Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Billions of Sexes

The human face is really like one of those Oriental gods:

a whole group of faces juxtaposed on different planes; it is impossible to see them all simultaneously.
- Marcel Proust

Billions of Sexes

There are two sexes, male and female, right? Wrong! In fact, there is a continuum of sex types, ranging from very male to very female, with countless variations in between. This startling new notion is just now beginning to emerge from feminist thinking, scientific research, and a grass-roots movement called “transgenderism.” In the future, labeling people at birth as “male” or “female” will be considered just as unfair as South Africa’s now-abolished practice of stamping “black” or “white” on people’s ID cards.

What is Male and Female

There is little that we take more for granted than the separation of people into two sex types, “male” and “female.” Yet when we try to define the difference, problems and inconsistencies arise immediately.

At birth a cursory examination is made of a baby’s genitals. If the doctor sees a small penis, the parents are told, “It’s a boy!” A small vagina, “It’s a girl.” From this initial declaration, most people are sent off on two different tracks in life. Those tracks are called “gender development.” Gender is the set of different behaviors that society expects of persons labeled either “male” or “female.” Is the significance of being born with either a penis or a vagina so great that a person’s future destiny should be dictated accordingly? Would we consider predetermining a person’s life path based on either accidents of biology, such as birth weight, eye color, skin tone, or hair texture?

Of course, there was a time when accidents of birth determined everything about a person’s life. And in many ways accidents of birth biology are still paramount. But the course of civilization is to provide all persons with equal opportunity regardless of their birthed biology.

Up through the eighteenth century, the doctrine of “primogeniture” held that the first son to be born automatically inherited all of a family’s land. This concept was banned around the time of the founding of the United States, a period when land ownership was equivalent to power. Founding patriots such as Thomas Jefferson and Noah Webster argued successfully that primogeniture was undemocratic because it locked individuals into conditions of inequality based on the mere accident of birth order. In time, the once-paramount sociolegal classification of society into firstborn sons, and all others, became completely irrelevant.

Up through the nineteenth century “illegitimate” children could be disavowed of almost all legal rights. It took Supreme Court decisions to finally ban discrimination based on the marital status of a person’s parents. Since the marital status of one’s parents is wholly irrelevant to a person’s humanity, we would be shocked today if people’s life paths were sharply limited by when or whether their parents stood before a judge and exchanged vows. But at one time, even in America, that’s how it was.

Well into the twentieth century, being born with an enriched-melanin skin tone meant being channeled into a menial life. Today we recognize this as fundamentally unfair. Law, and gradually society, accepts the choice of apparent African Americans to work in any profession or to identify as nonracial citizens. Similarly, there are young Europeans who identify as dreadlocked Rastafarians, Asians who have adopted African culture and increasing numbers of persons of all geographic backgrounds who identify themselves simply as human.

Gradually, “immutable race” is becoming “choosable culture.” The analogy to sex is unmistakable. Manhood and womanhood can be life-style choices open to anyone, regardless of genitalia. It is law and custom, not biology, that makes birth order, birth parents, skin tone, or genitals relevant to one’s ability to choose a culture, perform a job, or adopt a life-style. Liberated from legal constraints and archaic stereotypes, our social identity can flow from our soul and our experiences, not from our anatomy and our birth status.

The course of progress in civilization has been to render as irrelevant as possible the birth status of a particular individual. As this is accomplished for categories of birth status—firstborns, children of single parents, children of one or another religious or ethnic group—those very categories begin to lose rigid social meaning. This is because the true meaning of any category of persons is but the meaning assigned to those persons by law and society. Ultimate equal opportunity means that from birth on, people are persons first, free from then on to choose such cultural and social affiliations as they like. Ultimate equal opportunity means to be born free from any label: child/bastard, black/white, or male/female.

The shape of one’s genitals would appear to be a most arbitrary basis for determining to which of two fundamental human classes a person should belong. How did we arrive at this situation? Searching back into prehistory, our ancestors recognized that genital shape was a systematically recognizable difference among humans. Categorizing people based on genital shape was a simple method for establishing a division of labor among early human communities. Childbearing and child-nurturing capabilities of women further led our ancestors to establish a genital-based division of society. As civilization advanced, extensive gender-based rituals and customs reinforced the ancient genital-based division of society into men and women.

