This is to try to figure out what actually is different between one gender or the other, if anything at all.

So, this gets me wondering… is there even such a true thing as gender differences in the first place? Is it all just a social construct with people being trained to think and act a certain way, or to assume that due to acting a certain way that you are a particular gender? Or is there some underlying aspects which truly differ in the vast majority of the population?

Really, the question is quite simple, but the answer seems to be remarkably complex, and almost guaranteed not to be answerable with the limited understanding we have due to so little research being put into this question which seems to be bluntly obvious on the surface.

Perhaps that’s the problem… we assume gender is so blatantly obvious of an answer, that we don’t even bother asking ourselves what really is the difference between male and female, or any other variations which may exist.

And so… I suppose I present it by breaking the question down into various subsections, along with some reminders:

1: Are there physical differences beyond the blatantly obvious ones of genitals and that which are affected by hormonal balance issues? This means that things like bone density, breasts, penises, etc, aren’t applicable, as these can be altered just with a simple hormone shift. Things like the brain’s structure, or other things which may be physically different from one gender to another, however, would apply here.

2: Are there any emotional differences? Clearly, each individual is different from each other, and we’re taught early on that “big boys don’t cry” among other things, where certain ways of coping with emotions are changed, but that doesn’t really change that the emotions themselves are any different necessarily, just how they’re displayed. Are there really significant differences between how a male and female would feel in various situations, or is it just how they present themselves to the world?

3: Are there any mental differences? Things like methods of reasoning, ways of processing information, or how one thinks in general. There’s enough evidence to denote that male brains seem a bit better at processing 3D rotation of objects, but really, how much difference is there in reality?

4: Are there any differences in preferences of what one enjoys to do? One of the things that bugged me most was the previous post I’d mentioned where a few examples flat out said only men enjoy solving puzzles or fixing things, whereas this makes no sense as the most common reason for a female to be in an abusive relationship is the belief they can “fix” their partner somehow, or to try to fix social issues, and it completely tosses out the idea of a female “nerd” or “geek” of sorts, despite that these individuals can be very clearly feminine in all other ways short of enjoying technical things like engineering or programming.

In any case, these questions are mostly to figure out if we can even come to a vague consensus towards what it is to be one gender or the other. It’s awfully difficult to state “I am male” or “I am female” without even knowing what the words mean in the first place.

This is not to say that everyone will be able to put such into words, nor does it mean that this is any sort of official, finalized definition by any means. What it is, is to attempt to explore that which makes us who we are, at our very core, before it’s tainted by outside influences.

Who are we when we’re not being told who we are? What makes us ourselves?

As stated, it seems like such an easy question, but to simply answer “I’m male because I know I am” is circular reasoning, and really doesn’t fix much of anything, though often it’s the only answer we can form into words, so this is, I suppose, my attempt to try to organize my own thoughts on the matter as well.

I dunno, I guess I just found myself wondering, if we strip away social constructs, biased opinions, traditional roles, hormonal differences, and so on… what’s really left?

Personally, I’m not really sure any longer. The more I think about it, the more I draw a blank. Virtually anything I can use to define myself, I realize isn’t really honestly gendered, outside of “it’s more common for one gender than the other”, and even those cases are sketchy at best, due to such likely being due to self fulfilling prophecies of sorts.

Still, if there’s any group on this planet who can figure out an answer, it’d likely be those who are trans, like me. After all, the concept of gender is something we’re far more likely to consider in depth than many others, as is it that we get the unique perspective of getting a little taste of both worlds to some degree.

As such, please aide me in my quest to try to figure this out, (if you want to leave comments with your input) because it’s really bugging me and the more I think about it the more frustrated I become.

 

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