Around 2005, several mass publications expressed provocative statements. The journal Newsweek said, “Recent studies have shown that women and men are genetically distinguished as humans and chimpanzees.” A New York Times reporter argued that women and men should be considered as different species (cited in KUTSCHERA 2018: 220-221). KUTSCHERA (2018) agrees with this when he writes that men are 99.9% equal to each other, whereas men and women are only 98.5%. This difference of 1.5% between man and woman corresponds to that between man and chimpanzee (KUTSCHERA 2018: pp. 224 – 225, see also Fig. 1). He wants to “verify” the “fundamental difference” between men and women, which also shows up genetically in every cell. The problem with this statement, however, is that it is heavily distorted by KUTSCHERA (2018). Because his comparison man / woman and human / chimpanzee is a comparison between apples and pears (or in other words: between the genes of two individuals of a species and the total DNA between two species).
Fig. 1: Kutschera’s comparison between man and woman as well as between human and chimpanzee. Unfortunately, not much true. Source: KUTSCHERA (2018: 222)
In the previous parts we have either dealt with absurd “philosophical” views (Butler’s queer theory or Kutschera’s sympathies for AfD and Catholic church reactionaries) or have penetrated deep into genetics. At this point, we now deal with mating systems in the animal kingdom. Anyone who has an interest in how diverse the sex life of animals is without much scientific “Blabla”, I can only recommend “Das Liebesleben der Tiere (The Love Life of Animals)” by Katherina von der Gathen.
In a pedagogically meaningful and child-friendly way, without being obscene, the reproductive behavior of different animals is addressed, from mate choice to rearing of the offspring everything is there: funny, beautifully illustrated and oriented on facts.
Especially in parts two and three, we have explained the biological justification of why there are two sexes and why this makes sense. In nature, there are different mechanisms of how the sexes are determined (XX / XY, ZW / ZZ, XX / X0, environmental sex determination). In addition to separate sexes, there are so-called hermaphrodites, i.e. those that combine both sexes in one body (e.g. in many flowering plants or snails).
These forms of sexual determination correspond to the normal distribution of living organisms. Of course, there are deviations from the “norm”. Terms such as “normal”, “abnormal”, “untypical” and “deviations” are to be understood in biology as value-neutral terms that do not involve any discrimination. They only say that there are individuals who do not correspond to the majority. This is also true for sex distribution. It often comes either to chromosomal abnormalities or hormonal disorders (e.g., wasted gonads or genitalia). One speaks of intersexuals, a term introduced by the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt (1878-1958). Some people also bring the concept of the “third sex” into the discussion. However, this is insufficient because no new type of germ cell is formed and many intersex people are sterile (KUTSCHERA 2018: 213-219). A study by BLACKLESS et al. (2000), who collected the results from 20 nations, was able to evaluate that one out of 2,000 newborn babies cannot be clearly assigned to a sex. This means that they are very rare. In addition, all intersex types are integrated here, of which there are quite a few forms. We want to introduce them gradually (according to KUTSCHERA 2018, BLUMBERG 2009, GILBERT 2006).
The question of why there are only two sexes (and genders!) has to do with their biological function. This article is about sex, chromosome numbers and germ cell formation.
Sexuality or sexual reproduction is not only exhausted in the multiplication of the number of individuals, but is based on the constant recombination of the parental genetic material. This ensures a certain variability of the organisms. Sex refers to the totality of all phenomena that are put into this service. The biologist August Weismann has already pointed out the origins and significance of sexuality (WEISMANN 1883, 1886). LANE (2009) has dedicated a chapter on the origins and evolution of sexual reproduction; MARGULIS & SAGAN (1986) also wrote a wonderful book (albeit partially elderly). For visually oriented people, I recommend the following video, also the following.
“Men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” says therapist John Gray, who claims that men and women are two completely different beings, as if they came from different planets. Men are aggressive and warlike, but also protective like the Roman god of war Mars. Women, on the other hand, are emotional, beautiful, vain, and fertile like the goddess of love, Venus. This leads to the idea that men and women pursue two completely different reproductive strategies and that each of their traits – be they physical or intellectual – serve this reproductive strategy: men and women are biologically completely different and the differences in their behavior are for the most part biologically justifiable and determined. It can also be deduced that her sexual behavior has completely different goals and ideas (he only wants to distribute his sperm, she wants a romantic relationship and children). The social role, i.e. society, plays no decisive role; Everything, or at least almost everything, is biologically justifiable.