Dr. Debra Soh Debunks Claims of a Gender Spectrum


3 years ago



Dr. Debra Soh

3 appearances

Dr. Debra Soh is a sex neuroscientist, journalist, and author of “The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society.” www.DrDebraSoh.com


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Within sex research in particular, I feel like sex research was the the carry in the coal mine because we saw this coming decades ago in that one professor, Michael Bailey at Northwestern University, there's been a long history that's ugly between sex researchers and transgender activists. And Michael Bailey wrote a book, I think it was 2003 that really enraged some activists. And I have to say trans activists don't speak for all transgender people. I have many trans people who've reached out to me over the years telling me that they actually agree with me. But I feel activists tend to be the most vocal, they tend to be the most aggressive. And so after researchers saw what happened to Mike, I mean, I in the book I talked about the things that they did to him, some of them were very unethical, really, they really tried to ruin him professionally and, and his personal reputation as well. And so after that, people said, well, you know, I'm not touching the subject because it's just not worth it. And so anyone who has tried to counter trans activists since then also face really serious repercussions. So I think that's been part of it. And I think also with lot more broadly with this ideology, that students are being taught this and they graduate that go out into the real world, they get jobs. And a lot of people, even five years ago, I would say dismissed a lot of this ideology, especially on gender, they would say, that's only in academia, that is not something that's actually going to affect me in my real life. But here it is now, it affects everybody. There's no way that you this is not affecting you. I think it's just a question of how much do you pay attention to it? You know, people send me messages, they tell me about when they have training at work, they tell me about their kids education. Like at the book, I don't just talk about transitioning children, I talk about the idea that gender is not a social construct. It is not a spectrum. I talk about how there is a relation between gender identity and sexual orientation, which you're also supposed to not say, apparently. I talk about sex differences, you know, and these are all things that are considered taboo. And I don't understand why we can't just have a fact based conversation. We're not saying that this information justifies discrimination against people. In fact, I'm always very clear to say that it doesn't. Well, I think this is one of the reasons why you're so important because you're obviously a very intelligent, kind person, and you're not a hateful person, and you're not in any way discriminating. You are looking at this as a scientist, and you're looking at this as a person who is very frustrated by the fact that you can't discuss science, particularly when it comes to really critical aspects of people's lives, which is sex and gender. I would love to talk to you about what you just had, though. When you said that there's not a spectrum when it comes to gender, that's a common narrative. So what do you mean by that? Like there's not a spectrum? So there are two genders. And so gender, for 99% of us, our biological sex is our gender. Biological sex is determined by gametes, which are either eggs or sperm. So there are no intermediate gametes. So gender is either male or female. So this I do not think validates the existence of intersex people or transgender people. I think we can advocate for equal rights for those communities. We don't have to reconceptualize what gender or sex are. And also for intersex people in particular, most of them want to live within the binary. They want to live as either male or female. They don't want gender or sex to be collapsed into a kaleidoscope or a galaxy or whatever else. I mean, this is what's being published in scientific papers now. They refer to gender as quite literally a galaxy. So I mean, it's ridiculous. That's pretty crazy. Not just a spectrum, but a galaxy. 250 billion types. Is that what it's like? Like all the stars? That's crazy. When you say there's just two genders, first of all, that's going to enrage people, right? But second of all, you can see that there are very feminine men and very masculine women. And if that is true, what accounts for that? It goes back to the prenatal environment. So I definitely don't deny that they're gender atypical people. I, as a woman, I look very feminine, but I'm actually very gender atypical. I've always felt more masculine. And even to this day, I feel much more masculine than feminine. Wait a minute. Wait, hold on a second. You feel masculine? Really? That's crazy. You don't even, oh my God, you don't even seem remotely masculine. Like what, what determines that you are masculine? I would say, well, from a young age, I'd always been more like boys. I looked like a boy when I was younger. I've always just, my friends were always boys and guys. And I've always felt, I've just always felt more like a man, just like you feel like a man, right? It's gender is one of those things in terms of how we describe it is so personal. And that's why I feel it's so important to focus on the evidence because without that, what do you really have? So what it really, what it comes down to is a testosterone exposure in the womb. Right. But how are you, how are you like a man? If you see, well, how can I say this? It's hard for me to not go in and digging into personal examples, right? But I would just say I've always been more like boys. If you look at how boys behave and how girls behave, I've always been more like the boys. Okay. Like in like your interests and you're in the fast cars. My behavior, I'm into fighting, right? I've been a martial artists when I was young, especially. So I always get into fist fights with the boys and I would actually win. But you're, that's hilarious because you seem very feminine to me. That's very odd. People always say that to me. Yeah, for sure. So this spectrum that does exist, even though there are two genders in your opinion, a male gender and a female gender. Well, it's not in my opinion. It's not in my opinion. It is. Okay. But that, okay, scientifically, right? There's two genders, but this is obviously a hot button subject, right? If just saying there's two genders will get you canceled. Oh, I know. I know. We can talk about the non binary movement because I'm actually very concerned in terms of what that movement is about. And I am all for this and I'll use whatever pronoun someone wants me to use. I'll be respectful. My issues when people again say that this is backed by science when it isn't. And when we're also not talking about what it's actually about. So for a lot of people who are identifying as non binary, I think it's coming from a place of sexism in society or homophobia. So a lot of people who identify as non binary, especially among people who are born male, they will normally come out as gay as a gay man and then decide to be non binary or for people who are born female. Many of them don't, they feel a lot of discomfort around their bodies, the changes they experience being a woman. They don't like the attention that they're getting. They don't want to be sexualized. For some of them, they get, they have exposure to pornography at a young age and they, they think that that is actually what sex is going to be like. And they think I don't want that. So how do I avoid that? Well, if I be, if I become something other than a woman, I will not have to experience this. And no one is saying to them, you know, number one pornography, I'm definitely not anti porn. You know, I used to write for a very prominent men's magazine. So I have no issue with that. I just think we have to be able to have a conversation saying, you know, if you feel different, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be a woman or with regards to pornography, it's entertainment. So that's not what sex is going to be like when you get there.