# Gender Identity and the DSM-V

Reader TM has alerted us to proposed changes in the Diagnostic Criteria for Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-V. These matter because, as I understand it, satisfying these criteria is (at least sometimes) necessary (though not sufficient) for one to get access to certain medical procedures/treatments, and for one’s transition to be legally recognised. (Please correct me if I’m wrong!) TM points out that the criteria are looser than they used to be, and also that they allow for the possibility of more than 2 genders. Here are the criteria:

A. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by 2* or more of the following indicators: [2, 3, 4]

1. a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (or, in young adolescents, the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [13, 16]

2. a strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender (or, in young adolescents, a desire to prevent the development of the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [17]

3. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender

4. a strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

5. a strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

6. a strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

I was surprised to see that the careful parenthetical about alternative genders is absent from criterion 3, which seems odd. I’d very much like to know what others think about the proposed revisions.

## 29 thoughts on “Gender Identity and the DSM-V”

1. mostly i’m following this here:
http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/reflections-on-the-proposed-dsm5-revisions-and-the-role-of-community-consultation/
en|Gender also has a lot on this, including a link to:
http://www.awpsych.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96&catid=74&Itemid=126
Zucker is a big fan of what he calls Autogynephilia, and has some rather peculiar and unattractive ideas about gender and trans* people.
(i hope this doesn’t get spammed because of the links…)

2. The DSM V draft makes clear that the human rights violators around Ken Zucker have plans to widen their gender-sterptypical worldview. Everything that’s gender-atypical will be classified as “mental disorder” in future if there won’t be protests against these ideologies. The paper comes as a wolf in sheep’s clothin… be aware of people who believe that gender-atypical behaviour is a psychic disorder and remeber what the DSM stand for: It’s the book of psychic disorders.

3. The omission of the parenthetical in number 3 doesn’t surprise me (unfortunately) because it’s based on an assumption that while there may be more than 2 genders, there must still be only 2 sexes (male and female). According to this logic, the only primary and/or secondary sex characteristics to be desired are those sitting in a male/female binary.

4. Jender says:

Thanks for the links! Kim– I worried also about the classification as a disorder, and should have mentioned that. Thanks for raising it. Michael– yes, that explanation makes sense.

5. Nemo says:

With regard to criterion number 3 and MJF’s comment thereon, why is the assumption that “while there may be more than 2 genders, there must still be only 2 sexes” unfortunate?

6. I view the idea that there are only two sexes as unfortunate because there aren’t only two sexes — and the view that there are has led to a lot of psychic and physical violence. For example: the idea that there are only two natural sexes has led to non-consensual surgery on babies who are intersex and the marginalization of many intersex folks.

7. The whole concept of “gender identity disorder” is bs since the assumption is that it’s a “disorder” of individuals rather than a disorder of the social context in which they operate. By 4 – 6 I am most certainly gender identity disordered. I hate being female. But not because I don’t like my primary or secondary sex characteristics. In fact, one of my long-standing concerns has been to have (or look like I have) bigger secondary sex characteristics. I just don’t like the expectations, social role and limited job options attached to being female.

8. Nemo says:

MJF, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have an exceptionally strong background in the life sciences, but is it really the case that there are more than two human sexes (not genders, mind you, but sexes)? If so – and it would be good to know of authority to that effect – then the term “intersex” doesn’t seem to make much sense.

There are only four blood phenotypes, as I understand, notwithstanding that a rare patient’s blood will present the characteristics of more than one. Are you concluding from the fact that rare individuals present naturally occurring male and female sexual characteristics mean that there are more than two human sexes? Or are you basing this on something else?

9. @Nemo: Have you been reading too much of Aristotle? Don’t get me wrong, on several levels I have immense respect for him as a philosopher, but really, what is this business of “naturally” occurring kinds (in this case, male/female characteristics) you are talking about? And, please, enlighten on us on what you really understand about phenotypes.

10. Xena says:

I think the distinction between criteria #3 and the parenthesized “other/alternative gender” in criteria #4, 5 and 6 is the expressed desire for surgical correction vs. the desire for social acknowledgement or freedom to express feelings.
Many trans people express dismay at being born a woman with too many androgens, or an XXY chromosome woman. Some are dismayed by their lives as intersex individuals, while some are content to have “the best of both worlds”, live as a “two-spirited” individual, etc.

