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JulianMorrison comments on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance - Less Wrong

58 [deleted] 25 November 2012 11:33PM

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Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 01:47:58AM *  1 point [-]

A boy in skirt is not like a boy with underpants on his head, he's like a girl in jeans. That used to be scandalous.

Once, yes, and it was once possible for women to dress "as men" and be assumed to be "effeminate" men. (Google "sweet polly oliver".) However, for various reasons this is no longer the case, whereas it is still so for men.

I am not suggesting "ignoring" it, I am suggesting "not treating it as the thing that determines gender".

Are you saying gender identity is not determined by biology? Because I have some transsexuals who would like to talk to you. (Obviously much of the trappings we assign to gender can and should be ignored.)

EDIT:

If they pick cross-gendered ones, that might last, or it might go away, or it might turn into gay/lesbian identity.

I think you misspelled "transsexual" there,

Comment author: JulianMorrison 27 November 2012 02:13:10AM 0 points [-]

whereas it is still so for men.

So break it.

Are you saying gender identity is not determined by biology? Because I have some transsexuals who would like to talk to you.

The etiology of trans is unknown. There are suggestions that hormones in the womb may play a part, with the brain and body controlled by hormone flushes at different times, resulting in something like "intersex of the brain". But what I meant was more simply, that social categorization of bodies as "male or female" doesn't determine their gender identity. Bear in mind I say social categorization here, because society looks at some things (penis length, particularly) and not at others (brains, particularly) about the body to put people into categories.

And no, I meant cross-gendered in the specific sense of "person socially assigned gender A in clothes socially assigned gender B".

BTW: trans being inborn and immutable is a political thing. It is easier to get rights if your discriminated-against attribute is "not your fault" so you can't be "blamed" for it. This doesn't affect the rightness of the cause, only the ease of implementing it in the face of religious (sin focused) transphobia.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 28 November 2012 04:09:30AM 10 points [-]

BTW: trans being inborn and immutable is a political thing. It is easier to get rights if your discriminated-against attribute is "not your fault" so you can't be "blamed" for it.

Ok, so you admit your movement is willing to lie, BS and corrupt social science for "the greater good". Given that, why should I believe any of the empirical claims your movement makes?

Comment author: JoshuaZ 28 November 2012 04:37:54AM *  10 points [-]

So, this is the sort of thing that's true for almost any advocacy group: They will present the evidence that helps them and not present the evidence that doesn't. That means that for any political advocacy or organization you need to look at the evidence with that in mind and judge it carefully and accordingly. This makes the groups under discussion no different than any other similar group.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 29 November 2012 04:49:17AM 11 points [-]

There is a difference between selectively presenting true evidence (or at least evidence they believe to be true) and telling things you know to be false.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 29 November 2012 06:42:58PM 1 point [-]

Valid point in this context. I'm not sure if Julian was claiming to present things that are known to be false, although the wording of the comment certainly could be interpreted that way.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 November 2012 02:55:43PM 7 points [-]

Wasn't he basically just saying that these kinds of statements radically lower his epistemic confidence in empirical claims the movement makes which are politically convenient?

Comment author: JoshuaZ 28 November 2012 03:00:26PM 4 points [-]

Wasn't he basically just saying that these kinds of statements radically lower his epistemic confidence in empirical claims the movement makes which are politically convenient?

Well, there's the connotative issue involved. But my point is that he seems to be making a strange adjustment here: Making a radical adjustment to one group when it should apply to all political groups. Moreover, the comment struck me (and it is possible that I've misinterpreted it here) as essentially dismissing any claims made rather than doing what one should actually do in such contexts- carefully examine the claims, and look for omitted evidence.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 02:19:13AM *  2 points [-]

whereas it is still so for men.

So break it

Once again, I support the right to wear underpants on your head but I wouldn't teach my kids it's socially acceptable.

snip "trans is a choice"

It shows up on brainscans.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 28 November 2012 01:21:21AM *  10 points [-]

snip "trans is a choice"

It shows up on brainscans.

How is the second sentence at all evidence against the first?

Comment author: MugaSofer 29 November 2012 10:52:38PM 1 point [-]

... because you don't, as a rule, choose your own neurophysiology. Certain structures in transsexuals' brains are closer to the form they take in cisgendered members of the sex they identify with than the sex they appear to be.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 30 November 2012 01:08:12PM 4 points [-]

... because you don't, as a rule, choose your own neurophysiology.

Become a taxi driver and grow your hippocampus. The boundary between what you can change and what you can't is not as clear as you seem to think.

Certain structures in transsexuals' brains are closer to the form they take in cisgendered members of the sex they identify with than the sex they appear to be.

Do we know what these structures do?

Comment author: MugaSofer 01 December 2012 06:27:07AM 0 points [-]

Become a taxi driver and grow your hippocampus. The boundary between what you can change and what you can't is not as clear as you seem to think.

As I have said elsewhere, there is a sliding scale involved. This is decidedly towards the "unchosen" end, and considering that transsexuals report having changed their lifestyle as a result of preexisting problems, it seems reasonable to call this one for the "nature" side.

Do we know what these structures do?

Besides this? No.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 30 November 2012 02:08:44AM 4 points [-]

... because you don't, as a rule, choose your own neurophysiology.

You have some control over it. Everything you do and every thought you have affects your neurophysiology. How much control you have over it is an interesting question, which can't be answered simply by pointing to differences on brain scans.

Comment author: MugaSofer 30 November 2012 09:23:12AM *  0 points [-]

There's a sliding scale. At one end, we have things like frontal lobes. At the other, we have imagination. This is the kind of structure that doesn't alter without external stimuli, and even then it's bloody hard.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 28 November 2012 11:59:56AM 7 points [-]

It shows up on brainscans.

If you take physicalism seriously, every experience can be expected to show up eventually, on sufficiently advanced brain scans. That has no bearing on what is a choice and what is not. Choices and non-choices will both have physical correlates.

Comment author: MugaSofer 29 November 2012 09:56:10PM -1 points [-]

Autism is a choice!