No, Science Does Not Say There Are Only Two Genders

This sign is wrong.

One of the Conservative criticisms of the generally left-leaning March for Science is the refusal of many modern scientists to embrace the so-called fact that “there are only two genders”. The problem with this criticism is that it is not based on fact at all.

While used interchangeably in casual speech, sex and gender are not really the same thing. Sex refers to an organism’s reproductive structures, which are determined by hormones and chromosomes. Gender refers to a role that a human[1] takes in their society, which is often, but not always, determined by sex. While modern Conservatives may prefer a society that has only two genders that are always determined by a person’s sex[2], not all human societies agree with that (this can be explored at ). Science generally and anthropology specifically therefore says that “there are as many genders as society says there are.”

The question then moves from “how many genders are there?” to “how many genders should society allow?” and “who is allowed to identify as what gender?”. While Conservatives have made their preferences quite clear on that subject, they have not presented convincing arguments for why society should conform to their preferences. Thus far two arguments have been advanced. The first is the vicious lie that allowing transgender people to use bathrooms designated for the opposite sex puts children or cis-women in danger of sexual assault by trans-people (Brady 2016). The second argument is the fact that it can be confusing to keep track of the seemingly ever-expanding number genders other than masculine/male and feminine/female and the pronouns that people in those genders may prefer.

The idea that transgender people represent a threat to cis-gender people has already been disproven (Brady 2016) so there is no need to engage with it further. The fact that keeping track of people’s gender and pronoun preferences can be confusing, is not a good reason to fail to accommodate them within reason. Our society already accommodates dietary preferences, both religious and otherwise, even if we do not find veganism or the idea that pork is “unclean” ethically or theologically compelling. We have also learned to accept the occasional turban, hijab, or yarmulke in an otherwise “no-hats” workplace. Referring to someone by their preferred gender and pronoun really is not any more difficult.

While most humans belong to one of two sexes, gender is socially variable and there does not seem to be any social disadvantage to multiple genders or people identifying as a gender that does not “match” their sex. As a result, from this scientist’s perspective the answer to “how many genders should society allow?” is “as many as people want to have” and the answer to “who is allowed to identify as what gender?” is “every person can decide for themself[3]”. While not a scientific principle per se, “live and let live” is a highly rational philosophy.


Anonymous. “A Map of Gender Diverse Cultures” PBS Accessed 24-Apr-2017

Brady, J. 15-May-2016. “When A Transgender Person Uses A Public Bathroom, Who Is At Risk?” NPR. Accessed 24-Apr-2017

Gruber, K. 23-Sep-2016. “Five wild lionesses grow a mane and start acting like males”. New Scientist Accessed 24-Apr-2017

Marshall, M. 9-Nov-2011. “Zoologger: The only cross-dressing bird of prey”. New Scientist. Accessed 24-Apr-2017

[1] Although there are reports of female lions that act like males (Gruber 2016) and male harriers that act like females (Marshall 2011).

[2] They seem to ignore the fact that not all humans are XX females or XY males.

[3] This seems like a good time for the singular “they”.


27 thoughts on “No, Science Does Not Say There Are Only Two Genders

  1. The idea that transgender bathrooms posing risks to women being debunked is a bold-fa ied lie or simply a statement of blatant ignorance — there are multiple reported cases of ‘transgenders’ taking advantage of their identification to either harass or film women in their bathrooms. So, that can be scratched out.

    Gender and sex are the same thing. It’s been scientifically proven that there are two sexes, hence, there are two genders. Claiming that gender can be defined as “anything one identify as and there can be as many of them as society claims” makes the term viciously vague and removes all meaning from it, hence, making it useless. We have a much better, scientifically valid definition of gender, and that is that it is a synonym for sex. Citing a liberal papers written by liberal activists published in liberal journals escapes nothing of this reality. Many people have come to recognize that liberals have gone off the rails when they keep making this crazy stuff up — and what’s worse, you’re a ‘hater’ if you don’t agree with it. Ridiculous.


    • There may be some documented cases of people who are or are pretending to be transgender behaving inappropriately in bathrooms, but it is exceedingly rare.

