Sex, Sexuality and Gender: Part One

Sex is determined by chromosomal makeup. In humans, this has specific and recognisable morphological effects that place the individual into a recognisable set. Sex is either Male or Female, in normal humans. Males have penises and testes and females have vaginas and ovaries. There are some rare conditions which may result in an indeterminate physical condition. These are called Intersex. For almost all humans, however, Sex can accurately be determined at birth, just by looking at the genitalia.

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Sex, even in the intersex conditions, is fixed. It can never be changed. It is innate and biological. No surgery can turn a male into a female; all that can be done is to create a male with a cosmetic vagina.

In addition to the simple nature of their genitalia, there are significant differences between adult males and adult females. The following is all on average, and there will be outliers; some women are taller than the average man, some men shorter than the average woman. But these are a consequence of variation.

On average, then, adult males tend to have square, boxy pelvises, broad shoulders, have more powerful upper bodies and be taller and more heavily built. These skeletal qualities make them better at running, fighting, throwing and so on. In addition to the skeletal differences, males have far higher levels of testosterone, which make them more aggressive and competitive; it changes their muscle type so that it is more suited to explosive contraction; it makes them sexually active all the time.

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Adult females tend to have bowl-shaped pelvises, lighter upper bodies, smaller hands and feet, and carry significantly more fat than males. Their weight is concentrated, again on average, lower down in the body. The principal sex hormone in their bodies, oestrogen, makes their muscles more suited to repeated, regular action. They are less good at running, fighting and throwing and tend to be co-operative rather than competitive.

These physical differences are the basis of gender, a set of physical qualities, psychological traits, appearances and behaviours. For tens, probably hundreds of thousands of years, these differences have resulted in a division of roles by sex and this division has become increasingly marked in the last 10,000 years. In basic terms, men tend to be hunters and defenders of the group, while women tend to be gatherers and take care of the children. Men are natural hunters, for example, and women’s lower centres of gravity make them better at carrying children. There are many other differences between the sexes that are a direct consequence of sex.

In other words, a great deal of what we call gender is actually innate.

There is a second category of gendered behaviours, however, which are not innate. These include some of the ways that the sexes relate, the kinds of clothes men and women wear, social behaviours and interactions and so on. These are learned and so vary from culture to culture and over time.

So gender is complex. It is rooted in sex but has cultural overlays.

Freud

However, it is also rooted in Sexuality, which is a function of sex. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the ‘father of psycho-analysis’, considered that sexuality could not be understood in purely biological terms. It depended, for him, on how the individual desired to have sex. Activity is to desire to dominate and penetrate another, obviously enjoying the physical sensations, while passivity is the desire to have sensitive internal membranes stimulated by that, but also the psychological urge to submit to penetration.

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In Freud, ‘activity’ is male sexuality and ‘passivity’ is female. In fact he often used the terms interchangeably. This dichotomy is universal: sexuality, he said, ‘manifests itself in a dualistic form: active and passive.’ In other words, there are two sexualities, active/male, in which you seek to penetrate and passive/female, in which you seek to be penetrated.

Freud accurately describes our sexual nature. Most males are active, that is, have male sexuality and most females are passive. For most of us, sexuality maps directly onto sex. That is because at the most basic level, for our reproductive imperative to be fulfilled, females must attract males, to penetrate them and fertilise their ova. As a result, in most cases, male sexuality implies a desire to penetrate females and an attraction to femininity, and female sexuality is the opposite. In other words, men are attracted to specific things about women, which identify them as suitable targets and vice versa. But this is not absolute; sometimes sex and sexuality are inverted from what we might expect.

Where males have female sexuality, of course, penetration must be of an organ other than the vagina, which they don’t have; and here Freud makes clear what is going on: female sexuality in males is the desire for ‘the erotogenic mucous membrane of the anus’ to be stimulated, by penetration.

A significant number of gender behaviours and appearances are actually designed to attract partners. Flirting behaviour, for example, shows a clear gender divide and is obviously a way of attracting mates. The fact that flirting behaviour is similar everywhere in the world, irrespective of culture, tends to confirm that it is innate. However, this aspect of gender is not restricted to behaviours. Women have large breasts and buttocks, made mainly of fat. These exist to attract males. Males are in turn, innately attracted to these features. Clearly they are not ‘socialised’; instead they arise as a result of the action of the sex hormones. Since these are innate, so are their consequences.

Let’s put that another way: human females have evolved unnecessary body morphology whose sole purpose is to attract males, and males have evolved to be attracted to that.

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But it’s not always so

For most of us, our gender conforms to our birth sex. So nearly all females have feminine gender and nearly all males have masculine gender.  Now this does not mean that a boy cannot like the colour pink or a girl the colour blue; there is no reason why women should not play football and even be good at it. These are cultural roles and behaviours and they are fairly fluid between the sexes. However, on average (remember that) most of us broadly conform to the gender characterisations that are consistent with our sex.

