Realization: Gender Performance

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ☆Luna☆, Mar 27, 2015.

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  1. So, heads up, I'm going to make a lot of obvious statements for the sake of presenting this, just roll with it.

    So, it was during sociology that I got to read a cute little story about a child whose sex was concealed from everyone (literally not even the doctors and parents knew). I'm not going to go into detail, but basically the kid is raised without being taught gender specific behavior, society flips shit.

    It kinda made me able to verbalize something fairly obvious in the form of an logical framework.

    Just to make my first statement ironclad, logical math.

    Premise 1: Some people (want to) find gender performance important. +P+G
    Premise 2: Gender performance intends to identify a person's sex on sight. -G+S
    Conclusion: Some people want to identify a person's sex on sight. +P+S
    To identify a person's sex some people want to. +S+P

    So, if the reason gender performance is important is because of the belief of some people is that they need to know the sex of any given person just by looking, then doesn't that imply that people cannot tell what sex someone is without these clues? Gender roles can avoid getting into awkward situations where you find yourself attracted to someone to whom you might not necessarily be able to be sexually attracted to.

    So unless you feel I've made a logical error, I have an interesting set of questions to think about: does this arrangement reinforce heteronormativity, does this explain some of the disgust and anger directed toward LGTB individuals, and how would you feel if for some reason nobody could distinguish anyone's gender just by looking for a week?
  2. Like, lemme get passive-aggressive real quick, don't catch feelings 'cuz it's not directed at you booboo.

    But isn't it so nice to be able to articulate something, a concept you have had in your mind? With language that was around but you had not known about prior? To finally breathe a little easier now that not only this thing that was in your mind could be realized with your own breath but to have dozens and dozens of resources about it to explore and fall back on, that just expands it, expanding you, expanding how much easier you can breath. To point at something that, for so long, was something you sort of saw but was so murky and tenuous until the literature and language made it clear and tangible.

    It's almost like, it's a comfort to know shit has been around, been written about, been discussed deeply and heavily and thoroughly-- that nothing about it is new except the generation that finally gets its turn to learn about it and apply its own generational lens to the subject.

    Fuck high school was so small, wadn't it.

    Start stockin' up on wine tho, learning more about this shit is just gonna make you tired faster now that you'll be able to recognize bullshit for what it is.
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  3. I'll be honest, when I first read this I scratched my head and went "whut?" since I couldn't really get what the point was you're trying to make.
    I hope trying to answer it in smallest segments helps clarify it for me, but if I'm misunderstanding the question please feel free to correct me.
    This might be part of the reason for the confusion, I'm not sure what 'gender performance' means.

    After a google search I *think* it's basically a way of saying gender identity or gender roles?
    Once again correct me if I'm wrong.

    On average the biological sexes have differing body shapes, dressing patterns, manners of walking, sitting etc which can help us make an educated guess as to one's biological sex.
    And other than body shape all of those can be directly affected by one's behaviours and how one identifies. And by some extent the body shape can be changed too if one consciously diets and works out to obtain such a shape.
    I'm assuming you mean something like the following?

    -Gwazi Magnum is a straight man. Gwazi Magnum meets... let's say Razillin for an example.
    -Razillin has a personality that Gwazi really likes, and could see getting along well with.
    -However, Gwazi has no idea that Razillin's biological sex is male. And Gwazi is not attracted to males.
    -Yet of Razillin behaved like a boy, Gwazi would know right of the bat that Razillin was a male.

    If that is what you mean then I suppose so.
    Assuming one's physical appearance wasn't enough of an indicator, one behaving like X gender (where everyone follows the roles) is a decent way to determine their sex.
    I think gender roles were something humanity evolved over many years of natural selection.
    Since only the biological female could give birth, tribes who protected said women while making the men the protectors and providers tended to be more likely to survive.
    Meaning their genes and practices passed on more easily, slowly making it the norm for all of human society.

    So basically, yes.
    It does reinforce heteronormativity in that it explains why such a belief/mindset exist.

    But it certainty doesn't defend one having such a homophobic stand/viewpoint in today's society where we have evolved past the need to have such systems to survive.
    The topic in question is making one confuse/mistake one's biological sex at first correct?

