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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

Trans brains aren't skewed towards their preferred gender, the paper got it wrong, the correlation was with sexual orientation, not "gender identity". So far there have been no trans brain markers observed. Basically on average, but not always, certain structures are enlarged in gay men and women (who are mainly straight), and that first trans study was done with all HSTS TIMs, aka gay men, so obviously some of their brains looked like that. Straight TIMs don't have anything like it. Obviously hormones impact the brain, I think people saying there is no female brain were railing against the idea that men and women are diametrically opposed with no overlap, which makes sexism easier to defend (for example, "all women are incapable of math", or "all men are incapable of communicating their feelings in a calm manner"). Also the brain isn't just formed through genetics and hormones, life experience wires the brain. The trauma from growing up female in this dangerous world certainly impacted how our brains function. In any case, even if they do find a trains brain marker some day, it still wouldn't justify the erosion of women's rights.

Re: "hearts not parts", the straight TIMs fail on that front too. I've had the misfortune of interacting with a ton of them since I'm a lesbian in a big city with "queer" friends who bring them around (also have read my friend's dating app messages from many of them). Not a single one of them acts like a woman! Not even slightly! They are selfish and feel entitled to women's time, attention, and bodies in a way that is fully male. They corner women and go into graphic detail about disturbing sex topics, either unaware of her discomfort or enjoying it. They threaten stalking and rape when someone politely turns them down. Not only that, but the libfem women don't treat TIMs like women either, they defer to them like they defer to men. If a lesbian acted how they act no one would think twice about kicking her out of a friend group.