New York Times on therapy for sexual identity concerns

The New York Times Magazine will have a lengthy print article on sexual identity concerns, especially among evangelical gays this sunday. The well-written article by Mimi Swartz is now up online at this link.

I have been away for several days and won’t be able to comment much under Sunday or Monday, but I think she did a nice job of bringing together several lines of thinking which led to the sexual identity management/therapy approach to handling sexual identity concerns.  Her descriptions of the sexual identity therapy framework start about here and are woven throughout the later part of the article.

The one aspect of the piece I don’t like is the title – Living the Good Lie. We do not encourage this and in fact advocate for acceptance, even if that acceptance is not with approval. More on that when I can reflect a bit more…

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  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    VIRTUEONLINE: George Rekers who worked for NARTH as a therapist was cited in a lot of your research as “gays who can overcome their same-sex attractions” yet in the end he was seen taking a young man with him on a trip to Europe who later said he had “massage sex” with Rekers. Does that invalidate all his research?

    NICOLOSI: If it happened, it was a grave indiscretion, but I will stay out of that controversy. The real issue is, does Dr. Rekers’ research stand up? Do his theories make sense?

    Of course, if we threw out the work of every gay-activist researcher accused of being involved in a personal scandal, there would be no literature on their side of the issue, would there?

    Dr. Rekers dedicated 30 years of his life to very important work which has become a well-respected part of the scientific literature.

    VIRTUEONLINE: To your knowledge, of all the hundreds of patients you have treated over the years, has anyone committed suicide?

    NICOLOSI: All clinicians who have been working for a lifetime with severely anxious and depressed clients will probably eventually learn that a former client took his life. Fortunately, I have no knowledge of anyone having done this.

    http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=14503

  • Teresa

    Zoe,

    Your take on the article?

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Teresa – First thoughts – it’s a long article, many different ideas:

    I’m no Christian, and I think you may have to be to sit in judgement here.

    Is Religion a choice? In some ways, obviously yes, yet one’s upbringing and personal observations may make that choice no choice at all. Do I have a choice to believe in Babylonian Cosmology, a flat, circular-disk Earth 6000 years old with a beaten metal shield covering it to keep the waters above out? I don’t think so, so many other things would have to change in my world view first that “choice” isn’t an appropriate word. Primitive Bible literalism is incompatible with my life. And no, I couldn’t just adopt a more liberal Church, one that said the earth was spherical, but kept the Firmament with stars affixed to it, or even one with a geocentric cosmology and crystal spheres, multiple firmaments, musical or not. Not when some of my work is orbiting Mercury.

    Since I’m doing my PhD on genetic algorithms and evolutionary computation, and routinely perform experiments doing what “Creation Science” says has to be logically impossible, I can’t believe in even the most liberal forms of biblical literalism.

    So I have to be open to the possibility that those with different world-views, different experiences, education in areas different from mine, and with a sexual orientation incompatible with that may try to reconcile the irreconcilable, and that sexual orientation is the one that has to give way as it is less strong. There may be no “good” solution when reality collides with the strongest of belief, but there may be a “least worst” one that is tolerable. Denial – acquisition of an encapsulated psychosis – may be a survival trait. I know all too well about that. It has a corrosive effect, at least in some (trust me on that), but if it staves off an immediate problem for 50 years before it all turns to custard, that might be the best we can achieve.

    Sexual Identity vs Sexual Orientation? That might be just the degree of bisexuality one has, but even then, I’m not sure such labels describe reality accurately. The man who felt emotional attachment to women, but sexual attraction to men, for example, would seem to suggest that there are multiple mechanisms at work, we’re using one word to describe different things, related but distinct.

    I also have problems here, lack of proper scientific objectivity. I see these patients as people, not subjects to be observed. That can be counter-productive.

    I do know this – that if my son ever had issues with his sexuality, I’d take him to see Dr Throckmorton if I could.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Zoe :

    Your comment is a philosophical tour de force! This whole issue of ‘choice’ is a very tricky one; ‘choices’, even the most principled ones, are (always) made in the context of ‘givens’, and sorting out what is ‘choice’ and what is ‘given’ is often well-nigh impossible.