Today progressive people accept as self-evident that genital morphology (shape) is irrelevant to one’s productive role in society. Childbearing and child nurturing are a matter of choice. Hence, whatever relevance genital shape had for a division of society into men and women in the past, those reasons and traditions are obsolete as we move into the twenty-first century. Unfortunately, the gender-based rituals that grew up around genital distinctions still weigh heavily on our heads. As noted scientist Richard Lewontin has observed, “The immense superstructure of attitude and social power that has been built historically on the base of biological [sex] differences has long ago become independent of the actuality of that biology.”

Despite the apparent irrelevance of genitals to a person’s capabilities, the legal system in the United States defines men as people with penises and women as people with vaginas. This has been made clear in several cases dealing with transsexuals—persons who claim to be women despite their birth with a penis, and persons with vaginas who claim to be men. In cases dealing with marital, business, and criminal rights, courts have regularly held that one’s sex is determined by one’s genitals. For example, a person with a penis who has lived for twenty years as a woman will not be allowed to marry a man. But a person who undergoes a surgical transformation of the penis into a vagina will be immediately allowed to marry a man.

So, while men and women are defined by their genitals, the significance of that genital difference no longer justifies the social and legal division of society into two classes of people. The division of labor in an advanced society is not based on sexual status. Hence, why bother to divide people form birth into two groups, men and women?

Are Genitals But the Tip of the Iceberg?

It might be argued that genitals are but the tip of the sexual-differentiation iceberg—don’t women have XX chromosomes and men XY? Doesn’t this chromosomal differentiation give rise to a wide variety of clear differences between the sexes—hormonal balance, reproductive capabilities, physical abilities, mental thought patterns? Surprisingly, the current scientific answer to these questions is increasingly no, or at least ambiguous.

First, it is not true that all legally defined women are XX and all legally defined men are XY. Hundreds of thousands of people are born with all manner of chromosomal variations, including XXY and X, among others. The Olympics has ceased using chromosomal tests for a second X as a means of disqualifying women, after certain athletes—namely, persons with a vagina, a lifelong “female” gender identity, and but one X chromosome—were cruelly disqualified right at the quadrennial event. Similarly, the famous transsexual Renee Richards was ordered by a judge to be accepted into women’s tennis competition despite her XY chromosome makeup. The judge found her no different from any other ovariectomized and hysterectomized woman. Chromosomes are an unreliable means of classifying society into two sexes. They argue better for a continuum of sex types.

Second, sex based chromosomal differentiation appears to be relevant only in triggering different amounts of estrogen and testosterone. Both men and women produce both estrogen and testosterone, although in differing amounts. This further shows the chromosomal similarity of all people. Portions of the X or Y chromosome appear ultimately to govern the relative amounts of estrogen and testosterone produced, creating a continuum of “male” and “female” possibilities. When certain hormonal thresholds are reached, “male” or “female” reproductive organs are created. The specific levels of hormonal production, and their timing of release, are different for each person and result in a continuum of “maleness” and “femaleness” that may affect thought patterns and body shape. For example, the leading explanation of transsexuality is that a person’s chromosomes triggered levels of testosterone and estrogen that resulted in the genitals of one sex and the thought patterns of the other sex. Hence, not only the variety of chromosomal combinations, but also the actual operation of the chromosomes themselves, argues for a continuum of sex types.

Finally, it is quite clear that in modern society sex chromosomes would be a specious basis for separating people into two classes, male and female. If we were to separate people because different kinds of chromosomes create different kinds of reproductive capabilities, how would we account for the legitimacy of biologically or intentionally infertile persons? In a February 1994 review of in vitro fertilization, Scientific American estimates that there are three million biologically infertile couples in the United States alone. Clearly ability to reproduce in one manner or another would not create a consistent category of male and female persons.

If we were to separate people because different kinds of chromosomes create different hormonal states, how would we account for the legitimacy of the millions of people who alter their hormonal balance through daily pharmaceutical hormones? In this regard it should also be noted that as people age, their hormonal levels continually decline, creating a convergence between “male” and “female” hormone states in mature adults. Absent estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), postmenopausal women often begin to sprout facial hair and acquire deeper voices. Older men and women begin to look more “transgendered,” more like each other, than in their youth. Such are the transient effects of chromosomes and resultant hormonal states.

