Magazine article The Humanist

Sexual Relativity and Gender Revolution

Magazine article The Humanist

Sexual Relativity and Gender Revolution

Article excerpt

Charles Darwin's evolution, Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis, and Albert Einstein's relativity have all become fundamental concepts in modern science, but if you ask the person on the street to explain any of them (especially the latter) you will most often get blank stares.

Throughout human history, when unimaginable scientific revolution occurs, most people firmly resist the change. Even though Copernicus put the final nail in the coffin of Ptolemy's heliocentric theory in 1543, John Milton, writing Paradise Lost a century later, could not quite accept Copernicus and reverted to Ptolemy in his construction of eternity. We know that presently there are hundreds of societies and organizations dedicated to abolishing Darwin's discoveries even though no aspect of biology makes any sense without them. And as for Einstein's relativity, outside of physics circles this astounding revolution is incomprehensible to most, much less accepted as verifiable space physics.

All of this laggard acceptance of scientific truth has caused many problems in recent human history but we are now faced with a development that may overshadow all the others in terms of societal acceptance--the gender revolution.

As far back as ancient Sparta we can observe erotic bonds among soldiers who practiced heterosexual family life when peace arrived. From childhood, Alexander the Great's greatest love was Hephaestion, even though he married Roxane and became a father. This common bisexuality continued without any societal rejection in the classical world to the end of the Roman Empire. But with the advent of the Dark Ages this socially accepted phenomenon went underground, condemned and buried in the religious laws of both Christianity and Islam.

Gender questioning has developed slowly through intervening centuries, but with the arrival of the Internet and social media, issues, discussions, and proclamations have come forth that would have been unimaginable only a couple of decades ago. Facebook, with more than a billion users, has recorded some fifty gender classifications (agender, cisgender, transgender, genderfluid, binary, transsexual, LGBTQ, and androgynous, to name but a few). One recent survey found that nearly a third of young Americans identified themselves somewhere between 100 percent heterosexual and 100 percent homosexual.

Historically, science has determined that gender is an amalgamation of several factors: chromosomes, anatomy, hormones, psychology, and culture. People with the chromosomes and genital anatomy of one sex may identify as something other than cisgender because they perceive themselves as the opposite sex, occasionally with both or with neither sex, or maybe with no sex.

The past decade has produced a plethora of studies, surveys, and conferences on gender identity. Much of the discussion has evolved around young people, many of whom are laying claim to a wide variety of sexual identities. The big question is: Do these gender varieties reflect accurate phenomena which have always existed in human nature or do many of these claims reflect teenage sexual experimentation? The answer, based on the amalgamation of causes noted above, may be that both factors are involved for some, but not for others.

The concept of transgenderism is alien and even abhorrent in many societies, however in some countries (Argentina, Norway, Denmark and ten others) gender reassignment is legal with no restrictions and is simply based on the request of the individual. In forty-one others (including Brazil, China, and most of Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia) it's legal but subject to medical requirements. In twenty-seven countries (Russia, South Africa, and Chile among them) gender reassignment is possible but inconsistently allowed. And in sixty-seven countries, primarily from the Muslim world and Southeast Asia, change is not legally possible. In some of these countries, wearing clothing not in line with one's sexual assignment at birth is a criminal offense. …

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