Gender Fluidity is a Social Construct

My position in the university places me more-or-less on the front lines of the predominant cultural, political, and indeed, given that I’m a biologist, scientific issue currently en vogue in the United States: Gender. I’m not sure how to define it more specifically, since it’s not just an issue of so-called transgender rights, but also a sociocultural phenomena wherein the idea of gender is being blurred or entirely eliminated as a concept in our society and culture altogether.

I venture into this specific post knowing full well that claiming gender fluidity, the idea that gender changes over time, isn’t fixed, or is some non-binary culturally induced phenomenon, is incorrect, and that the idea of gender fluidity is in and of itself a socially constructed phenomena, is not likely to be well-received. Going against the predominant culture forces to proclaim something unpopular is not usually well received.

With that said, I’ll succinctly state that gender roles absolutely exist, and it’s the idea of gender fluidity that is socially constructed.

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Gay Men Kicked Out of KY Public Pool. Why?

The Reactionary Researcher was once again visiting the ironically named ScienceBlogs, where very little science is ever discussed, and more specifically “Dispatches from the Culture Wars“, Authored by Ed Brayton, “journalist, commentator and speaker…” and non scientist. While visiting “Dispatches”, TRR came across the following post: Gay Men Kicked Out of Public Pool in Kentucky, about which Brayton offered the following introduction:

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The Pro-Choice Position is Both Logically and Morally Inconsistent

Over at ScienceBlogs, where, ironically, very little science ever actually seems to be discussed, there’s a blog titled “Dispatches from the Culture Wars“. This particular blog is authored by Ed Brayton, “journalist, commentator, and speaker”… and non-scientist, which again would be ironic were we not talking about ScienceBlogs.

Or… wait a minute, maybe that’s still ironic.

Though The Reactionary Researcher (TRR) has most probably never agreed with a single word ever posted on this blog, it’s one of the liberal atheist blogs that TRR regularly reads.

The vast majority of the unscientific rubbish posted at ScienceBlogs tends to be straight left wing political talking points, and most of it is not worth addressing directly.

That said, TRR did note a post by Brayton titled: Santorum: Jail Doctors Who Perform Abortions, the post is brief enough where it can be reproduced in its entirety here:

Rick Santorum shows just how batshit crazy he is on the issue of abortion by arguing that doctors should be criminally charged for murder for performing an abortion — even in cases of rape or incest. That’s a frothy mix of fascism and injustice.

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Mike Adams is Wrong! E. coli O104:H4 was NOT Bioengineered, is NOT a Bioweapon – Part 4

Unfortunately, Natural News’ Mike Adams is still espousing misinformation regarding the origin of the outbreak of E. coli O104:H4. Unremarkably, Adams cannot peddle his snake oil via any reliable source, this time relegating himself to that bastion of scientific credibility, The Kevin Trudeau Show. Kevin Trudeau is a name that you may be familiar with in a passing way, though if you tend to watch TV late at night, you’re probably more than vaguely familiar with Mr. Trudeau. Trudeau is has marketed a number of products via infomercials late at night, including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Hair Farming
  • Mega Memory System
  • Addiction Breaking System
  • Action Reading
  • Eden’s Secret
  • Mega Reading

This particular list was selected as they were featured in an “intervention” by the FTC, alleging that the claims made by Trudeau were false and programs named would not enable users to achieve the advertised results.

Trudeau also marketed the “Perfect Lift” non-surgical facelift, this particular infomercial was ruled to be in violation of the UK’s ITC advertising rules. Indeed Trudeau’s critical thinking skills are evidenced long before his more recent ventures: Back in 1990, Trudeau posed as a doctor and deposited some $80,000 in bad checks. The next year, 1991, was particularly productive for Trudeau; that year he pleaded guilty to larceny, faced federal charges of credit card fraud after stealing the names and Social Security numbers of eleven customers of a mega memory product, a product he was selling, and charged more than $120,000 on their credit cards. Trudeau spent two years in federal prison as a result of this conviction. Of course, to judge the veracity and scientific validity of what Trudeau does now based on previous experience would be to commit the Circumstantial Ad Hominem Fallacy.

