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I've seen a few posts on social media from women who claim to be GC, saying that women with CAIS are actually men. This seems really absurd to me, seeing as their bodies are fully incapable of using testosterone from basically birth, meaning they have no functional male anatomy for basically their whole lives. I think we should be allies to women with disorders of sexual development (DSDs), especially with how TRAs have contributed towards the discrimination of these women by claiming they're actually biologically nonbinary and similar unscientific bs.

Like I get that TRAs like to throw women with DSDs under the bus to claim that it's possible to change gender, but they were not born with any of these disorders so it clearly doesn't apply to them. Don't see why we should throw DSDs under the bus too.

I'd like to know if this opinion is common or if it's a TRA effort to make us look bad

Edit: Responses to this post have left me disillusioned with this community. I hoped that maybe I was just hearing about only the bad ones but there's so many responses here that are in bad faith or that scream intentional misunderstanding of genetics. Some of you don't know what you're saying and are implying that sex is a spectrum when it is obviously not. I'm out.

I've seen a few posts on social media from women who claim to be GC, saying that women with CAIS are actually men. This seems really absurd to me, seeing as their bodies are fully incapable of using testosterone from basically birth, meaning they have no functional male anatomy for basically their whole lives. I think we should be allies to women with disorders of sexual development (DSDs), especially with how TRAs have contributed towards the discrimination of these women by claiming they're actually biologically nonbinary and similar unscientific bs. Like I get that TRAs like to throw women with DSDs under the bus to claim that it's possible to change gender, but they were not born with any of these disorders so it clearly doesn't apply to them. Don't see why we should throw DSDs under the bus too. I'd like to know if this opinion is common or if it's a TRA effort to make us look bad Edit: Responses to this post have left me disillusioned with this community. I hoped that maybe I was just hearing about only the bad ones but there's so many responses here that are in bad faith or that scream intentional misunderstanding of genetics. Some of you don't know what you're saying and are implying that sex is a spectrum when it is obviously not. I'm out.

96 comments

[–] ProxyMusic 14 points Edited

I have no problem considering persons with CAIS as though they were girls and women socially. Biologically, however, they are XY, SRY gene positive males with a DSD that occurs only in males. The sex development and health of females who have the same exact genetic mutations that cause CAIS in males are completely unaffected by those genetic anomalies. Because only male sex development is driven by and dependent on testosterone produced by the testes, and only males can have faulty male androgen receptors.

Also, socially doesn't mean medically. For the sake of people with CAIS's own health and wellbeing, it's crucial that their male sex, genetics and male-only DSD be acknowledged and kept front and center when it comes to matters like medical care, assessing their risks for developing certain diseases, anticipating how diseases will affect them, and treating the diseases and health conditions they develop. Their sex also needs to be taken into account when estimating their life spans for purposes of planning and budgeting for their old age and purchasing longterm care insurance.

their bodies are fully incapable of using testosterone from basically birth, meaning they have no functional male anatomy for basically their whole lives.

But persons with CAIS all develop and are born with testes that produce massive amounts of testosterone, usually in the high end of the normal male range, or exceeding the top end of the normal male range. At birth, CAIS testes also contain the gamete germ cells that in other males will later on develop into sperm. Some researchers today are predicting that with advances in assisted reproductive technologies, the time will come when persons with CAIS will be able to become biological parents.

How exactly do you figure that testes that pump out massive amounts of T and contain male gamete germ cells don't count as "functional male anatomy"?

Also, the false notion that the testes of persons with CAIS are not functional organs and that they provide no health benefits to persons with CAIS has been used historically by doctors and parents to justify surgically removing them - often when the CAIS indivdiduals are babies or minors in adolescence and thus they're incapable of genuine consent. But as it turns out, persons with CAIS who keep their testes appear to have better longterm physical health, psychological functioning, self-acceptance and overall life satisfaction than those who get their testes removed. And some people with CAIS who have gotten their testes removed are turning out to function better when the exogenous hormone they take is testosterone rather than estrogen as traditionally has been prescribed to them.

I agree that women

should be allies to women with disorders of sexual development (DSDs)

But at the same time, I think that we have to be honest that DSDs come in two kinds: disorders of male sex development, and disorders of female sex development. Turner syndrome, classical CAH, MRKH are all disorders of female sex development. CAIS, PAIS, MAIS and 5-ARD - the condition that Caster Semenya, Barbra Banda and many other XY athletes who've excelled in women's elite international sports all have - are disorders of male sex development.

Pretending that persons with certain disorders of male sex development are for all practical purposes the same as female people and therefore must be shoehorned into areas like women's sports and female health care and health research has done harm to girls and women in a variety of ways - and it's not helped most people with DSDs, either.

