A Man2Man Alliance Policy Paper


Bill Weintraub

With special thanks to
Sensei Patrick

Sex or Gender?

Among those who study sexual behavior, the term "sex" is used to refer to a hard biological reality, which at its most elemental is genetic: our chromosomes determine whether we are male or female.

While "gender," a term from the social (or "soft") sciences, refers to those masculine or feminine attributes which are presumably learned.

In reality, argues anthropologist and sociobiologist Michael Ghiglieri, we cannot in this matter separate biology from learned behavior, and gender therefore "emerges from both sex-specific instinct and socialization."

Thus, in hunter-gatherer cultures, men are hunters, women gatherers.

Because male chromosomes produce an individual who is significantly stronger, faster, more aggressive and more violent than the female.

Of course boys still have to be taught how to hunt.

Just as girls have to be taught which leaves, roots, and fruits to gather.

Nevertheless, the male is genetically more violent, more aggressive, stronger, faster, and has been gifted with the *genetic* ability and desire to form bonds with other males, all of which make him a natural and superior hunter.

Even in our own technologically advanced, specialized, and supposedly gender-neutral culture, we recognize that there are fundamental differences between the sexes.

For example, men and women rarely compete against each other in the same sport.

Women may box, but not, ordinarily, against men -- because, in most instances they'd be defeated and possibly badly injured.

So the idea that we can divorce gender from biology is, as Ghiglieri points out, absurd.

For biological sex -- male or female -- is, as Ghiglieri says, "the cornerstone of behavior."

In a sense, then, gender does not exist.

Yes, it's a concept we use in certain areas of law and culture.

But gender has no real-world existence independent of biological sex.

And for that reason, to speak of gay or other men who have sex with men as being constitutionally or biologically intergendered is nonsense.

It's important to be clear about this:

Sex -- male or female -- is a biological reality which at its most basic is genetic: All chromosomes appear as pairs, and the chromosomes which determine sex are either XY or XX -- men have an XY chromosome pair, women an XX chromosome pair.

Although culture can influence the expression of this underlying biology, it cannot change it.

For that reason, a man -- that is, someone born with an XY chromosome pair -- will always be a man genetically, even if he undergoes surgery to remove his penis and testicles and is treated hormonally to suppress his masculinity.

Thus there are only two sexes, not three or five or ten, and, biologically, only two genders as well.

The History of an Idea

The idea that men who have sex with men are "intergendered" -- that is, for constitutional reasons, of some sort of intermediate sex to be found in between male and female -- dates to the 19th century.

And that's all it is -- a late-19th-century idea without any basis in fact which purported to explain why some men were "exclusively" homosexual, while the rest were "exclusively" heterosexual.

In reality it explained nothing, but was simply used to justify the growing segregation of "homosexuals" from the rest of society, a separation which had not existed prior to the late Victorian era.

For just that reason, by the middle decades of the 20th century, a number of new theories had been put forth to explain homosexual behavior, including:

  • psychoanalytic -- a faulty family structure consisting of a weak or absent father and a strong or smothering mother was thought to produce male homosexuals

  • facultative -- all-male environments, such as prisons or the military, were said to produce "opportunistic" homosexuals, who would revert to heterosexuality when again in the presence of women

  • biochemical and/or organic -- problems in brain chemistry or structure were believed to produce homosexual behavior; recommended treatments included electro- and insulin- shock therapies, and lobotomies

These three theories have long been discredited.

Homosexuality is no longer treated as a personality disorder or brain disease, nor do sexologists and psychiatrists expect that men who have sex with other men in all-male environments will automatically cease to do so when removed from those environments.

Nor are those men labeled sociopaths if they continue having sex with men.

More recently, however, genetic and hormonal explanations have become fashionable and have been much talked about in the popular press, even though such theories are based on very flimsy research.

Which is why most of those who put forward those theories say, in order to protect themselves, that "homosexuality" is probably "multi-factorial" in origin -- in other words, everything causes it: hormones, genes, peers, environment, family, what you eat for breakfast -- you name it, it "causes" homosexuality.

Nowhere -- except on this site and in the writings of The Man2Man Alliance -- do you see the simplest explanation and the most obvious: that since homosexuality is a universal among human beings, and, we're beginning to learn, among animals as well, we don't need to explain it because it's normal, and normative, behavior.

(Notice, for example, in the NY Times article referenced above, that none of the ethologists refers to the penquins, gulls, macaques, dolphins, or bonobos as "intergendered" or "of intermediate sex."

Because there's no reason to think they're either of those things.

Nor is their behavior described as "effeminate" -- because it is not.

Indeed, it cannot be. Effeminacy in human males is a function of self-consciousness and culture -- attributes which, though perhaps present in small degree among non-human animals, are not sufficient to produce an effeminate self-identification in animals.