    If so I think that it doesn't explain most of the LGBT hate, because most members are still very clearly one biological sex or the other.
    Though where one's wardrobe, mannerisms, dieting, correcting surgery etc. make's one appear as the other sex (or somewhere in between), then I think it does start to explain some of the anger and disgust.
    People make an assumption, often thinking than LGBT person would make a good mate, and then when learning otherwise react angry to the news since it means the person they thought they would want they actually don't.
    Strictly gender?
    I wouldn't really care, people are people.
    What they identify as shouldn't be something I need to know before deciding if I like them or get along.

    If we include biological sex though?
    Logically I'd have no issues still, people should appear how they want.

    However personally, being heterosexual myself it would make a lot of confusion because there would be a lot of people who I might want to get together with.
    But then if after a while I learn they're a dude and have a Penis? I'd probably be turned off instantly... and it would just cause a lot of stress and hurt feelings for both of us.
    Of course though, this not being able to recognize one's biological sex became the norm in society I also imagine people would develop the practice of asking first. Which would eliminate such situations all by itself.

    Though I should note that I find myself to be a bit of an odd case with that.
    Because I do sometimes find myself attracted to very masculine females, where even if they identified as a male I still probably wouldn't be turned off.

    (Edit: I should clarify, this is assuming there has been no real sex-change, where even if very masculine it's still recognizable that they're biological body is female).

    Though said person having a penis would turn me off. I don't know why, the idea of being in a sexual encounter where there's a dick other than my own just really creeps me out.
    #3 Gwazi Magnum, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
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  4. Before we get into this, realize I'm going to be using primarily scientific perspective, not political. IE: Physical attributes, societal ramifications--not the validity of any who differ from the standard. Remember: Statistics and averages may be the rule, but there are always exceptions, no matter how obscure, and no matter how others feel about it.

    I wouldn't necessarily call it heteronormativity as I would simply the ability to discern differences. Sex (as in the physical state of one's person, not the action, pervert) is an integral part of one's sense of self and physical identity. IE: I am a male, part of being a male means that I have a ton more testosterone, which affects my behaviour and physical capacity. In combination with your sexuality, whether you're intersex or a homosexual or a heterosexual, or any conceivable entity somewhere on the spectrum between red, blue, and green, forms part of your physical identity...Who you are. A basic part of who you physically are, is your sex, which for homo sapiens, physically, falls into either male or female.

    Because males and females are different, each society developed its own format of masculinity and femininity, to help developing children manage their own emotions. (Ex: Men have more testosterone, and testosterone is a steroid that causes increased aggression and a desire for competition.) While how one expresses such things differs on culture, the core principles are largely the same: Japanese, independent of the British, independent of the Russians, all came to the same conclusions about how men should behave for example. (Honour, dignity, respect, loyalty, self-control, et cetera.)

    Your physical sex also ties heavily into your sexuality: Whether you are attracted to the opposite sex, your own sex, whether you interpret yourself to belong to neither of the primary sexes, whether you feel you have elements of both, et cetera. A person who is a woman, trapped in a male's body, has a different sexual identity than a woman, who is within a woman's body. They are unique, distinct identities.

    Because of this, even when one rejects the gender binary, they should at least understand that, at a physical level, they are either male, or female, insofar as a person is able to discern at a glance presuming that clothing is not a barrier. Part of this means they have different chemicals running through them, and altered bodily structures for differing tasks which nature has assigned to them--A straight male who sees a woman that looks attractive will be more inclined to broker conversation. If the woman behaves in a masculine manner, or if the woman feels they are a man trapped in a woman's body, this screws up the paradigm: Whether the male then remains attracted or finds themselves no longer attracted isn't entirely on them to decide however. Remember: Sexuality plays a core part of your physical identity, and if they're attracted to feminine women, then this is all that happened...
    1. Man encounters Woman, at first sight can physically discern attractive characteristics.
    2. Woman has masculine characteristics and/or a sexuality that is incompatible with the male, which was not discernible at first place.
      1. A. Man finds these characteristics manageable or even attractive, continues courtship.
      2. B. Man does not find these characteristics manageable or attractive, ceases courtship.
    Now that we've got sexual attraction out of the way, let's nail the societal level. Which is, thankfully, or sadly, much simpler.

