Scientists Affirm Gender Is Binary
Despite all the talk of gender fluidity and toxic masculinity, reality affirms what we all know.
Reality has a way of trouncing political correctness. It’s time to listen to reality: male and female are real categories. Very rare exceptions can be accommodated fairly, but exceptions prove the rule. Lately, attacks on men have taken center stage. Are complaints about ‘toxic masculinity’ logical? Are they supported by science? Let’s get real.
Masculinity matters (but mostly if you’re muscular): A meta-analysis of the relationships between sexually dimorphic traits in men and mating/reproductive success (bioRxiv). This preprint, written by three women (Linda, Catherine and Lynda) affirms sexual dimorphism. It doesn’t support trimorphism, quadrimorphism, or gender-fluid multi-morphism. Men are men, and women are women.
Humans are sexually dimorphic: on average men significantly differ from women in body build and composition, craniofacial structure, and voice pitch, likely mediated in part by developmental testosterone exposure.
Now that that’s settled, the ladies wander into empty speculation about how sexual dimorphism evolved in human beings. They admit that the picture is unclear.
Hypotheses which attempt to explain the evolution of dimorphism in humans, such as the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis and the male-male competition hypothesis, assume that more dimorphic (i.e. masculine) men have historically achieved greater mating success, resulting in greater reproductive success. This is either because women select more masculine men due to their greater immune function, because more masculine men expend more energy on mating effort, or because more masculine men out-compete their rivals for other routes to mating success. Thus far, however, evidence for an association between masculinity and reproductive success is unclear.
It’s important to recall that a hypothesis is not science. It comes prior to science. A hypothesis is a hunch or a guess that needs to be tested by the evidence with rigorous observation. All these ladies did was perform a ‘meta-analysis’ of 91 studies trying to connect 431 effect sizes in order to see which Darwinian tale might account for sexual dimorphism the best. They found the most support for the notion that muscular men have the greatest reproductive success, but that is highly doubtful. Clearly all kinds of men, not just bodybuilder types, get married and have children. Over human history there is no trend showing men getting more muscular over time, like one would expect if this were a trait under positive selection.
This paper could also be used to justify men forcing intercourse (rape) by “expending more energy on mating effort” or by “outcompeting their rivals for other routes to mating success.” What? Are these ladies sexist? Are they encouraging sexual abuse? Darwinism rewards “reproductive success” by whatever works, including men forcing themselves on women due to their greater muscle strength. Recall, too, that “fitness” is blind to physical strength. If the authors had associated lying and cheating with reproductive success, that would have worked just as well within Darwinian theory. Evolution would then reward wimpy men who use date-rape drugs for “reproductive success.”
The reductionism in this paper stinks, and so does the genetic determinism. It makes men and women passive marionettes of the Stuff Happens lottery. Whatever happened to free will and responsibility? Oh, their meta-analysis didn’t include those. And that’s not the only factor the ladies left out:
We are also constrained by lack of reproductive data, particularly from naturally fertile populations. Our data thus highlight the need to increase tests of evolutionary hypotheses outside of industrialised populations.
Big fail: inadequate sampling. They ignored hunter-gatherer societies, agrarian communities, and ethnic minorities. So they’re not only sexist, they’re racist. For the purposes of the present question about binary gender in humans, though, the ladies did affirm that forcefully. There are two genders; men and women are different. The ease with which they accepted sexual dimorphism without trying to be politically correct shows that scientists don’t have to deny reality. But some do.
The belief that “real men” must be strong, tough and independent may be a detriment to their social needs later in life. A study co-authored by a Michigan State University sociologist found that men who endorse hegemonic ideals of masculinity — or “toxic masculinity” — can become socially isolated as they age, impacting their health, well-being and overall happiness.
Notice the hedging words, “may” and “can.” It “may” be detrimental. Men “can” become socially isolated. This gives the fake scientists an out. Is social isolation true in some cases? Perhaps, but in many other cases it is not. Look at Chuck Norris, the legendary tough guy, who turns 80 this year (WND). He is married to a beautiful woman, successful in business, and by all accounts very happy and committed to his Christian faith. He enjoys serving others with health advice. His masculinity cannot be dismissed as mere Hollywood special effects; he really was a world champion in martial arts, and despite aging, still looks very strong and healthy. In some of his episodes in Walker, Texas Ranger, he featured women martial artists almost as capable of taking down the bad guys as he was. Norris’s films always used toughness against bad guys, proving that masculinity can be extreme but not toxic. Thank God there are righteous tough guys able to take down the toxic bad guys, as many heroes have done, stopping terrorists and fighting fires. Many strong, masculine men are excellent husbands and fathers at home: gentlemen – gentle and self controlled by default, but able to fight evil when called on.
