11-13-02, 05:46 PM #1
Boys will be boys...or will they?
After recently watching a video called Sex: Unknown, I and my friends started to wonder about the nurture vs. nature debate.
The good old debate begins with something like:
"Is our personality based on biological needs, or societal influences?"
The video starts off with the tragic tale of David Reimer. "When a circumcision operation went horribly wrong, doctors decided to turn the then eight-month-old David Reimer into a girl. It was argued that reassigning sex was easy. Nurturing, not nature, determined psychological make-up."
The rest of the video went off to show his tortured adolescene, and studies with rats showed how female rats injected with testosterone not only grew male gentalia, but also engaged in male behaviour (e.g. attempts to mate with other normal females).
Up close brain slices showed a growth in the SDM, and that's what scientists think is responsible for males and females. Brains of transexuals show differences as well; males leaning toward a more female structure, and vice versa.
Therefore, there is evidence for both sides of the story.
What are your thoughts?
Should babies with abnormal genitalia be "reassigned"?
IS your sexuality based on your brain, or how you were brought up?
Because experiments have shown that a male baby placed in blue would elicit comments like "He's a strong, healthy baby.", whereas the same male baby placed in pink clothing would inspire baby talk and gushiness from adults, common behaviour towards a female baby.
11-13-02, 06:09 PM #2
I don't think they should be reassigned. How do the doctors know how the child will grow up? Members of the medical community have all taken classes while in college on ethics and morals. The decision to reassign a child is a decision not supported by many in the field. They, the doctors, are responsible for ensuring the well-being of people. They are not there to direct you or guide you. Even if they thought that was the correct course of action to take, unless it posed a risk to the baby then what they did was ethically wrong, not that it's not already ethically wrong. People, after growing up and maturing and developing their own sense of judgement may in fact request an operation to change sexes. They are allowed this because they are able to think for themselves and can make their own decisions whereas a baby does not get this chance. They are unable to choose which sex they want to be so it would have been wise to let nature run its course instead of tampering with it. Physical sexuality is the sole consequence of nature whereas emotional sexuality is the result of environment, how you were brought up as well as the chemical interactions in your brain (I'm no expert on this aspect). To change a baby's physical sexuality is wrong, IMO.
11-13-02, 08:21 PM #3
I watched that program as well. I have never believed in this nurture bullcrap. No they should not be reassigned. Over zealous doctors who want a large paycheck at the end of the month are mostly at fault. The kid when he or she is competant can make their own decision.
11-13-02, 09:52 PM #4
let the parents choose.
If the parents disagree with each other let the doctor be the tiebreaker.
11-14-02, 04:25 AM #5
what that neglects to talk about is that to change a babys sex requires the child to take the oposite gender's sex hormones for the rest of its life or it reverts but without the natural abilitys
ie if u make a boy female and no hormones it will be a castrated male
11-15-02, 07:58 AM #6
i really dont know. its a minefield. i think its hard to say. i starting a thread simliar to this. its about intersexuals (hermaphrodites) as im studying them at the moment. This little girl (!!?) was born with no ovaries or vagina, had no penis but had testicles. 'She' also had no anus and i dont think she had a bladder either (or not a fully formed one anyway). They removed 'her' testicles but didnt think she would live so they christened her as soon as possible and as a boy. They called 'her' Joel. But she lived and the parents were advised to bring her up as a girl. Getting the birth certificate changed was so hard for them though. It meant that she wouldnt be able to marry a male, her passport would show her as a boy etc. just think of the problems there. I persoanlly think they did the right thing in this case as bringing her up as a girl. In the circumcision case you gave i dont know. i think in cases of abnormal genitalia they should be brought up as girls. forgive me here but kids are crueller than anyone and so growing up with such serious defect are bound to become known. They will be picked on for this (all kids get picked on at some stage when they are young). this however will make the child more passive or 'sub-dominant'. ( the girls are going to go mad). these are feminine traits. To be brought up as a male and therefore to socialise with males will make him an outsider when his 'deformities' get noticed. He will therefore be a sub-dominant male. however. If his deformities get noticed as a female any singling out of him will still make 'him' sub-dominant and passive. 'Normal' traits for a female. being brought up as a girl will mean socialising with girls who (i think) will not be as viscious as lads would be. I think any (or at least most. anyone think of any cases where this isnt true) cases of physical sexual abnormality should result in the child being raised as a female (age providing of course)
..let the doctor be the tiebreaker.
....requires the child to take the oposite gender's sex hormones for the rest of its life.
Last edited by p_ete2001; 11-15-02 at 08:04 AM.
11-19-02, 12:07 PM #7
I was nurtured and i have nature. What's so hard about this debate.
11-20-02, 05:19 PM #8
Originally posted by p_ete2001
i really dont know. its a minefield. i think its hard to say.
11-20-02, 05:48 PM #9
With all the cosmetic surgury nowadays, couldnt they just "fix" it or something?
11-20-02, 05:59 PM #10
Nature or nurture?
Often a point of contention between scientific schools of thought, both in general and in given scenarios.
My personal feeling about the relative proportions of each of these attributes in the characterisic of sexuality or even sexual preference is that respectively nature : nurture = 15 : 85.
On the matter of whether adjustments should be made to an individual phenotypically; Each case will display it's own merits and would need individual judgement.
Though it is obviously better if the adjustment can be made as close to birth as possible.
11-23-02, 05:17 PM #11