“Males have 1 X and 1 Y chromosome,” it reads above a photo of what appears to be a muscled man. “Females have 2 X chromosomes,” it reads above a photo of what appears to be a diminutive woman. (But appearances can be deceptive.)
It ends with: “NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE THIS.”
Religion can’t be fact-checked. But on the science side, the graphic is wrong.
Gender – or biological sex?
Gender is understood to be a social construct: the norms, roles and behaviours associated with women and men. These can change over time as societies change. Sex, on the other hand, describes anatomy.
It’s incorrect that, “according to science”, people exist only in the two distinct chromosomal flavours of XX and XY.
More than this, not all people with XY chromosomes have a typically male anatomy, and not all people with XX chromosomes have a typically female anatomy.
Differences in sexual development
These people are sometimes described as intersex.
Intersex is an umbrella term for a wide range of conditions variously called differences in sex development, disorders of sex development or diverse sex development, all shortened to DSD. Another term is variations in sex characteristics.
Nearly 8 billion people live on our planet. If the 1.7% estimate is accurate, more than a million people (136 million, to be exact) are intersex. And if the larger 4% estimate is right, it adds up to about 320 million people.
For more information, see the plain language explanation of DSD by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
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