Is Gender Orientation biological?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Buddha1, Dec 26, 2005.

?

Do you think Gender orientation is biological or psychological?

  1. Gender orientation is Biological

    10 vote(s)
    58.8%
  2. Gender orientation is pscyhological

    3 vote(s)
    17.6%
  3. I don't know and I'd like to find out

    4 vote(s)
    23.5%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cross Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    62
    Actually I didn't I make a mistake come to think of it, but I won't discuss it further here. It's off topic, and since trying to debate it here would only be a distraction from this thread, I won't continue to get into it here. It's be diservice to the thread and to the posts I made here, and any other relevent posts others have made here. If Anomolous or anyone would like to debate wether opinion has any place in science, then they ought to start a thread for that topic. I may or may not participate in such a thread, but you can give it try. However, I won't discuss something I didn't choose to participate in when I decided to responded to this thread.

    Besides, Buddha asked for my opinion when he asked people to tell him what they thought of his idea. I did just that.

     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2006
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Anomalous Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,710
    Stay away from that buddha1, he is from the lost generation. There is no point in asking people what they think, instead its important to find out whats out there.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    First of all, let me tell you that I'm really impressed by your observation and analysis of how gender and social pressures interact --- and by how well you've described it. I examine little details about myself and people around me about gender and how they react to pressures and then analyse them (since this is the subject of my work/ research), although I am not so good in putting the same into words.

    When I came to sciforums, I was looking for this kind of detailed discussion. What I got was mediocre, 'beginners' level discussion --- which has not really done much to enrich my own knowledge. Your posts give me the opportunity to take it to at least the 'intermediary' level.

    Having said that, let me happily disagree with you, at least partly. What you are saying in effect in your post is that there is a gender amongst humans that is imposed by the society, and we do react to it and personalise it, therefore all gender according to you falls in this category.

    What I'm gonna say is that this is only partly true. True that social gender exists and does effect our sense of 'inner-sex'. But its mechanisms need to be studied more. And more importantly, this does not by itself rule out a gender which is basically 'natural' or biological.

    In other words, I'm saying that Gender essentially is biological. But there is also a strong social gender which has a heavy influence on our natural gender. Like we discussed, environment/ society cannot create beyond a point what nature does not provide for, although it can destroy what nature provided for or disallow it to be able to grow/ develop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2006
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Secondly, let me respond to some of the points that you raised.


    Yet, there is something inner, beyond our control, something that is spontaneous, which makes us feel that we relate to men or women --- whether or not we are men or women. This something is biological and not social.

    Like I have mentioned before, I have observed very young children (although their numbers are very few) who have shown feminine behaviour right from their childhood, even when everyone wants them to behave more like boys. They just can't help it. You cannot say that it is only natural when it is in extremes. Or that only natural when it is 'feminine', and not when it is 'masculine'.


    Doesn't the 'natural' you're talking about translate into nature or biological.


    When the society so heavily trains/ forces/ brainwashes males to be masculine, what survives as feminine is likely to be truly feminine --- although it may only be in a negative/ mutilated form. Although, I agree that in the present scenario a lot of the 'masculinity' in men would be artificial/ unnatural and exaggerated.

    (By the way, the same logic also applies to same-sex needs; when the society so vehemently forces/ trains/ brainwashes men to suppress same-sex needs, what survives as same-sex need would be truly same-sex (and not pretentious), although most of it would be negative/ mutilated, even if it survives. However, a lot of the opposite-sex need would be artificial/ unnatural (even if it is actually there) and exaggerated.)

    And who are we to verify? When a person believes he is a female, on what basis can we say it is all in his mind and not real! Who are we to say that it is a mental disorder!

    You may have been right, if this feeling of femininity was limited to same-sex needs. It does not explain why exclusively heterosexual people feel that way.
     
  8. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Now let me take the example that you presented about how being attracted to a man on the street can trigger a feeling of femininity in men. And how it affects what he does with such an attraction. It's my pleasure to talk about it in detail here.

    All men, however 'macho' they are have some amount of natural femininity in them (just like all men have some amount of estrogen in them!). The society forces/ trains men to suppress and hate this femininity, and most men are not even aware that it exists. Many others who are gifted with it abundantly are quite conscious of it, but prefer to hide it. Social masculinity, including 'heterosexuality' can be a great way to hide it. Those who are abundantly feminine and are denied social masculinity (let's say because of their strong same-sex needs) then do not have any means to hide their feminine self.

    In my opinion we are born with the 'seed' of natural masculinity (and/ or femininity) but which needs to be developed as we progress towards adulthood, througth adolescence. One's natural masculinity can be denied social acknowledgment and venues of expresssion/ development which means that a person who had the potential for abundant natural masculinity but not femininity will grow up to be genderless. (nurture destroys nature!).

    Social acknowledgment of our gender as masculine or feminine (social masculinity or femininity) thus can have a profound influence on our connection with our natural gender. Usually, when any masculine gendered man falls into a social situation where he becomes vulnerable, powerless and deprived of his social masculinity, even for a short time, he involuntarily falls into his natural femininity (gets in touch with it), however little it is......a femininity which had otherwise been suppressed, and he was not even aware of its existence.

