The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

On balance, gender is more nature than nurture.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/16/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,199 times Debate No: 79815
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (40)
Votes (1)




Pro will argue that gender is primarily biological. Con will argue that gender is primarily determined by society. The BOP is shared.

The structure is as follows:
1st round- Acceptance Only
2nd round- Opening Arguments
3rd round- Rebuttals
4th round- Rebuttals + Conclusion. No New Arguments


I accept. I'd like to note that this debate is part of September's Beginner's tournament hosted by the gracious Lannan13 and his co-mod The-Voice-of-Truth
Links: ( and (

As given by the mods, our topic is as specified:
SOLONKR you are Pro to this topic and shall be arguing that gender is biological
Mistermittens you are Con, debating that gender is nurture and dettermined by society.

All definitions are assumed to be what can be found in any standard dictionary. As such, there shall be no semantic or definitional abuse in this debate. :>
Anyway, I know this will be a fun debate. Well wishes to my esteemed opponent, Sir SolonKR
We're off!
Debate Round No. 1


I look forward to an exciting debate.

Debating whether gender is more biological or societal first requires defining what gender means. The Oxford dictionary defines it as "The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)" (1). This standard dictionary definition reveals an interesting fact about gender--it is not the same concept as biological sex, though they are intertwined. Gender is the societal interpretation of the differences between the sexes; this is also the position of the American Psychological Association (2). To affirm the resolution, I must prove that societal views of the sexes are derived from the biological differences between the sexes, and not from external factors. As the resolution states "more", I only need to show that biology is more important than societal factors in determining gender to succeed.

First, I will explore the biological roots of gender. Then, I will examine the biological process by which people identify themselves with a certain gender. Finally, I will demonstrate that modern advances that increasingly allow people to alter their biological sexual characteristics undermine the concept of gender; as the biological basis for gender disappears, gender has become increasingly abstract.

Argument 1--Gender arose due to biological differences between the sexes.
Gender requires at least two different sexes in order to exist; otherwise, there are no sexual differences to be interpreted. Gender predates human history; all species of animals have some sort of expected role for each sex to play based on biology--for example, the spotted hyena, with its strong females, has a matriarchal society (3). Biological strength of the female translates to females being the dominant sex. Gender in human society arose for much of the same reasons. As society developed, the various needs of society were met by the formation of gender roles--females, usually weaker than men, had less participation in plough-based agriculture (4). While it is true that agriculture led to a change in societal circumstances, it would not have resulted in a change in gender views if women and men were biologically endowed with the same strength. This is supported by the fact that the agricultural societies that saw the most male-domination were plow-based, which is the most labor intensive kind of work, and the most alienating to women (4). The biological makeup of females made them more suitable to child-bearing and care, and that is thus the role they played.

This role of child-bearing is in itself biological--women are expected to carry and raise the children, as they are the ones that have the capacity for pregnancy, and the capacity to feed the children with their breast milk. While that seems like an obvious fact, it is significant because that is not how all animal societies work. For example, male seahorses become pregnant, not the females; unlike the human male, the male seahorse's gender role involves being a child-bearer (5). Human females have the same role and expectation, because they are biologically suited to it. Biological suitability to roles necessary in a society determines the societal attitude toward each sex.

Argument 2--Biology influences gender identification
The vast majority of individuals identify their sex as congruent with their gender (cisgender)--no more than 1% of one survey population described itself as "gender variant" (6), demonstrating that, though biological sex and gender are not the same concept, they are closely intertwined; there is an identification with a gender based on biological sex.

Furthermore, the existence of transgender people throughout history challenges the notion that people identify gender with sex just because they are pressured to by society. Transgender means "relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person's biological sex" (7). Consider the case of Murray Hall. Hall, a politician in New York City at the end of the 19th century, was born female but identified as male, and hid his biological sex from the public for 30 years, until his death in 1901 (8). This identification is clearly in spite of societal expectations, and not stemming from them. Many more examples of the existence of trans-gendered people throughout U.S. history despite societal pressure against it are listed (8). This shows that gender identification is primarily biological, not sociological, and every member of a society identifies his/her own gender based on biological factors.

Argument 3--The fading of biology as a determinant factor in sex has resulted in the decline of gender
The most significant change in the field of sex and gender arrived in the twentieth century in the form of sexual reassignment surgery. In 1952, a procedure was announced that combined surgery and hormone therapy to significant effect, changing a man to have many of the outward physical characteristics of women (9). For the first time, people dissatisfied with discrepancies between their sexual and gender identities could change them, revolutionizing the field of gender studies. The procedures have gradually grown more advanced and widespread since then; approximately 1,000 people in the world have the surgery each year (10). This undermines the core concept of gender (that the different sexes have inherent characteristics that distinguish them) as now, an individual is increasingly able to remove these distinguishing factors through medical procedures.

