majority of it was insulting, crude and disrespectful.

  4. The only reason this is an issue is because we continue to define human society in terms of the least common denominator: male and female. We assume that because there are two types of human body, that those represent the only possible combinations of human being allowable. But human beings are not simply a matter of genitalia and chromosomes. We are biological mechanism, built molecule by molecule, cell by cell, to be as differentiated as possible. That is evolution’s mechanism at work: differentiation and diversity ensure the longevity of a species by providing it with the greatest range of adaptations to suit the environment.

    To break humanity down into simplistic lines based on one axis of the sum of human differentiation puts us down at the level of our animal brethren, mindlessly going about the business of procreation. The human cerebral cortex was formed to allow us to think outside the box of our preconceptions and instincts, and that so many find it so hard to do this is surest sign that humanity is still in its infancy. We have the power to break our preconceived barriers at will, and it’s time we got around to it, and stopped being so judgmental.

  5. What a biased look at this topic. Using this topic do distort the issues and harp on ‘society’. No mention of the ‘female’ athletes who turned out to be not so female.

    Personally I don’t think she is a man.

    But that said, if the question is there, there is obviously a reason for it.

    And there is a strong possiblility she is multi-gendered or intrasexed.

    In sports there is a lot of money to be made, and competition is fierce. If she truly is mis-gendered, multi-gendered, intrasexed, or more male than female, her competition, her fans and yes even ‘society’ has the right to speak up. And that is a problem. Is she is competing and generating revenue because of it, against a gender that is not exactly hers, that is a problem.

    How would you feel if a male with less testoterone but was still athletically gifted compete in women’s sports?

    • If you legitimately think that people are just clamoring to know to protect the integrity of women’s basketball then you really need to see what people are actually saying, because calling someone a monster and a freak hardly counts as protecting the integrity of a sport.

      And yes, this is a biased look at the topic, because it’s my opinion? If you want unbiased journalism on the topic, I suggest you look elsewhere, because that’s not what I do here.

      • Don’t get so sensative.

        I never said it was ok for anybody call her a monster or freak. The people who are doing that obviously have more issues with themselves than anyone else.

        But in your writing you seem to use a broad brush by using this small percentage of people and making it out to be all of society. Essentially you are doing the same thing you are criticizing other people for…being very black and white.

        I never said anything about protecting the integrity of women’s basketball. However the fact is, if she is competing in a sport where everyone else is not the same as her, she has a competitive edge. That is a problem.

        I agree it is a complex situation. And it should be. But again is she is intrasexed, multi-genedered, or whatever you want to call it…that is an issue that needs to be discussed.

        Does she deserved to be called names? No.

        Does this deserve to be looked into in an unbiased and respuctful manner? Yes.

        Should we just blindly throw support behind her because of things that a small minority of people are saying, and being partial and biased in defending her? Absolutely not.

        But at least you admit you are full of bias. At least you are aware of your flawed logic. At least you are ok with admitting that your opinion ignores facts and logic. Not sure why you would let that be posted on cyberspace for anyone to see it. But at least you are ok with it.

        Trashing a group for trashing someone else does not solve a problem…it brings you down to their level.

      • I ignore facts and logic? Because I admit that I’ve got opinions about things? Pardon me if I am less inclined to take your criticism of my opinion seriously because you equate the two.

        That “small percentage” of people (which doesn’t seem that small to me, but anyway) is actually reflective of some very troubling realities about the culture in which we live.

  6. This is beyond disheartening. It’s also confusing as to why the women’s NCAA playoffs alway cause such controversy (Don Imus, anyone?). If this was the men’s playoffs, no one would dare say such a thing. I also wonder how race plays into this issue. Is Brittney was white, would we even say the same things?

    She’s clearly an amazing player and I hope she ignores all these ignorant comments.

    • If a woman, was competing at a high level against men, it would be talked about in nothing but positive way. It would be a sensational story.

      If a under-sized male was competing against women because he lacked normal male levels of testosterone, there would be mobs of women with pitchforks telling him to get out of their game.

      If a female who has male level amounts of hormones that may be intrasexual, is dominating against women who are not equal competition, it is going to cause controversy. I am not sure why that is so hard to see.