    Perhaps the greatest area where we do have some kind of genuine choice is with regard to whether or not we are prepared to ‘search’ and to ‘question’. The scientific progress to which you allude above came about because people were not satisfied simply to accept what they were told by whomever. They asked ‘awkward questions’, and sometimes paid a heavy price for so doing.

    You are surely right about Dr. T..

  • ken

    This “interview” is nothing more than a fluff piece so Nicolosi can further mis-represent the issues while sounding like he is actually addressing them.

    For example, Reker’s work isn’t being “thrown out” because of a personal scandal. It is being discarded because it was shown to be wrong and that Reker’s distorted what really happened.

    I think the most telling part of this interview is this:

    VIRTUEONLINE: Will you ever treat someone who comes to you involuntarily or who is coerced by a parent with the statement, “my son is gay, fix him”.

    NICOLOSI: Treatment would not work, so why bother? We could expose the young man to our ideas for a session or two, so that he could have some balance against what the other side is saying, but that would be about it.

    Nicolosi claims treating a child whose parents just want him to “fix” would do no good and yet he took the Kendalls’ money for far more than “a session or two.” And rather than ask the obvious follow-up question, the interviewer instead suggests it was Anderson Cooper who lacked objectivity.

  • Ann

    if my son ever had issues with his sexuality

    Hi Zoe,

    Please define what you mean by “issues”. What would be considered an issue and who would determine it? At what point would the issues become a concern and who would be concerned and how would it affect all involved?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    This sentence from the end of Mimi Swartz’s story:

    Flanigan has been treating a man who is sexually attracted to men but emotionally attracted to women.

    …immediately made me think, “Sure, you can suck my c*ck. In fact, I really really want to suck yours, too. I might even want to meet up on a regular basis so we can have some fun. But just so we’re clear, I’m not interested in kissing or any of that mushy stuff, because that would be too gay.”

    Of course, I don’t know for sure if that’s where Flanigan’s client is at mentally, but I do know that A LOT of homo and bi men go through the whole phase with “Nothing wrong with two guys getting their rocks off together, as long as they don’t develop lovey-dovey emotional attachment to each other — that’s what a man and a woman are supposed to do.”

    Some guys pass through this phase fairly quickly and start giving themselves permission to develop “mushy” feelings for another man, and they stop trying to keep male/male sex from ever mingling with emotional warmth. But other guys stay in the “it’s okay as long as it’s just about the orgasms” phase for years and years…

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Somewhat related to my previous comment… if there’s anything that Nicolosi is partly right about, it’s that plenty of gay men really are conflicted about masculine identity and have problems with male bonding, and plenty of gay men do use sex with other men in an attempt to validate their own masculinity.

    However, while these gay men might indeed benefit psychologically from therapy that helps them believe in their manhood and improve their male-bonding skills, such therapy won’t do a thing to flip their Libido Switch from the “homo” to “hetero” position. Perhaps they’ll become better-adjusted homosexuals who are less inclined to be promiscuous, and maybe they’ll find it easier to form platonic friendships with heterosexual men — but contrary to what Nicolosi advertises, their erotic responsiveness to maleness doesn’t go away, and they don’t become erotically responsive to femaleness simply because they feel more confident about their masculinity.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    these gay men might indeed benefit psychologically from therapy that helps them believe in their manhood and improve their male-bonding skills

    Such therapy needn’t necessarily involve professional psychologists, BTW. Over the years, I’ve heard quite a few gay men claim that participation in “rough contact” sports like rugby or sparring-centered martial arts transformed them mentally/spiritually and gave them a more satisfying, more internalized, gut-level sense of their own manhood.

    They remained as homosexual as ever, though!

  • Teresa

    @All,

    Great thread, great comments.

    From my years of living on this planet, which are not few, I’ll make a statement which I think is fairly accurate: most individuals, str8 or gay, have issues with their gender ‘congruence’. A good many know their gender; but, I can tell you, only look around to see the issues that most have with ‘being that feminine or masculine’ ideal … trying to live to a destructive ideal, a figment fostered by media, maintained by ignorance.

    We have women, most str8, that are killing themselves, emotionally and physically, to be that pencil-thin, large breasted, long blond hair fleeting something they think will make them be a woman. Men, perhaps less so, but still working as hard as they can to exhibit that testosterone, macho, burly, tough-as-nails ephermal thing associated with masculinity.

