Transhumanism and Gender Relations

by [anonymous]1 min read11th Nov 2011118 comments


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Upon reading Eliezer's possible gender dystopias ([catgirls](, and [verthandi]( and the other LW comments and posts on the subject of future gender relations, I came to a rather different conclusion than the ones I've seen espoused here. After searching around the internet a bit, I discovered that my ideas tend to fall under the general category of "postgenderism", and I am wondering what my fellow LessWrongians think of it. 

This can generally be broken down to the following claims:

  1. A higher level of egalitarianism between the sexes increases utility. For example, if only men are generally allowed to do Job A, then you are halving the talent pool of people who can do Job A, AND women who would otherwise be happy in Job A lose that utility. It is equally of dis-utility if only women are socially allowed to be emotionally expressive, etc, etc. In other words, Equality = Good.
  2. The differences between men and women are a mix of environmental factors, such as social conditioning, and biological factors, such as varying levels of hormones.
  3. Some of these differences are optimal in the current environment, and others are suboptimal. For example-Women have better social skills (good!), but are more prone to depression (bad). Men are better self-promoters (good!), but are more prone to suicide (bad).
  4. Should transhumanism occur, it will eliminate the suboptimal differences. We can help people become less suicidal and not depressed.
  5. This will lead to a spiraling effect- Fewer *actual* differences will lead to a lessening of socialized differences, which will lead to less actual differences, etc
I am positive at least *some* of this will occur. In fact, I would posit that it is already occuring in that we have drugs to treat depression, and hormone therapy to assist people with hormonal problems, etc. Some postgenderists claim there will be no need for different genders at all, as we can have male pregnancies, and female paternity, etc. I rather doubt it would go that far.
My questions to you all is- When do you see these changes occuring, if at all? How far do you think we will go? Will we end up as essentially a one-gender society? Will we move towards the middle but still retain some gender differences? What would they be? Will they be purely physical, or some psychological differences as well? 

A possible contention is that the forces of natural selection would not allow this to go too far. In other words, women are attracted to high-testosterone men, and men are attracted to feminine women. However, we already have studies that show that birth control can make women desire lower testosterone men, and I don't see a reason why we wouldn't end up just being attracted to the new/different standard.
Another possible contention is that people *like* having both men and women about. This is an acceptable argument, but is based solely on personal taste. I would also surmise that most the people who desire the current two-gender system to persist are men (and therefore used to being the dominant gender, and therefore not personally feeling a reason to change it).

One Good Reference-
[Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary]( , George Dvorsky and James Hughes, PhD, IEET-03, March 2008


EDIT- Due to some really insightful comments;

I replaced men being prone to aggression as a negative, with men being prone to suicide.

I made the verbiage a little more explicit that no one would be *forced* to change, but would seek out the changes that transhumanism would have available.


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