Sex or Gender? (At One University Reason Prevailed)

On Monday, reason prevailed as Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s president, Dr. Michael Driscol, announced that senior Lake Ingle would be allowed to return to his religious studies class needed for graduation.

Ingle was kicked out of that class by Professor Allison Downie and accused of violating the schools Academic Integrity Code.  What was Ingle’s crime?  He dared to question the premise  that there are more than two genders.

For the uninitiated, discussions on college campuses and most public schools have turned into politically correct indoctrinations where no contrary facts or opinions are allowed.  If one dares to question one’s teacher or professor, the student is often “shamed” into silence.  Hardly a healthy environment for learning!  

On February 28, in the class titled “Special Topics in Christianity:  Self, Sin and Salvation” students were shown a TED-Talk by transexual Paula Stone Williams,  a former pastor and CEO of  Orchard Group, a church planting organization.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrYx7HaUlMY   Shortly before his retirement, Paul, aka Paula, a husband and father, decided to try life as a woman.  Already a skilled communicator, Williams now glibly enlightens audiences on feminist issues such as male privilege, the wage-gap, systemic sexism and “mansplaining.”

Following the video, Professor Downie opened the discussion to women only. When no female students spoke, Ingle saw an opportunity.  He pointed out that the official view of biologists is that there are only two genders and explained the logical reasons behind the so-called  “wage gap.”

While Ingle is right about the wage gap, I must point out that he is only partially right on the issue of gender.  To paraphrase the great modern-day philosopher Bill Clinton, it depends on what the definition of  “gender” is.

For all practical purposes the words sex and gender are used interchangeably.  Some dictionaries and academics give them different definitions while others do not.  When I first began writing,  gender was commonly used to identify one as male or female.  Sex was used to describe the attraction or behavior between males and females.

Over the years, those definitions have evolved.  For example, the Food and Drug Administration used to use gender instead of sex when referring to physiological differences between male and female organisms.   In 2011, largely due to political pressure from left field, the agency adopted the preferred language of the anything goes crowd — if you say you are a male (or female) than you are male (or female) — and began using sex as the biological classification and gender as “a person’s self-presentation as one or the other.

Yes, Mr. Ingle is technically correct:  There are still only two, and will always be two, classes of human beings, whether you refer to males and females in terms of sex or gender and no amount of wishful thinking or surgery can change that.

Show me a person with some age who doesn’t see themselves as younger than their years as in, “I’m a 21-year-old trapped in a 50-year-old body.”    However, that thinking doesn’t change anything or stop the aging process.

Sure, a surgeon can shave years off a person’s outward appearance, but inwardly he or she is still the same age and, like it or not, the aging process will continue.

Today, it is considered fashionable to be transexual, but even after all that surgery Paula is still the same human being that God created male.

Yes, there are abnormalities that are often obvious at birth that make it difficult to determine the true sex of an individual, though these cases are rare.  The accepted term for this medical condition is “intersexuality.”  Some babies may be born with ambiguous genitals while others may have ambiguous internal organs (testes and ovaries).  Generally those with this condition cannot reproduce and may require special medical attention and intervention.

This is quite different from those individuals who simply see themselves as a member of the opposite sex and feel if they could simply alter their appearance to the extent medically feasible then they would somehow be fulfilled.  This, too, is a serious problem, not dissimilar to those who see themselves as handicapped and seek to have one or more limbs removed so they can live out this experience.

These individuals deserve our love and understanding, but that does not mean that we should treat their desires as normal or that they should be promoted to impressionable young people.

Dr. Driscol’s decision to allow Ingle to return to this classroom was not popular among progressive campus intellectuals but, at least for now, reason prevailed.

4 thoughts on “Sex or Gender? (At One University Reason Prevailed)

  1. First, let me say that I fully support a person’s right to change their gender to the extent possible, though it seems obvious that the gender is not fully … or even actually … changed. I do support transgender rights.

    I despise, for instance, attacks on trans people regarding, for instance, the infamous “bathroom bills.” (Real and fake trans people are NOT using transgender legal protection to molest kids in bathrooms, so why make an issue out of this?)

    WITH THAT SAID.

    The new “gender fluidity” as a redefinition of gender is absurd. There are TWO genders. Gender norms are not by definition oppressive. Gender does not exist on a spectrum. There is male and female. Period. Change your gender if you want, but saying gender doesn’t exist while seeking to change your gender is by definition absurd.

    A quick story.

    I was at a foster care training seminar, via which I was to provide free housing for a homeless LGBT youth, a few years ago and was appalled that I was being “taught,” by a young trans person right out of college, that gender (and race!) doesn’t exist, that gender norms are taught and are therefore false and oppressive (how absurd, everything we believe is taught … so it’s all false?) and that I should ALWAYS ask ANY new person I meet their preferred gender pronoun.

    I calmly questioned everything, and my application was “slowed down” by them in response. I quickly decided I was not a fit for their program. I could not deal with the ignorance, arrogance and sad confusion. I completely understand any backlash against this extremism.

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  2. I have read that literally hundreds of thousands of Americans now believe that one’s gender and race are not fixed genetically, but are up to the individual to decide. So if I was young and unable to get a job I could declare myself to be a Black lesbian and an employer would have to hire me. the people who swallow this garbage literally believe that men can become pregnant and give birth to a child, or get an abortion. Our elites have literally gone mad, clinically insane, and their madness has spread to their useful idiot followers.

    And a university indoctrination is now, in most cases, a waste of time and money, as most “students” will learn neither job skills nor critical thinking, and they will learn nothing of the rich cultural heritage of the West. Most young people would be better of training at a trade school for a specific job, whether it is welding or plumbing or something more technical, and then gaining a broader education on their own time by reading widely and perhaps taking online courses.

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  3. It’s one thing to say, “This paradigm doesn’t work for me. Therefore, I am going to live my life somewhat outside of it. I hope you can respect that.” It’s another to say “This paradigm doesn’t work for me. Therefore, it’s wrong. It/you must change.” That’s where I think some in the trans community have gone way too far.

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  4. This whole subject is NUTS!! While it is part of our current news and detoured culture, it is still NUTS!! I’m from yesteryear (born in 1934) and this crazy detoured direction is for me to occasionally refer to, to see how bad and crazy it becomes, but as for being of interest to get along in this current culture, I bow out. I also am fighting the iPhone and tablet craze. I don’t want either one and I’m trying to live my life without these distractions. What happened to the good old days? And as for music, give me Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, et al. I’m really showing my age!

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