    We could all probably be helped therapeutically with getting in “touch” with our inner selves, including, I’m sure, Nicolosi. So, yep, Throbert, you’ve hit the nail on the head, very little of this will re-orient our attractions.

    Living congruently with sexual orientation and faith beliefs (secular or religious) is another matter, entirely. Here, correct therapeutic approach can help immensely … and, not the gay to str8 stuff.

  • Mary

    most individuals, str8 or gay, have issues with their gender ‘congruence’

    Soooooooo, true.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    There’s a related story at the NY Times about a young man who was “exuberantly out” as a college student; who was a queer-theory-spouting gay activist and wrote for the now-defunct gay-youth magazine XY; who was in a more or less stable relationship with another young man for most of his 20s; and then “got religion” in his early 30s and declared himself ex-gay.

  • Gene Chase

    This link shows the current thoughts of John Smid, former director of the Exodus ministry Love in Action. You will notice that he’s much more self-revelatory in agreeing with the Sexual Identity Therapy Framework than most Exodus leaders have been heretofore.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Ann asked :

    Please define what you mean by “issues”. What would be considered an issue and who would determine it? At what point would the issues become a concern and who would be concerned and how would it affect all involved?

    Who would determine it, what it was? He himself of course. We’d give him guidance, advice, as best we could, but no-one knows but him.

    If there were objective metrics, performance at school for example, then we have a responsibility as parents to point those out to him, and the consequences. But he’s nearly 10. Immature in many ways, but as rational as he’ll ever be in others. Inexperienced, mostly, and that we can remedy second-hand, but as for decision-making – up to him.

    It’s complicated because he’s Intersex, there’s various medical issues that will arise shortly. But he’s fine with his slightly non-standard genitalia at the moment, and doesn’t want that altered. If he changes his mind, then we have the obligation to provide what financial aid and medical advice we can so he can have whatever further reconstruction he decides upon. But that’s his decision, not ours.

    Similarly, if he gets distressed from his burgeoning sexuality, possibly triggered by hormones he may have to take soon, then it’s up to us to make resources available to him to deal with that. But again, his decision, not ours. We just provide what he feels he needs, and give advice about available options.

    Children don’t come with manuals, alas. And they’re all different.

  • Ann

    Zoe,

    Thanks, as always, for you thoughtful response. What if he did not have answers, only concerns about what he was experiencing and came to you for answers? Contrary to his concern, would you tell him to just accept it? That there was nothing that could be done about it? That this was who he was?

  • Jayhuck

    Throbert:

    if there’s anything that Nicolosi is partly right about, it’s that plenty of gay men really are conflicted about masculine identity and have problems with male bonding, and plenty of gay men do use sex with other men in an attempt to validate their own masculinity.

    I’m sure that’s true for some, but it has not been my experience. You can definitely saythe same thing about straight men though. I call enough of them friends to be able to say that with some certainty. What IS a “masculine identity” anyway?

  • Ann

    What IS a “masculine identity” anyway?

    Jayhuck,

    I have NO idea.

  • Richard Willmer

    I think Jayhuck’s question was perhaps rhetorical.

    I understand Throbert’s point, but think we may be back in the murky water of ‘definitions’ here. There are straight men (yes – I do mean straight men) who have sex with other men – maybe for money, maybe to express ‘dominance’ (even to the point of raping another man), maybe to try to compensate for some kind of emotional ‘gap’ in their human relationships. I don’t see such men as ‘gay’*; gay men want generally sexual relationships with other men, and not just sex (although some do have ‘encounters’ that amount to ‘just sex’, just as some straight men do).

    * I don’t see some of these ‘straight’ men as truly ‘straight’ (or ‘bisexual’) either – sexual activity that is primarily for the expression of dominance, or intended to humiliate another, is not about human sexuality at all.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Zoe & Richard – Thanks…

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Gene: Thanks for that link to Smid’s comments. John has always been honest about his personal situation. Even when he was running the in-patient program, he acknoledged that he had not changed to any appreciable degree. In fact, he told me that he had not seen anyone who had. He also once said in an Exodus media training meeting that while he was in the minority opinion in the room, he didn’t think Exodus should offer change of orientation as a goal. Change is possible was a bad slogan he thought and sent the wrong message. It was always hard for me to put that John with the LIA program but lately he seems to be in a place where he is seeking congruence.

