Tuesday, 23 September 2008

My Hair's Longer

Reconstruction from skeletal remains of a Neanderthal Woman, from National Geographic.

My hair's darker, but has red highlights like hers. And my hair's longer. My brow isn't ridged. But otherwise, we could be sisters - or at least relatives.

There is mitochondrial evidence showing little (if any) genetic mixing between H.Sapiens and H.Neanderthalis. But I can't help wondering. There is other evidence that says there may have been interbreeding. Apart from people like me.


RadarGrrl said...

I wouldn't take too much stock in what National Geographic says. After all, here's what they REALLY think of people like us. Another battle for you, perhaps?

Zoe Brain said...

Could be worse, Nat.
The video was of a guy.
I've never understood men.

Yes, they mixed "gender identity" with "sexual identity" too. Ignorance rather than malice.

It would be good if NatGeo did a piece in consultation with someone who knew something about it though.

Chris said...

Maybe you've never understood men, but I've rarely understood men or women.

Has any work ever been done on the neanderthal genome? (This could be irrelevant to my train of thought - I don't pretend to know much about genetics)

Oberon said...

....i'm a lesbian....trapped in a mans body.

Zoe Brain said...

Oberon - if true, then you wouldn't be alone. And it's possible to have something done to help.

Assuming you're serious, please contact me by e-mail on this. Some can live quite happily in that situation, some cannot. In either case, maybe we can help.

Bad hair days said...

Do you have the tatooed lines, too? They are kind of cool :-)


Zoe Brain said...

It's woad - body paint. Not really my style.
I'm tempted to have a photo taken in the same pose, but as I don't have the requisite spear, not at the moment. Also... well, I'm a bit of a prude.

Anonymous said...

"Lynn Conway and Deirdre McCloskey of the University of Illinois in Chicago eventually persuaded two of the transsexual women I wrote about in my book to file formal charges to my Institutional Review Board that I conducted research without informing them properly. These charges were false (see Dreger's article, pages 38-41). Other false charges include the accusation that I had sex with a "research subject" (see Dreger, pages 41-46), that I made up the story of Danny (the feminine boy featured in the first part of my book; see Dreger, page 50), among other false accusations."


Anonymous said...

"Secondly, the insistence of many transsexuals whom Blanchard would classify as autogynephilic, that they cannot be explained via his theory, is unconvincing. Take Anjelica Kieltyka, the transwoman I wrote most about in my book. As a non-feminine male, Chuck Kieltyka cross-dressed erotically from adolescence, and then in college he learned that wearing fake breasts and vaginas and watching himself in the mirror simulating sex with a penis (actually a dildo) was immensely erotic. But to this day, Anjelica Kieltyka denies that her transsexualism had anything to do with autogynephilia."

Anonymous said...

"Blanchard did two relevant studies. In one he measured the sexual arousal (via penile erections) of apparently autogynephilic males who denied ever being sexually aroused to cross-dressing. He showed that on average, they were in fact so aroused. In the other study, he showed that among apparently autogynephilic males, those who denied their autogynephilia scored high on a psychometric test developed to detect the tendency to respond in socially desirable ways. Thus, among the transgendered, denial of autogynephilia is apparently related to the desire to give a good impression. Both of these studies suggest that denial of autogynephilia should not be taken at face value."

Anonymous said...

"None of Roughgarden, Conway, McCloskey, and James has ever acknowledged the subset of transsexual individuals who are grateful that autogynephilia is being discussed. Furthermore, the best example of a transsexual woman who openly endorses Blanchard's ideas, Dr. Anne Lawrence, was savagely attacked by James, who assembled an ugly website devoting to smearing Lawrence's reputation. Sound familiar?"

Anonymous said...

"I understand that despite the liberating effect Blanchard's ideas have on some transgendered individuals, those ideas present a significant challenge to some others. Reconsidering one's identity — the way one conceives of oneself — can be quite distressing. (When scientists first suggested that the earth is not the center of the universe, or that there is no fundamental difference between Man and other animals, this must have provoked a great deal of discomfort.) I am sympathetic to this distress, but there is simply no excuse for dishonest and vicious personal attacks and disingenuous discussions of science."

Zoe Brain said...

Thanks anonymous for that link. The comments in it are the best evisceration of Dr Bailey's idiosyncratic views I've ever seen.

For example someone who is unmarried and:

Did not look feminine as a child; and
Transitioned after age 40;

Is either paraphiliac - mentally ill - or homosexual, depending on whether they answer yes or no to the question
Have you ever been in the military or worked as a policeman or truck driver, or been a computer programmers, businessman, lawyer, scientist, engineer or physician?

This is Science?

Zoe Brain said...

Oh and Nicky - please use your own blog rather than multiple comments, and leave a link, OK?

And no need to hide behind an Anon. Tag. Your style is unmistakeable, and your habit of using multiple sockpuppets isn't helpful either.

RadarGrrl said...

Get a life, Bailey! It's about IDENTITY not about sex!

Unknown said...

So, I'm confused.

I've had people look at childhood pictures of me and say I looked like a girl. I sure felt like one. I was able to "pass as a boy" well enough to get by though, so I muddled through trying to make the best of a bad deal for a few decades and I'm only now starting to transition, in my mid-40s. I've worked as a computer programmer for my entire career. My first open-mouthed kiss, age 9, was with a boy and it was really nice; my next, age 16, was with a girl and in some ways even nicer. I tried to have a gay relationship with my best friend in college but it just didn't work for me, since he so clearly wanted me as a man and I couldn't see myself with him that way. I've been married now for nearly thirteen years and have three children (one by a previous relationship).

So... what am I supposed to be? Autogynephilic or homosexual transsexual?

RadarGrrl said...

Neither...both...does it matter? For me, and the vast majority of TS people, it hasn't been about whom I choose to make love/have sex with, it's about who you are inside. For some reason, the Baileys, Blanchards and Lawrences in this world fail to grasp this simple concept.

Unknown said...

No, it doesn't matter to me in the least. I was being gently sarcastic about Bailey/Blanchard/Lawrence's irrelevant and poorly-thought-out transsexual classification system. Maybe too gently.

I can't remember where and I don't know how much truth there is to it, but I read somewhere once that they'd actually sat down and deliberately tried to come up with the most stigmatizing and belittling terminology and diagnostic criteria they could think up. Sadly, from what I've read of Bailey's public presentations and comments, I don't have a hard time believing that.