Reinventing the Grammar of Human Nature
Finding out the sex of a new baby is an important moment for moms and dads. It’s the great mystery of the pregnancy. Everybody in the family waits with something like Christmas eagerness to discover whom they’ll meet at delivery—a bouncing baby boy or a precious little girl.
Things, however, are not always so clear.
If you haven't seen, news outlets around the web are reporting that Germany is leading Europe in legalizing “third gender.” As of November 1, German parents will no longer be required to declare their baby's gender. Their decision can be either permanent or deferred until such a time the child chooses to assume the identity of male or female.
“Third gender” you ask? It’s a term used to describe a person who by their will or on account of social consensus, i.e., based on indeterminate sexual anatomy, is neither male nor female. This new legislation provides them legal recognition as a distinct group and is already being likened to the gay rights issue, while at the same time receiving criticism from certain “intersex” groups who believe such recognition will open individuals to greater discrimination.
For those of us whose view of the human person is grounded—regardless how simplified that view—in what can be recognized as traditional ontology, biology, and philosophy, this novel "third gender" approach to human nature is dangerous, and portends serious consequences for societies embracing the notion of a self-determined sexual identity.
Where there is legitimate physiological ambiguity, parents in consultation with their doctors, and based on objective criteria, do have crucial decisions to make about discerning the sex of their child. This is already the case without the addition of this new legislation, a fact highlighting that there is something more at work here than the good of these children and families. This law serves as another example of legislation advancing a cultural agenda bent on demolishing, among other things, the normative, natural categories of male and female.
Once upon a time, nouns had gender; people had sex, namely, an identity stemming from the structural and functional differences that distinguish male and female, particularly in reference to reproductive functions. But today the chalkboard has been wiped clean and secular orthodoxy insists that people do indeed have gender, namely, a sexual identity stemming from the subjective choice of the individual, an identity to be changed, shed, or mixed at will.
In the case of the people purportedly intended to benefit from this kind of legislation, the normal structural and functional differences between the sexes are to one degree or another initially ambiguous. The word initially is all-important.
So what to do? Germany (like Australia) is offering its citizens a new legal status as a solution. But rather than solving the problem this course of action instead undermines human nature by assuming the gender lie and introduces a radical confusion, that in comparison, makes the one occurring at the biological level look only slight.