  • Teresa

    Zoe’s Comment:

    … So I have to be open to the possibility that those with different world-views, different experiences, education in areas different from mine, and with a sexual orientation incompatible with that may try to reconcile the irreconcilable, and that sexual orientation is the one that has to give way as it is less strong. There may be no “good” solution when reality collides with the strongest of belief, but there may be a “least worst” one that is tolerable. Denial – acquisition of an encapsulated psychosis – may be a survival trait. I know all too well about that. It has a corrosive effect, at least in some (trust me on that), but if it staves off an immediate problem for 50 years before it all turns to custard, that might be the best we can achieve.

    Sexual Identity vs Sexual Orientation? That might be just the degree of bisexuality one has, but even then, I’m not sure such labels describe reality accurately. The man who felt emotional attachment to women, but sexual attraction to men, for example, would seem to suggest that there are multiple mechanisms at work, we’re using one word to describe different things, related but distinct. …

    Zoe, listening to the youtubes on your Blog Page of Dr. Veronica Drantz, Myth and Science of Sexuality has really been an eye-opener for me. More questions for you, of course:

    1. Is it unfair to say that Dr. John Money did pretty much what Dr. George Rekers did; at least, in his misrepresentation of his own research results; and, his unwillingness to alter and rectify his propositions?

    2. Of course, much, much work is left to be done and discovered regarding Sexuality within the sciences; that’s a given. But, is it irresonsible to dismiss what we have found to date? From your readings, your living in a research community and knowing intimately the good, the bad, and the ugly that exists personally and structurally within those communities … can I, as ignorant as can be about such matters, adhere with confidence to some of what Dr. Drantz presented?

    I suspect my scientific bent may cloud my better judgment on this. My bias in that direction needs to be moderated by more educated minds than mine.

  • Teresa

    Richard:

    Perhaps the greatest area where we do have some kind of genuine choice is with regard to whether or not we are prepared to ‘search’ and to ‘question’.

    Thinking about your statement above, Richard, I’m not sure I can agree with this. The willingness to ‘search’ or ‘question’ is really out-of-bounds for a good many of us, on assorted topics, I think.

    Case in point: in Dr. Drantz’s presentation on the Myth of Sexuality, she states that the ‘female’ is the default gender. We are all ‘female’ until about the 6th or 7th week of gestation. The reality she states is that men come from women, which plays into the whole Genesis story on Creation. With this in mind, Eve did not come from Adam; but, Adam came from Eve.

    This idea is so revolutionary on some levels, that the first response from many of us is to declare Dr. Drantz a heretic, evil, someone with an agenda, The Powers That Be are out to get us, etc., etc. The whole framework for Genesis becomes a matter of concern, not the least of which is the dynamic of male/female relationship, and how that’s been used in all sorts of ways to the detriment of mankind.

    An ‘inquiring’ mind is often the doorway to public ignominy; and, I suspect more than one reasonably unbiased scientist has left work unpublished believing the maxim: “Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread.”

    Just some further thoughts, Richard. What do you think?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Dr. Drantz’s presentation on the Myth of Sexuality, she states that the ‘female’ is the default gender. We are all ‘female’ until about the 6th or 7th week of gestation.

    Umm… sure, if you assume that having an undifferentiated “cloaca” — that is, a HOLE between the legs — makes the early embryo more female than male!

    Perhaps Drantz’s point is to challenge the idea that the penis defines the male, since both XX and XY embryos at first have “just a hole” and nothing even resembling a penis. But the “hole” also doesn’t resemble the female genitals in any way — except to those who naively or misogynistically think that the vagina is “just a hole.” (Note that early on in embryonic development, the cloaca is a common opening for the urinary and reproductive ducts AND the anus, which is why I say that it resembles neither the male nor the female genitals.)

    I’m also reminded that in decades past, babies born with ambiguous genitalia were (from what I’ve read) most often “assigned” to be girls — for no better reason that constructing a functional penis was beyond the ability of plastic surgeons, but the surgically-constructed vagina wasn’t expected to be functional; it merely had to look more or less real.