When it comes to actual corrective surgery consented to and desired by the individual, it’s always a full female to male or male to female change, right? I mean, has there ever been a two-spirit that found a plastic surgeon and said “I’ll take the hormone enhanced clitoris because I’m kind of a ‘size queen’, but leave all the child-bearingstuff so I can be a mom some day” ? Or “turn the ‘boys’ inside out, but leave the REALLY large clitoris, cause I just can’t bear to part with that, but make my secondary thingies a pair of ‘China 2000’s’…no the Pam Anderson rack is just too small…”?

It does seem unfortunate that the DSM is being revised to include alternative expressions of gender as a “disorder”, though. Years ago( in Canada anyway), a prolonged gender identity crisis used to be viewed as good reason for partial government funding for sex change operations, and full funding for hormone treatments. With our government shifting farther and farther right over the last 20 years, I doubt that this is the case any more. After some of the recent American tragedies, I’ve studied, I’m almost certain that sex change surgeries won’t even be a consideration in any American health care proposals.

What do the Americans plan to do with all of their newly labelled “gender disordered” people, anyway?

11. Nemo says:

Vishal, by “naturally occurring” sex characteristic, I meant simply in the ordinary sense of those words (a sense that would exclude one created via medical or surgical intervention). Perhaps you could articulate what you really mean to say here.

Regarding blood phenotypes, I was referring to the ABO blood group system. I’m not sure what the point of your invitation or the hyperlink was. Again, just state plainly what you have to say.

12. @Nemo: Let us probe your “naturally occurring sex characteristic(s)”, shall we? If a set of characteristics occurs naturally, are you implying that the “natural” ontology associated with those characteristics (which are really attributes predicated by “normal” humans) somehow (must) conceptually precede in whatever epistemology we construct? To put it differently, why should it be that something which appears to look “natural” to you or obviously natural to the majority based simply on the sense data you’ve collected be given any epistemological priority over other modes of thinking/knowledge? In addition, why do you (implicitly) assume that your “naturally occurring set of characteristics” itself isn’t undergoing change or evolving to a point where it doesn’t look so natural after all?

Continuing on the theme of the above queries, why talk about only the ABO blood group system when there are 30 (and no less) major blood group systems recognized by the International Society of Blood Transfusions. I can already hear you scream,”But the ABO system is the most dominant one… it beats everything else and that is so because mother Nature has ordained it to be that way… and, hence, it must have priority over other blood group systems!” To which I must respond by emphasizing that the very fact that the ABO system (classification) is not the only blood group system found in humans and that there are other systems (no matter how minuscule their prevalence) points to the fact that the ABO system itself must have evolved over a period of time (millions of year, perhaps!) and that its “success” can be attributed to a combination of genetic and environmental factors (many of the latter kind would be of a completely random nature). Even what is genetic (and frequently considered “prior” to everything else) is constantly undergoing change, which is why Earth has witnessed the growth and development of millions of species, if not billions To put it simply, what seems like natural to you may only be incidental in the “grand scheme of things.”

To conclude, underlying your arguments is the implicit assumption that “naturally occurring” kinds somehow have conceptual and epistemological priority in any intellectual discourse, but always failing to note that those same “natural” kinds invariably evolve over periods of time and that what is naturally occurring may only be incidental and not necessary.

13. Nemo says:

Vishal,

“To put it differently, why should it be that something which appears to look ‘natural’ to you or obviously natural to the majority based simply on the sense data you’ve collected be given any epistemological priority over other modes of thinking/knowledge?”

I’m not sure what “modes of thinking/knowledge” you have in mind, but I think you may be barking up the wrong tree here. As I thought I had clarified, I used “naturally occurring” in a fairly limited descriptive sense (if you have in mind a mode of thinking/knowledge that would reach a different conclusion from the majority as to whether an instance of a sex characteristic was the result of surgery, perhaps you could identify it and we could consider its epistemological merits).

“…. why talk about only the ABO blood group system when there are 30 (and no less) major blood group systems recognized by the International Society of Blood Transfusions.”

That doesn’t seem especially relevant, since I was not asserting the priority of any particular system. I could invent a variant of the ABO system that assigned a distinct group to those rare people who exhibit the characteristics of more than one of the ABO types. But it would then seem somehow problematic for me to assert that “there are more than four ABO blood types”.