Rather, the "homosexual" behaviors animals manifest -- long-term bonding, sexual contact, courtship displays, and/or the rearing of young -- are normal for members of their species and their sex, and are experienced as such by those animals.)

And God Created...

Despite the fact that theories of "intergenderness" have been repeatedly discredited, they keep re-appearing, in part no doubt because they speak to a deep-rooted and bigoted bias in mainstream Western culture that homosexual behavior in men is not normal, and in some way expresses a "feminine" impulse.

For example, in August of 2003, a man who had visited The Man2Man Alliance, and who self-described as a fundamentalist Christian, attempted to use the Alliance website to two ends:

  • to further what appeared to be money-making schemes in his behalf; and

  • to put forth his own theory, based on a fundamentalist Christian but bizarre and highly revisionist view of Adam and Eve, that men who have sex with men are intergendered.

Specifically, this individual, who never disclosed his name, claimed that Adam had not XY chromosomes but "X0" chromosomes -- and that this has somehow influenced subsequent generations of men.

Neither scripturally nor biologically is this true.

Biblically, we are told, "male and female created He them."

Not male, female, and intergendered.

And of course biologically, men carry XY chromosomes.

While there is an XO karyotype or descriptor, it's a genetic anamoly and very rare.

So what he's actually talking about is an X and a vacancy -- that's what the "0" or zero stands for -- nothing -- and, to repeat, that X0 karyotype is a genetic anomaly, very rare, which, like most genetic anomalies, usually results in either spontaneous abortion of the foetus or early death.

Let's be clear about that: Most genetic anomalies spontaneously abort or die shortly after birth.

That's why they're "a-nomalies" -- they are rare and far from the norm.

Whereas male homosexuality -- men having sex with men -- is extremely extensive, and in cultures which don't denigrate it, is virtually universal.

If something is a norm -- normative behavior -- it can't be an anomaly nor can it be the effect of an anomaly.

All it can be, in this case, is just part of natural, normal, male behavior.

Are Gays Better Than Straights? Women Better Than Men?

Furthermore, this individual asserted that gay men are more nurturing and empathetic than nongay men, and that this is proof that gay men are intergendered.

Yet, there's absolutely no evidence that gay men are more empathetic, more nurturing, more caring, or more intuitive than nongay men.

Indeed, it's an open question whether women themselves are any of these things.

For political and cultural reasons, feminists have, for a number of years, promoted the myth that women are intrinsically nice and men intrinsically nasty.

The truth is that men and women have different reproductive strategies, and that in pursuit of those strategies both sexes are capable of behaving very badly.

But that's as far as it goes.

Women are not inherently better than men, nor men than women.

They're just different.

While Men who have Sex with Men are ...


They have an XY chromosome pair, not an XX, and it's that very powerful Y chromosome which makes them male.

And men who have sex with men behave, on the whole, like men.

Except when they've bought into a self-hating subcultural model which says that men who have sex with men aren't really men.

Even then, those who've done so, who usually self-identify as gay, act not like women, but like parodies and burlesques of women.

That is to say, effeminate.

Again, if they were truly intergendered, they wouldn't be effeminate -- they would be feminine.

But they are not.

Nor is there anything in the historical record about men who loved men which supports an intergendered theory.

Rather, prior to the emergence of gay subcultures in late 20th-century post-industrial societies, most men who loved men were warriors who were masculine and monogamous.

If men who love men were by nature intergendered, those guys would have been too.

But they were not.

The Uses of "Intergendered"

Nevertheless, analist culture -- and our nameless "X0" fundamentalist -- would have you believe that all men who have sex with men (MSM) are intergendered.

The idea is important to analists and their feminist allies because it justifies and supports men being anally-receptive, effeminate, promiscuous, and anti-masculine.

Yet if the intergendered theory were true, all MSM would be effeminate.

But they are not.

And the analists and their unwitting ally cannot have it both ways.

If there's some underlying biological difference, all men who have sex with men must exhibit it.

Yet they do not.

In sum ...

There is no evidence that men who have sex with men -- whether they self-identify as gay, bi, or straight -- are "intergendered."

Rather, what all the evidence -- historical, cross-cultural, biological, ethological, behavioral, and experential -- tells us is that it's natural and normal for men to have sex with men, and that in societies which do not denigrate such activity, they do so as men, openly and joyously.

And loyally as well.

It's the goal of The Man2Man Alliance to create such a society -- in which all men are free to embrace both their masculinity and their sexuality, and behave with dignity and fidelity towards those they love.

Bill Weintraub

March 2, 2004

Bill Weintraub heads The Man2Man Alliance, an organization of men into Frot

is presented by The Man2Man Alliance, an organization of men into Frot

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