  7. If we’re not concerned about biological differences creating an unfair advantage we should start separating mens and womens sports. Great idea. And for that matter we should just let athletes start to use steroids. That is where your argument is leading. I’m sorry but women don’t get to be 6’8” have a deeper voice than most men, and adams apple and wear size 17 shoes without producing some male hormones. It’s possible, but it should at least be investigated to ensure fairness for the other women players. That is why we separate mens and womens teams to begin with.

    • And your point is? Look, her development, no matter what terms you wish to couch it in, is natural. So, she is genetically female but has an endocrine system that supplies her with more testosterone than other females. So what? That’s biology. Evolution and natural selection do not care a whit for how uncomfortable that idea makes a typical human being.

      It’s time to stop kidding ourselves and let men and women play sports together, and stop thinking for a second that all men are built one way and all women are built another. None of this is supported by evidence.

      • The reason there is a separation of gender categories in sport is because men have extraordinary advantages over women. For example if track and field were “open”events no woman would ever win a medal. In fact they would not even meet men’s qualifying standards to enter the event. Once you separate the genders to allow women to compete against competitors based on similar physiology you must deal with defining that and excluding those who do not meet the criteria.

  8. If we’re not concerned about biological differences creating an unfair advantage we should stop separating mens and womens sports. Great idea. And for that matter we should just let athletes start to use steroids. That is where your argument is leading. I’m sorry but women don’t get to be 6’8” have a deeper voice than most men, and adams apple and wear size 17 shoes without producing some male hormones. It’s possible, but it should at least be investigated to ensure fairness for the other women players. That is why we separate mens and womens teams to begin with.

    • em87 and nefariousnewt…

      You are arguing the same point.

      Men and women’s sports are spearted to create fairness to women. So they could compete with people on the same physical standard. If someone in that league is not of that same physical standard, that is an issue.

      If intrasexed people are closer to one physical standard than the other, then it should be looked into to let that person compete against the other gender.

  9. Nice job by not letting me reply to your reply Caitlin.

    Thank you for proving my point.

    Defend yourself no matter what without acknowledging any criticisms or facts.

    You are the same as what you criticize.

    Refusing to acknowledge facts and other points of view is the real problem with society. That follwed by people who use instances to distort reality and further their agenda.

    • Are you kidding me? You are going to hold a limitation of the WordPress platform against me as proof that I don’t allow any criticism? When this entire comment section is full of people criticizing me and my opinion? And I have engaged nearly every single one of them?

      If I could ban you I so would. Another limitation of WordPress, I see.

  10. It is sad that there are so many people that put hate and judgement into the world. The way that in many ways that hate as tarnished an amazing accomplishment is very sad.

    However, to expect people to be gaged and not allowed to voice concerns/thoughts based on precedence is biased and naive.

    Although a bit awkward and probably embarrassing, to submit to gender testing should be something that Ms. Griner should be up for to shut down her detractors.

    I recently got into a heated debate with a friend who calls herself a “hard core feminist.” She was adamantly opposed to subjecting BG to any testing, and stated that people should respect her as a woman and her accomplishments. I totally agree to a point. Lets just say for argument sake, “what if she was a man or some degree on the genetic male side?” I feel that the stance of a “hard core feminist” would then take a distinct 180 and be appalled that a “male” was encroaching on the sanctity of a “female realm.” There is precedence for this type of activity, so to just flame anyone who would challenge or bring up discourse is contradictory to the feminist nature.

    The other aspect of this is genetic gender is not black and white. Where do we draw the line? The days of having a penis or a vagina make you male/female are long gone. And we are talking about a world that is very complex and has a very slippery slope. The only way to navigate it would be to have a very very frank, open, understanding, and detailed discussion.

    In regards to her sexuality, that just has no relevance. However, the net is a living breathing thing and will trend as it wishes.

    I am a male, former NCAA basketball player.

    I hope my input can help a dialogue and I don’t get flamed for being a male and having a point of view because that is just sad.

    Unlike many on the net, I am more than happy to sign my name to my words.