“I can already hear you scream,’But the ABO system is the most dominant one… it beats everything else and that is so because mother Nature has ordained it to be that way… and, hence, it must have priority over other blood group systems!'”

Er… no. That’s the straw man screaming.

“To conclude, underlying your arguments is the implicit assumption that ‘naturally occurring’ kinds somehow have conceptual and epistemological priority in any intellectual discourse, but always failing to note that those same ‘natural’ kinds invariably evolve over periods of time and that what is naturally occurring may only be incidental and not necessary.”

Not at all. I disclaim any such assumption. In fact, if we were to strike the words “naturally occurring”, I’m not sure it would materially impact my point.

14. jj says:

Let me suggest that we be very careful with “naturally occurring kinds.” Biologists draw lines around animal types, and give us the idea that there’s some binary division. However, the facts underlying the decision may be very, very messy. “There are only two” may be the result of a decision that is created by our love of divisions, more than anything else.

I think John Dupre has argued for something similar. In any case, the messiess of the situation becomes clear once you look at what’s going on. One fraught group consists of bears, believe it or not. Just what is and what is not a bear is not easy, but of course, once it’s decided that Panda Bears are bears, then the boundaries look neat again, unless you are involved in one of the other bear controversies. (I am not joking, by the way. There’s another controversy about whether a different group falls under “bear” and lots of great articles about relevant and confusing factors.)

15. @Nemo: Now that you have been busted, given that your pseudo-scientific talk has been exposed, it is amusing to see your trying to wriggle out of it. You try to sound all “scientific” by using phrases/terms/examples over which you have only a superficial grasp, with your narrow philosophical mode of thinking being of limited use to you. Allow me to debunk your claims further. Let me see how you dig out of the hole you have got yourself into.

Earlier, I wrote:

“To put it differently, why should it be that something which appears to look ‘natural’ to you or obviously natural to the majority based simply on the sense data you’ve collected be given any epistemological priority over other modes of thinking/knowledge?”

I’m not sure what “modes of thinking/knowledge” you have in mind, but I think you may be barking up the wrong tree here.

Umm… okay. Let us take the “time-tested” example of the sun going round the earth, which seems like a very natural phenomenon to all humans, not just the majority! In fact, I challenge you (based on what the collection of your sense data tells you) to come to the conclusion that it is earth that revolves round the sun and not the other way round. The “other modes of thinking/knowledge” in the above example would precisely be science-based. The whole point of the above exercise is to debunk your claim that what appears natural must somehow be correct and should be given priority in intellectual discourse.

If, as you say, a naturally occurring sex characteristic – which, by the way, is merely an observation – should lead us to believe that that particular sex characteristic must have some kind of epistemological content, then why should I (based on what I and everyone else naturally sees all the time) not believe that the sun moves round the earth?

To repeat, so that this is firmly drilled into your head, you cannot claim that that which occurs naturally or is given directly to your sense perception is automatically entitled to be privileged or conceptually sound from an epistemological point of view.

You also wrote:

That doesn’t seem especially relevant, since I was not asserting the priority of any particular system. I could invent a variant of the ABO system that assigned a distinct group to those rare people who exhibit the characteristics of more than one of the ABO types. But it would then seem somehow problematic for me to assert that “there are more than four ABO blood types”.

If you could theoretically invent a variant of the ABO system that assigns a distinct group to those rare blood group types, the obvious question is, how are you going to do it? What makes you think that scientists before you haven’t tried? Has it occurred to you that doing so would make things (from a theoretical standpoint) so messy that the very concept of the ABO system would lose its identity/meaning? You cannot do science by constructing a theory that explains a range of phenomena and then explains the rest through arbitrary means without violating the identity of your theory.

And, then you wrote:

Not at all. I disclaim any such assumption. In fact, if we were to strike the words “naturally occurring”, I’m not sure it would materially impact my point.

Nice strategic retreat! Now, you disavow your use of the phrase “naturally occurring.” Very funny. :)

Let me repeat your point. You said that certain sex characteristics occur (naturally or otherwise) in abundance, that they are given to us empirically and that those characteristics should be given primacy in any intellectual discourse or scientific explanation. I merely pointed out the error you were making. I said what looks like an empirically true fact may be the result of incidental causes and not necessary.

