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Mars versus Venus? Part 5: Chimpanzee Man and Human Woman?

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)

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Mars versus Venus? Part 6: Animal Love Story

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.

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Mars versus Venus? Part 4: The phenomenon of intersexuality

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).

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Mars vs. Venus? Part 3: File number XY … solved!

Summary of parts one and two

  1. We humans (and most living beings) have a double set of chromosomes (= diploid). And that’s essentially true of most creatures, especially animals.
    2. We humans produce, like all sexually reproducing organisms, germ cells (= gametes). These have only half a chromosome set (= haploid). The process of producing four haploid cells from a diploid cell is called meiosis (or reduction division).
    3. We produce two different types of germ cells, sperm cells (small, motile) and oocytes (large, immobile). This applies to ALL animals. Other groups of organisms also produce different germ cells (always two), or they produce equivalent germ cells (isogamy), where always two merge into one zygote (but isogamy is generally uninteresting for humans and animals).
    4. Living beings undergo a change in the haploid and diploid phase (= biological life cycle) in their lives. Depending on the type one phase outweighs the other phase. In humans and all animals the diploid phase dominates (= diplonts).
    5. Each germ cell production coincides with a “germ cell production site”. Sperm is produced in animals in testicles, oocytes in ovaries. This is also associated with the proliferation of germ cells (internal or external fertilization, ovarian apparatus, penis, etc.).
    6. If there are living things that have three or more sets of chromosomes (= polyploid), they are a special case due to disorders during meiosis. But always two types of germ cells are created.

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Mars versus Venus? (English) Part 2: Why are there two sexes?

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.

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Mars versus Venus? (English) Part 1: The irrationalism of queer theory

Introduction

“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.

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