Note that this is distinct from the modern change in view regarding gender; egalitarianism is a different way of interpreting sexual differences, stating that both sexes should have equal opportunities to fill all roles, while still acknowledging male and female as distinct (11). The rise of gender-reassignment and transsexuals like Caitlyn Jenner is instead making gender irrelevant; as the biological foundation for gender disappears, gender becomes increasingly abstract. Half of all millennials view gender as non-binary, meaning not just male and female, but including a range in between, or intersex people (12, 13). In a world where gender traits can now be chosen and are not set in stone by biology, exhibition of these traits means a lot less to society--with fewer and fewer unchangeable biological differences between male and female, gender is becoming insignificant and fluid in the eyes of society.
To conclude, gender is natural to every animal society. Like other animals, humans developed gender as optimization of their productivity based on the biological characteristics of each sex. Humans also have an innate, concrete, biological view about whether or not their assigned gender is suitable to them. The decline in importance of biology in determining gender, with the rise of sexual reassignment surgery, has resulted in the decline of gender itself. Gender is fully dependent on biology for its origin and continued existence.



Thanks, Solon.
I'd like to start this round with a map of how I plan to lay out my arguments. I have a couple arguments, and a few rebuttals. They will be preceded by an introduction to the shenanigans that is nature vs. nurture.
Still with me? Alright. Let's go.

Intro: Nature vs. Nurture
The distinction between nature and nurture is the overarching dichotomy to this debate. Is the origins of a thing genetic (nature) or environmental (nurture)? There is no question whatsoever that a living thing's genotypical attributes and that some of the resulting phenotypes are genetic in origin. A person's natural eye color is completely genetic in origins. You cannot 'learn' to have brown eyes any more than you can 'learn' to be born with blonde hair. On the otherhand, the language you speak and the food that you eat are given to you via your surroundings and are based on nurture (environmental factors).

Of course phenotypes aren't necessarily static and are also affected by environmental (nurture) factors. Height is partly determined by nutrition intake during childhood 60-80% of a person's height is determined by genetic factors while the other 20-40% is based on the quantity and quality of said nutrition (1). A person's eye and hair color can be changed via contacts and dyes respectively. Metabolic capactity is partly determined by a base metabolic rate (BMR) and a variety of factors including age, physical activity, body size, muscle mass, etc. The point is that there isn't a clear distinction whether something is nature or nurture in origins. Oftentimes, it is a combination of both.
Discussions on the subject of whether something is more nature or nurture usually applies to sociological and abstract characteristics. Is a person more naturally inclined toward anger or is the person's temper caused by negative influences? How much of a person's sexuality is created by genetic foundations and how much is influenced by the person's social and physical surroundings? How much of a person's gender identity genetic? How much of it is learned or environmental?

This is the subject of our debate, and I hope to be able to show the latter by the end of it all.
Alright. This intro took longer than I expected, and I hope you're still with me because we're off into actual arguments!!

Sex is a Human Concept
While it's true that some of the defining features of gender have some basis on biological sex, these bases are arbitrary. On what basis do we define characteristics of masculinity? On what basis do we say that females are the members of a species that gives birth? These biological distinctions are invented by humans. So the ability to use these distinctions to distinguish sex must be taught. Regardless of biological manifestations, biological sex is a human concept and is not always consistently applied. Solon is right. The existence of transgender people challenges societal notions of gender and sex, that sex defines gender. The same applies to those born with both male and female reproductive features a.k.a. intersex people. Not only does biological sex not define gender, the concept of sex itself is learned.
Now what does this portend? While it's true that one cannot 'learn' to be born with mammarian glands, the idea that these glands define sex is objectively groundless and is taught by the biological sciences. In other words, the consituent factors that determine sex falls utterly on the side of nurture.
What does this have to do with gender? I believe both Solon and I agree on the premise that sex does not define gender. In other words, we agree that the factors that define biological sex do not define gender, but rather serve as an influence. This point is about as far as our contentions agree. Solon believes that biological sex's influence on gender puts it more on the side of nature than nurture. Or so he thinks. As I've hopefully established, the features that define biological sex are arbitrarily taught. They are made up, and their influence (in Solon's word) on gender are based completely on the teachings of our social environment. Girls have long hair and wear dresses. Boys have short hair and wear pants and shirts. These are the elementary bases of distinctions that we use before we learn any better. We recognize "little boys" and "little girls" because that is what we are taught to recognize as children. As we grow older, we are taught the scientific factors that determine biological sex.