16. Jender says:

Vishal, I’m sure you don’t mean to sound condescending– you’re an old friend here, and we know you by now. But you’re getting pretty close violating our policies.

17. Jender, my sincere apologies! Actually, after I submitted my last response, I did feel I probably went overboard. I could (and should) have kept things more polite.

18. Nemo says:

Vishal,

“Now that you have been busted, given that your pseudo-scientific talk has been exposed, it is amusing to see your trying to wriggle out of it. You try to sound all ‘scientific’ by using phrases/terms/examples over which you have only a superficial grasp, with your narrow philosophical mode of thinking being of limited use to you.”

I fail to see how you’ve exposed any such thing. These are just naked assertions on your part. You’ve refuted everything you heard but nothing I said. Also, recall that the initial claim here – that there are more than two human biological sexes – was not mine. Are you endorsing that claim or not?

“If, as you say, a naturally occurring sex characteristic – which, by the way, is merely an observation [Nemo: agreed that it is an observation] – should lead us to believe that that particular sex characteristic must have some kind of epistemological content, then why should I (based on what I and everyone else naturally sees all the time) not believe that the sun moves round the earth?”

I didn’t say that.

“To repeat, so that this is firmly drilled into your head, you cannot claim that that which occurs naturally or is given directly to your sense perception is automatically entitled to be privileged or conceptually sound from an epistemological point of view.”

I will remember that, in the unlikely event that I would ever feel any inclination to make such a claim. I certainly haven’t done so here.

“If you could theoretically invent a variant of the ABO system that assigns a distinct group to those rare blood group types, the obvious question is, how are you going to do it? What makes you think that scientists before you haven’t tried? Has it occurred to you that doing so would make things (from a theoretical standpoint) so messy that the very concept of the ABO system would lose its identity/meaning?”

ABO blood group divisions are on some level arbitrary. There is no intrinsic priority to classifying blood by ABO types (though there may be some utility to doing so in a particular context). But If I decided to coin a fifth group in the classification to refer to rare people who would otherwise be “intergroup”, it could indeed make things messy. In fact, I was rather suggesting that this would be the case. At the very least, if I asserted that there were five ABO groups, there would be in that case), and someone else said there were only four, we wouldn’t be speaking from a common frame of reference, and each wouldn’t be using the term “ABO group” to refer to the same thing as the other person.

Now, MJF’s comment on the DSM was that the physician-authors wrote as though there were several genders but only two sexes, and he went on to say that there were more than two sexes. We might say that there are more than two human sexes for certain definitions of the term “sexes”, just as we might say that there are more than four blood groups for certain definitions of that term.

“Nice strategic retreat! Now, you disavow your use of the phrase “naturally occurring.” Very funny. :)”

There’s nothing to disavow. Apparently, “naturally occurring” was too heavily charged a term to use with you, since you launched into one unwarranted inference after another about what I intended by it.

“Let me repeat your point. You said that certain sex characteristics occur (naturally or otherwise) in abundance, that they are given to us empirically and that those characteristics should be given primacy in any intellectual discourse or scientific explanation. I merely pointed out the error you were making. I said what looks like an empirically true fact may be the result of incidental causes and not necessary.”

I did not say that; you simply interpreted it that way and have proven most reluctant to abandon the interpretation. You’ve knocked down a straw man.

Now, could we return to the claim in chief, i.e. that there are more than two sexes? I’d like to get to the bottom of what was meant by that and why we should assent to it.

19. @Nemo: I will try to be polite this time.

What, according to you, is a sex? Give me a precise answer. Don’t give me ambiguous answers.

20. Xena says:

Is the term “hermaphrodite” un-PC these days?
For that matter, is the term “PC” dated?

21. Xena says:

Hey, V.L, long time , no chat. I asked that question about the “PC-ness” of the word “hermaphrodite” because it’s a much more familiar term to laypeople than “intersex”. That’s one of my biggest conundrums as a student–Shedding vernacular that’s inaccurate and possibly loaded with nasty connotations for a more precise vocabulary that gets me a few nods from some academics, but ostracizes me from “my people”, who I still need for protection. Just between you, me and I don’t even want to know how many thousand bloggers, it’s getting harder every month to state this stuff in “plain English”. So if my awkward attempt at “code-switching” is an absolute disaster, please don’t assume I’m trolling or apologizing for a troll. (Not just V.L., but everybody that’s following this post).