      This is sort of like assuming that nobody should allow their children to attend Sunday school due to multiple documented sexual assaults by priests.

      It’s also true that there is at lease one documented case of a woman filming another woman while in the bathroom By this logic nobody should be allowed to use the same bathroom or locker room as anyone else.

      For what it’s worth here’s the WHO’s definition of gender:
      Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed. While most people are born either male or female, they are taught appropriate norms and behaviours – including how they should interact with others of the same or opposite sex within households, communities and work places. When individuals or groups do not “fit” established gender norms they often face stigma, discriminatory practices or social exclusion – all of which adversely affect health. It is important to be sensitive to different identities that do not necessarily fit into binary male or female sex categories.

      Gender norms, roles and relations influence people’s susceptibility to different health conditions and diseases and affect their enjoyment of good mental, physical health and wellbeing. They also have a bearing on people’s access to and uptake of health services and on the health outcomes they experience throughout the life-course.

      And if gender and sex are always the same thing it quickly gets rather hard to describe certain human societies.

      Please tell me what constitutes a liberal paper or a liberal journal.


  2. Wow the bull got thick on this pack of lies. The only spurces credited have even less credibility, so keep yourself to your echo chamber believing the bull you spew. While actual CREDIBLE science continues to prove you wrong on every level every day.


  3. You mentioned the word “chromosomes” but went on not to explain what they do.

    The fact is there are only 2 genders/sexes. Maybe, even 3, but no more than that. First two are male and female determined by XY and XX chromosomes. Then there are intersex people who do to issues during development inside a womb might be born with both sex organs out organ deformity. Anyone born with anything other than 2 chromosomes, either XY or XX chromosomes, has a genetic mutation or abnormality that frankly causes them to grow up with physical and mental difficulties. They are essentially invalids.

    If someone thinks they should be a different gender from the one their genetics made them than the fact is they suffer from gender diseuforia. A mental illness.

    Just like feeling attracted to the same sex.


  4. How about if you have a penis, you use the men’s room and vice-versa? Have you lunatics ever thought that the remaining 99.5% of the population doesn’t want to use the same restroom as some mentally-ill freak who is confused with their gender? Doesn’t our comfort and privacy mean anything? Or shall it be sacrificed in the name of “social justice”?


    • Given that 99% of women’s restrooms I’ve ever used in the United States have doors on the stalls I feel that I can pee in private without worrying that anyone (regardless of their genitalia) is watching me and I feel that protects my privacy. If someone starts peeking over the stalls that’s of course a problem, but that’s a problem regardless of the peeker’s genitals and thankfully is not something that happens often. I will leave the issue of whether men’s urinals should have stalls and doors to the people who actually use them.


  5. “We have also learned to accept the occasional turban, hijab, or yarmulke in an otherwise “no-hats” workplace.” As an employer I would refuse to let anyone wear any hat (no matter which book their a fan of), just as I would only call them by one of two pronouns, male or female.


    • I’m not quite sure how to reply to this since this post states that science DOES NOT state that there are only two genders. While most humans are one of two sexes, gender is not always determined by sex in all societies and many societies have more than two genders.


    • Science DOES say there are only two sexes, and there are only two genders, each matching the sex it is attached to. All of this non-binary/transgender nonsense is a socio-political construct trying to build itself into the mainstream and most of us clear thinking, scientifically educated people worldwide are not having it. There are only two sexes. Nobody can “transition” from one sex to another, only create a disguise to mask the actual sex. There are only two genders. Males are men and females are women. There is no such thing as a male with a fagina or a female with a penis.

      Anything else you present to the contrary is pure nonsense.


      • If what I’m saying is pure nonsense how would we accurately describe the societies that DO have more than two genders, but still only two sexes? Also what’s a “fagina”?


  6. I identify my gender as an attack helicopter, my pronouns are Roger/Doger and if you say otherwise you are a transphobic hatemonger that can’t get with the [current year].