We then start to distinguish gender using these scientific factors. Not because these factors have any defining relevance to gender (gender is not defined by biological sex), but because this error in distinction between gender is perpetuated by society around us. Our definitions of gender are artificially nurtured by our social environment.
Both gender and sex are solely human concepts.

Gender is a Social Concept
An infant does not know what makes a person male or a female. Think about it. Some time between infanthood and adulthood, a child learns to distinguish between male and female. There is no defining characteristic to gender (re: intersex, transgenderism). Gender is what is taught to us. It is a social concept created by our social environment.

1. Solon's first contention lights on the behavioral manifestations caused by the biological sex. A mother is more biologically fit to raise children and is thus the one who actually does it. He basically concludes that biological sex determines gender roles. Although his arguments are mostly correct, his conclusion us undermined by the fact that gender roles are taught to us, and is everchanging. Where once, centuries ago, men were expected to be sole providers, they are now matched by women's participation in the workforce. Where once women were expected to keep house, they are now no longer confined to home and kitchen. Gender roles change due to societal pressures (i.e. the feminist movement).

2. Solon's third contention asserts that gender is losing relevance, and notes transgenderism as evidence. This is not true. Gender is not insignifcant. Transgenderism does not cause a deterioration of gender concepts. It simply redefines them as many transgendered humans still identify themselves into particular gender categories.
Indeed, as Solon notes, gender is becoming "fluid in the eyes of society". Gender is being defined as whatever society defines it to be. Thus, it is society which defines gender. Society teaches us what gender. Gender, in other words, is completely based on societal influence.

3. Solon is a weeaboo.
Premise 1: Solon is a weeaboo.
Premise 2: Weeaboo ideology is constrained by culture, thus rational impartiality is impossible.
Conclusion: Solon is incapable of rational thought and thus lacks credibility. Discredit all his arguments.

Gender is defined by society on multiples levels. The arbitrary, mutable nature of gender-determining factors is evidence of society's heavy influence to the concept. It is also true that gender takes originally from biological influences, but even these biological influences are arbitrarily and utterly defined by society.
There is no question about it. Gender identities derives in majority from societal influence - the influence of nurture.

Debate Round No. 2


I will first rebut Con's case, and then defend my own.

Sex is a Human Concept Rebuttal

Con contends that, because humans are born unable to distinguish between the sexes and must learn the difference, the concept must be based on external factors rather than biology. I had already ceded that sex does not define gender. Con’s logic past that—because the concept of sex must be learned in order to be comprehended, sex itself is learned—is flawed. There are, in fact, very clear biological distinctions between the sexes—males have penises, emphasize testosterone production; females have vaginas, emphasize estrogen production, and have the capacity for incubating a child. These differences are not arbitrary, as Con claims without elaboration or a source, and they have biological implications. Regardless of whether a human knows it at birth, females can fulfill the role of giving birth; males cannot; the distinction is concrete and provides a solid basis for one component of gender roles. The same goes for biological strength, as I showed with my plow example in Argument 1. Animals do not possess the capacity for higher-order thinking that humans do, and cannot comprehend the definition of sex, but this does not imply that they do not have sexes with clearly defined roles derived from instinct, as I demonstrated in my opening argument. With this established, the rest of Con’s “Sex is a human concept” argument is not topical. Nurture is not the same as “human concept”; animals are nurtured, too. Wolves, for example, learn hunting by going out with the pack (1). That’s nurture, but it isn’t a human concept.

Gender is a Social Concept Rebuttal
Con’s argument that the features of biological sex are arbitrarily taught is simply incorrect, and unsourced. Sex by definition is a distinction based on reproductive functions, and this definition was implicitly used by both myself and Con, who stated that sex is a matter of “biological distinctions” and constantly intertwined the word “biological” with the word “sex”. The fact that the word must be taught in order to be understood does NOT mean that the concept behind the word is societal. For example, “food” is a word that humans must be taught, as with all words, and yet, food is not a societal construct, but a biological need. Sex is a biological attribute, regardless of whether it must be taught to be understood, or not. A clearer example might be the excretory process—humans do not know what goes on inside their own bodies, but the fact that they have to learn about it to comprehend it does not make excretion a nurtured process.

On the whole, Con does not sufficiently elaborate on his reasoning for many of his points. He never sufficiently explains why sex is a nurture concept rather than a nature concept, nor why the fact that biological sex does not define gender is relevant, as I clearly articulated in my second argument that gender identities are still biologically formed, and that there is still a clear relationship between gender identities and gender roles.

Con's Conclusion Rebuttals
Con has not shown in any way how the factors that determine gender are arbitrary, and has not demonstrated how mutability is evidence of societal or even environmental influence rather than changes in biological suitability to given situations, while I have shown that they have a clear, biological basis.