It is true that there is a lot of biochemistry behind a set of genitals. Nevertheless, that biochemistry is as irrelevant as the genitals themselves as a basis for categorizing people into two classes. There is no hard and fast biochemical line that separates men from women—just a continuum of biochemical levels with most women toward one end, most men toward to the other, and much overlap and variance in between. Professor Anne Fausto-Sterling, a Brown University geneticist, recently observed that “sex is a vast continuum that defies the constraints of categories.” Behind her observation was new research showing that as many as 4 percent of all births are to some extent “intersexed,” meaning that the infants have portions of both male and female sex organs (often internal and hence generally undiscoverable). Even the presence of nipples on men is evidence of some amount of universal intersexuality.

Chromosomes provide no logically consistent basis for creating sociolegal categorizations of people into “male” and “female.” There are too many exceptional chromosomal combinations, and the net results of the chromosomes—hormonal levels—both vary continuously across all people and may be altered easily by pharmaceuticals. While there are systematic chromosomal differences among peoples from any gene pool—Semitic, Asian, African, Nordic—we would not use such differences as a basis for creating separate legal categories for each gene pool. It would appear equally absurd that such a mundane, variable, and alterable thing such as hormone levels could provide the basis for a fundamental division of humanity into two subspecies, male and female.

Thought Patterns

It might also be argued that different sex types are justified because men and women think differently. For example, as noted above, sex researchers believe that transsexuals have genetically induced “female” (or “male”) thought patterns but “male” (or “female) genitals. Also, authors such as Anne Moir (Brain Sex) have propounded the view that male and female brains are systematically different—leading to different behavior patterns in boys and girls and in men and women.

There are three flaws with using brain sex differences to justify society’s apartheid of sex. First, as Dr. Fausto-Sterling observed, genetics creates a broad variety of sexual diversification. If her statistic of up to 4 percent of the population being physically intersexed (having portions of both sexes’ reproductive tracts) is correct, it’s likely that at least that number of people are also “mentally intersexed” —possessing both male and female thought patterns. No legal categorization of people can be valid if it leaves out such a significant percentage of the population: people can’t be only male or female if 4 percent of the population is neither or both! Indeed, even “brain sex” proponent Anne Moir concedes that “it is possible to be female and have some male attributes, and this simply depends on the presence or absence of the male hormone during certain stages of pregnancy.” If sex is in the brain, and the brain can be a blend of both sexes, what absolute meaning do “male” and “female” have? None, other than the rigid either/or division imposed upon us form birth by society, law, and tradition.

Second, it is far from proven that any anatomical differences in men’s and women’s brains account for behavioral differences. The overwhelming amount of behavioral differences between men and women are learned through a socialization process that insists “act like a girl” or “think like a boy” or pretend to. Anne Moir cites several experiments in which infant girls are much more responsive to colors and sounds than are infant boys. But no one has shown that these knee-jerk reactions have an significance for the complex behaviors associated with job performance and other life pursuits.

Finally, even if there are statistically significant differences in the way most males and females react to stimuli, this does not mean that people should be categorized as males and females for social, economic, or legal reasons. There is no doubt that certain people are gifted from birth with various mental, musical, artistic, or physical abilities. But such relative abilities do not entitle these persons to be legally categorized into a special class of people. In an egalitarian society we recognize that what people actually do with their abilities is far more significant that what abilities they may have.

In essence, a society works much better if biological differences among its subpopulations are ignored or minimized than if those differences are magnified and classified. On average, individual initiative far outperforms biological inheritance. The differences in men’s and women’s thought patterns are at most only statistically significant, not absolute sex differentiators. And as for the persons who do have “male”-type or “female” –type thought patterns, society has learned that it is counterproductive to classify its citizens based on inherited characteristics. Finally, “male” and “female” thought patterns are probably an especially specious basis for sociolegal categorization. This is because such thought patterns are simplistic in nature and easily rendered meaningless in the complexities of everyday life.

New Feminist Thinking

Professor Sylvia Law, a noted legal scholar, recently argued that “a core feminist claim is that women and men should be treated as individuals, not as members of a sexually determined class.” This is also a theme that Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg emphasized in her lawsuits as a women’s rights advocate: “Nurturing children in my ideal world would not be a woman’s priority, it would be a human priority.” This new feminism rejects sex-based differences among people as wholly irrelevant to any socioeconomic purpose. As Simone de Beauvoir noted some four decades ago: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”

It is but a short step from the new feminist thinking to our thesis. If sex-based differences are irrelevant, then what is the point of saying one is either male or female? While there is often a medical reality to sex-based differences, this does not justify a carryover of sex typing to the social, economic, and legal spheres of life. There are innumerable medical differences among people, such as diabetes or propensity to heart disease, but this does not justify the creation of a legal straightjacket of difference about such medical conditions.