    Societies hate change.

    To summarize the prior points: The gender binary exists because humanity is a sexually dimorphic species, in which men and women have different biological makeups and chemical compositions that allow them to perform the tasks nature assigned them more efficiently. Because of this, masculinity and femininity were formed to help guide (hopefully) young men and women into matured adults. Because this is a principle that has existed for thousands of years, probably even prior to the invention of civilization as a basic facet of human life and behavioral management, it's become core to society overall as a whole.

    Women like pink things. Men like cars. Women love adorable fuzzy things. Men like to fucking pummel the shit out of each other in contests of skill. Everywhere you look you can see some hint of gendered thought, especially in fields such as marketing or childcare.

    Now, what was that previous point? Societies hate change?

    Asking to change the fundamental way in which society views itself as individuals and as a collective is hard. It's totally unsurprising that depriving a child of gendered learning (if you are a boy, here is how your testosterone/dick works) would be seen as horrible. To be honest, I agree with them, on the premise that no child should be put into an environment deprived of learning about themselves, and how society sees them, in any manner.

    So, in short.
    No, because how one expresses masculinity and femininity in a culture differs greatly from society to society.
    Yes. Because societies hate change, so the most conservative of societies will naturally be inclined to view anything abnormal as being a potential threat to the status quo, totally irrespective of whether it is, or isn't.
    We'd find another way to distinguish between the two genders. They're ingrained into us on a biological level: Women would wear pink ribbons, men would wear blue ones. I suppose Intersex people would have an easier time blending in. It would baffle scientists worldwide for a while.

    Maybe we'd become more tolerant after such an experiment, but it's just as likely that religious pundits would screech about how God was punishing us by taking away our ability to discern differences. Sigh.
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  5. Also, since you takin' sociology right now, this shit was a fun-ass read. A cute recommendation from me to you. Just one book because goodness knows I'm not about to flood your shit with my entire reading list.

  6. I'll give it a read. I admit my knowledge of sociology is brief at best. I'm more acquainted with the biological differences of men and women and the ideologies society runs on, moreso than how collectives of individuals behave.

    Ergo why I'm not stating as fact how boys and girls are for certain: Merely their biological functions, that exceptions to the norm exist, and that the norm is created based on masculinity and femininity, which we created out of interpreted differences. IE: Masculinity exists to help boys manage their unique differences from girls, and vice versa. How that is expressed varies from culture to culture, though core principles are curiously similar no matter how distant the two comparable societies are.

    If I were to state one thing as fact, however, it would be this: Societies that refused to change, always were conquered by others more willing to adapt to changing circumstances... :ferret:
  7. ... That book recommendation was directed at Luna. Not you.

    y'know. fyi.
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  8. Brovo, you continually amaze me with your extremely wide net of knowledge.

    Really I agree with this so much that talking about it would be an echo chamber, so instead I'll just skip to my distinctive points.

    1. I think that you assumed by text text that I marked blue that I believe this is a result of heteronormativity. I don't mean to make that point so much as I wanted to present the question of if the ability to know for certain the biological sex of a person reinforced the idea held by many that straight pairings are the only "real/natural" ones. I presented this question particularly because I wanted to ask if making it less likely to be attracted to someone of the same gender (just to approach or find interest, not further) made it easier for heteronomative beliefs to exist. I'm 100% aware that gender is a social construct, and therefore it will change with culture.

    2. I don't think the differences between culture really affect the relationship between the social dynamic and the potential reinforcement of heteronomativity. I mean, taking out the issue of different cultures interacting with each other, most people understand which gender performance is which, even if the method is different. I'd definitely agree that there are cultures that provide exceptions specifically because they challenge heteronomativity in various ways, but I'm not really asking about which cultures develop the idea, so much as this very particular concept might reinforce it (which assumes it is already held).

    3. While your last answer was interesting, I meant that last question less as a societal reaction, and more as a personal. How would you be impacted by this?