Con concedes that gender is rooted in biology, thus, it is accepted that the concept of gender arose from nature, and was not arbitrarily constructed by societies. There is no question about it; gender identities are derived mostly from biology – the influence of nature.

Pro's Defense:
From my opening argument is the most important concept in this debate that relates to almost every single defense—“To affirm the resolution, I must prove that societal views of the sexes are derived from the biological differences between the sexes, and not from external factors”.

Society dictates that girls should wear dresses and boys should wear pants, but Con proves no evidence that this societal view is based on nurture. Con argues that because biological sex is a taught distinction, the concept of gender based on it is nurture. This is half-true. Learning the biological differences between the sexes will result in a slightly different view of gender roles, as I can personally attest to, but this does not mean that the differences do not immediately shape the concept of gender without being consciously recognized. Con has acknowledged that my premises about biological differences between the sexes leading to gender roles are true and has only challenged me on the conclusion, so I will repeat that females are biologically child-bearers. No nurturing can change that fact, save for biological surgeries, which are in effect changing biological nature, rather than nurturing in themselves.

I cede that the ability to distinguish between male and female is learned. However, these differences can be learned without environmental pressures, and the differences between the sexes and between the genders, as I showed in my opening argument, are fundamentally biological, regardless. Gender being a social concept does not mean it is inherently nurture; societal views arise from biological situations, as I have shown.

Con’s first refutation disagrees only with the conclusion of Argument 1, arguing that gender roles have changed due to societal pressure. However, the societal pressure is not the most important reason; they have changed recently due the difference in what biological factors are important now. In Argument 1, I stated that males were more suited to plow-based agriculture due to their strength, and thus took that role. In today’s post-industrial societies, both men and women are equally biologically capable of performing necessary tasks. More importantly, I repeat: as I stated in R2, “To affirm the resolution, I must prove that societal views of the sexes are derived from the biological differences between the sexes, and not from external factors”. Con has not satisfactorily demonstrated that societal views of the sexes are generated by society itself, and not from biological factors, in this case; his claim that gender roles are taught is unsourced, and furthermore, irrelevant due to not contesting the influence of biology on whatever is taught. My example about the plow, for example, does not show that gender isn’t taught, as babies aren’t born with intricate agricultural knowledge, but it does show that these teachings are firmly grounded in biological reasons. For this reason, my argument stands.

Con’s second refutation is against my third point. He provides no source to back up his claim that gender is not losing relevance; non-binary gender is inherently against the very definition that Con agreed with—“The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)”, from my R2. This definition very clearly articulates gender as a duality of male or female, so, non-binary genders and gender fluidity do in fact mean that the concept of gender is becoming unimportant/dying out. The other major flaw in Con’s assertion is that he ignores the impact that biological factors have upon determining societal views and influence, which has been a major part of my argument since the beginning. “Gender is being defined as whatever society defines it to be,” he states; however, the very definition of gender we agreed upon was the societal views toward the sexes, so this is wholly irrelevant. He does not back up his claim that gender is based on societal evidence.

The “weeaboo” point is an inside joke between Mittens and I, and should be acknowledged as such, rather than an ad hominem.

My second point about gender identification was never contested, so it stands accepted; gender identification is a completely biological process.





Thank you.
First, let me address Pro's defense, then I will move on to his refutations of my case points.

