Op-Ed: Inventing "Normal" for Sex and Gender Identity
Notions of how gender ought to manifest -- especially in instances where gender identity and presumed roles are in conflict, arise from biological determinism. This is the “because that’s the way God made them” line of reasoning. That is, there are fixed recognizable differences in the look and function of sex organs, presence of hormones and type of chromosomes that generate two distinct and bounded categories: male and female. And therefore man and woman.
But actually, there aren’t.
There is undeniably a strong correlation between sex and gender, between a biological (chromosomal and hormonal) reality and the way a person acts and wants to be perceived. And there’s a case to be made for a causative relation here too.
However, this correlation is not absolute. Shades of differences in physical sex, gender identity, sexual orientation -- not to mention shifts in these over a lifetime -- attest to this.