    Jason Konopisos

  11. So how do you feel about the likes of Michelle Dumaresq? A post-op trans woman who had reassignment 6 years prior to her starting to race downhill mountain biking at world cup level. The UCI permitted her to continue competing in the women’s category since legally and medically she is female.

    Conversely, Anne-Caroline Chausson, who won the DH World Champs 13 times and was born/identifies as female, is described as able to “ride like a man”.

    I guess what I’m trying to say here [words I say aren't living up to the ones inside my head :-) ] is that there is never any same physical standard….it’s not just hormones or “parts” that count.

  12. Kiwi,
    Taking your two examples one at a time:
    1) I’ve never heard of Michelle Dumaresq. Knowing only the information in your post, I believe she should be allowed to compete as a woman if she is medically female. It depends on how “medically female” is defined. I don’t know what “legally female” is or how it is determined.

    2) If the only thing male about Anne-Caroline Chausson is that she is described “rides like a man,” then of course she should compete as a woman. Are there more details about Chausson that you are omitting?

    Lots of women athletes have been said to “play like a man” because of their skill or strength, or both. Yani Tseng, the number 1 female golfer in the world, has this phrase used about her all the time. No one cares and it’s not viewed as an unfair observation. It’s viewed as a compliment.

    • You should read up about Michelle Dumaresq, it’s a really interesting story. And you’re exactly right, she should be able to compete as a woman.
      However, there was a lot of controversy around her being born a male (can see where it comes from….was there any advantage to her having had that extra testosterone whilst she matured etc, especially in such a physical sport such as DH).

      Re: Anne-Caro and her ‘riding like a man’. It’s “okay” for her to ride like a man because she very clearly identifies as female. I was trying to illustrate a difference (not very well obviously!). If I recall correctly, A-C and Michelle raced against each other at Worlds, and A-C beat Michelle each time. So it could be said that hormones/”parts” aren’t the sum?

      Okay, I’m not explaining myself very well here :\ Nevermind :)

  13. Look at Lisa Leslie and Rebecca Lobo who are both 6’5/6’4, just a few inches shorter. No one questioned them because they look and sound like women. The fact people are discussing this subject is because there are more signs of being male rather than female for Griner. None of us know what she is unless she takes a test. Just remember that everyone in baseball that was suspected of taking steroids or human growth hormone, many of them have been proven to have taken them. Even the poster boy for the NEW CLEAN ERA in baseball, Braun, tested positive last year.

  14. wow really? ain’t y’all folks ever seen ANY gender diversity? She looks like a woman to *me* but I’ll freely admit that I’m no expert when it comes to sports. Some of y’all may need to get out more. There’s quite a bit of diversity that is still considered to fit within the gender binary.

  15. Griner grew up playing basketball in Texas. She just didn’t appear at Baylor. Do you not think since she was in Middle School people have questioned her gender. UIL AAU etc you can’t find that the ruled her anything but a female. I sure in summer leagues she had to prove her birthday many times. Just as my very tall daughter was always questioned in softball. All I can think about is Brittney in middle school not getting breast. how much was she bullied? She could probably make her own movie. How do you think her parents feel when they hear all this stuff that they have probably heard from the day she was born. God created us in his image maybe Brittney is more right than wrong.

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  17. Great article and the link accompanying it. I hate hate hate how people react to a strong woman. And she’s so young! How hard is it to be her in life when you need to insulate yourself to all the bigots and jerks or liquor-brave people that say such insensitivity and nasty, hateful things? She’s to be admired.

    • “Liquor-brave” – I love it. I agree – she’s handled this with an amazing amount of grace. I’m not sure I would have been able to do the same.

  18. I don’t understand two things.

    First, I can’t understand why anyone believes they are entitled to Griner’s medical history. Seriously, just watch the game. That’s way more exciting than playing amateur endocrinologist.

    Second, have people forgotten that there is in fact a governing body tasked with, among other things, protecting the integrity of college sports? For real. They have rules and regulations and oversight and the actual ability to do something about any violations. While it is true that no regulatory process is perfect, I’m quite certain that if a player ever tried to gain an unfair advantage in the manner people are alleging, the NCAA would have a handle on it. They would have to, if for no other reason than that every other team would make them.