Pro's case #1
Again, Pro's first contention is that gender roles as distinct from sex arose from the differences in behavior that manifest from the latter. Gender roles once included the expectation that males were part of the workforce and females provided domestic care. In 1890, women's labor participation was at an average of 20% with married or domesticated women only showing between 5-11% of labor participation. Today, this same class of women now work in about 60% of the workforce. (1)
This is a distinct and notable case in which gender roles - that of the domestic woman - undergoes arbitrary change, and is caused exclusively by societal pressure - the women's civil rights and progressive movement during the early 20th century. (2)
Of course, gender norms differ across cultures. Consider the typical matriarchal society, gender norms are swapped. Females become more attuned with the gender roles that we typically attribute to males and vice verse.
This is evidence that gender roles are arbitrary and locally confined to culture.
Even across species, the typical male/female gender role dynamic differ vastly. Several species, including many fishes, amphibian and some birds offer prime examples of the gender role reversal. (3)
My favorite among these is the emperor penguin. After the female produces the egg, she leaves, giving the egg to the male. The male then sits on the egg, keeping it warm from the freezing conditions for four months. During those four months, the female has hunted and gathered food for herself and her mate, who fasts for the same four month period. The two penguins, who are able to recognize each other from their specific mating calls, then contribute to child-rearing together. (4)
Gender roles are inconsistent with actual sex. It's true that Pro agrees that sex does not define gender, but it's hard to see that when he continues to say that the features of biological sex (i.e. penises on males, vaginas on females) are the defining influence on gender and gender roles. So while he agrees that sex doesn't define gender, he contrarily refuses to accept the implications of his agreement.
One thing that Pro notes is that I do not show that biological sex is a taught distinction. However, the fact remains that it is. while there are some features to biological sexes, such as the female's distinct ability to bear children, the denomination and attribution of this feature specifically as 'female' is distinctly human. So yes, biological sex - male and female - are concepts taught to us. Any biology course or book which asserts any characteristics to be male or female is stark evidence of the pure societal influence that exists here. My refutation stands.
So yeah, that's my response to Pro's defense on his first contention, and I have successfully shown that it fails due to inconsistency of gender roles across cultures and species. If Pro somehow manages to show that gender roles aren't inconsistent, then he will have to contend with the fact that biological distinctions are taught. I believe he will be able to do neither.
This inconsistency of the roles of gender and its arbitrary denomination further exacerbates the resolution in my favor as it directly shows that gender, as distinct from biological sex, is mostly defined by the society in which they arise. If pro cannot defend against this refutation, he not only cedes the legitimacy of his arguments, but he also completely and utterly cedes all the text of my first contention in addition to the entirety of the debate.

Pro's Case #2
This contention is based on the influence off biological sex to gender. While I didn't specifically address this case, my first contention itself negates it because as I stated in my previous round, this case is severely undermined by the fact that the distinctions of biological sex are arbitrarily denominated by humans. Sex is a human concept. I repeat. Sex, the specific concept of 'male' and 'female', are distinctly human-taught, which is the epitome of nurture.

Pro's Case #3
On gender fluidity and relevance, Pro's defense is mostly semantics. Regardless of the definitions, it still stands that definitions of words are invented by people. It's not that gender is 'losing relevance', it is more that it is being redefined. Pro provides no solid logical link from transgenderism to some falling relevance of gender, as he seems to be trying to sell. On the other hand, the very core of transgenderism is to indentify as the opposite sex to your birth sex. The fact that this identification exists shows that the conclusion I draw from transgenderism - that gender is being redefined, has better argumentative and empirical support than Pro's conclusion - that gender is losing relevance.
In short, using the same data that Pro presents, I draw a separate conclusion. If Pro cannot show that his conclusion is more solid or even relevant, then this particular contention is meaningless.

Those are my rebuttals. Now for my defense.

Defense 1: Sex is a Human Concept
My point in this case is that the distinctions of sexual characteristics are arbitrarily denominated. This point is a self-evident truth. I do not contend the definitions of biological sex. However, biological sex doesn't define gender. The use of its attributes to define gender thus lacks a solid defining link. In other words, gender's relevance to biological sex is arbitrary and thus societally defined. Therefore, if this argument stands, then I will have successfully shown not only that gender is societally, but that even the distinctions of sex itself is based on nurture - taught from our environment.
Because logic.
Pro's refutation, his mention of specific features such as the female vagina, does not actually address my argument.

Defense 2: Gender is a Social Concept
My argument here is that without specific environments teaching a person how to distinguish and denominate people into specific categories of sexes, the idea that anyone can be 'male' or 'female' simply does not exist. Therefore it must've been taught. Think of it this way: why did gender originate as a binary? Why not a tertiary.. or a quaternary(5)?
At some point we said: "Here's the cutoff. Penis + testicles = male. Vagina + ovarian glands = female. It's simplistic. It's easy. Wham. Done. There are people born with parts of both? Well let's just make our lives easier and pretend they don't exist."
As is the case with all forms of categorization, these are human assertions. There is no objective reason why these denominations hold true.
I will go ahead and address the only facet of Pro's refutation that I think is relevant: "The fact that the word must be taught in order to be understood does NOT mean that the concept behind the word is societal."
However, a thing's being taught is the very core of the concept of nurture and societal influence. It is what defines nurture. The statement is a clear-cut case of a false assertion.
Also, his examples don't actually address the point I'm making.

Defense 3: A weeaboo is a weeaboo is a weeaboo
Do you, in the deepest corners of your hearts, truly believe that it is acceptable to allow a weeaboo to win a debate?
A weeaboo.
Honorable judges. I pray you know to make the right choice.

Footnotes and Sources"
(5) Yes. I know these off the top of my head. Oh god the misuse of numerical lexicon.. *shivers
Debate Round No. 3


I will defend my case, rebut Con’s, and then quickly note why I fulfilled the BoP more substantially than Con in my conclusion.

