September 18, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Scientists Treat Biological Sex as Binary

Politically-correct influencers cannot deny the obvious forever. Scientists have to deal with reality every day.

Scientific papers come and go. They routinely speak of men and women, boys and girls as real and intuitively obvious divisions of human beings. With those genetic distinctions come a lot of propensities of behavior and traits. Just as with the gay gene fiasco (28 Sept 2019), scientists are not finding genes for transgenderism or any of the other 70-some-odd genders invented by activists eager to promote the latest victim class. Some scientists may lean toward LGBT rights (including the T), but in their work, they get real.

Biological Sex Affects Genes for Body Fat, Cancer, Birth Weight (Northwestern University Medicine). Biological sex is not just a cellular thing. It affects everything about an individual. Marla Paul writes, “Sex influences gene production in every human tissue.” Pharmacology professor Barbara Stranger sees differences between males and females everywhere she looks.

Biological sex has a small but ubiquitous influence on gene expression — the amount of product created by a gene for cell function — in almost every type of human tissue, according to a new study published in Science.

These sex differences are observed for genes involved in many functions, including how people respond to medication, how women control blood sugar levels in pregnancy, how the immune system functions, and how cancer develops, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study done in collaboration with the University of Chicago and the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona.

Nothing was stated about how these genes affect categories like “non-binary, asexual, bisexual” or other inventions of political correctness.

Are male genes from Mars, female genes from Venus? (Arizona State University). The answer to the headline’s question is, “Yes,” when speaking metaphorically about major differences between males and females. Researchers in Arizona share the opinion of the Northwestern team.

Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes. Only a sprinkling of genes, located on the so-called X and Y sex chromosomes, differ between the sexes. Nevertheless, the activities of our genes — their expression in cells and tissues — generate profound distinctions between males and females.

Not only do the sexes differ in outward appearance, their differentially expressed genes strongly affect the risk, incidence, prevalence, severity and age-of-onset of many diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease and neurological afflictions.

As Collegiate Esports Become More Professional, Women Are Being Left Out (North Carolina State). This article worries about a “two-tiered system” in this increasingly popular college activity of “esports” (i.e., gaming). It doesn’t talk about a 3-tiered system, or a 70-tiered system. It doesn’t even mention transgenders. Why? Everybody knows that people are male or female. What happens to the argument if a transgender ‘woman’ competes and starts complaining about the male dominance in the sport? Chaos.

Griffith raising awareness about men’s health equity and structurally based risks for COVID-19 (Vanderbilt University). Is this a sexist article? Of course not. Vanderbilt is bending over backwards to be “woke” about things; the article uses “intersectionality” and other buzzwords of the Left. Nevertheless, the scientists cannot get around the reality that men are dying more from COVID-19 than women, regardless of race, color, creed or whatever other victim class they put people in. Something biologically real is going on.

In a recent article published in the International Journal of Men’s Social and Community Health, Griffith and his colleagues find that even though men and women contract COVID-19 at equal rates, men account for 58 percent of deaths from the virus and double the amount of female deaths in confirmed COVID-19 cases….

“While the reasons for men facing greater health risks from COVID-19 are not entirely clear, most health patterns are the result of a combination of biological, behavioral and psychosocial factors,” Griffith said.

Two examples of possible biological factors include a weakened immune response in men due to the role of immune-related genes along the X chromosome, which women have two of and men only have one, and higher levels of an enzyme called ACE2 in men’s bodies that the virus uses to enter the host cell in the respiratory system. Behavioral and psychological examples include the way men are more likely to downplay the severity of the virus and engage in riskier behavior.

Is it unfair to have an “International Journal of Men’s Social and Community Health”? Why aren’t their journals for each of the ~70 genders that LGBT activists claim exist? It’s because men are real, and their health circumstances are different from those of women—from the Y chromosome all the way to gene expression in every cell and tissue. Unfortunately, that predisposes them to more severe effects from the SARS-CoV2 virus. The Vanderbilt team tries to leave some room for culture, but the behavioral observation that “men are more likely to downplay the severity of the virus and engage in riskier behavior” only reinforces the fact that men have characteristic traits.

