One Big Answer

A recent conversation on the boards brought up the whole ‘brain sex’ debate again, and what I want to know is why all of these studies or conclusions need to be so mutually exclusive? Isn’t it possible for one person to be transsexual via brain sex & another person to be transsexual for another reason?

I don’t think like a trans person about this stuff, but being gender variant, I “could” pin my gender variance on my high levels of T. But that doesn’t explain why I was a tomboy growing up, either. Maybe it was having a lot of older brothers. I don’t doubt, either, that some of it  had something to do with the way women are treated in this culture. It could have been anything, but I tend to see it as an amalgamation.

& While I understand the necessity of “proving” it a medical condition, I don’t see why a combination of womb hormones, brain sex, karotype, etc = might not be responsible.

Why do we always want/need One Big Answer? Especially when the systems we’re talking about = reproduction, cell formation, genetics, sexual identity, consciousness, ETC = are all pretty damn sophisticated unto themselves?

5 Replies to “One Big Answer”

  1. In short…maybe it’s the human desire to make things as simple as possible? The need to lump things together? A need to apply Occam’s Razor to something as multifactorial as gender and sex?

    Oy! It’s too late to think of this crap…I’m going to listen to some Christmas music (by El Gran Combo).

  2. I wonder if it’s just the fact that others need an explanation and we’d like to give it or just the fact we like to know how we became who we are. For heteros out there who have no gender dysphoria they know who they are so they move on to caring or learning about other things.

    In the end, “got me???” is the real answer, but I know I like knowing what happened to me and I feel it is the brain that’s right and the sexual reproductive organs that are wrong.

  3. A quote from Nietzsche: “we want to have a *reason* for feeling *as we do* – for feeling well or for feeling ill. It never suffices us simply to establish the mere fact *that* we feel as we do: we acknowledge this fact – become conscious of it – only *when* we have furnished it with a motivation of some kind.”

    We can never accept that some things simply *are* – that any explanation thereof will not change anything. I personally question the *necessity* of ‘medically proving’ any of this. It doesn’t change who we are or what we have to do in order to live a reasonably good life. It doesn’t make us any better or worse than we are now.

    We are what we are – no more explanation than that is needed.

  4. The brain research is fascinating ,but beyond my comprehension. I need to keep it simple, I just feel I’m partially in the wrong anatomy and I’m doing what I can to change it to some sort of balance .
    It is also of interest that when reading Christine Jorgenson autobiography it was noted that it was easier to get a frontal lobotomy than a sex change in the U.S..How sick was that ? Beverly

  5. Helen,

    Why do we always want/need One Big Answer?

    (Well, I suppose that would make the exam a lot easier to pass if there was a single answer.) I doubt that there is a single factor responsible for deflection, elevation and speed of the TG projectile. However, as an exhibit at the Smithsonian a few years ago make clear, “You are your brain.” How our brains came to be what they are may be debatable but everything that makes us who we are is between our ears. My best guess it that all TG propensities share some common factors at their source. The zillions of things that enable, disable, enhance or retard specific developments will become known in time.

    Not my fault? Of course it isn’t. But I am looking forward to the day when the lame brains like Jerry Falwell or Dubya Bush will be compelled to agree or be dismissed as the illiterates they are.

    I submitted the question below to Dr. Brizendine, author of “The Female Brain,” on the University of CA, San Francisco “On the Spot” feature on September 18, 2006.

    Dr. Brizendine, I am a fifty-four year old transgender male. I have never been on hormone therapy, but my gender identity is unmistakable. Genetics professor Dr. Eric Vilain, UCLA School of Medicine asserts gender identity is hard-wired by genetics before any hormonal “flood” occurs. How does your research on gender related brain anatomy fit with Dr. Vilain’s findings? I often am a guest lecturer to both graduate and undergraduate college psychology classes and believe your insights could be valuable in my efforts also.

    Dear Reader,
    Thanks for your question about genes and/or hormones making sex-specific brain circuits. We now know that both are involved, but that the genes comes first of course and then the hormones flood in to marinate the brain cells and circuits to “sculpt” the brain into its final form (although the brain changes to some degree through out our life).
    Best regards, Dr. Brizendine

    Happy Holidays!!


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