What is sex?

Apart from persistently conflating sex and gender, transactivists often claim that biological sex isn’t binary, or even more, that it is fluid. So what is sex?

Sex means “intercourse”, but also, sex is a fundamental differentiating factor between humans, depending on the type of gametes they produce. 99.98% of babies are born with normal and consistent sex characteristics.

Baby who has a vagina also has a uterus, ovaries, produces ova and has XX chromosomes. Ditto for babies born with a penis and testicles, who are capable of producing sperm and have XY chromosomes.

This situation is in fact so overwhelmingly consistent, that just by observing external genitalia at birth, doctors, midwives and parents can be certain that in 99.9% of the cases they will be right in calling a baby boy or a girl.

And in case of common genital abnormalities, such as hypospadias, the condition doesn’t constitute ambiguous sex because those boys still have characteristics which are fully consistent with male sex.

There is a tiny percentage of people who have abnormalities of sexual development (also termed intersex). This is not a topic of discussion in this blog, but I’d like to invite you to read * this excellent article, which discusses intersex conditions and specifically addresses unfounded conclusions and research biases that not only led to gross overestimation of the incidence of intersex, but used that overestimation to try to assert that sex should be viewed as a continuum.


Abnormalities don’t constitute new variations of normal, because they impair function in some way and impaired function is by definition not normal. Only if the majority of people have what’s percieved as an “abnormality”, we need to consider redefining what “normal” is. But if 0.018% of the population has an abnormality, then it remains an abnormality.

Some abnormalities need treatment, others do not. Some treatments do more harm than good, and all this needs to be considered when we discuss treating an individual.

Cue John Money, a psychotherapist and sexologist who experimented on a boy who lost his penis due to a botched circumcision. Money convinced the boy’s parents to raise this boy as a girl.

He also forced this boy and his twin brother to engage in sexual play during therapy sessions, and even took pictures. This lead to both patients committing suicide as adults.

Money also (?predictably, for his modus operandi) claimed that non-sadistic paedophilia was “excess of parental love” and not pathological.

He also coined the terms like “gender role”, “sexual orientation” “paraphilia” and following his studies on hermaphrodites, identified six variables that define sex, whilst acknowledging that in most people all six will align.

NOTE: There no such thing as a human hermaphrodite, this is an antiquated term and a misnomer, as Intersex Society of North America succinctly explains 👇


John Money, alongside Alfred Kinsey and Harry Benjamin, all of whom were either not doctors, or in case of Harry Benjamin, a doctor who had no relevant expertise, is at the core of transgender movement. If you have time, watch this lecture by Dr Quentin Van Meter,   a paediatric endocrinologist with 40 years experience in the field, who explains how deeply unethical actions of these men led to social theory trumping science.

Over the years, medicine played with the ideas of different ways to define sex, under the understanding that this is only necessery when referring to people with abnormal sexual developmet.

We also considered the notion of “brain sex”, which is disproved today. There is, quite simply, not one behavioural characteristic that is uniquely found in male or female brains, and it is impossible to have a “female brain in the male body” and vice versa, so that idea is bogus.

But to go back to abnormalities of sex development (also known as intersex) they refer to physical abnormalities, and growing body of evidence advocates against any medical or surgical attempts to force intersex children to conform to Platonic ideals associated with the two biological sex categories.

Transgenderism – people with normal sexual development who feel like they are the opposite sex – is a psychological abnormality and therefore nothing like being intersex.

Medical and surgical gender reassignment has only gone as far as creating “neogenitals”, which look somewhat similar to real genitals but are constructed artificially from tissue that isn’t able to mimic or transform into natural sex organs. Neogenitals are functional (unless there are complications) for intercourse alone, in which case they have to be manually dilated, lubricated, pumped into erection and managed by the patient like surgically created simulacrums that they are. Real genitals are much more complex and they effortlessly and autonomously perform multitude of natural functions, from urination and ejaculation to menstruation and birth canals, and in case of intercourse, they function fully without any medical and surgical intervention.

And even if a patient is prepared to manage their neogenitals, there are numerous surgical complications associated with these operations. Also, having neogenitals can be a part of a treatment pathway that involves puberty blockers in childhood and subsequent, life-long usage of cross-sex hormones, all of which not only increase likelihoods of surgical complications (because in the absence of puberty penis never fully develops so parts of the intestines have to be used for vaginoplasty) but also increase the likelihood of serious medical complications.

The biggest study of transsexuals in Sweden also showed many negative outcomes in post-op transsexuals including significant increase in serious medical and psychological conditions, which suggests that the treatment of transgenderism that’s likely to avoid most harm is psychological, not medical or surgical.


Doctors have never made a man grow a uterus or change his chromosomes to XX, or made a woman grow a penis and testicles and change her chromosomes to XY, which is important because gene expression differs between men and women and sexual differences reside in every cell of our bodies. There is no medical technique that can rewrite our DNA so sex change is medically impossible.

This is why sex isn’t fluid or non-binary. It is one of the most rigid binary differentiations between human beings. Abnormalities exist, but as per above, they cannot redefine the normal.

And before we start talking about extremely rare cases of XX XY chimera, most but not all of which result in reproductive abnormalities, here’s another good paper that demonstrates why this condition isn’t a proof of gender ideology.

2 thoughts on “What is sex?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s