The feminist insistence upon seeing individuals as individuals, regardless of sexual biology, can now be carried to its next logical step: individuals are individuals, not sex types. Labeling people as male or female, upon birth, exalts biology over sociology. Instead the new feminist principles inspire us to permit all people to self-identify their sexual status along a broad continuum of possibilities and to create such cultures of gender as human ingenuity may develop.

The bimodal segregation of people into men and women has oppressed women from the time of the ancients. As Margaret Mead observed in her 1949 treatise Male and Female, the effect of creating artificial expectations for each sex is to “limit the humanity of the other sex.” As we gradually free ourselves from stamping newborn babies as one sex or the other, gender expectations will become self-defining and the full cultural liberation of all people can occur at last.

Scientific Developments

Soon after feminism opened academia’s eyes to the reality that people with vaginas were no different socioeconomically from people with penises, scientific research began to accumulate data that blurred even the biological differences between supposed sex types. As of 1990 Johns Hopkins University sexologist Dr. John Money was able to summarize research in this area: “Despite the multiplicity of [apparent] sex differences, those that are immutable and irreducible are few. They are specific to reproduction: men impregnate, and women menstruate, gestate, and lactate …. However, in light of contemporary experimental obstetrics, being pregnant is no longer an absolutely immutable sex difference. The hormones and stimuli required for normal fetal development are intrinsic and within the early embryo.”

Dr. Money was referring to recent experiments in which male baboons were made to serve as surrogate mothers for zygotes fertilized in the test tube. The embryos grew in a fatty cavity near the intestines and were delivered by cesarean section as healthy infants. In a similar vein, Dr. Money reported on ectopic pregnancies in women whose wombs had previously been removed and on zygotes that implanted themselves in the small intestine and grew their own placenta—with the implication that a man could have carried the embryo as well. All of these cases strongly suggest that even nurturance of a child, with technological help, is not an absolute biological imperative of any one subclass of humans.

Further scientific advances in the areas of genetic engineering and neonatal care foretell the likelihood that a zygote might be formed from the chromosomes of two women or of two men, assuming the necessary biochemical codes that enable cellular union are learned. Once this scientific threshold is passed, the axiom that “men impregnate” will no longer be strictly true. Of course, one need not wait for this science-fiction scenario to occur: as long as sperm banks and in vitro fertilization exist, the relevance of men’s monopoly on impregnation disappears. Impregnation becomes a commodity. And as long as surrogate motherhood is legally available, the relevance of women’s monopoly on gestation disappears. Gestation becomes a commodity.

Scientific developments have blurred the differences between supposed sex types to a greater degree than most people imagine. Feminism tells us that the differences between sexual biology are irrelevant to socioeconomic behavior. And science tells us that the differences between sexual biology are remarkably few and disappearing rapidly.

It might be argued that science masks true sexual differences, since men do impregnate naturally, and women do gestate and lactate naturally. But this argument seems unpersuasive: it could just as well be said that since most men are stronger than most women, men must do “heavy work,” and since women lactate naturally, they must be the ones to care for infants. Yet thanks to science and technology, heavy work can be done with the pushing of buttons, and infant formula can be dispensed from a bottle. Science did not mask “true” differences between sexes; it just made those differences irrelevant in everyday life, allowing us to achieve the continuum of sex types that are possible today.

Transgenderism

A grass-roots movement called transgenderism developed during the 1980s. The guiding principle of this movement is that people should be free to change, either temporarily or permanently, the sex type to which they were assigned since infancy. Transgenderism makes manifest the continuum nature of sex types because even if a sex type was real birth, it can now be changed at will during one’s life.

There are two main types of persons in the movement: transsexuals and cross-dressers. Transsexuals use sex hormones and sometimes plastic surgery to change their anatomy toward the other sex type. The results are so persuasive that rarely can a “new man” or “new woman” be distinguished from a biological original. Over a thousand persons a year actually have sex change surgery, and many more than this number simply use hormones to change their facial hair, voice, and physique. What sex type are these persons? The law calls them the sex of their genitals, but in reality they are occupying a vast middle ground on a continuum of sex types.

The cross-dressers use attitude, clothing and perhaps makeup to give the appearance of belonging to the other sex or to an androgynous middle ground. Most modern women may be considered cross-dressers since they often wear clothing normally intended for men. What is a new phenomenon is the rapidly rising number of men who wear women’s clothing. Because a male-dominated society frowns on its members mimicking the “inferior” female class, male cross-dressers are usually deep in the closet.

