As a reminder, in interacting in any discussion, always be polite in how you wri

As a reminder, in interacting in any discussion, always be polite in how you write and *challenge ideas, not individuals.* Challenge ideas thoughtfully using good reasoning, not using ad hominem (“to the person”) arguments. But, perhaps more importantly, try to argue against yourself internally as well, particularly if you have strong feelings about something (yes, you should all doubt your thinking- skepticism is an important aspect of scientific thinking.)
Respond to each of the following 4 questions/topics in your initial post.
Discuss, from a biological science perspective, what defines biological sex? For example, if you discovered a new animal species, how would you be able to identify which individuals were biological males and which were females–and how would you know if you had discovered any other sexes or if you had discovered a ‘spectrum of sexes’ in the species? How well would your definition of sex work, across species? In considering your answer, remember that some species developmentally determine sex with a different chromosomal inheritance system than humans (e.g., birds where ‘ZW’ sex chromosomes generally leads to females and ZZ sex chromosomes generally leads to males) (compared to humans and many other species where XX generally leads to females and XY generally leads to males)- and recall some species have environmental sex determination.
A binary is defined as “relating to, composed of, or involving two things.” How could Del Guidice (2020) and many other biologically-minded scientists simultaneously argue both that “sex is binary” and that there are quite ‘fuzzy’ intersex individuals/cases where biological sex isn’t classifiable into one of two groups? How could those two things possibly be consistent with one another other/reconciled? (note: Del Guidice also acknowledges nonbinary etc. gender identities, but that’s about gender identity and this discussion is about sex, not gender).
Some social scientists (and others) have suggested that not only gender, but sex, is “socially constructed” and arbitrarily defined. How might you respond, from an evolutionary and/or biological perspective, to their claim that your definition of biological sex is purely a social construct and arbitrary? Consider your definition of sex (i.e., as you defined it across species in question #1 above). Del Guidice (2020) states that, “the biological definition of sex is not just one option among many equally valid alternatives; the very existence of differentiated males and females in a species depends on the existence of [it].” Explain what you think he meant by this. Why does he think the biological definition of sex is not an arbitrary social construct?
What do you think Del Guidice meant in saying that the “patchwork” definition of sex used in the social sciences is purely descriptive and lacks a functional rationale? From a scientific perspective, why might it, at least sometimes, be important that the definition of sex have a functional rationale? Try to think of examples of when it would be important. What is the “patchwork” definition he referred to and what’s the problem with ‘patchwork’ definition from this view?

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