Pro’s defense #1
Con repeats that the gender roles today have dramatically shifted. He claims that this is due to societal pressure, because the shift was “arbitrary”. This is ignoring what I stated last round, “they have changed recently due the difference in what biological factors are important now,” which I supported with my argument about the shifting of gender roles due to the plow. I already directly addressed this rebuttal as well, stating, “In today’s... societies, both men and women are equally biologically capable of performing necessary tasks.” Societal pressure was the catalyst for the change in women’s roles, but it wouldn't have been possible without the fundamental shift in what biological factors were important in society. To put it in clearer terms, compare to the beginning of the first World War. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was the direct cause, but it wouldn’t have sparked a war without numerous and complex outside factors. I’ve already elaborated on the biological factors that lead to gender roles in my previous arguments, so I feel no need to repeat myself here.

Con’s argument about the reversal of gender roles actually supports the notion that gender is biological rather than “arbitrary”, as he claims. His own source states that the role of the father is “shaped by such factors as severe living conditions... Or unusual reproductive techniques like external fertilization (used by fish)...” (1). The latter example is explicitly biological due to the biological nature of reproduction. The former is implicit, as animals do not possess the mental capacity for long-term planning, and must react instinctively to their environment. Take Con's emperor penguin example. There is a reason that the female hunts, rather than the male. Giving birth, not surprisingly, is more demanding on the mother than the father. The mother goes out to hunt while the father continues to stay with the kid just because the mother needs to eat sooner (2).

The fact that the traits of the sexes must be taught means nothing in the context of this argument. Males and females of every species (except for in cases of asexual reproduction) reproduce together. The sex that lays/has the egg/similar object is female. The sex that fertilizes this egg is the male. The definition of sex is explicitly based on reproductive functions (3). There are two distinct groups involved in reproduction in nearly every animal society, except asexual species, which don’t have genders; thus, two sexes. Con’s claim that sex is arbitrarily defined is nonsense. Even intersex people easily fall into one of the two categories of male and female, based on whether they would be fertilizing or fertilized if not for their infertility. Here's a list of many intersex conditions to verify this. (4).

Con has never addressed the core of my argument—that gender began and exists because of the biological differences between the sexes.

Con argues, “So while [Pro] agrees that sex doesn't define gender, he contrarily refuses to accept the implications of his agreement.” The only implication of that concession is that sex and gender are not the same; it does not mean that sex doesn't have the biggest influence on gender.

Pro’s Defense #2
Con’s only rebuttal to this is that sex is a human concept, which I have clearly demonstrated to be at best irrelevant, and, at worst, false. This point stands.

Pro’s Defense #3
It does not matter whether the word “gender” is being redefined or not. Con agreed to the definition I presented, and, by that definition, gender is indeed dying out in importance and prominence. It’s rather concerning that Con in his first round stated there shouldn’t be any semantic abuse, and yet is the only one to actually use semantics.

Even if I were to allow for gender being “redefined”, it would not make a significant difference. I provided a clear logical link back in round 1—societal views toward the differences between the sexes become irrelevant as it is increasingly possible to ignore one’s birth sex and change it. A woman won’t be confined to the female role if she makes herself a man. The significance of the difference between the sexes and the reason it created gender is that sex cannot be changed easily. You change the clothes you wear every day, but you can’t change your gender every day (as an aside, that’d be really cool). Biology would be the core reason for this new definition, as sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) specifically affects the human anatomical make-up determined before birth.

Also, Con does not explain at all how he draws his own conclusion “that gender is being redefined”, and drops the point. I explained, while he did not, so my argument stands.

Rebuttal 1: Sex is a Human Concept
I’ve shown in this round, as well as my last, that to call sex a human concept is wrong. The only thing I need to add is that my mention of specific features does address his point. It shows the differences between the sexes are not arbitrary. Males have sexual organs designed to fertilize the egg. Females have sexual organs to carry the egg and to allow it to be fertilized. The same is true of almost all animals (again, except asexuals).

Again, it doesn’t matter that sex does not define gender; I already conceded that, and have shown that the two are strongly linked.

Also, “Because logic” is not valid support for his argument.

Rebuttal 2: Gender is a Social Concept
My argument here is that without specific environments teaching a person how to distinguish and denominate people into specific categories of sexes, the idea that anyone can be 'male' or 'female' simply does not exist.

The above contention by Con is simply wrong. Animals are not taught in specific environments to differentiate between male and female, but they do. As I showed in round 1, they have clearly defined gender roles. Con has the BoP to show that this is not so, and he has not.