    4. You are totally right about the religious people. "If something can happen, it will, in the greatest extent it can. The mere existence of a choice ensures its eventual execution."
  9. No promises on when I'll have the time, but sure thing.
  10. I am married, so not knowing anyone's gender at a glance wouldn't bother me. Because I am not looking for men to date. So unless I wanted to talk about vagina and boobie problems with other girls that would understand, I have no NEED to know what someone's gender is!

    On the topic, I find people's NEED (I mean the people who are violently insistent on knowing someone's real sex) to see a gender/sex on sight very silly. Just down on the base level, when you're looking for someone you're interested in dating it's not going to kill you to find out someone's sex in the process of talking to them. It's no different than finding out someone is already dating a person or already married. Married people don't always have wedding rings to mark when they're married, and you don't see people having hissies over that. There are a ton of things you have to learn about people to discover if they are a compatible mate for you. Someone's sex and sexual preferences are no different.

    The only other reason outside of dating to know someone's sex would be for a discussion that only someone with those parts would be able to understand. And again, if you're going to be talking about something that personal, you probably would already know the person you're chatting with and have figured out what gender they were by then. o__o
  11. I can agree with most of what's been said so far.
    But I just want to confirm, was my interpretation of "gender performance" correct, or was I off?
    If I was off I'd like to at least be made aware of that so I don't make such a mistake again later.
  12. So, I'm not sure how, but I totally missed this post. I was extremely tired, so it isn't terribly surprising, but sorry I somehow didn't even notice. I didn't get notice till today when you made that second post.

    In a nutshell, gender performance is the specific acts we do to express our gender. It varies with cultures, and there are lots of nuances and exceptions for how people specifically perform their gender, but you basically have the idea. Gender roles and gender performance go hand in hand, one is the expectation for action, while the other is the action itself.

    As for your example, I meant something a lot like that, but particularly I wanted to show how someone could look visually attractive as with based on how they appear. If you see someone who looks attractive, and you are single, then you might approach them for that reason. If all goes well, you might want to date them to learn more, but if it turns out they aren't someone you'd want to have sexual relations with, then you come to the awkward conclusion that you can't continue relations in the same way because of that. It also means you are made to realize that it is really impossible to judge potential candidates by appearance alone(which is particularly ironic since this has always been the case). In recognizing men can find other men attractive visually, and women can find other women attractive visually, it is possible that it would be easier to understand how men and women could be sexually attracted to each other. This is the possibility that is explored by the question I present.
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  13. So it's the idea/image of gender according to specific cultures basically?
    Basically create a situation that allows heterosexuals to better understand and relate to those who are LGBT?
    In which case I do agree, such a situation would allow more people to relate because they'd end up being attracted to their own sex once in a while.
  14. No. Because how one expresses masculinity and femininity differs in varying cultures across the world. Ergo "what is normal?" Applies as the rule of thumb: Some cultures are inherently more accepting of homosexuality than others, and how one even expresses desire and follows through on courtship rituals in heterosexual relationships differs. One man's flirtation is another man's rude remark, or even threat given extreme circumstances.

    The ability to discern differences in others (IE: gender) does not reinforce the idea of male-female pairings being the "norm." It simply means you are capable of seeing a physical difference in another person. The same applies to ethnicity: Just because I can tell that Mongoloids and Negroids have different natural skin tones to my own, doesn't mean that it enforces the idea of a eurocentric or ethnocentric viewpoint: It merely means I can see the physical difference between a Caucasoid (myself), and someone of another ethnic background.

    I can tell that the blue car is different from the red car. Even if blue cars are normal, that doesn't make the red car an aberration: It makes it different. Societal preconceptions and fundamentalism are by and far more prevalent in causing the idea of enforced social norms, than being able to perceive differences. The very fundamental idea behind Canadian multiculturalism for example is that I can easily discern the difference between myself and an immigrant Muslim: I simply don't treat them as a lesser person. They're free to express themselves and their cultural beliefs, same as I, so long as we respect each other's individual rights. Differences are perceived and cherished rather than shunned. Ideally, anyway.
    Perception of it, and how it's expressed? Yes. The actual, physical differences between males and females? Not particularly. The idea of masculinity and femininity will never go away, because boys and girls tick in different ways. :ferret:
    Again, not really. Being able to perceive a difference doesn't then inherently cause a person to enforce it as a static law. That requires a belief that there are negative connotations imbued in the difference, of which being able to discern the differences between genders is neither particularly harmful or positive: Merely factual.

