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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

[–] SecondSkin 29 points Edited

There are female brains: the brains in female bodies are female brains. They have female chromosomes in all their cells and female hormones in them.

Vice versa for male brains.

At birth female and male brains are not functionally different.

Brain development is use dependent. Tell girls they are good at listening and caring then they practice these skills and their brains develop the neurological connections in these areas.

Tell boys they are good at being adventurous and math and they practice these skills and develop neurological connections in these areas.

The variation in older male and female brains are the result of this socialisation that conditions our brains.

That doesn’t change the fact that at birth female and male brains have no functional differences.

*edit to say: hormones influence at puberty is complex. We know that going through the normal puberty for the sex of the body is advantageous for brain development. Female versus male hormones are more complex than oestrogen versus testosterone. There’s no way of having a control to show that female hormones have a very different impact than male hormones on brain development. The huge wealth of research of adult brains show that there’s more difference within male brains and more differences within female brain development than there is between them, and a large overlap between them. If o versus t had some drastic different impact then we would see male brains be very different from female ones. And that’s not what’s seen in the research. Our bodies being prevented from going though the normal human development that they are designed to go through limits brain development. That might be fully reversible, it might not. Using pbs followed by wrong sex synthetic hormones might cause same brain development. It might not. There’s no way of establishing either without experimenting on children. And collecting data on children who are being groomed by predators and then have adults pander to their threats of suicide and demands for medicalisation, won’t give valid results either, because brain development is use dependent and so their brains will develop the neural pathways to threaten and manipulate and believe lies, not to think critically and develop negotiation skills and inter personal relationships skills.

You said going through puberty is advantageous to brain development, something I never thought about but it seems obvious now that you said it, so I have a question. Does that mean kids put on puberty blockers will be less intelligent than kids who just go through normal puberty?

The more I read about this, the more I think these kids are so effed

Yes, there are studies done on girls who went on lupron for precocious puberty and their IQ dropped an average of 8 points if I remember correctly. Hormones aren't just cosmetic, people! We need them for many things.

Oh man. These poor kids. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a kid and it makes me cringe to think of what would happen to me if I was born 10 years ago instead of 40 years ago