What about Intersex Persons?
In her work, Should There Only be Two Sexes? by Fausto Sterling, Sterling considers whether there is any empirical evidence supporting the notion that sex is socially constructed.
Sterling points to tribes in the Dominican Republic and New Guinea where there have been occurrences of gene mutations that have changed the physiology of men and women, making them into intersex anomalies that the tribes have had to define and attempt to understand. For some, these instances are less rare than for others and thus less ideologically disruptive. In our Western society, we have primarily been accustomed to a two-sex system that does not allow for much physiological complexity.
With advancements in self-help psychology in the latter half of the 20th-century, “science” had also endorsed the notion that certain features are more adaptive toward men and others to women. Christian literature advises men and women to act in distinct ways. “Complementarian” views also gave credence to societal acceptance of an entrenched dichotomy that seemed set in stone and not invented by culture.
If we, however, as Sterling has, approach the literature across the aisle, so to speak, that addresses cultures that have grown accustomed to anomalies, we cannot help but notice that certain dichotomies are cultural, western, and therefore, not permanent.
We should approach most research with caution and be willing to listen especially when it concerns minorities since they are almost utterly incapable of having a voice if not represented properly in the public sphere.
Before you go…
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I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective. Cheers and until next time,