    And on top of this, there may have been a “naive or mysogynist” assumption that little boys would be neurotic if they were growing up with a strange, malformed penis, or no visible penis at all; but little girls would grow up just fine with surgically-created labia and a “hole.”

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    P.S. From the 1918 edition of Gray’s Anatomy, a medical illustration showing the stages of embryological genital development in humans.

    Note that figures A and B are common to both XX and XY embryos; C and E show the subsequent differentiation in males, while D and F show the female differentiation.

    So, while there may be some thought-provoking rhetorical value to saying that “female is the default gender” and that “Adam comes from Eve,” looking at it from a gross anatomical and embryological perspective it’s more accurate to say that “unisex is the original default”. From this unisex state, either female or male genitalia emerge, with neither one preceding the other.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Note that figures A and B are common to both XX and XY embryos

    Hmmm. Looking at it more closely, I guess only “A” is common to males and females, while “B” shows the early female differentiation — thus “B” uses the term “labium” and not “labioscrotal folds.”

    Here’s a different illustration from Gray’s Anatomy with cutaway drawings showing what happens internally. Notice that at the bottom of the uppermost figure, which shows the early “unisex” stage, the cl is the “cloaca” into which the common uro-genital duct (ug) and the intestine (i) both empty. Also, there’s an undifferentiated “genital bump” (cp) that will later develop either into a clitoris or penis.

    BTW, note the pink and light-blue coloring in the illustration — somewhat ironically, the pink denotes common structures (the Wolffian ducts) that become fully developed in the male reproductive system while atrophying in the female, while the blue structures (the Mullerian ducts) fully develop in the female but atrophy in the male. Thus, “light blue = baby girls” and “pink = baby boys”!

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Hi Theresa

    Ronnie Drantz’s presentation was for a lay audience, and I think she over-simplified in some areas. But then, I do too. Wittgenstein’s ladder is the only way to handle things.

    1. Is it unfair to say that Dr. John Money did pretty much what Dr. George Rekers did; at least, in his misrepresentation of his own research results; and, his unwillingness to alter and rectify his propositions?

    Worse, I think. Money did some really fine work – but as the capstone of his career, he committed the one unpardonable scientific sin: he published fraudulent data. A flawed hero. The damage he caused, after doing so much good work… tragic.

    Rekers is as mad as a meataxe IMHO. I feel the same way about flat-earthers, and dominionist cultists in general. He believes in demons and devils, but the only demons he has are within him, and of his own devising.

    2. Of course, much, much work is left to be done and discovered regarding Sexuality within the sciences; that’s a given. But, is it irresonsible to dismiss what we have found to date?

    I don’t think so. Much of what has been found to date without sound and objective metrics has proven to be chimeric,. It’s too easy to see what we want to see in psychological testing. It’s harder – though still possible – when it comes down to autopsy results. Interpreting what they mean still leaves us – including me – open to being misled by prejudice.

    A good example is the work at CAMH with vaginal plethysmography. A very basic mistake was made, comparing 3 groups: men, women, and trans women who had had genital reconstruction. Non-transsexual women who had had genital reconstruction were not in the control group. so all the measurements regarding blood-flow and so on being closer to the male group during sexual arousal were misleading at best. When non-trans women who *had* had genital reconstruction were measured (not by CAMH), their readings were undistinguishable from the trans group.

    Such a basic error is inexplicable, unless you accept that CAMH viewed trans women as “really” men in the first place. Their data about autogynephilia likewise – they didn’t include non-trans women in their control groups.

    From your readings, your living in a research community and knowing intimately the good, the bad, and the ugly that exists personally and structurally within those communities … can I, as ignorant as can be about such matters, adhere with confidence to some of what Dr. Drantz presented?

    I think so, yes, pretty much all of it in fact. Her views aren’t controversial amongst neuro-anatomists, though there’s much opposition from both psychologists and psychiatrists. Some is politicised a bit – the “default female” issue for example is a gross over-simplification, but I’d have to start talking about FOX2 and SOXL9 genes to say why.