In questioning why there is a growing transgenderism movement, we reach to the heart of the question of sex typing. Transgendered people of all types normally report that they feed a need to express a gender identity different from the one society associates with their genitals. Leading psychologists explain this need by positing that the transgendered person’s neonatal brain was at least partially feminized (or masculinized) while their genitals were masculinized (or feminized). But if the new feminism and scientific research is correct, there are no “male” and “female” brains. Even if there were, is it reasonable to posit that brain patterns can dictate a need to wear one or another type of clothing? Do all the women who wear blue jeans and T-shirts have masculinized transgendered brains?

A more likely explanation is that sex is a continuum along which people, if allowed, will flow naturally to a comfortable resting point. What that resting point is depends upon the same complex of mental propensities and chance socialization that leads people to adopt one or another career, hobby, or religion. It is a matter not of “male” and “female” brains, but of chance orientations toward primal responses such as “aggression” or “nurturance,” limited by social pressures. Modern female cross-dressing represents gender creativity unconstrained by social rejection. Male cross-dressing is rare because society frowns on male gender creativity.

For most people society’s gender rules are so powerful that they simply go with the flow. But in every society there are the free spirits, the stubborn, and the insistent. In the 1960s they fought for civil rights. In the 1990s they fight for gender rights. The grass-roots transgender movement represents those people who are brave enough to risk some opprobrium to explore the gender continuum. Once that opprobrium is eliminated, the ranks of gender and sex-type explorers is sure to increase manyfold.

The Apartheid of Sex

We live under an apartheid of sex. At birth we are cast into a sex type based on our genitals. From then on we are brainwashed into a sex-type-appropriate culture called gender. Women can mimic (but not too much) the powerful entrenched men. But men who try to be “womanish” face the kind of vicious scorn reserved for traitors or the humiliation accorded masters who identified with slaves.

Like the apartheid of race, blurring of class boundaries is the gravest offense because it challenges the division of reality. Hence the old feminist doctrine of “separate but equal” was more acceptable to the male power structure, because they knew that it would never occur. But the new feminist doctrine of sexual continuity is threatening—it destroys the male-dominated power structure completely. If there are no hard and fast sex types, then there can be no apartheid of sex. If there is no apartheid of sex, then there is no entrenched birthright of power—people must achieve on their own. To men threatened by economics and social survival, loss of birthright superiority is frightening.

The apartheid of sex is every bit as harmful, painful, and oppressive as is the apartheid of race. When people are categorized at birth into a sociolegal class on the basis of chance biology, they will be socialized into a segregated culture. Once they are so socialized, human potential will be repressed, for the mind does not know boundaries except for those imposed upon it from outside. Our legacy of sexual apartheid is countless millennia of female oppression and male frustration, of gynacide and warfare.

The apartheid of sex is too ancient to be dismantled overnight. But there are concrete steps that can start the process of liberating humanity’s future, among them:

• Adopting resolutions in the psychological and medical community to the effect that sex in humans is a continuous variable, a complex of phenotypic and genotypic factors as unique as one’s fingerprints. While male and female categories are useful to group biological characteristics for medical purposes, these same categories have socially detrimental effects when used outside the field of medicine.
• Adopting laws that prohibit the classification of people according to sex type except for bona fide medical purposes.
• Adopting educational curricula and entertainment programming that encourage the concept of self-defined sex and flexible gender behaviors.

Sex should really be the sum of behaviors we call gender—an adjective, not a noun. People should explore genders. When they settle on a set of gender behaviors, the name for that set describes their sex. There are billions of sex types: from Rambo to Oprah, from Madonna to Prince, from deep blue to blood red, and a vast rainbow of androgynous possibilities in between. The important point is that gender exploration should come first, through free choice, and that sex is just the label for one’s chosen gender.

Today we go about the matter of sex ass backward. A male or female label is first imposed upon us without choice. We are then trained to adopt a set of appropriate gender behaviors, whether we like them or not. We have some flexibility in our particular choice of gender behavior but not much choice, lest we fall afoul of the apartheid of sex. However, feminism, technology, and transgenderism have debunked the myth of a “male and female” world. Life has much more gender potential than we can imagine.

As we break free of the chains of sexual apartheid, we will establish a new human culture of unparalleled creativity in personal development. From homo sapiens, literally the “wise man,” shall emerge our new species, persona creatus, the “creative person.” From the subjugation of women shall emerge the sensitization of men. And from the apartheid of sex shall evolve the freedom of gender.