    I am, biologically, a male. Even if I dress up as a female, and feel like a female trapped in a male's body, at the end of the day, it's still okay for someone to notice the physical difference between my present condition and my ideal condition: It would be rather insulting for them not to, anyway.
    In no particularly strong way. The core of my world view is egalitarian first and foremost: Whether you are black or white, man or woman, short or tall is irrespective to me to how you behave, and what beliefs you practice rather than merely preach. I suppose it would make flirtations somewhat more confusing: "Are you biologically a woman? Can I interest you in a date?" I would, however, adapt quite easily, because one's physical gender is merely part of who they are, not the total sum: Blue is just one colour that makes up the rainbow. Deprived of being able to discern gender at a glance, I'd still be able to discern if someone is well dressed and cares about themselves, or is a slovenly, stench-ridden, craven knave who is trying to sell me a two bit watch he likely mugged off a businessman around the corner.

    I don't particularly care what you are, or what you believe. I care only in what actions you partake, and the manner in which you conduct yourself: Positive qualities appreciated, negative ones not so much.
    Fundamentalists moreso than the religious. I have plenty of religious folks I know that are decent, law abiding folk who want nothing more than to earn a paycheck, care for themselves and their family, and live their lives the best way they believe. The fundamentalists are the ones I'm wary of, the ones that believe in ironclad truths based solely on faith, whose reality is warped by what they believe: These are the types of people where regardless of inclination, good or bad, they can do terrible things and not bat an eye.
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  15. I keep walking into word traps. Communicating about this subject requires a lot more communication than I give myself time for. I was going to respond back in segments, but I felt like the points you've created are something better responded to with a single unified message. If I didn't really answer something important, sorry in advance.

    The concept of normalcy is problematic, and makes it harder to express my point. As you've mentioned and I agree with, femininity and masculinity, viewpoints, rituals, and all manner of activities vary between cultures. Because they are social constructs, they are subject to change with the movement of ideas within the people within a culture.

    Now gender performance is interesting because it is tied to someone's sex(a word a I very intentionally used to depict someone's physical condition, contrasting with gender, which is a title that includes a role that encourages particular performance) at least partially. Although I'm horridly unqualified to make this next statement, my current perception of the normal is that which is expected due to its frequency. For example, on a D20 with 19 sides that say Human and one side that says Alien, Human is normal. This has nothing to do with negative connotations. Alien is different from human, and we can detect this difference, so as you said, this alone doesn't make us believe rolling Human is any better than rolling Alien, it might even be the case that Alien might be considered a rare and superior roll. If the conversation ended here, then you'd be absolutely right in saying it was culturally isolated.

    The reason why the comparison of the car and the dice fail to explain functions of culture is because neither of these examples of normalcy are under the influence of a human base of creation. It is completely unsurprising to find these relationships purely factual, for the reason that they are isolated fact-based systems. People however can be systematically affected in a way that can bias normalcy, as well as if a thing is perceived as deviant(bad different for lack of a better term). There is no such factor in either of our examples. This is why I can present the factor of gender performance, something existent nearly universally across all cultures(though in different ways), as a particular factor that could potentially result in a negative connotation connected to the irregularity of gender performance not matching sex.

    So with the understanding that the human base is relevant in detecting the meaning of difference, first I must describe some characteristics of the base that are relevant to the subject. Biologically we are more likely to be programmed to have sexual desires for the opposite sex. This results in an overwhelming majority of the population being straight, and therefore, teaching their children norms associated with the dichotomy of male/female(though, this is becoming less true due to the rise of information technology). Because these adults an children account for a majority and they learn to use visual indicators to detect gender, a situation in which people are encouraged in major development institutions to reinforce this norm also exists. Once this norm is ingrained and is established to be useful, a situation is created in which someone is viewed as being deviant rather than simply different. It was taught behavior, and it will continue to be taught so long as the idea that girls and boys should distinguish themselves in a way that their gender matches their sex.