    I find it completely laughable that anyone sitting at home watching the believes that they are more invested in protecting the fairness of the game than the people playing it.

    • I can’t understand why anyone believes they are entitled to Griner’s medical history.

      I’ve been thinking about this too! It’s like, people, just because you watch her play sports does not mean you suddenly have a right to know everything about her body. The fact that people are demanding sex testing is just baffling to me, and shows me just how skewed our priorities have become when it comes to sports.

  19. I love the insipid attempts to obfuscate the issue.

    If she doesn’t have a Y-chromosome, well … end of conversation. Leave the kid alone to play the game she loves.

  20. Thank you for this. I am both a Baylor grad and a Baylor fan, and I went to bed last night sickened by the perpetual comments about Griner on ESPN’s site. The moderators were deleting the negative comments just as fast as they were coming in, but the fact is that her gender shouldn’t even be up for discussion in an article regarding sanctions for phone calls and texts. It just gave people another opportunity to take cheap shots. Brittney is a person, worthy of love and respect, as much as any one of us. The perpetual gender commentary on social media outlets worldwide is the worst case of cyber bullying I have ever seen.

  21. I feel like everyone should just get over it. I’ve met and played on sport’s teams that are 10x more masculine then her. No one said anything about them because they were too scared too. The ones that were saying these offensive things were men. In reality I believe people are trash talking her via twitter and facebook because they feel a sense of security because they know Brittney will never find them. Now the people that talk stuff to her face are just ignorant. I feel like people are just making a huge thing about this because 1)she’s a female athlete. 2)she’s pretty damn good. 3)she’s tall. 4)she has a deep voice. All of those things are threatening to men. I feel like everyone needs to just leave her alone and let her do what she loves doing. No one should be criticized and talked about when they’re doing what they love. I’m not even going to lie, when I first heard her talk I was a little thrown off but I’m not going to sit here and bash her. She’s a damn good athlete! I wish I could play half as good as her!

  22. My first reaction to seeing her play was “That’s a dude!”

    Didn’t mean it in a hurtful way, though of course it can be. Still, regardless of gender and sex and norms and social stigmas and sport’s extremes, good and bad, DUDE CAN PLAY!

  23. I agree with Caitlin, So what if Brittany Griner is really a man or half man, it does not give everybody the right to be nasty about it or question her superiority at women’s basketball. As far as Brittany and the NCAA is concerned she is allowed to compete in womens basketball and that is enough. People should accept it at that. Looks can be deceiving and making judgments based on looks is wrong.
    If a man or mis-gendered person wants to disguise as woman and compete in women’s sports, it still does not give us the right to judge based on looks.
    Regarding financially profiting or depriving the opportunity for another woman by taking her place, society will self correct over time. If women’s basketball is dominated by transgender women then people will stop paying to watch and financial interests will step in and correct it. If there is the odd transgender woman or man disguised as a woman it should be fine.

    John

  24. Okay, I didn’t read through ALL the comments here, so it’s possible someone already pointed this out, but a lot of commenters (as well as the people saying mean things about this basketball player in the first place) seem to be very confused about the difference between the concepts of sex and gender. Sex is biological: either you have two X chromosomes, or you have an X and a Y. DNA testing can sort that question out quite easily.
    The individual expression of physiological traits – like height, muscle-building capacity, or testosterone levels – vary widely among all humans. Think of a bell curve distribution: there is a tendency for more XYs to have more testosterone, but who’s to say that an XX on the upper end of the bell curve won’t have as much or more testosterone than most XYs (who will fall in the middle ‘hump’ of their bell curve)?
    People’s interpretation of what those physiological (and behavioral) traits MEAN – that, on the other hand, is gender. Maleness, femaleness, transgendered identities – these are purely social constructs. Yes, most people who carry XX chromosomes identify as female, and most people who carry XY chromosomes identify as male. But not all. And not all those assigned to the categories of female or male express their biological traits in the same way. Obviously.
    I could go on and on about this topic, but suffice it to say there is a very real difference between biological sex and cultural gender.

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