    I can give a couple of examples:

    Some Iraqi men who were captured (and tortured) by the US army in Iraq shared their feelings of vulnerability something like this: "They made us strip and stand in line. Then they inspected our bodies, prodding our private parts in a way that made them feel that they were women." They described it as being particularly unnerving, and said in anger, "do anything but don't let a man feel like he is a woman."

    In one episode of the sit-com serial 'Home improvement' ...... which I particularly enjoy because it humorously deals with very serious issues of 'masculinity'....... the 'hero' Tim Allen loses a dear one who has just died. Tim who plays a 'macho' guy keeps control on his emotions (men are not supposed to cry!). But when he goes to the funeral he couldn't control himself and howls uncontrollably. Later, he describes to his wife that weeping like that made him feel very odd --- like he was a woman!

    I am sure, men who go through hazing or are in situations where they are bullied, especially sexually (like in prisons) also feel the same vulnerability that sometimes makes them feel like they are 'females' or feminine, eventhough they may not be able to describe this feeling clearly.

    Such feelings of 'femaleness' can come even in ordinary life situations, especially if one has not 'earned' enough social masculinity and is thus vulnerable. Even otherwise, when a social situation brings a person involuntarily in touch with his natural femininity, this feeling (becuase the presence of natural femininity is low) comes in quick flashes that leave after sometime.

    All the above are situations where men were deprived of social masculinity, but were not really imposed with 'social femininity'. The situation of a man can become much worse, when in addition to losing his social masculinity, artificial social femininity is imposed on him.

    This is what happens when a man feels sexual attraction for another man. Something that you've very minutely and accurately described in your post. The way social mechanism (that manipulates social masculinity and femininity to exert pressures on men) works, liking another man is strongly associated with being a female or feminine. Most men, especially when they are not in touch with their 'natural masculinity' and especially, especially when they are young (adolescents), get panicky when faced with this extreme social vulnerability that makes them feel literally like a 'girl' --- when they feel sexual attraction towards a masculine man. Well, of course they easily ascribe this feminine feeling to their attraction for another man (what with socio- scientific propaganda). So they turn all their hostility towards their sexual need for men, for giving them this womanly feeling.

    This is the most effective social mechanism to motivate men to fight and disown their same-sex feelings, and this is how it works. Men will not leave their same-sex needs if it was just an 'outer' social persecution like with religious or social laws. But they are helpless against this one.

    The opposite of this mechanism works when men like women. There is a strong psychological association (albeit artificial) that the society has created between sexual desire for women and social masculinity. So when a man --- especially if he is not in touch with his natural masculinity (and is thus dependant on social mascuilinity) and especially, especially when he is young (adolescent) where his gender and sexuality are developing --- likes a woman, however low that attraction is, he feels immense power --- a power which is intoxicating. This immense sense of power/ social masculinity puts him in touch with his natural masculinity --- however little of it he may have. This tremendously increases his self-worth, as well as his position in the 'race for manhood' that exists amongst male peers. The man gets addicted to this power. It's like everytime you taste it, your inner natural masculinity shoots up. He wants more and more of it, and starts conditioning his sexual needs in a way that kills/ mutilates same-sex needs and exaggerates those for the opposite-sex.

    This mechanism works differnently for men who have an abundance of 'natural femininity' and are already in touch with it. They easily accept and go with this social femininity that artificially comes from liking another man. They relate with it because of their 'biology' and they find in it a social validation of both their sexual needs and those of gender. A 'homosexual' phenomenon (and all the scientific validation of it) thus comes as a god send boon to them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2006
  9. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Of course most 'meterosexual' gay men (homosexuals (sic) who are both masculine and feminine) will be 'masculine' if they had enough sexual need for women --- and the wonder would have been done by the artificial social masculinity. Most men who appear 'masculine' because of the sexual relationships that they have with women, that grants them social masculinity, are in reality abundantly gifted with femininity --- much more than the feminine 'homosexuals'.

    Of course, most of the time natural gender is not so obvious from the outside, except in the most extreme cases. Unless, of course one highlights it with symbols of social gender. E.g., when gays walk with a gait or address each other as 'girls'. These are part of artificial social gender and are not natural traits.

    Although admittedly, after the heterosexualisation of the modern west which has almost completely driven same-sex needs from the mainstream, the heat on such needs has intensified a thousand times. And thus a small proportion of masculine men have taken refuge in the 'gay' space --- a space which has nothing in store for their gender needs (natural masculinity).
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2006
  10. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    I'm also saying that there is natural gender and there is social gender. But the two may not tally. E.g. what is adjudged or taken as a symbol of masculinity by the society may not really tally with what consitutes real, natural masculinity, and may go against its spirit. Ditto for femininity.
     
  11. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    I am a bit confused as to how people are taking the word 'Gender orientation'. It is clear to me now that westerners have no concept of 'gender orientation'. Can people be confusing 'gender orientation' with 'sexual orientation'?