I read the debate above very carefully, and I think Nemo was asking a structuralist/functionalist “why” and not a moral(ist) “why”. I think Nemo’s attempt at using half-understood jargon was also an attempt at avoiding abrasive words for genitalia that I am not so “girlie” about using.

I think what Nemo was trying to ask was: Are the “more than two sexes” (referred to in the post and only quoted by Nemo) what lay people commonly understand as “boy/man”, “girl/woman” and “hermaphrodite”? Or is/are there (an)other sex(es) that we “newbies” to the life sciences don’t know about?

A naive question? Maybe. But I don’t think Nemo was trying to demoralize intersex or intersex friendly people. (S)He is just looking for a little understanding to go with the jargon.

Nemo, let me know if I got that right. Thanks.

22. @Xena: Yeah, long time no chat! (Is that even a valid greeting?! :))

I took the term “sex” to mean “biological sex” (whatever that means), and I am pretty sure that’s what Nemo had (has) in mind too. So, assuming we are in agreement on the meaning of the word “sex” for this discussion, let me start off by first mentioning that biological terms/definitions do not delineate “natural categories (kinds).” When I say that, I do not mean that biological terms don’t describe natural phenomena. What I mean is that those terms don’t describe fixed, immutable structures/categories/kinds or what have you. In other words, unlike mathematics, say, wherein, to take an example, $\mathbb{N}$ means precisely the set of natural numbers (nothing more and nothing less, $\mathbb{N}$ being a fixed, immutable structure having certain properties), in biology one can’t do the same. One may, for the purposes of creating some theory or doing experiments, choose to provide functionalist (or, structuralist) definitions, but those definitions cannot possibly capture the “essence” of what is really a dynamic aspect of the natural (living) world.

To underline what I just wrote above, take the word “species”, for instance. The average person may think she knows what it means, but one of the first things one learns in Biology 101 is that there really is no consensus among biologists on the meaning of that term. There is no single definition that encompasses all possible meanings we normally ascribe to the word “species.” As I mentioned in the paragraph above, “species” does denote some immutable kind/category. Please bear in mind that I am not saying that all species undergo change (which, by the way, is true); I am saying the meaning of the word “species” is never precise. At the most, we make do with working definitions, which however never capture the “essence” (if there exists one!) of species.

But, before I continue further, I must wait for Nemo to give me a precise definition of the word “sex”, so that I could take things from there. Else, I will be accused of delivering straw man arguments!

Earlier, Nemo implicitly accepted that there may be more than two genders (for which we must be thankful to Judith Butler :)) but he stressed that there can be only (at most?) two “biological sexes.” That is, he contends that even though gender is a social/cultural construct, biological sexes, on the other hand, really denote something substantive. What I really want to see is how far he has developed an understanding of the word “sex”.

23. In my last response, in the second paragraph, 5th line, I meant, “… “species” does not denote some immutable kind/category.”

24. Xena says:

I get it, V.L. I’m studying first year paleoanthropology right now. I have to admit, I gloated a little when I came to understand the parthenogenic reproductive capacities of certain insects and reptiles, and what that suggests as far as “the male mutation”, and the implications for Patriarchal Monotheism that follow. Another reason for my reluctance to use too much jargon is that “Shiva’s dance” leaves me speechless too. Might as well try to measure Niagara Falls with a 6″ plastic ruler. I’ve always kinda preferred the way that poets discuss these things. I LOVED Hedwig and the Angry Inch!! Origin of Love is the most beautiful love song ever.

Anyway, I’ll leave you and Nemo to your discourse. We’ll chat later. TTFN.

25. On terminology, Xena: Most intersex individuals and activists do not use the term hermaphrodite because of its general use for other animals and the historical connotations to go along with the term. Though some still use the term, intersex is now more generally acceptable.

Regarding the term PC, I find this blog post generally useful. Frankly, I find the term PC to be an obfuscation term: Rather than discuss issues of representation, language, and power, folks use the term “politically correct” to get out of such discussions. Particularly, I am rather fond of this statement from the blog post I linked to: “As it’s commonly used, “PC” is a deliberately imprecise expression (just try finding or writing a terse, precise definition) because its objective isn’t to communicate a substantive idea, but simply to sneer and snivel about the linguistic and cultural burdens of treating all people with the respect and sensitivity with which they wish to be treated.”