    The deck is stacked against a culture believing that gender doesn't need to match sex because often the distinction is useful. People find it convenient that simply by looking at someone, they can make communication relevant to gender without fear of creating a misunderstanding. This is especially true when the language has separate words for addressing each gender like sir, ma'am, mis, mr, -chan, -kun, and the like. It is also useful when distinctions in role are created in the culture so that proper gender performance correction can take place. For example, someone trying to take the female role could be instructed to curtsy instead of bow, walk through the door instead of getting it, or whatever that culture says that role does. Furthermore, people can pursue romantic relations without fearing that they might show attraction to someone of the same sex. These are all examples of how what is viewed as normal can also become useful.

    While many cultures have other forces acting on them that prevented the scenario I described in the above two paragraphs from executing(such as acknowledging more than two genders or having a lack of socializatio agents ran primarily by straight individuals that encourage gender norms by sex), otherwise prioritized something above it, or even distinguished it as having other merits, the bottom line is that there is a clear driving force to making gender an absolute determiner of sex. It swings both ways since this is determined by many factors, but this particular force causes a powerful and near-universal skew.

    This is why I asked if heteronormativity for reinforced by the encouragement of gender binary complementing sex binary. The target of sexuality might not be so clear cut as male or female. It seems to me that the person someone wants to have sexual relations with also has to do with a large number of factors of importance varying by the individual. Gender is one such factor. By limiting gender and sex combinations to a binary, are you also limiting sexual targeting? This is the question I mean to present, and I present it because I don't have a clear answer. I just know that there is a strong underlying reason for some people to attempt to limit gender to a binary, and I'm worried that the consequence of this might be far-reaching.

    I definitely think you are right that tradition is a big factor in this, and maybe even a driving factor in this driving factor, but I just wanted to make it understood that there might be other factors that make such a thing more than simply difference. If it were just difference, it would be an extremely positive thing. The ability to accept difference makes us stronger, more empathetic, more able to understand, to adapt, to see what is beautiful. This just isn't that kind of difference yet, not for a lot of people, and it isn't their fault. Knowing that this isn't a fact-based system, knowing that the underlying foundation of what describes normality, deviance, and difference is human, what can be done? I'm really not sure, but I'm certain that it should be within our mindset when attempting to answer.

    So to summarize, the overwhelmingly large straight population creates gender norms because what is normal is what occurs most frequently. This normalcy is then sometimes applied to grant some utility grounded in the idea that what is normal is also the case. Cases which disrupt these utilities are often seen as deviant, and since these utilities are disrupted by the abnormal; therefore, the abnormal is often the deviant. This view causes some individuals to limit gender to a binary in which gender and sex are one in the same. Limiting gender might also indirectly place a limit on sexual targeting; therefore reinforcing heteronormic beliefs. The scope of this argument is people who live in a culture in which the primarily straight majority teaches gender based norms based on the sex of their children.

    *exhales*, ok, I think I finally did this topic justice.

    And yeah. I broke my own rule and generalized all religious people. All I can say is oops. I didn't mean it, promisies!
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  16. I think you are asking what affects immediate interpersonal attraction. Here's a review (reading the abstract should be good enough):


    And something a little more accessible:

    In both reviews, gender performance, as I understand your definition, does not seem to play any significant role. Identifying the sex is important, because there will be a sex you are biologically attracted to. But the gender performance that a particular person gives does not seem to matter so long as you are biologically compatible and they meet a few more abstract conditions.
  17. Well, ummm, those are both lovely, but neither of those claim to be exhaustive lists. I have no doubt that all those factors are important, but there are many more unlisted. Further complicating is that some elements don't separate nicely, and the more detailed 50 page article seems to have areas in which particular needs might be included within multiple categories. At the very least, I know plenty of people are extremely off-put by my gender performance, so I'd find it hard to believe that it gender is not a factor in who you can love in any significant way.