Gender originated as a binary because reproduction is a binary process; except in asexual societies, there are two distinct entities needed to create a new organism. On a similar note, Con overly simplifies my definition of sex. I never attempted to ignore intersex people; see Pro’s Defense #1 in this round. There are objective reasons why sex is classified as it is—the aforementioned requirement for a new organism is one, but I have mentioned several before.

However, a thing's being taught is the very core of the concept of nurture and societal influence. It is what defines nurture. The statement is a clear-cut case of a false assertion.

This is objectively wrong. Let’s extend this logic. Children aren’t born knowing the names of the colors. Does that mean that when they look at an apple, they are unable to see this color just because they don’t have a name to the concept? Kids aren’t born knowing Newton’s Laws of Motion. Does that mean they don’t exist until the kids learn about them? Sex exists as a concept whether or not an individual understands it or not. Con’s logic immediately falls apart. What would be nurture is if a child were taught to have male or female sexual organs and could choose between the two at birth. That’s not the case.

Also, his examples don't actually address the point I'm making.

I proved this one wrong over the course of this round.

Rebuttal 3: Weeaboo
If Con continues to claim this as a valid point in his final round and does not recant it, consider it an ad hominem.

All of my major arguments--that gender is rooted in biological differences between the sexes and is responsible for maintaining it, as demonstrated by the decline of gender as SRS has risen, and that biology influences gender identification--stand. Con has not substantiated his claims, and his "human concept" arguments have not stood up to scrutiny. I've demonstrated that gender is more nature than nurture. Vote Pro.



Mittens' Hidden Trump Card - The Impacts

1. Resolution

While Pro does state: "To affirm the resolution, I must prove that societal views of the sexes are derived from the biological differences between the sexes, and not from external factors"
This burden is false.
Look at it this way.
Even if Pro can show that sex is derived from biological differences - meaning that the origins of our views of sex is biological, it does not actually affirm the resolution.
I call this: The False Burden. Sex and Gender are not the same thing, and Pro concedes that when he accepted that Sex does not define Gender. So even if he proves that sex is derived from bio differences - he still doesn't affirm the resolution. So we are forced to guess that maybe Pro meant gender instead of sex. OK. Let's pretend that he does.
Close your eyes and imagine it. :)
"To affirm the resolution, I must prove that societal views of the gender are derived from the biological differences between the gender, and not from external factors"
In this iteration, Pro states that if he can show that our views of gender originate from biological factors, then he affirms the resolution.
This is still a False Burden. The resolution states: "Gender is more nature than nurture."
The resolution does not say: "Gender originates from nature"
Which is totally different.
Pro has to show that Gender is more nature.
While I, as Con, have to show that Gender is more nurture.
This was heavily implied in my intro round, and is further supported by the resolution itself.
Pro needs to prove that societal factors are less significant than genetic factors in the definition of gender in our society.
Pro's first argument - that gender originates from biological differences - has completely nothing to do with this debate.

2. Pro's Argument 1

So let me go a bit more into this argument.
Pro's impact of this is that biological factors has had a more significant influence to gender than societal factors. We are ultimately not given any way to measure why or how it is more significant, only that Pro asserts so. For example, simple arithmetic was the origins of mathematics. The prehistoric human was capable of taking one stick, putting it next to another stick, and recognizing that there are now two sticks (even monkeys and parrots(1) can do that). Can we call these sticks - or whatever object(s) that prompted the first man to conceive the notion of basic arithmetic - the origins of math? Well sure, but ultimately it was the man who conceived of the idea that 1+1=2. Not the stick. Similarly, it is man who conceived of the idea of both gender and sex. Not the penis. Not the behavioral patterns we see in and across species.
There is no reason to accept that the origins of gender has anything to do with its impact. Since it has been shown that Pro's impact is demonstrably false, it follows that the impact to it cannot be accepted until Pro has given sufficient evidence. Since he has not, even if we accept that gender does have influence from biological sex, his argument holds zero weight.

3. Pro's Argument 2
Now the impact of this argument does in fact add points to nature as related to gender. If Pro can show that the influence of biological sex to gender is more than that of societal factors, than he does indeed affirm the resolution. But he doesn't. This argument merely shows that bio sex has some influence to gender. But since gender is not defined by biological sex, the similarity in their terminology in no way signifies that there is any causal relation. Pro commits the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Even if Pro's argument - that there is influence from biological sex to gender, he never weighs it. He'd merely show that there is an influence. He wouldn't show that this influence exceeds that of the factors that I've presented. In fact, the factors that I've presented - that gender is defined by society; that the concept of gender is taught; that Solon is a weeaboo - give a real, quantitative measure that shows that nurture outweighs nature.
But I will weigh my own arguments later.