    You see, that’s my problem with non-binary genders. You even said it yourself, society can make them up on the fly and science is somehow okay with it because culture.
    To me Scientific Christian’s quote “Claiming that gender can be defined as “anything one identify as and there can be as many of them as society claims” makes the term viciously vague and removes all meaning from it, hence, making it useless.” Completely defeats your argument.
    This whole non-binary thing seems like… well… A fad… People I know who identify as “non-binary” change their gender practically weekly. It seems they treat it as a fashion statement. They change genders as fast as they change shoes. To me, that’s not how gender should work. I even know people who identified as non-binary and then reverted back to being cis and admitting it was only a phase and a way to get attention.
    To me, this also makes people who identify as non-binary not genuine. Unlike binary transfolk. I have met many trans people who conform to the gender norms of their new gender and I was happy to treat them as that gender.
    Speaking of gender norms, let’s revert back to the Stone Age where men literally had to be men and women literally had to be women or natural selection will choose them for a Darwin Award. Men hunt and protect, women forage and nurture. What evolutionary role does a non-binary person or an “agender” person have? A person with the body of a man, but refuses to conform to the male gender roles. What use would this person have to their tribe? This person won’t hunt or protect nor do female gender roles like nurture and gather. This person would be left for dead… the tribe would not put up with the non-binary and thus they’d never pass on their genes. Nature is cruel.
    And if you say “Oh but this culture from this country…” I care not for culture. Culture is on par with religion when it comes to science. Science says the Earth is round, but what if a culture says it is flat? Is the Earth flat thanks to that culture? Spare me…
    If you wanted to invent a new word for whatever you call “gender” I’d be okay with that. But to me gender will always be synonymous to sex.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll admit that I do consider gender to be a fairly arbitrary concept or at least one that is socially rather than biologically imposed. However, it’s an arbitrary concept that most people insist on using so individuals might as well use it in the way that makes them happiest.

      It also confuses me that you are willing to accommodate transpeople who conform to the social standards of their “new” gender, but not non-binary people or women who occasionally want to do things that society considers masculine or men who occasionally want to do things that society considers feminine without having to change their pronouns, much less their hormone balance or primary or secondary sex characteristics.

      Your appeal to the stone age is probably wrong about the nature of “stone age” societies. It seems like many Native American and some Shamanistic Asian societies tolerated and sometimes celebrated non-binary people. It seems that some of these societies even reserved special spiritual roles for non-binary individuals. It’s also worth noting that there was at least one pretty badass non-binary warrior.

      I’m also going to question the usefulness of appeals to the stone age in general. Computers would have been absolutely useless then, but are pretty useful now.

      Finally even if we assume, for arguments sake, that many people who identify as non-binary are just going through a phase there are certainly worse ways of dealing with this than humoring them until they figure themselves out better. Especiallyif the cost of doing so is only trying to use their preferred pronouns.


      • “gender to be a fairly arbitrary concept or at least one that is socially rather than biologically imposed” Cool you just admitted non-binary genders have no basis in implied science.

        “It also confuses me that you are willing to accommodate transpeople who conform to the social standards of their “new” gender, but not non-binary people or women who occasionally want to do things that society considers masculine”

        I don’t mind women who like masculine things. I fail to see how a women who likes masculine things makes them a whole new gender. That’s my problem with this logic. It seems if a man or woman does ANYTHING outside of their gender norms they must be given a new gender and a dictionary of pronouns to go along with it. That is just stupid and inconvenient for everyone else. Sorry.
        Let me use this metaphor for you. If I mix vanilla ice cream with chocolate, do I get a whole new flavor? Strawberry? Or do I just get an amalgamation of the two flavors? A woman with a few male traits and a man having few female traits does not make them a new gender; just like mixing vanilla and chocolate does not make strawberry.

        “Your appeal to the stone age is probably wrong about the nature of “stone age” societies”
        Hmm? Then what use do non-binary people have to tribes of the ice age era? If they actually had a use they’d be as common as male and female genders because they would have passed on their genes. But, alas they aren’t. Thanks to evolution and natural selection it seems science really is leaning to “There are only 2 genders in humans.” I’m sorry but you’re probably wrong.

        “I’m also going to question the usefulness of appeals to the stone age in general. Computers would have been absolutely useless then, but are pretty useful now.”
        What is your point? Humans are still humans. Just because we have computers now doesn’t mean we sprung up a new gender. That’s like saying we’d sprung up a new limb because we have computers.