    For an even more politicised talk, see the one to the American Medical Association by Dr Kate O’Hanlan

    http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2011/02/ama-on-origins-of-sexual-orientation.html

    What’s currently being taught to medical and psych students is summarised in this powerpoint presentation:

    http://cs.anu.edu.au/~Zoe.Brain/BGI%203.3.2.ppt

    I suspect my scientific bent may cloud my better judgment on this. My bias in that direction needs to be moderated by more educated minds than mine.

    Well, that leaves me out. I knew nothing about this area before 2005, all you see on my blog is from collation in my spare time since then.

  • carole

    Throbert

    So, while there may be some thought-provoking rhetorical value to saying that “female is the default gender” and that “Adam comes from Eve,” looking at it from a gross anatomical and embryological perspective it’s more accurate to say that “unisex is the original default”. From this unisex state, either female or male genitalia emerge, with neither one preceding the other.

    “Unisex is the original default.”

    Well, no. Since we are talking about “development” and the word itself denotes stages/sequential steps in a process, the tissues you have termed “unisex” have simply not reached a morphological stage of differentiation yet, but genes have set the program that will proceed in steps.

    The reason embryologists speak of of the female as the default is that the XY fetus undergoes two processes that act upon that tissue you referred to as “unisex” -defeminization and masculinization.

    The defeminization of the male fetus occurs through a process which suppresses female development. That is, if the typical order to suppress ( or block or prevent) female development is not given to the XY fetus (or if that order is not received), the XY fetus will continue female development in form, function, behavior . One early example is the order given, accomplished by a hormone, to prevent the development of the mullerian duct. Thus, an important stage in the male embryonic developmental process is the active suppression of female development, development which will occur by default if no order to quash is given and received. Actions must take place in order to accompish this defeminizing. ( No such analogous orders are given the XX fetus.)

    The other process that acts upon the XY fetus is that of masculinization. While defeminization suppresses typical female morphologal development, the process of masculinization actually produces the male morphology.

    Thus, in the XY there are actions programmed by genes to 1) block female structures and 2) produce male structures. Absent either or both or these processes or in the case of incompletion of either of them, the XY fetus will develop, to one degree or another, female morphology and behavior.

    It’s basically correct to say that regardless of chromosomes, the fetus will develop as female unless certain actions are blocked and unless other actions act upon the fetus to produce the male.

    Except in areas of the world where female fetuses are selectively aborted, it is universal that more male babies are conceived and born than females. (105 males born to 100 females). We also know that more male babies are miscarried than females and that male infants have a higher mortality rate than females. It’s always been said that males are “harder to make” than females in the womb (thus the higher rate of spontaneous abortion), and that males are more genetically fragile—only one X chromosome to rely on and a Y that, at least as far as we know, doesn’t carry some of the weighty protections offered by the X.

    Summarizing, two related points:

    1). the “default” description is perhaps misunderstood, but is still accurate. By not having to carry out as many actions embryonically on both males and females, evolution has resulted in a minimizing of the chance of developmental errors . Thus, 2) it is” harder to make a male than a female,” more chances for developmental errors.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    [Doffing hat]

    DAMN! Once again, you’ve given me a much-needed refresher on the biology that I studied in college almost 20 years ago but that I haven’t kept up with…

    I was basically familiar with the concept that the Y chromosome is “masculinizing,” but I hadn’t grasped the “defeminization” side of the process (and the absence of any “demasculinizing” genes) until you explained it so clearly.

    Mad props to you, Carole.

  • carole

    Ah, sir,

    I appreciate the doffing of the hat and pine for the days when men who were strangers would tip their hats, open doors, and otherwise make ladies feel like ladies. Wait a minute–I think I have all that mixed up with the behavior of male characters in movies set before the Sixties.

    No matter, I appreciate the hat tip, even more so that it occurred in cyberspace. :)

  • Teresa

    I appreciate the doffing of the hat and pine for the days when men who were strangers would tip their hats, open doors, and otherwise make ladies feel like ladies.

    Hi Carole,

    Glad to read your erudite comment on the “default female”. Like Throbert, it’s been many a year since my days of undergrad work majoring in biology and chemistry. Perhaps, you and Zoe can bring us all up-to-speed on the elaboration of the default female (Zoe, FOX2 and SOXL9).

    Your quoted comment above, Carole, might provoke a response along the lines of: men would make ladies feel like ladies, when ladies acted more like ladies. At least, that’s what’s been brought to my attention.


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