The Instigator
ososuavee
Pro (for)
The Contender
mackeeper
Con (against)

There are only 2 Genders

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Debate Round Forfeited
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2018 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 498 times Debate No: 115744
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

ososuavee

Pro

I believe there are only two genders. I'm not saying that it's wrong to believe there are more than two, that is just my opinion. Each human is either born with a vagina or a penis. On your birth certificate it either says male or female. You can identify as anything you would like but at the end of the day you still are a FEMALE or MALE. You can identify as a bulldog, but when you are filling out an application for a job, will you put bulldog? No. There is totally no problem with identifying as anything you want, but when it comes down to business you are either of the two genders. There are only male and female bathrooms. You aren't going to stop yourself from letting your bladder go in public just because they don't have what you identify as , as a type of bathroom. You are either going to go in the female or male bathroom.
mackeeper

Con

I argue that gender is not a set of discrete categories (man or woman) but a spectrum in which a potentially infinite number of gender identities can coexist.

To say that "there are only two genders" would be as arbitrary as saying "there are only seven colours", all you are talking about is how many pieces we should cut the spectrum up into - obviously, between blue and green there are potentially infinite shades of aqua, teal, seafoam, etc etc. - whether we count each of these shades as discrete 'colours' in there own right is simply a matter of semantics - it has nothing to do with the 'essence' of the colours themselves.

Likewise, when we divide the gender spectrum up into two categories all we are doing is making a crude approximation of the full range of gender variance - we are saying: 'people come in either blue or green', when in fact people come in teal, aqua and seafoam as well, the issue is whether or not we recognise that difference by giving it a name.

I do not deny that, for the most part, humans are born with either XX or XY chromosomes, and one of two sets of reproductive organs. But even here we are making generalisations. No matter how rare, there ARE people who have some alternative set of chromosomes or some kind of indeterminate genitalia, but for those people we tend to ignore whatever difference they do have and lump them into one camp or the other.

All of the evidence you have put forward in defence of the 2 gender hypothesis is simply a set of examples of how we categorise gender: we write either M or F on our babies birth certificates, we ask people to check an M or F box when applying for jobs, and we put M and F on the doors of our bathrooms. Society could have decided to divide gender up into 5 categories, in which case, maybe we would have 5 different types of bathroom, but instead we decided on 2.

Just because society tends to divide people up into 2 categories doesn't mean that those categories reflect something out there in reality, it is just an arbitrary decision. To return to the colour analogy - just because we tend to divide up colour into 7 different categories (red, orange, yellow... etc etc) does not mean that 'there are only 7 colours'.
Debate Round No. 1
ososuavee

Pro

You can't cut the two genders up into a spectrum. You CAN identify as anything you would like. But in the end you are still MALE or FEMALE.

Yes, there are different shades of each color, but at the end of the day we still identify AQUA as BLUE. LAVENDER as PURPLE, and so on. These are SHADES and they are put into a category under BLUE and PURPLE. Lavender is still purple and aqua is still blue.

The thing is, gender is a physical thing. All of these "new genders" are made up. Tell me , what is the difference between an AMBONEC female and a female. The only difference is the AMBONEC female doesn't want to be identified as any gender, but still has the same female parts of any other.

That's like a liquid identifying as a solid or gas. Like even though this sounds silly, imagine a bottle of water talking to you and it's telling you that it's a rock. You would go against that bottle of water because it is clearly A BOTTLE OF WATER !

Just like there are different types of colors, there are different types of liquids, solids, and gases, but at the end of the day we still identify WATER as a LIQUID and a ROCK as a SOLID and AIR as a GAS. EVERYTHING FALLS INTO SIMPLE CATEGORIES.

You are either one or the other .
mackeeper

Con

To clarify I did not say that there are two genders and that can be subdivided into other categories. What I said is that there is an infinite array of gender variance and we can divide that spectrum of variance into however many categories we like.

You say that: "yes, there are different shades of each color, but at the end of the day we still identify AQUA as BLUE" - well, that may be true, but that doesn't mean that there is no difference between, say, aqua and navy, despite the fact that they are both technically 'blue'. To say that 'aqua and navy are both blue' is to ignore differences between them that are very real and observable.

Let me blow your mind for second, if you are looking at something 'yellow' on a computer screen you are looking at at an RGB monitor, you aren't actually seeing anything 'yellow' but a combination of red and green pixels. The point is - when you break them down, the categories: red, orange, yellow, etc. are not as well defined as you might think - and the same is true of gender.

Another point I reject is that "[binary] gender is a physical thing" and that non-binary genders are "made up". Here, you argue that binary genders are physical and therefore 'real' and that non-binary genders are not physical and therefore 'not real'. In fact, both of those assertions are wrong. Binary genders are not solely physical - you cannot observe 'manhood' or 'womanhood' under a microscope. And secondly, just because something is not physical does not mean it is not 'real'. Money, for instance, has value in a very real sense (if you disagree feel free to set some money on fire) - but you can't look at money under a microscope and observe the value physically.

In your concluding paragraph you make an assertion that I find hard to accept you believe sincerely - that "everything falls into simple categories". Even within your own example of 'solid, liquid and gas', there is a lot of ambiguity you are ignoring: the are viscous solids that have properties of both liquids and solids, there is photonic matter than has properties of solids and gas, there are forms of matter that lie outside these categorisations altogether, like dark matter.

No matter what the subject, categorisations are only ever rough approximations of typologies and there will always be outliers and ambiguity.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sonofcharl 3 years ago
Sonofcharl
By original definition there are only 2 human genders. But if you alter the dictionary, you are able to create more human gender types.
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