        As for Osh, oh my god. How stupid do you think I am? You really think I would not look into your little “Badass non-binary warrior.” You mean the male to female transgendered princess that goes by female pronouns and female titles unlike what a non-binary person would want? And before you say “That’s just what the white men called her.” In the story itself Osh says about herself “[She] inclined to be a woman, never a man.” and that she does “All woman’s work,”
        Oh my god, now you resorted to stamping “non-binary” on historical transfolk who stayed in the gender binary! Just to support your beliefs! I’m sorry, but that is VERY low.
        As for “Two-spirits” … Two? As in… Binary? Again that article talks about how “Two-spirits” were basically people believed to have both male and female attributes. AGAIN look back to my simple ice cream metaphor. These “Two-Spirits” did not bring anything new to the table when it comes to a gender’s faction. When I say non-binary, I mean a gender that has NEW attributes that both males and females lack. Not an amalgamation of both. You, don’t get strawberry, you never will.

        That does it. You truly don’t have any SCIENTIFIC, proof that a non-binary gender exists. Evolution does not support it, your little princess does not support it, the actions of the “non-binaries” themselves do not support it.

        Non-binary seems to be purely based on emotion. Not logic. “I don’t FEEL this so I will make society bend over backwards to make my feelings better.” Sorry but no. Life is full of hardships. If a person with a vagina is SO distraught that she is called “she” and she must use the female bathroom… I think she has other problems then just not feeling like a woman.

        I wont humor them, just like I wont humor a 46 year old man who wants to be treated like a 6 year old girl.

        Forgive me if I sound cruel. But I don’t think it’s right to make society bend over backwards just to make a painfully small amount of people feel better. That’s like saying everyone should stop serving onions at diners just because I and a few friends hate onions. (I’d also wager more people hate onions then identify as non-binary)


  7. Whether it bothers you or not you do end up sounding fairly cruel and extremely angry.

    I already linked an article showing that non-binary individuals could be useful in a variety of societies
    that might be considered “primitive” by today’s standards. You seem to not accept that explanation or perhaps have a very different definition of “non-binary” than I do. Also the fact that non-binary people are uncommon may not mean they are selected against, because gender identity is not as clearly heritable as something like height or eye color.

    Also while you might not accept Osh-Tisch as non-binary, the Crow word for people like her is either baté or bote and translates as “not a man, not a woman”. If you don’t like this take it up with the Crow.

    The accommodation requested by non-binary people is really not any more difficult than the accommodation that would be requested by people who change their names or their nicknames. If we can accept that someone would like to be called Mohammad Ali instead of Cassius Clay we can also accept that someone else might rather be called the singular “they” than “he” or “she”. This hardly qualifies as making society bend over backwards, unless you consider basic human decency an extreme hardship.


    • I will say that I admire your efforts at being all-inclusive. I am forced by science and personal integrity to be honest and true to the facts at hand. Homosexuality exists, it has arisen spontaneously in every human population since the dawn of Man, It can even be observed in Nature in the rest of the animal kingdom. But there are no animals or primates who are born homosexual. There is no genetic evidence that anyone is born homosexual, even if they live exhibiting homosexual behavior. But “transgender” is 100% a social construct, and a very very recent one which has existed less than 10 years. The surgery, hormone treatments and other related categories of medicine which have been created by those patients is only possible because of a political agenda which wants to exploit these individuals. There is no such thing as being “transgender”. This is a scientific fact.

      You spoke of “passing”. By it’s very nature, such behavior is dishonest and misleading. Sure, I have seen online and in person, several of these people who pass very well. Their hormones give males a feminine voice, implants give them the appearance of female breasts, wigs and long hair give them the female look, but they are still males no matter what they do. Presenting as a female is still a lie, and it is a premeditated lie which makes such people unworthy of my friendship. If I were to deny reality and refer to a female as a man or a male as a female, I would be just as delusional as these patients who were denied help when they needed it.


      • I presented in the blog a link showing that a variety of cultures that have featured more than two genders, suggesting that the tendency of some humans to identify with a gender that does not “match” their at-birth anatomy is pretty universal.

