SciShow Should Feel Embarrassed

Keep your radical politics out of science, the one field that should absolutely not care about a person’s politics.

So, recently SciShow, whose YouTube videos I watch frequently, came out with a video with the title as seen in this post’s banner. They want everyone to believe sex in humans is a spectrum… Where to begin?

To address the elephant in the room first and foremost, yes I acknowledge I’m not a scientist. To be real, I highly doubt anyone at SciShow is a scientist, either. They’re just good at researching science and interpreting it to a layman audience. Even if they were scientists, that doesn’t make them right. In fact, the scientific method overwhelmingly results in failures and misinterpretations and mistakes. It’s the process of elimination that makes science reliable. Only when a scientist’s conclusions are mostly uncontested by the rest of the community are conclusions accepted. Basically what I’m saying is, even if everyone at SciShow was a scientist, they are still highly susceptible to being plain wrong.

Everyone knows genetics is not perfect in any organism. We all know what mutations are. And that’s pretty much all this episode of SciShow concluded: That some people are born with genetic anomalies. They even use the word anomalies. But that doesn’t for one second mean that everybody is somewhere on a sex spectrum. There is no sex spectrum.

If you reproduce by giving sperm, you are male. If you reproduce by taking sperm and growing a baby inside you, you are female. Period.

Having a little bit of something that doesn’t quite belong does not make you any closer to that thing. If there is food sitting in my stomach, that doesn’t put me on a spectrum between human and that food. Having toenails in my genetic makeup, and in different parts of my body, doesn’t mean I’m on a human-toenail spectrum.

What determines sex is function. As stated above, whichever your function is, that’s what you are. Nature intended it that way. Nature intended it to be binary, therefore it is. Nature did not build humans to be “male enough” or “female enough”. Nature designed it so that, “Okay, you are male, and you are female. Now make a baby!” For SciShow to imply that everyone ought to check to see what percentage of male or female they are and then decide if they want to carry the baby or just provide the sperm is ridiculous. Alright, they didn’t directly say that’s what they mean, but by saying sex is a spectrum, that really is what they are saying. It’s implied in the absurd redefinition.

We all know people can be born with non-functioning reproductive parts. We all know people can be born with both male and female parts, rare as it may be. We all know that every human is female at the earliest stage of their conception. None, literally none, of this means everybody’s “maleness” or “femaleness” is a percentage of both. Nothing in nature is perfect, nor is anything in nature exactly the same as something else. Even identical twins are not perfectly identical. We all know Mother Nature doesn’t do everything perfectly. Hell, even things nature does intentionally do are not rigid. For example, all mammals have certain kinds of bacteria in their gut that helps them digest food, and we couldn’t digest food without them. Those bacteria aren’t the least bit human, but neither of us could survive without the other. See? Even when things are meant to be, according to nature, it’s still not perfect on its own.

Evolution depends on organisms not being perfect. Nothing would evolve if it didn’t need to.

Still, none of this changes the fact that in order to reproduce, one needs male parts, and the other needs female parts. It doesn’t matter if these parts are perfectly shaped and developed and whatever, because they never will be perfect. The process is still black-and-white. If you are born male but have some partly-developed female parts, that’s just unfortunate, but you are still male.

Some are tall, some are short, some have curly hair, some have straight hair, some have light skin, some have dark skin, some have bold personalities, some have weak personalities… We’re all different, but it’s still the same two ingredients to make new people: male and female.