And Now for the Science

Science Magazine published detailed results of a major new study of gene expression between the sexes. All they found were differences between males and females in the way genes were expressed.  Melissa Wilson gives an overview of this paper in her article, “Searching for Sex Differences” (Science 11 Sep 2020: Vol. 369, Issue 6509, pp. 1298-1299. DOI: 10.1126/science.abd8340). Pay attention to how many sexes there are (like, 2).

The behemoth effort, started a decade ago, known as the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Consortium aims to discover how DNA variation affects gene expression across human tissues (1, 2). As part of this consortium, on page 1331 of this issue, Oliva et al. (3) find that more than one-third of genes show sex-biased expression in at least one tissue. Four other GTEx studies, on pages 1318, 1334, 1333, and 1332 of this issue, respectively, discuss the effects of gene regulation in human tissues (4), identify functional rare genetic variation (5), study predictors of telomere length (6), and report cell type–specific gene regulation (7). What is especially notable about Oliva et al. is the careful analysis, which revealed that in addition to reported genetic and hormonal effects (8), there are cell type–specific sex differences in tissue composition. Furthermore, their work highlights that rather than being strictly dimorphic, interindividual variation results in overlapping distributions of gene expression between the sexes.

In other words, there are variations in expression; not every man or woman has the same level of expression of every gene. But this is not surprising; men and women overlap in many outward traits, such as temperament, energy level, and intelligence. Some males are more gentle than others (ever hear of “gentlemen”?). Some women are more aggressive than others. Nowhere in the article does the paper speak of other sexes or a multitude of genders. Their samples were taken from only two: males, and females.

Oliva et al., “The impact of sex on gene expression across human tissues.” Science  11 Sep 2020: Vol. 369, Issue 6509, eaba3066. DOI: 10.1126/science.aba3066

A Victory for Truth: Transgender Study Corrected (Family Research Council). Mary Beth Waddell celebrates a correction to an earlier paper that wrongly claimed that changing one’s gender surgically helps young people have better mental health.

In a victory for truth, the American Journal of Psychiatry has, after pressure, issued a correction to a study it published almost a year ago. The original conclusion from the study, which analyzed the records of 9.7 million Swedes, was that “gender-affirming” surgery improved the mental health of those with gender dysphoria. Numerous letters were sent to the editor of the journal by scholars calling the study and its methodology into question. This ultimately led to a reanalysis and formal correction being published by the journal, saying that the study in fact does not show that surgery improves mental health outcomes.

The correction, discussed at The Public Discourse, accuses the earlier paper of pushing “fad medicine” as “bad medicine.”

Only one time does this paper use the word gender, and that is a toss to futureware: “disentangling sex differences driven by inherent biology versus gendered environments is an important further challenge.” In this biscuit tossed to keep the activists at bay, they use the phrase “inherent biology” to underscore the fact that “gendered environments” are non-biological. They don’t want to insult the transgenders, but in their work they have to deal with biological realities: sex chromosomes and how all genes are expressed according to just two genders: male and female.

Transgender activists exclaim that sex and gender are two different things. But if all the kooky genders being advertised by the activists are not biological, what are they? Do they even exist? If there is no foundation in reality for them other than personal preference, then let people identify as cats or space aliens. Let Tyrus identify as Miley Cyrus. Let toddlers identify as seniors and get social security checks. Let biological men compete with women in sports (Wait! That’s actually happening!).

Come on. Other than a few rare cases of individuals with genetic abnormalities in the sex chromosomes, shame should fall on the activists, not normal people. Give the next one you see a wry grin and say, “Get real.” The gender fluidity movement almost looks like a plot to test how far Marxist revolutionaries can push ordinary people to buckle under their totalitarian demands. So far, the only ones falling for it are other Leftists.

 

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