You know the articles this last year plus that report on studies that show men and women have over 6500+ genetic differences, not just Y chromosomes.

Presumably all these genetic differences (that code approx third of human genes) will have some if not all similar differences/benefits as any male does.

Op-feminism is purely for females. Women can be allies if they wish, sure, but it isn’t a feminist subject. It subject for men.

Some of those differences are due to environmental exposures, the remainder of the differences are ultimately due to the differences in the sex chromosome complement. What other cause would there be?

Also, socially doesn't mean medically. For the sake of people with CAIS's own health and wellbeing, it's crucial that their male sex, genetics and male-only DSD be acknowledged and kept front and center when it comes to matters like medical care, assessing their risks for developing certain diseases, anticipating how diseases will affect them, and treating the diseases and health conditions they develop. Their sex also needs to be taken into account when estimating their life spans for purposes of planning and budgeting for their old age and purchasing longterm care insurance.

In a medical context they should be treated as someone who has a DSD with specific care requirements that take into account the female hormones as well as the XY chromosomes. Simplifying it into "oh they're just men" would be detrimental to their health.

How exactly do you figure that testes that pump out massive amounts of T and contain male gamete germ cells don't count as "functional male anatomy"?

They are unable to produce functional sperm cells. We have no way of changing that at this point in time. Producing hormones that are useless to the body is hardly performing any useful function.

[–] ProxyMusic 14 points Edited

In a medical context they should be treated as someone who has a DSD with specific care requirements that take into account the female hormones as well as the XY chromosomes. Simplifying it into "oh they're just men" would be detrimental to their health.

But I never said the complex, unique medical needs of persons with CAIS should be simplified into "oh they're just men." That's malarkey you made up.

Also, persons with CAIS don't have "female hormones." Estrogen is a hormone that both males and females make, and it's only one of several sex hormones that play an important role in female development and health.

More to the point, the two sexes make and utilize estrogen differently. When HCPs treat persons with CAIS as though they have "female hormones" and expect them to have a female hormone profile and to utlize estrogen in exactly the way females do, persons with CAIS end up getting bad medical care. Persons with CAIS have unique needs that deserve being recognized as such.

Producing hormones that are useless to the body is hardly performing any useful function.

The idea that the testes of persons with CAIS produce "hormones that are useless to the body" is totally false!

Persons with CAIS naturally convert the massive amounts of testosterone their testes make into estrogen through the process of aromatization. All males naturally convert some of the T their testes make into estrogen through aromatization. Being able to convert T into E in this specific way has been proven to be crucial to male development and to male health, wellbeing and functioning over the course of their lives.

The difference is that whereas males normally aromatize only some of their T into E in specific parts of their bodies such as their testes and other organs of the male reproductive tract and the brain, those with CAIS aromatize ALL the T their testes make into E in all their tissues.

The claims you are making about the testes of persons with CAIS "hardly performing any useful function" has been used to justify surgically removing the testes of people with CAIS without any or much thought for the consequences. Evidence has emerged that persons with CAIS who keep their testes throughout their lives have much better physical and mental health outcomes than people who have their testes removed. In part because their bodies respond differently and better to the natural estrogen they make by aromatizing their own testes-produced testosterone than to the Big Pharma exogenous estrogen pills or injections they are prescribed after gonadectomy.

Please stop spreading misinformation about the testes of persons with CAIS. Even when they cannot produce gametes, gonads are essential organs that shouldn't be taken lightly and dismissed as basically useless. The hormones that male gonads in particular produce are vital for the proper development, functioning, health and wellbeing of people who develop testes - including those with XY DSDs.

[–] exftm [OP] 0 points Edited

Also, persons with CAIS don't have "female hormones." Estrogen is a hormone that both males and females make, and it's only one of several sex hormones that play an important role in female development and health.

My bad, I meant to say female anatomy. Though I still think that the estrogen should be accounted for.

The claims you are making about the testes of persons with CAIS "hardly performing any useful function" has been used to justify surgically removing the testes of people with CAIS without any or much thought for the consequences. Evidence has emerged that persons with CAIS who keep their testes throughout their lives have much better physical and mental health outcomes than people who have their testes removed. In part because their bodies respond differently and better to the natural estrogen they make by aromatizing their own testosterone than to the Big Pharma exogenous estrogen they are prescribed after gonadectomy.

At no point did I suggest that people with CAIS should be subjected to surgical removal of their gonads. You baselessly accusing me of that is pretty gross as I have spent a lot of time advocating against this sort of thing. I should have been more specific, they do not fulfil their function as testes as they don't make hormones that are use to virilise the body.