One should evaluate the claims of Adam and/or Trudeau for themselves, and The Reactionary Researcher (TRR) encourages you to do so.

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Weighing in on the European Superbug Outbreak

An extremely virulent, previously unrecognized strain of E. coli is reportedly causing severe illness in at least 12 countries, including the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) initially reported an outbreak of Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS) secondary to infection with enterohemorrhagic E. coli; preliminary cases of infection and associated HUS were reported to have occurred as early as the second week of May, with all affected persons recently having visited Northern Germany. This initial reported further noted that the outbreak was unusual in that

  • An unusually large number of cases were in adults (86% were 18 or older)
  • More females (67%) than males are affected
  • Normally “high-risk” demographics (young children & the elderly) were not significantly represented
  • An unusual E. coli serogroup (O104) was reported as being the likely pathogen

A bit more about enterohemorrhagic E. coli:
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William Lane Craig Debates Lawrence Krauss – Is There (Sufficient) Evidence for God? A Comprehensive Review

Christian Apologist Dr. William Lane Craig recently debated Arizona State University based theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss in North Carolina in an attempt to address the question: “Is there (sufficient) evidence for God?” You’ll note that The Reactionary Researcher (TRR) has included the word “sufficient” parenthetically, as there seems to be some question as to which question was originally proposed to the debaters. The debate moderator introduced the topic as “Is there sufficient evidence for God?”, though in his post-mortem analysis, Dr. Craig claims the debate question as proposed to him did not include the word “sufficient”. The debate can be viewed in six separate but linked sections below:


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Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Should be Banned!

One of the most controversial issues in medicine and medical research continues to be that of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. If you’re like most people not familiar with the issue of stem cells, you may be unaware that there are really two types of stem cells: hESC, and so-called adult stem cells. While the former are associated with an ethical controversy, the latter are uncontroversial to all but those committed to the most non-interventionist medical care.

As their name implies, hESC are derived from human embryos, which much be destroyed during the stem cell harvest, and therein lies the controversy; many consider the destruction of nascent human life — for any purpose — to be immoral and unethical.
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The Hypocrisy of a “New Atheist”

PZ Myers is a New Atheist of the nearly the same status and standing as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, or Sam Harris. He authors the prominent and extremely popular “Science Blog” entitled Pharyngula. While Pharyngula certainly does address scientific issues, like many of the blogs over at ScienceBlogs.com, deals with much more than science. Myers, being a prominent New Atheist frequently delves into religion, intelligent design, and a lot of left wing politics.

Myers is also fond of poll crashing… that is directing his minions to respond to, and ultimately skew the results of any poll he’s interested in towards his particular perspective. It’s a frequent event over at Pharyngula. I wouldn’t normally comment on this peculiar penchant, but it’s worth it to point out Myers’ hypocrisy and to read him project, and ultimately whine about the same thing he’s done, in the typical do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do fashion that’s so popular on the left.

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Science, Rodents, and Gay Genes

In another misguided study seeking the potential biological origins of homosexuality, Korean researchers have managed to alter the sexual behavior of mice. Researchers removed a single gene loosely related to reproductive behavior in mice, creating a group of female mice that gravitated sexually toward members of the same sex. The gene, fucose mutarotase, hilariously, and perhaps appropriately abbreviated FucM, is responsible for converting sugar molecules from one structure into a different but related structure, but is thought to play a role in sexual differentiation of brain tissue via its association with a protein known as Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP)… more about AFP a bit later.

The study published in BMC Genetics details that mutant female mice that lack the FucM gene (FucM-/- mice) exhibited masculine behaviors, including mounting a normal female partner and showing a preference for female urine. I’m not familiar with the sexual behavior of mice in any way, but the researchers state that gender-specific behavior in mice begins with the ability of mice to smell pheromones in urine, which elicits a sexual signal. Mice are motivated to approach the opposite sex by these specific responses to the pheromones present in urine.

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