31

I need to bring up something that's been bugging me.

We talk all the time about how sex isn't just genitals, it's every piece of our being. If you look into it, even our non-sexual organs are genetically dimorphic between men and women.

The inconsistency to me though is when we say there's no such thing as a female brain. All of a sudden, all of the femaleness that is intrinsic to every other part of who we are becomes invisible. I understand that we don't want to lend credibility to the idea that TIMs can have a "female brain," but even the research that exhibits sexual dimorphism in brains doesn't show that--in fact, while "trans brains" are mildly shifted towards their "preferred gender," they are still well-within normal ranges for their sex, and still outside the average range for their "identity." It's not a gotcha, and I don't think we need to be afraid of it.

The graphic on this study (under Results) is especially good to look at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8955456/

If anything, I think admitting that female brains do exist (with some variance within the sex, of course) and that TIMs do not have them is perfectly good evidence for being gender critical. (And for those who criticize lesbians for not sleeping with TIMs because we're genital fetishists, well, no, the brain plays a part too. Suck on that, "hearts, not parts.")

Some might call it sexist to say there are differences between male and female brains, but I think the it's more that the sexist conclusions that people come to as a result of the difference existing are problematic--ie: because "female brains" exist, women must be more predisposed to doing housework, or some other nonsense.

Also, when we talk about puberty blockers being harmful because of the importance of sex hormones in adolescent brain development, I think it's a bit willfully ignorant to not assume that estrogen and testosterone might have different effects on the brain.

Prove me wrong, please, or give me another way to think about it! I just think it's something worth tackling head on, rather than brushing aside.

I need to bring up something that's been bugging me. We talk all the time about how sex isn't just genitals, it's every piece of our being. If you look into it, even our non-sexual organs are genetically dimorphic between men and women. The inconsistency to me though is when we say there's no such thing as a female brain. All of a sudden, all of the femaleness that is intrinsic to every other part of who we are becomes invisible. I understand that we don't want to lend credibility to the idea that TIMs can have a "female brain," but even the research that exhibits sexual dimorphism in brains *doesn't show that*--in fact, while "trans brains" are mildly shifted towards their "preferred gender," they are still well-within normal ranges for their sex, and still outside the average range for their "identity." It's not a gotcha, and I don't think we need to be afraid of it. The graphic on this study (under Results) is especially good to look at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8955456/ If anything, I think admitting that female brains do exist (with some variance within the sex, of course) and that TIMs do not have them is perfectly good evidence *for* being gender critical. (And for those who criticize lesbians for not sleeping with TIMs because we're genital fetishists, well, no, the brain plays a part too. Suck on that, "hearts, not parts.") Some might call it sexist to say there are differences between male and female brains, but I think the it's more that the sexist conclusions that people come to as a result of the difference existing are problematic--ie: because "female brains" exist, women must be more predisposed to doing housework, or some other nonsense. Also, when we talk about puberty blockers being harmful because of the importance of sex hormones in adolescent brain development, I think it's a bit willfully ignorant to not assume that estrogen and testosterone might have different effects on the brain. Prove me wrong, please, or give me another way to think about it! I just think it's something worth tackling head on, rather than brushing aside.

43 comments

I completely agree--I wouldn't think there would be any difference at birth. I'm more referring to when people say that it's ridiculous for TIMs to claim to have a female brain because there is no such thing as a female brain... I've seen it again and again on here. It just strikes me as an odd claim from the GC folk.

[–] ProxyMusic 12 points Edited

We all have female brains. But your female brain is different to my female brain, and both our female brains our different to Second Skin's female brain. Because brains are plastic, meaning throughout our lives they are shaped by our life experience, nutrition, hormones, metabolism, how much we use our brains, what we use them for - and by experiences like trauma, abuse, shock, happiness, bereavement, clinical depression, pregnancy, childbirth and maternity, aging, menopause, diseases of aging etc.

The human brain begins developing physically during gestation in utero and continues developing through childhood, adolescence and the first half of our 20s. The human brain doesn't reach physical maturity until we are 25/26.

TIMs think all girls and women have brains that make us pretty much the same - and that our brains are pink, small, delicate and not up to the rigors of logical, rational thought.

When TIMs say they have a female brain, they mean they what they believe is to be a female psyche - which is a psyche that likes the color pink, glitter and "girly" things. If they are tweens, teens or adults, it means that certain aspects of stereotypical sex bomb "femininity" gives them boners. TIMs think that a female brain/psyche = a male AGP brain/psyche.

BTW, I believe there probably are quite a few physical differences in male and female brain cells and some brain functioning - and that the more sophisticated research is done on cells and genetics, the clearer this will become. The sex hormone receptors in the brains of males and females, for example, appear to be different in nature, location, number and function. But as of yet, we don't know what the physical brain differences are, or how large and significant they are. Nor do we really know what, if any, real and lasting consequences they have in terms of brain functioning, processes, psychology and behavior.

So far, most of the physical brain differences found in the sexes have been small and subtle ones. Male and female brains are much more alike than they are different, and there is considerable overlap between the two sexes. Doctors and scientists can't tell the difference between a male brain from a female brain just by looking at its gross morphology.

I suspect that if and when more cell research finds physical sex differences in the brains of humans, those differences are gonna turn out to be very different than to the kinds of differences that have long been assumed to exist. I also think there will continue to be enormous variations in the brains from one woman to the next, and from one man to the next. I also think the human brain is so incredibly complex that it'll never be figured out fully.