Sex Change

Topics: Sex, Male, Gender Pages: 3 (1043 words) Published: March 1, 2010
The issue of sex (besides being a national obsession) is reasonably interesting from a psycoanalytic and existential perspective. A lot of what drives us is sexual energy (in line with what Freud told us). This so-called energy isn't explicit, but if you stop to think about questions like "Why am I here?" the "I" refers to you as a being and your sexuality is intimately tied with that. That "I" differs quite radically based on whether you are male or female. From a purely reductionist perspective, we are simply "ugly bags of mostly water" (to use a phrase from Star Trek) for our genes. The main reason we have sex is so our genes can last. The reason that there's sexual dimorphism (as opposed to having only females reproducing asexually) is so the gene pool can be enriched and it is thus capable of withstanding sudden changes in environment. This is actually the reason why there is sex in the first place, but having dimorphism means having a gene pool (thereby phenotype) that's more varied. The sociological perspective is somewhat interesting, but I think it's very irrelevant. In the end, the psychological (perhaps biological) dominates and therefore it it is the one I will consider. I have always wondered what it would be like to be female. I have wondered what it feels like to experience the menstrual cycle each month, to give birth, etc. My perception of what "I" consitutes would be radically different, I assume, notwithstanding the sociological consequences of becoming female. Human males and females are pretty different in their genetic makeup, given that an entire chromosome present in males is not present in females (and this doesn't even address the issue of expression). This brings us to the interesting fact that a lot of textbooks quote: chimpanzees and humans have DNA which is more than 99% identical. I wonder what the basis of their comparison is, but I digress... A few decades ago, the above sort of thinking would've been mere speculation....
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