The exception, of course, is transsexualism.

Women’s best chance of their genes surviving is to ensure that their babies survive to adulthood to they can replicate. Since it takes nine months for a foetus to gestate and a human child is not independent until around the age of fifteen, this means that a great deal of a woman’s life is occupied with ensuring the continuance of her genetic stock.

A male’s best chance of genetic survival is to impregnate as many females as he can. Males are not at all fussy in this. They would happily have sex with a good-looking tree, if nothing else were available. This is because their reward is directly from the act of coition and orgasm — as you’d expect, since they are evolved to have as much sex as possible.

A female’s natural sexual behaviour then is to be mate-selective and choose those males with whom they think they can make viable babies, and then focus on keeping those babies alive. A male’s natural sexual behaviour is to penetrate anything in sight, as often as possible.

Situational Homosexuality

In conditions where female mates are not available, males will couple with other males. This is called ‘Situational Homosexuality’. In any culture where access to females is restricted, this happens. It is in fact normal. Men penetrate and it is only social pressures that make them choosy about what – or whom – they penetrate. Most of these pressures are applied, perhaps paradoxically, by women, which is why, when women are absent, their influence diminishes.

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Prison Sex

Prison sex is one example of Situational Homosexuality, which occurs amongst males when women are not sexually available and also amongst females without men. Outside the specific situation which provokes the behaviour, the individuals are often non-homosexual. This is widely reported and has been so throughout history, to the point that it must be regarded as normal human behaviour. This suggests that it is the sex that is important, rather than whom it is with. In other words, sex is not just about reproduction or even the satisfaction of attraction, it fulfils other social and personal imperatives – and the fact that Prison Sex is as frequent in female jails as male ones tells us that it is not just men who do this.

Dr J Michael Bailey’s following comments refer to a conversation he had with a colleague who was educated in the English Public School system, which, far from being public, is private, exclusive and notorious as a hotbed of pederasty:1

Men seem more likely to resort to homosexual behavior if they have no heterosexual outlets. Second, (my colleague’s) enjoyment of homosexual behavior was evidently normal for him; his later disapproval required him to learn that homosexuality is disgusting. (He does not, however, believe he could have enjoyed fellatio or anal sex even at that time.) Perhaps, then, many if not most men could enjoy homosexual encounters of some form if they hadn’t learned to be disgusted by them.2

This suggests that male revulsion to sex with other males may be at least partly learned; in other words it is a function of culture.3

Bailey notes:

there might be something to the idea that young or adolescent boys are especially attractive as homosexual partners for males. They are relatively hairless and less muscular; in these senses they look like women.

In many cultures, sexually receptive girls remain unavailable to men and boys; access to sex comes only with the acceptance of adult responsibility, that is, through first becoming a man and then marrying. Traditional pederasty provides an avenue for males to experience sexual release, wherein adolescent boys play the sexual role of girls to older ones. But note: the sexual inversion this implies is temporary.

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Moo — a post-operative MtF transsexual

The widespread prevalence of Situational Homosexuality tells us that men can learn to enjoy being penetrated anally. All that prevents them doing so is social intolerance and indeed, there are and have been many cultures where boys are expected to play the role of submissive sexual partners to mature men. These roles are not fixed. Men who penetrate boys will penetrate women whenever they can too, and boys who grow up being penetrated like this will themselves become penetrating males who have children. This is sometimes called ‘age organised’ homosexuality, but this is misleading, because the determinant of sexual role is status, not necessarily age. Another term is ‘pederasty’, but ‘status organised’ might be the best. Briefly, the higher status individual takes the dominant role. In males, this means he penetrates.

Catamites

In relationships between a dominant male and a submissive one, the penetrator is performing the same role as he would with a woman. Remember, a male’s evolutionary impetus is to penetrate as much as he can in the hopes of siring children. Penetrating a boy or a submissive male may be a pleasant way of marking time until a woman becomes available to him. It reaffirms his dominance and at the same time gives sexual pleasure. At the same time, the submissive male may learn to enjoy the experience, in which case he becomes a catamite. But again, most men, especially those dominant in the specific conditions that provoked situational homosexuality, will revert to pursuing sex with opposite-sex partners as soon as they become available; these might be cis women, but they might be feminised males or trans women.

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Females

Prison sex is not by any means restricted to men. The phenomenon has been widely noted in women’s prisons too. Convicted drugs mule Michaella McCollum was incarcerated in a Peruvian prison for over two years until she was freed on clemency. In her book about her experience, You’ll Never See Daylight Again, she described conventionally butch lesbian women as ‘chetos’, who tended to have relationships with feminine inmates, but this was not exclusive.1 She is quoted as saying

The chetos signposted their sexuality. Any time they hooked up with one of the more feminine inmates I wasn’t surprised. Often it was between chetos and others but sometimes two very feminine-looking women would go at it as well.

