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

58 Post author: daenerys 25 November 2012 11:33PM

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Comment author: JulianMorrison 27 November 2012 02:23:15AM -3 points [-]

Then you are perpetuating cissexism.

And no it doesn't, there are brain areas that are statistically different in the small population of trans brains donated to science, but there is no brain scan for trans and it would be useless anyway, because if you experience yourself as trans and the scan says "nope" it's the scan that's wrong. The individual is the sole authority and the diagnosis is by telling a shrink what you experience.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 02:34:24AM *  3 points [-]

Then you are perpetuating cissexism.

... how so?

there is no brain scan for trans

The fact that we cannot currently diagnose gender dysphoria [EDIT: in a living subject] with a brain scan does not change the fact that it is caused by a neurological disorder, and as such is biological, not a choice.

if you experience yourself as trans and the scan says "nope" it's the scan that's wrong. The individual is the sole authority and the diagnosis is by telling a shrink what you experience.

Are you saying that cisgendered people should be eligible for gender reassignment surgery and so on, or that any brain-scan based test will be imperfect?

Comment author: JulianMorrison 27 November 2012 02:40:06AM 2 points [-]

I am saying that a trans person can only be diagnosed by saying "I experience myself as [fill in the blank]" because that unspoken, personal experience is what trans is. Not the brain stuff. That may be what trans is caused by. It's like having a sore toe, that can be caused by a dropped hammer or kicking the door, but the essence of sore toeness can't be determined by testing for hammers and a negative test for a dropped hammer would not disprove it, the essence of sore toeness is the ouch.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 02:48:43AM *  3 points [-]

I'm pretty sure that the ouch is merely evidence that someone is experiencing pain. We're perilously close to arguing definitions here, though. If someone developed such a scan and there were a lot of trans people coming up as cis that would be warning sign, but it is not impossible (merely unlikely) that there are "trans" people who have more in common with cis people than "real" trans people.

EDIT: it may help to consider autism here.

FURTHER EDIT: dammit, stupid karma toll cutting off my discussions.

Comment author: Bugmaster 28 November 2012 01:25:02AM 2 points [-]

If someone developed such a scan, and it labeled a bunch of trans-identified people as cis, then IMO that would be good evidence for the proposition that the scanner is buggy.

Comment author: J_Taylor 29 November 2012 05:39:27AM 0 points [-]

"I experience myself as a beetle in a box."