Cheryl Morgan on Gender
See her post on her website, Cheryl’s Mewsings, here.
It’s excellent except for this part:
However, there is a fair amount of evidence that some forms of gendered behavior have a biological component, and that treatment with hormones and similar chemicals, or even neuro-surgery, can cause animals to change their gendered behavior. Presumably the same is possible for humans.
The best available evidence is that it’s not. At least, not in any non-trivial sense – sufficiently advanced neurosurgery could change any behavior, and sufficiently primitive neurosurgery can eliminate any behavior. But that’s not what’s being discussed.
Identity and sexual orientation resist every mode of therapy and attempt to change known. It is possible to destroy cognitive function to the point where unusual concepts of identity and disapproved sexual orientations no longer manifest, certainly. But changing from one to the other? Can’t be done.
The article is definitely worth reading, and clarifies issues many people are confused about to a high degree. With such contentious issues of definition, I’m sure not everyone will agree completely with her usages, but they’re a good starting point for discussion.
[Edit: Clarification] The best available evidence is that orientation and gender identity cannot be changed in humans. I wasn’t trying to suggest that the evidence is against biological components to both those things – quite the opposite.