        You can’t really claim to not be transphobic if you consider trans-women to be liars who are unworthy of friendship, because that’s a pretty hateful thing to say.

        As for tran-women (or trans-men) who choose to alter their physical appearance to make it resemble their mental/cultural gender rather than their chromosomal sex, they really aren’t being any more dishonest than people who use hair-dye, makeup, or plastic surgery to make themselves look younger or more attractive. Perhaps you should just accept that most people’s sex organs, just like many people’s ages, really aren’t any of your damn business.


    • Yeah I do get a little mad when people try to pass off their emotions, feelings, and fads as science. At this point I see you no different then a Flat Earth Theorist.

      “I already linked an article showing that non-binary individuals could be useful in a variety of societies”
      No you didn’t, you posted an article on how people with both female and male traits were useful. I.E. still apart of the binary.

      “You seem to not accept that explanation or perhaps have a very different definition of “non-binary” than I do.” Sorry I’m a literalist. But binary means 0 and 1. You can be a 1, you can be a 0, you can be a 10. Your “non-binary” evidence are just 10s and 01s. I’m looking for a 2. Get me? 2 is the new gender, 2 is non-binary, 2 is the strawberry.

      In the binary computer language there are endless combinations of 1s and 0s and all those combinations are apart of the binary. The same is true for your “Two-Spirits.”

      “Osh-Tisch as non-binary, the Crow word for people like her is either baté or bote and translates as “not a man, not a woman”. Wow still on this eh? She literally calls herself a women. “[She] inclined to be a woman, never a man.” I don’t care what you or this Crow calls her, she literally calls herself a women. End of story.

      “The accommodation requested by non-binary people is really not any more difficult than the accommodation that would be requested by people who change their names or their nicknames”
      ….No they are also demanding that buildings add a 3rd kind of bathroom and that schools teach about their made up gender. I’m not down for that, that’s what I mean by “bend over backwards”
      Now name change? Sure!
      Pro-noun change? If it’s not He or She, no, I will not say “They” to refer to a person who is not anonymous to me nor a plural entity. Seriously… It sounds ridiculous when in practice and confusing. If you tell a friend. “They left to go get uniforms” …. Did a group of people leave to get uniforms or a “Non-binary” person?
      If the “non-binary” just sticks to He/she it will make their lives and everyone else’s easier.

      It all boils down to petty emotions. Science does say there are only 2 genders, but their emotions say otherwise. If you want to bend to emotion. Fine. But I wont.


      • Perhaps “non-binary” is an imperfect term, but it seems to be what we’re stuck with at the moment. Just think of it as shorthand for “does not identify as exclusively a man or a woman” perhaps they are 0.5s instead of 0s or 1s to use your technology analogy.

        It really is not that difficult to call someone by the pronoun of their choice and the singular “they” has actually been used for centuries so I think people should be pretty used to it by now. At some point you’ve probably said something along the lines of “Someone’s at the door, go see what they want” without confusing yourself or anyone else.

        It also seems that the closest thing to a “non-binary bathroom” is an “all gender bathroom”, which means binary people can still use it. If the only sacrifices I need to make as a binary person are getting used to new pronouns an accepting the existence of all-gender restrooms I can certainly live with that.

        I actually think it’s pretty cool that schools teach gender as a spectrum now. It certainly seems preferable to telling kids that their experiences are invalid.

        Also for someone who claims to refuse to bend to emotion you seem to be pretty ruled by anger.


      • No kidding it is an imperfect term, it was forged by pure emotion and has no basis in science, which you have proved to me. And you call them a .5? Well I say round up to a 1 and get over it. If you identify as half women… what’s so terrible about being called she or using the women’s bathroom since this person has a vagina? I’m really sorry, but this does not make any logical sense to invent a new gender over this. As I said earlier if these people are SO distraught for being called she and having to use a bathroom designed for people with their current sex organ… I think they have bigger issues then being “non-binary.”

        Again, They only makes sense for plural and anonymous people, like your mystery person at the door. Once you know the person, “they” begins to make little sense. Because of this I will always refuse to call a “non-binary” person “they” once I know them.
        Look I don’t think you and I will ever agree on this tidbit. Let’s agree to disagree. BUT, what about all these made up pronouns like Ze/Hir? And its ilk? Do you agree that’s a bit ridiculous?