Maybe it was normal. Like scratching an itch. A couple of times a day you’d see two or three couples or triples at it.

There was so much moaning, so much noise…And when they got down to it they were so passionate it was like the world was ending. I was transfixed by their intensity. I’d never seen anything like it. 2

Although some care must always be taken with the words of an author promoting a book, McCollum’s description is not unusual and is definitely plausible. I have had much the same things said to me, about the sexual activities of inmates in British women’s prisons.

But what about non-situational homosexuality?

Situational homosexuality actually accounts for a significant amount of same-sex behaviour, because those who came to enjoy it within the context of a situation may continue to pursue it outside that. This seems especially so in pederasty or ‘status organised’ homosexuality.

However, we find, in study after study, that there is a group of males who are smaller, lighter for their height, more neotenous and more feminine than the average. The identify as women, or at least as feminine, and they tend to be attracted to masculine men. In sex they vastly prefer to adopt the receptive role and this does not appear to be an acquired orientation.

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A classic mtf transsexual

This group is called, variously, ‘feminine gays’ and ‘transsexuals’ depending on their appearance, but my research in the Philippines shows that there is no substantive distinction between them. The differences are purely cosmetic. In cultures where it is acceptable for them to appear in feminine gender, they do so; in cultures where it is not, they don’t. The function of their appearance is to attract the kind of sexual partners they desire: masculine alpha-males. So what causes this?

The evidence supports the idea that this model is the result of anomalies in hormonal deliver in utero. Simply put, at times when boys should have received testosterone, they did not, and when girls should not have, they did. The precise timing and amount of the variation will affect the final result, so this implies a scale of variation or an aetiology. Perhaps surprisingly we have had, for over a hundred years, a descriptive term for this. It is ‘Sexual Inversion’, though perhaps it is better thought of as psycho-sexual inversion or ‘Inverted Sexuality’.

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Male sexuality is active, it is the desire to penetrate. Female sexuality is passive, the desire to be penetrated, though, particularly in females, there are other elements as well. Sexual Inversion or Inverted Sexuality, then indicates that an individual with male physical sex has female sexuality and a female, vice versa. This inversion is innate and not learned. This is crucially important.

If they identify as the gender aligned with their sexuality, these individuals are transsexual, not ‘transgender’. Males like this do not have a masculine gender to transcend; their natural gender is feminine. Their adoption of feminine gender is a consequence of their desire to be penetrated. And, being males, they are competitive and often appear more feminine than females in the same culture.

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An intact MtF transsexual displaying both her primary sexual characteristic and her secondary feminine ones

(It is worth, perhaps, taking a moment to point out that transsexuals often exhibit the elevated libido of any male of their age group. While it is sometimes suggested that transwomen have reduced libidos, this is misdirection coming from transvestite autogynephiles, who are not transsexual. It is offensive to transsexuals because, as usual, AGPs presume to speak for them, but also to women, for the same reason.)

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Amongst females, we see a similar group that in some ways mirrors the transsexual/feminine gay man. However, there is an important difference. Female sexuality is not the mirror of male, in humans. Females, as we have seen, tend to be nurturing and more partner-selective, while males tend to be less of both. Further, a lesbian can never penetrate, so she tends to adopt other, less direct forms of sexual expression. She will likely be socially dominant over her partner. She may police her partner’s behaviour. She may tend to be aggressive, especially in the company of males, and highly defensive of other females.

In some lesbians, this social role can lead the woman to try to fully adopt male status and become a ‘transman’. She may use HRT to reshape her body and have surgeries to remove breasts and even form a pseudo-penis. But her most prominent expression of masculinity will be in an attempt to socially and sexually displace males.

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1 The term ‘Public’ here refers to the fact that education within these schools was not restricted to the aristocracy. They were set up by the middle class as it became dominant in the nineteenth century. But they are not funded by the State. Elsewhere they are called ‘fee-paying’ or ‘private’ schools.

2 The Man Who Would Be Queen

3 Bailey here introduces the idea that whereas he does not think that homosexual preference is universal, or that everyone, as Social Constructivists pretend, is a ‘Blank Slate’, he does wonder if the extreme hostility towards homosexuality, homosexual acts and homosexuals themselves is a conditioned social response, rather than an innate one. Given that this reaction varies widely between cultures, that it is conditioned seems a reasonable proposition.

1 McCollum M. You’ll Never See Daylight Again. 2019. John Blake. ISBN: 9781786068804

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