(Regarding the blog post, I’m not sure about the history of the term described there, as it contradicts other genealogies I’ve read elsewhere, but I’m no expert on the history of the term.)

26. Nemo says:

Vishal wrote, “What, according to you, is a sex?”

First things first – I’d like to find out what a sex is according to MJF, because this all began when he asserted that there are more than two. What I did in response was to question whether the assertion was true and on what basis he arrived at it.

In his follow-up post MJF wrote about “intersex” folks, which made me think he might be concluding from the presence of such folks that there are more than two human biological sexes. I asked if that was the case (the whole “naturally occurring” thing came up in that question to MJF – it was my way of asking if his conclusion was related to the fact that some folks are born with both male and female sex characteristics). Note that I never asserted that there is any particular number of of sexes (so my definition of sex would seem to be of secondary importance here), just that the presence of intersex people did not seem to me dispositive of the question of whether there are more than two, if that was what MJF had in mind.

It could well be that MJF and the authors of the proposed DSM revisions are describing two somewhat different things when they speak of sex. I was just trying to clarify what MJF was getting at.

Xena, I basically agree with your post and thank you for it. I suspect that if I had said “born with a penis and an ovary”, or something like that, instead of talking about “someone with naturally occurring male and female sex characteristics”, I wouldn’t have run into so much trouble, even though that’s pretty much all I meant by it.

27. Nemo, I apologize for not responding directly to the question of “what is sex” earlier. By the time I had time to even leave a comment, the conversation had gone on for quite a while, and also had turned to a tone that I didn’t really want to engage in. (I should also be reading for comps! haha!)

What to me is sex? I believe it’s a social category—a way to typify bodies. So there’s not necessarily a priori sexes, but rather ways we have typified bodies (through biological discourses). Commonplace assumptions are that there are two sexes — male and female. These are assigned at birth based on the length of external genitalia. Over a certain length is male, under a certain length is female, and in between is a “mistake of nature” that up until recently (and still all too often) is “corrected” through non-consensual surgery. (I’m limiting my discussion to sex as it is deployed in the U.S.)

But why categorize sexes by the length of a baby’s external genitalia? (a cultural valuation of the penis, perhaps?) Why not, since science loves to typify bodies, instead categorize sexes by chromosomes (XY, XX, XXY, and so forth)? Or perhaps by hormonal levels (which also fluctuate throughout life and thereby lead to the conclusion that perhaps sex is not static)? I’m not positing these as better ways to typify bodies, but rather stating this to stress that the way bodies are typified is rather arbitrary (and the boundaries are rather arbitrary as well).

All this is to say that I believe that sex is a descriptive category based on interpretations of bodies (and, following rhetorician Kenneth Burke, any reflection of reality is a selection of reality and a deflection of reality) — and once descriptive, becomes normative as well.

So I am claiming there are more than two sexes largely for political reasons: I want the acceptance of a variety of bodies—bodies that are currently deemed “mistakes of nature” that need to be fixed.

28. @Nemo: It was pretty clear to me what MJF had meant by the word “sex.” By saying that there are more than two sexes, he was merely drawing attention to the fact that the usual classification (biological male/female) is untenable when probed further. If “sex” is meant as a social category (MJF’s assertion), then there being more than two sexes is consistent with that statement. I would even argue that using (natural) numbers to somehow quantify sexes doesn’t make much sense either because we would still, in a way, be attempting to map the domain of sex to the domain of numbers!

On the other hand, you were pretty emphatic in your opinion that even though there are (possibly) more than two genders, there can only be two biological sexes. And, I still wish to know your definition of a biological sex. So, let me ask you one more time: what is sex according to you?

29. And, to add more substantive content to this sex/gender discussion, here is an article titled Weed Killer Makes Male Frogs Lay Eggs.

Excerpt:
To test the chemical’s impact, study leader Tyrone Hayes raised 40 genetically male African clawed frogs from hatching to adulthood in a solution containing 0.003 percent atrazine.

Four of the adult frogs—or ten percent—developed into what looked like perfectly normal females.

Hayes, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and his team dissected two of the four and confirmed that they had ovaries but had maintained their male DNA.

The other two frogs mated with males and laid eggs that hatched and grew to adulthood. All the offspring were chromosomally male and seemingly healthy.

I wonder what Nemo thinks about the above. :)