The MSU sociology department creates a false dichotomy with the either-or presentation of men as either hyper-masculine tough guys or wimpy nice guys. Male and female characteristics vary widely between the bounds of human sexual dimorphism. That’s terrific. It gives men and women plenty of choice in what male or female traits they want to accentuate. Any of those traits can be used for good, and though they are biologically innate to a degree, they require training and effort to develop. There are men with the gentlest touch on the keyboard or paintbrush, and women who can take down bad guys twice their weight. There are male cooks and female weightlifters. Both genders run marathons and do gymnastics. Let a woman play the Princess and the Pea if she wants, but if she prefers running boats through storms in the North Sea, go for it. Let a man compete in World’s Strongest Man competitions or choose to play the flute. These things have nothing to do with reproductive success or ‘fitness,’ but the fundamental sexual dimorphism remains; that is why the state of Arizona finally got some sense and stopped allowing ‘transgender women’ (biological males) to compete in women’s sports (WND). It was biologically unfair. Some women athletes have been robbed of titles and scholarships through the unfairness of PC leftists denying biological differences.
At Prager U, in “Sex Matters,” Sean McDowell affirms the historical, common-sense understandings of male-female differences. Teaching otherwise, he says, is like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. Let go and it pops back up, because that’s its nature. Current PC teaching about sex and gender will pop out like the beach ball once the hands of anti-realist professors let go and stop forcing it down.
Leftist Attacks on Reality
Political correctness is driving science through the sticky morass of Leftist inconsistency. Two recent examples:
Book explores ‘rugged individualism’ and its impact on inequality in America (Phys.org). Here is another illogical example of the either-or fallacy, presented in a book that is being promoted by a ‘science news’ site. This is fake news and fake science. Rugged individualism, often portrayed as a male trait, is not incompatible with fairness. What does this author mean by ‘inequality’? That’s a Leftist buzzword. America values equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. That is fair (see Prager U). Individual liberty, acknowledged by the Declaration of Independence, says we are “endowed by our Creator” with natural rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The book author defines rugged individualism in extreme terms to make it sound toxic, but neither ruggedness nor individualism are bad in themselves. They can be used for good: e.g., endurance (ruggedness) and responsibility (individualism) are traits worth cultivating, making a man or a woman more mature and less dependent. Why is the Left always demeaning values that made our country great? That is not science. This article praises the Leftist academic Noam Chomsky.
Sexism, racism, and nationalism: Factors associated with the 2016 U.S. presidential election results? (PLoS One). The Left continually pushes the narrative that Trump supporters are sexists, racists and nationalists. It is a fact that Leftists vastly outnumber conservatives in academia, especially in the sociology departments, where in some universities not a single Republican is to be found (20 June 2018). So is it any wonder that the authors of this “study” concluded that sexism, racism and nationalism determined the outcome of the 2016 election? Is it any wonder that Fake News produces Fake Science? The authors should read Angela Saini’s op-ed in Nature: “Want to do better science? Admit you’re not objective.”
Sexual dimorphism is a fact of human biology. Men are men. Women are women. Get used to it. Make the most of it.
In his novel Perelandra, C.S. Lewis presented a female and a male in an unfallen state on another planet. Like the first pair on Earth, they were tempted by a demon-filled being – but unlike on Earth, this couple passed the test. The result was a glorious union of King and Queen, each equal in value, each complementing one another perfectly, each filled with happiness as they enjoyed one another, grateful for their unique gifts that together constituted something greater than the sum of the two parts. The last book in Lewis’s space trilogy, That Hidden Strength, depicts scientism as a diabolical scheme trying to undo the Creator’s masterpiece and twist it into a biological eternal life. It becomes ugly. That’s the “hideous” part. After the scheme implodes, the male and female protagonists rediscover the joy of accepting the beauty of their created essence. There are tasteful hints of a bedroom scene to come. Sex is no longer a fight, a struggle for existence, or a necessity. It’s a beautiful thing.
Ingratitude is one of Satan’s most common ploys, because it works. Fallen mankind is already in rebellion, so ingratitude feeds resentment. Satan wants people to be disgruntled about what they were created to be. A boy wants to be a girl. A girl wants to be a boy. A man is disgruntled that he is not muscular enough. A woman is jealous of other women. Each sex complains about the benefits the other sex gets. This leads to divorce, family breakups, and more opportunities for people to distance themselves from God.
Recognize ingratitude as a scheme of Satan. There is so much to discover in the gifts of God to both sexes, if individuals would repent of their pride and turn to the Lord Jesus who died for us to cleanse us from sin (see Site Map). For anyone struggling with their identity (and for others who want to understand what’s going on in the culture), we again recommend Nancy Pearcey’s book, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality. She demonstrates through many examples that an understanding of and cooperation with the Creator’s plan brings the highest good for society and the most well-being for each individual.
Recommended Resource: The Family Research Council is trying to do something about the war on ‘toxic masculinity’ by holding “Stand Courageous” men’s conferences, encouraging men to step up to their God-given roles in society. Check here to see if there is one coming to your city.