    Also, this point is extremely tangent to the questions and framework presented by the topic. This is a cool topic, but it deserves its own thread.
  18. I am slightly confused by the way you word your questions. Please bear with me, and if my tone comes across as confrontational, I am not deliberately being so.

    Are you asking how gender performance is tied to biological sex? Research shows that we can do differentiate males and females both by sight and smell, both physical descriptors. Furthermore, research shows that the gender gap decreases as men and women attain education or take similar roles and jobs (jargony paper here) - yet the sexual difference remains.

    Are you asking how incongruent gender performance and sexual presentation can put some people off? Even I would feel strange, at first, interacting with a biological female who does the male gender performance, and vice versa. I can't help it because, as you pointed out, we have certain expectations (stereotypes) brought on by our environment. But I would do my best to work past it, because friendship does not hinge on gender performance or sexual orientation. Your statement is supported by the APA.

    But, are you asking how gender performance is tied to attraction? Many studies (and I have given you reviews of them as above) find that attraction (and love and relationships) is based on things beyond sex and gender. Physical attraction may be needed to start courtship, but it is certainly not the most important by far in a relationship - research has shown that we find our partners more beautiful and more endearing over time.

    However, physical attraction (sorry, wiki article) is rooted in hard-to-identify concepts of beauty and aesthetics. Here is where the terminology starts to get really weird. According to lots of research, there are certain physical descriptors that gynophiles are attracted to. In that light, Andrej Pejic is physically attractive. Andrej gender performs by deliberately masking parts of anatomy that would have been biologically identified as male. This obfuscation leads people who are physically attracted to females labeling Andrej as an attractive female - and also all the underlying assumptions of female biology!

    Is it gender performing to be physically attractive? If one gender performs as a physically attractive person, then it is possible that there will be negative consequences because the person who is attracted has a clear biological expectation (post-op discussion excluded). However, there are far less extreme cases of gender performance, like stereotypical macho men, effeminate men, tomboys, princesses, etc. where the gender performance really does not affect physical attraction. Therefore, it seems that there is some sort of line drawn when gender performance encroaches on the territory of physical attraction.

    I think you are sitting at a very difficult interstice. I wish you the best of luck on your quest for enlightenment.

    In concluding, I place a heavy blame on academic institutions that rely on inconsistent jargon. It is the bane of any scientific practice and it muddles its dissemination to amateurs (in the purest, non-bad-connotation sense of the word).
  19. I'm a bit confused as to what you're trying to get at here exactly.

    Are you asking if getting rid of such a thing can get people confusing others for a sex they're not?
    Are you asking if getting rid of such a thing would cause less people to be heterosexual?
    Are you asking if people are attracted to more identities than the traditional male/female, and that getting rid of such a thing would allow such attractions to blossom more?
  20. Well, I'm not suggesting any action, I'm just stating that sometimes in a relationship, people value a particular gender performance. In my case, I want to date someone who not only is female, but has a female gender performance(not they can't have masculine traits, but just mostly female). By limiting gender to only combinations that match sex, it might be the case that you are also limiting the possible number of ways that people can sexually target.

    So to answer your questions directly.

    All. I'm not really asking anything so much as I am presenting information to let you come to your own conclusion.

    1. I'm not sure if I'd like to get rid of a gender-sex binary, but I would rather enjoy people looking at gender as a continuum that doesn't always correspond to sex.

    2. Actually, no. If you are attracted to the other sex, that probably isn't going to change. However, I do believe that the term heterosexual would become more broad because it would include feminine men attracted to women, and masculine women attracted to men.

    3. Well, I think there has always been more to it. There was a day in human history where all that mattered was you had the ability to reproduce with an individual, but now it is different. For each person, there are countless traits which are significant in a relationship. Maybe you value certain activities, a particular religion, a certain political view, physical features, personalities, fetishes, and the list goes on. All I'm really saying is that gender is also a consideration that is fairly sizable for a lot of people, and the current system seems to suggest that sex and gender should always the same thing(which they aren't). It can even be seen in the English language that the words for describing gender and sex are all the same words. Sex: Boy or Girl, Male or Female Gender: Boy or Girl, Male or Female.
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