    It is in stark contrast to how people in non-western societies react to the term 'sexual orientation'. Because they have no concept of sexual orientation, they often confuse it with 'gender orientation'.
     
  12. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    In my culture, when a straight man likes another man, the same social pressures work on him that regulate how he deals with it and stops it from being noticed by the others.

    In most cases, he would avoid looking at the man who catches his fancy, even if the man is coming in his direction. The more intensely he avoids looking at the man, the more would be his attraction towards him.

    He may also, in order to cover up his vulnerability be rude with the man to whom he is attracted. Or at least talk to him in a very 'macho' kind of way -- e.g. using expletives.

    If he is an acquaintance, he may avoid being alone with him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2006
  13. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,878
    OR, if he wanted to be brave, he might actually force himself to look AT the other man, not away! Wouldn't that be the best cover-up yet?
     
  14. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    A good option to release the tension would be to talk about girls or to look at a girl passing by, even if she is not very attractive. Talking about girls or looking at them has immense 'social masculinity' value, and would immediately correct the 'imbalance' or vulnerability caused by the man's attraction for the other man.
     
  15. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Although, and its kind of contradictory --- that men in my society oogle a lot at each other. Especially, if you're young and attractive, both men and women will even turn back to look at you. I think that would not be the case in the west, where men would be very cautious about how they look at another man. Am I right?

    The contradiction in my society is because it is a strange mixture of a traditional society and a modern heterosexual society.
     
  16. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,878
    That does sound weird.

    I don't like to look at people I find attractive, for different reasons. Mainly, is because they always end up making me angry! People may be attractive, but when they open their mouths and start to reveal their inner characters, I find it was much better when there was a rift of silence!
     
  17. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    So, inspite of the very insightful post by Cross, to which I have posted my response a few days ago......

    the winning argument is still that

    "Gender Orientation is biological"
     
  18. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Unless, of course we hear something else from Cross (or others!). Waiting!
     
  19. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    O.K., here is an 'external proof' from scientists that Gender is biological:

    Click here to reach the site

    Here's an excerpt:

    .....This leads to the long standing debate concerning nature and nurture. Do human gender roles emerge from some level of genetic hard wiring, or do gender roles emerge from the social relationships shaped by culture? In the past, researchers from the biological sciences favored genetics, while social scientists favored culture (Richerson and Boyd 2005:4; Zuk 2002). This divide may be shrinking as new theories of gender, and human behavior in general, are trending toward a view that cultural evolution and biological evolution are interdependent systems of inheritance which together define our species.

    One of the most recent and harshest critics of sexual selection has been from the population biologist Joan Roughgarden. In her book Evolution’s Rainbows, Roughgarden (2004) explores her personal interest in concepts of gender. Sex and gender are not the same thing. Due to the great diversity among living species, biological sex cannot easily be determined by body form or mating behavior. The sex that contributes small gamates (sperm) for reproduction is defined as male. Large gamates (eggs) designate the female sex (Roughgarden 2004:23; Dawkins 1989:141; Shennen 2002:180). Gender is not as simple. Roughgarden (2004:27) defines gender as “the appearance, behavior, and life history of a sexed body.” Inclusion of “behavior” and “life history” within definitions of gender implies a strong influence of culture in gender identity.
     
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,374
    This seems to say that gender is NOT biological. Or not JUST biological, anyway.
     
  21. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    It clearly says that Gender is both biological and environmental. (i.e. both nature and nurture). That is what I have been saying.

    Although, you should remember that nurture's role is limited to providing either positive or hostile environment for either nature to grow to its full potential or perish. Nurture cannot 'create' something that nurture has not provided for. At least not in the short or mid run. (See the thread "nature or nurture")

    I have recognised that gender is both biological and man made. What I have also done is to make a clear distinction between what is biological and what is engineered by the society.

    Thus in the case of masculinity, there is a biological masculinity and a social masculinity. Since society cannot really 'create' something that is not 'natural', and 'social masculinity' is often 'unnatural' (as I have yet to prove), most men end up with huge 'pretenses' and 'social masks' (including those of heterosexuality), because there is no way they can naturally acquire those 'unnatural' standards. There is no man who fits in perfectly and naturally in all the roles of 'social masculinity'.

    Social gender, when it goes against our biological gender attributes or needs harms human beings eventually.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2006
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,374
    I agree with this. I disagree, of course, with your views on what is "natural" and "unnatural".
     
  23. Buddha1 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    I think, I have got a new insight on this, after this last discussion with you.

    Gender is basically natural/ biological. But since society influences our gender perception and especially its expression a lot, it also affects our sense of our gender.

    So Gender orientation (i.e our actual gender identity) is actually a combination of both biological gender as well as social gender.

    When we are under pressure, our Gender orientation may not reflect our real sense of gender (i.e. biological gender) and may have more influence of social gender. Many a times when we are conscious of this difference, social gender may be a matter of pretence.

    The social gender, when it doesn't tally with the natural gender is harmful.

    Everything is open to discussion.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page