Binary cultural belief that genders only come in two colo(u)rs: male and female. Cross dressing challenges this paradigm by blatantly presenting alternatives, like the drag queens and kings (which is still binary) and the interesting blends of gender that one sees in the queer world.

Mary Douglas, the anthropologist, might say that like any binary distinction, a "dichotic gender paradigm" (or whatever you'd like to call it) makes anything that falls outside of the two available categories taboo in either a negative or a positive way.

A frequently-used example of a positive taboo identity would be the Native American berdache. Some negative taboos in Western culture that spring from grey areas in binary thought are cousin marriage (marriageable or not marriageable?), eating cats or dogs (pet vs. food animal), and yes, bi-/trans-sexual/gender people as well as any other queer who does not fit the dominant gender paradigm.

I might say that there is not enough room or flexibility in a binary system of thought to attain any understanding of a continually defined and redefined, experientally negotiated reality.

There is a certain biological basis to having 2 sexes. Since sex is genetically determined, this gives substantial support to having the 2 categories female and male.

Regarding other genders, the situation grows more interesting. This is because gender is a fuzzier concept, and people can be a lot more flexible with it. So an important question when enlarging the gender categories would be "what good is it?". If such an enlargement leads to interesting discussions in sociology, culture, art, history, anthropology or what-have-you, then it surely has some merit, in that it allows us to understand ourselves better. But if the enlargement is done purely to put a scientific façade on the social sciences and the humanities, while furthering the proposer's agenda (whether academic, political or personal), then it is of no use.

Lacking distinctive examples of masculine heterosexual female culture/art/whatever (as distinct from androgenous bisexual male culture/art/whatever, or any of the other categories), it's hard to see what these infinite subdivisions buy us. (I'm not saying they buy us nothing!) And the use of femme as an antonym for masculine above is suspicious: why isn't the traditional antonym (feminine) being used? Surely a good categorisation uses as unambiguous terms as is feasible.

The burden of proof for the usefulness of a finer-grained categorisation is always on the proposer. For example, physics does not give different laws for red bodies than for blue, although this would surely allow more things to be said (red objects might not fall any faster than blue, but they're definitely prettier!). The reason is that such a distinction would not allow physics to say more than it does today.

Sex is genetically influenced but hormonally determined. Intersex people are far more common than we hear about. Rates may be as high as 1 in 2000 births.

A person with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) has an XY gene set but is hormonally (and often structurally) female (though sterile). Their bodies can't process androgens like testosterone.

People with AIS, Partial AIS (PAIS), or Complete AIS (CAIS) are one branch of the intersex phenomena. There are many others.

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