        By all gender bathrooms do you mean a small 1 person bathroom that anyone can use? Because those have existed for ages. Or a large bathroom with multiple stalls that any person can use regardless of gender?

        My problems with teaching the gender “spectrum” is
        A: I don’t think it exists and speaking with you for the past few days have made this opinion more strong, if anything I insist it is a fact that it does not exist.
        B: It could also confuse a massive amount of kids.

        Your basically teaching “Hey little boy! Do you like some girly things? Great you are now Gender #445 here is your new pronouns not-boy.”
        Southpark even made a good episode on how it can confuse and be abused by kids.

        Here’s what I’d teach. “Hey little boy you like some girly things? That’s ok. It does not make you not a boy for doing that.”

        I’d wager my teachings would be less confusing than yours.

        And lastly sorry if I sound “angry.” Do you know how I found your article here? I wanted answers, I wanted to see if there was solid proof that non-binary genders existed. I even checked multiple peer reviewed papers and found nothing inclusive. Nothing proving that the “2” or “strawberry” exists. So then I began checking ordinary google to see in I could see someone with a strong argument for non-binary evidence. Then I saw your article here. And what did I get? Pseudoscience, passing off emotion as facts, admittance that your terms like “non-binary” make no sense, calling historically transgender people that stayed in the binary as “non-binary” to push an agenda, and admittance that your “non-binary” genders have no basis in implied science.

        Your little article is nothing but cherry picked agenda pushing. To me you are no different then a conservative oil stockholder that is trying to prove global warming is not real by showing me a snowball.
        Sorry but crap like that does get me a little mad.

        Finally to answer the question “How many genders does science say there is?” Thanks to speaking with you I know the answer is 2. You can be a little of both, but that does not make strawberry.
        The sign is correct.
        Good day.


  8. I used to take the position that it did not bother me if some neurotic people wanted to go around pretending to be the opposite sex. Before say, the year 2005, such people were called transvestites, drag queens, bull daggars, butch, etc. But even the most convincing female impersonators never claimed they were females. Gay men and women do not claim to be the opposite sex. The ones who suffered from a dysphoric illness were all in treatment. Now, the ones who only think they are the opposite sex instead of a fire hydrant or a doormat or a carburetor, want to call themselves “transgender” AND make the rest of us play along. Sorry, but I am not gonna do that and most people will not do it. Go ahead and be triggered or offended, because I am also triggered and offended that a female wants me to call her a male or a male wants to be identified as a female.

    How can one be “transphobic” when one does not even acknowledge that such a thing as “transgender” exists in the first place? I am a STEM educated man. I cannot betray science for your feelings and mental issues, sorry.


    • It’s funny how you think telling me that you’re a man is at all relevant to the issue at hand. This is one of the reasons I dislike the concept of gender.

      But since you are smart and rational surely you understand that you know the gender, but not the sex, of most of the people you interact with, because you do not examine the genitalia of most of the people you meet. Some transgender people are pretty good at “passing”, and it’s possible you’re interacting with some of them without knowing about it and calling them by a pronoun that does not match their at-birth anatomy. If you can accommodate trans people are good at passing it stands to reason you can also accommodate their peers who don’t pass as easily or are very open about being trans.

      Also claiming you can’t be transphobic because you don’t believe anyone is really transgender is like saying you can’t be homophobic because you don’t believe anyone is really homosexual.


  9. I know this is an older post but still wanted to offer support over what appeared to be three vocally fearful people. The breakdown for these people appears to be where gender and sex are defined differently. Even if we look at sex, many people around the world are born with (from a binary standpoint) ambiguous genitalia. Aside from the fact chromosomes don’t directly offer up what genitalia you’re born with, during fetal development what “shows” is determined by your mother’s hormones. All of this offers up varying degrees of why there have in fact been more represented genders in nearly every culture, yes indeed, since the beginning of time and to this present day outside of the colonized world. So yes, the argument that we ought to be tolerant sticks because at the end of the day, zietgiest determines genders, and as a society we are finally catching up again. Kudos to the courageous you have support in the cis community.


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