True Sex

From Sex and Intersex. Version 0.5.2

Gender defenders, when mentioning intersex, bring a concept of "true sex." This is never explained precisely, but understood to mean intersex people are, in their "true" existence, really purely female or purely male. Said another way, God intends for a person to be, for example, female but her intersex condition creates an illusion of maleness combined with femaleness; if we dig down, her femaleness is revealed as primary and her maleness as secondary.  The "true sex" concept is required for the gender binary because intersex people, like everyone else, need to be sorted into one gender/sex or the other.

There are three problems with the true sex concept: 1. It is self-contradiction, 2. hypocritical, 3. unknowable, and 4. a shoddy theology of Creation.

"True sex" is self-contradiction because it takes the word "sex," maintains the connotation, philosophy, and theology but changes the definition to something completely different. "Sex," by definition describes the physical. This is not my definition but the unanimous definition. An intersex person with one ovary and one testis (mixed gonadal dysgenesis) is quite simply male and female.Or partly male and partly female if you prefer.  Sex is body. But "true sex" means to say that our bodies don't really tell us our sex. Those differing gonads are really only male or only female. The only logical conclusion is that either the testis is female or the ovary is male!Mixed gonadal dysgenesis is a nice, neat example. There are many others: female beards, male breast tissue, male vaginas, female penis, and male clitoris.  Absurd. When gender defenders talk about true sex, they refer to an idea about human existence that transcends and sometimes contradicts our bodies. Do we have a word for that? Oh yes, "gender!" They really mean "true gender." A man can have an ovary and a woman a testis. And if a man can have an ovary, there is no reason a man can't have a two ovaries (that is, a transman). Of course that word would reveal that gender defenders, when put in a corner, really believe gender is more important than sex.That brings up the second problem.

"True sex" or "true gender" makes gender defenders hypocrites in regards to Nature. Remember that transgenderism believes Nature, manifest through our bodies, is not the highest or sole authority; rather something which transcends our bodies is also important. Christians (as opposed to Gnostics) will put the two on a more or less equal level. Gender defenders, however, told us Nature is inerrant and our feelings need to conform to Nature. "You must feel good and patriotic about your genitals." Now that we come to intersex, they change their position! Now, like good Christians, they say Nature is only part of the story. Nature is not perfect; Nature makes mistakesI think that is rather poor theology, but a more accurate statement is too complicated and off-topic. You understand my meaning. ; Christians may and often should work against Nature.

The most damning remark against "true sex" is that, even if it did exist, it would be worthless because true sex is unknowable. True sex is only valued because, in theory, it answers, "Is it a boy or a girl?" If an intersex person had a true sex but no one could know it, why would it matter? The purpose of having a true sex is to live accordingly but that requires knowing your true sex.

It is impossible to know true sex because it does not exist; proving a fact about a make-believe object is tricky. It is altogether impossible because true sex / true gender is philosophy (gender) masquerading as biology (sex). The gender defenders give us nothing to go on except recommending karyotypes. Why? The thinking, I suppose, is that, like Creation and the Garden of Eden, our bodies began perfectly and then degenerated. Understanding our origin will reveal true sex and genes are set at conception. As if God was involved completely during conception and not a moment later? Christian do not believe this about Creation, so why would we believe it about our individual creations?  The reason gender defenders love genes so much is they think (and lie) that all sex becomes black and white at that point. But Klinefelters, Turner and mosaicism expose that as false simplicity. Lacking any other reason, picking genes versus hormones, genitals, breast size, hair patterns, etc is completely arbitrary. Those things reveal how much someone is female or male, but not whether they are truly one or the other. You could, hypothetically, create an scale (also arbitrary) combining every sex characteristic to measure a person's sex. But scoring a person as 73% male and 27% female does not make them truly female. Every attempt at finding true sex only emphasizes we are hunting a product of our imagination. Further, I have yet to hear of an intersex person who found their true sex.

My final complaint against true sex is what it means for our theology. Besides the atrocity that Christians should obey our bodies without question, "true sex" infers that God's plan is a secret we need to go discover. A couple of proteins in our cells contain the answer to who we should marry, whether we seek ordination, whether to change our name, and all the ways gender impacts our place in the world. Thousands of pages of Scripture and millenia of Christian tradition aren't enough, we need to embark on a mystical quest all alone? That is just like Gnosticism, not orthodox Christianity.  Worse still, it smacks of legalism. Rather than consider "is this loving" as Jesus taught and "is this helpful, healthy, fruitful" as Paul taught, depending on true sex degrades us to the Pharisees. "Should I wear pink or blue? Let me consult my karyotype kosher test results."

If you need further proof, consider the utter absence of intersex people who have discovered their true sex and their lifestyle questions answered. Even Jerry Leach's intersex example shows someone living as both genders; if they knew or cared about their true sex they would live as one or the other. The EV Alliance believes AIS women and some other intersex people should not live according to their genetic sex.p21 Report