Persona Creatus

A new species implies a very fundamental break with the DNA-based definition of homo sapiens. Yet, as indicated above, we have already made that fundamental break as a consequence of technological changes in the way we live and reproduce. Our DNA no longer dictates all aspects of our individual survival, for if it did near-sighted individuals would be gone, eaten by predators they could not see. Our DNA no longer dictates our ability to pass on our genes. In vitro fertilization with or without embryo transfer routinely provides reproduction for hundreds of thousands of infertile couples.

The rise of transgenderism provides sociobiologists with evidence of a new species. An important part of most species’ signature is the characteristically gender dimorphic behaviors of their members. However, as noted above, thanks to culture and technology, humans are leaving those gender dimorphic behaviors behind as they come to appreciate the limitless uniqueness of their sexual identities. As our creativity has blossomed, we have matured from homo sapiens into persona creatus.

The greatest catapult for humanity into a new species lies just beyond the event horizon of transgenderism. Based upon our rapidly accelerating ability to imbue software with human personality, autonomy and self-awareness, a movement of “transhumanists” have joined transgenderists in calling for the launch of persona creatus. The basic transhumanist concept is that a human need not have a flesh body, just as a woman need not have a real vagina. Humanness is in the mind, just as is sexual identity. As software becomes increasingly capable of thinking, acting and feeling like a human, it should be treated as a fellow human, and welcomed as a fellow member of the technological species persona creatus.

The biologist will insist that members of a common species be capable of producing fertile offspring, and so it is for transhumans and persona creatus. Reproduction will no long necessarily occur, however, via joined DNA. Instead, people of flesh will upload into software the contents and processes of their minds. Think of this as taking all of your digital photos, movies, emails, online chats, google searches and blogging to the next level, and merging it with “mindware” that can replicate how you think, feel and react based on the huge digital database of your thoughts, feelings and reactions. Once we have thus digitally cloned our minds, new digital people can be produced by combining some of our mindware with some of our partner’s mindware. Voila, there are fertile offspring and the species persona creatus is alive. Furthermore, since purely digital people can reproduce with flesh humans in this manner, the humans and the transhumans are common members of persona creatus.

Freedom of gender is, therefore, the gateway to a freedom of form and to an explosion of human potential. First comes the realization that we are not limited by our gross sexual anatomy. Then comes the awakening that we are not limited by our anatomy at all. The mind is the substance of humanity. Mind is deeper than matter.

6 comments:

Wrye Sententia said...

Really astute post; only when our thought patterns and the bodies that house them are free can we have true cognitive liberty.

mike said...

Martine, you are the most interesting human being on the planet! Remember the 'redleaf shirt co'??
Best Regards, Mike

hjenz said...

Thanks, Martine, for inviting me here the other day. You say: "The greatest catapult for humanity into a new species lies just beyond the event horizon of transgenderism." Its clear that with uploading and such as you suggest we will soon be getting into what could be called postgenderism, where your "sexuality" could take on forms hardly imaginable or, as I imagine, just be more or less abandoned for something seen as better.

We are not close to uploading yet, but historically people, in small numbers at least, have had strong wishes to be free of what they considered unwanted sexual obsessions and have undergone surgery to attempt to address the problem. A famous case is that of the religious philosopher Origen who reputedly had himself castrated, presumably to lessen unwanted sexual feeling. Such a choice would make sense to someone who viewed sexuality as demeaning and wished to spend eternity free of such encumbrance. Of course Origen wasn't the only person to make such a choice (if he did), and as we approach a transhuman destiny, such choices will become easier as well as it being better understood exactly what a person wants, and how to bring it about.

But really, we hope to become immortal, so the repoductive act and process will lose its urgency. Having some kind of sex life or at least what could be considered a sexual bias and a sex drive is considered important and necessary by so many today. But when technology ends the biological limits on life span, as we may hope will happen, maybe within a few decades, it is my feeling that basically giving up sex will become quite popular.

maya said...

Just because someone undergoes genital surgery doesn't make them asexual! har har

~Maya, Post op TS

bradcarmack said...

Fantastic article!

ponies ohyeah said...

lul the first half of the article was good, people should be free to explore their sex and not be labeled a sex at birth. But...

omegerd lol what if someone puts a virus into the machine lul do you really trust putting your life in the hands of someone behind a computer desk. or even worse, a computer? we know how glitchy they are, lol