4. Pro's Argument 3

As for argument 3, Pro states that gender is losing relevance and states transgenderism and similar such ideas as the source. I state that gender is being redefined to which he responds with the definitions we've agreed to. In no way does my contention that gender is being societally redefined contradict the definitions we agreed to. I could accept that a square has four sides, but also state that mathmeticians are in the process of redefining it. Pro's response is nonsensical and doesn't actually address my refutation.
In any case, let me reiterate last round: "using the same data that Pro presents, I draw a separate conclusion. If Pro cannot show that his conclusion is more solid or even relevant, then this particular contention is meaningless."
Even if Pro can show that gender is losing relevance to society (which it is not), it doesn't actually show that gender is more nature than nurture nor does it even remotely relate to nature vs. nurture. This particular contention does not affirm the resolution in any way whatsoever.
Both argument 1 and argument 3 bear absolutely zero weight to this debate.

5. Sex is a Human Concept

I will specifically address Pro's rebuttals from the previous round:
"Males have sexual organs designed to fertilize the egg. Females have sexual organs to carry the egg and to allow it to be fertilized"
Pro defines the distinctions of biological sex. But sex is not gender, and these distinctions do not define gender. Nope.

"Children aren’t born knowing the names of the colors. Does that mean that when they look at an apple, they are unable to see this color just because they don’t have a name to the concept?"
No, but the denomination of "red", the fact that it is called "red" specifically, is based entirely on nurture factors. It is taught, which is the very definition of what it means to be based on nurture. Also, this analogy isn't very good. Gender is defined by many ever-changing facets (i.e. gender roles). I have clearly shown that gender roles change at the whim of society when I noted the radical change of gender roles since the 1900's via societal movement (e.g. feminism).
And since gender inextricably defines and is defined by gender roles, the mutable nature of gender under environmental and societal influence has been empirically shown, and proves that society's influence over gender vastly transcends biological expectations and standards.

6. Gender is a Social Concept

As with my previous refutation, the fact that the concept of gender must be taught means that nurture is a necessary and thus extremely significant factor in defining what gender is. True, manifestations of behavior can occur from biological, genetic factors related to sex. But sex is not gender. Indeed, since behavior of the different sexes differ widely across species (i.e. emperor penguins) whatever gender-role features we define gender by cannot be any more than a human, social concept. they are arbitrary.
As a miscellaneous aside: the conclusion that Pro uses to assert that emperor penguin females being tired after laying the egg and needing to feed doesn't actually appear anywhere in the article that he cited for that. Basically, Pro made up the statement and then attached the source - a false refutation.
My evidence via emperor penguins - and various other species - stand (on their eggs). Thus my point holds. A baby doesn't know anything about gender and gender roles. The only way they can know is if these are things that are taught to them as they grow up (i.e. girls wear dresses, boys wear pants). Gender is defined by people; by nurture.

Both my points are entirely more significant than Pro's single point (argument 2). Even if argument 2 holds, Pro has given no solid impact. Its influence on gender is nominal at best and are outweighed by my arguments.

Broken link(4) from last round:
Debate Round No. 4
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MisterMittens 2 years ago
I'm just going to..
go away for abit.
Nurse my wounds or something
(yu weeaboo! D:<)
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
I said I suck. My vote is gr8.
Posted by MisterMittens 2 years ago
Does that mean you'll change your vote? :>
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
I mean, your right. I suck.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
It looks like the bastard child of Frozen and Adventure Time.
Posted by MisterMittens 2 years ago
Frozen is the best.
If anything, you should be giving me points for having the most awesome Frozen avatar ever. >:(
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
You lost because you like Frozen.
Because logic.
Posted by MisterMittens 2 years ago
Definitely a weeaboo union or something. :<
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
If you don't know what a word means, either google it or don't use it. No where in this debate do either of you believe that nature and nurture are mutually exclusive, on the contrary, you both accept they play a role in determining gender. I also believe I'v interpreted Pro's argument as he intended it to be, as he says "[...]demonstrating that, though biological sex and gender are not the same concept, they are closely intertwined; there is an identification with a gender based on biological sex.", which is exactly what I'v been trying to reiterate to you. You don't respond to this in R2, you essentially drop the argument.

When Pro shows that "no more than 1% of one survey population described itself as "gender variant"" that's no different than me saying that "99% identified as a male/female. His bare assertion that this is *mostly* because of biological sex goes uncontested until R4, at which point he can't respond.

I don't mind providing clarification, or even re-evaluating my RFD, but your apprehensive attitude makes me reluctant to do so. Especially when I don't have too.
Posted by MisterMittens 2 years ago
Thanks. :'<
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Kozu 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
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