Comments on Armoured Skeptic’s remarks about Bill Nye saves the world(episode 9): The sexual spectrum

 

Next follows a commentary on Armoured Skeptic’s review of Bill Nye’s show: Bill Nye saves the world specifically about his comments in regard to episode 9 “The sexual spectrum.”
It will be somewhat unwieldy as I have chosen to quote sources directly into the text. It might have been better to move the sources to the bottom, which would facilitate readability, but I choose otherwise.

Introduction

Armoured Skeptic(shortened to Armoured because I am lazy) has released a review of Bill Nye’s show Bill Nye saves the world called Bill Nye vs the world. Both are referenced at the end of this post.
In his review he makes various comments that I would like to comment on in turn, not so much as to criticize Armoured( I agree with some of his criticism) but more out of my interests what scientists say and offer others the chance to evaluate what is being said by everyone involved. If we want to know the science, let’s see what the scientists have to say.

I will focus on episode 9 of the show as out of the thirteen episodes of the show the review by Armoured takes up nine minutes out of twenty minutes(it runs from 9:50 till 19:05). In addition, some of the comments invite additional commentary.

Some general remarks

Before going into details I would like to point out that while the show does claim to be scientific(Nye ends every episode with a monolog about it), it never actually cites a scientific source, with a rare exception in episode 4. Nevertheless Armoured levels this criticism in episode 9 and he says “This episode is very clearly politically driven and has very little base in science[]” (9:48 – 10:05) and “There is no science about gender expression, Bill.” and “He(i. e. Bill Nye) doesn’t demonstrate how science explores the concept at all.”(18:25 -18:50)

It is a pity that the claim that the episode is clearly politically driven is never elaborated upon by Armoured. Maybe he will do so in a follow-up.

Next, I agree that there are some cringeworthy moments in this episode. The ice-episode, as well as the performance by Rachel Bloom, seem to suggest that diversity and loose morals go hand-in-hand. It was probably not meant that way, but it was hard to not see it as such. I think the last thing LGBT people need is to have the stigma reinforced that they screw around. But then again, maybe there is some scientific research that backs such an assumption up. Who knows.

At last, I would like to point out that I do not claim that I know what scientists have to say, I merely explore some comments Armoured makes and then find out what I can find in the scientific journals. It could, therefore, be that I am mistaken or misconstrue what scientists think. Therefore, in case of doubt: research.

The details

Cis-male

Armoured (10:22): “Bill uses the name cis-male[].. Cringe.”

Armoured’s tone seems to suggest that the word cis-male is odd and although the cringe might be used  to disapprove of the way Nye describes himself and his guest(cis-male white guys) I still feel the need to point out that cis-gender or cis-male is a scientific term to describe a person whose gender identity corresponds with his assigned sex at birth.

It is for instance used in the following scientific articles:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262864391_The_Representability_and_Responsibility_of_Cisgender_Queer_Men_in_Women’s_Studies

And:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311704867_A_Comparison_of_Trans_Women_Trans_Men_Genderqueer_Individuals_and_Cisgender_Brothers_and_Sisters_on_the_Bem_Sex-Role_Inventory_Ratings_by_Self_and_Siblings

And:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311731647_Which_Gender_is_More_Concerned_About_Transgender_Women_in_Female_Bathrooms

Also it is used by APA( American Psychological Association (APA))

https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/sexuality-definitions.pdf

The percentage: sex

For proper reference, I will quote Bill Nye as well.

Armoured(10:35): “So keep that in mind, one-quarter of one percent of people don’t fit biological norms.

Nye(3:07): “And by everybody I mean every living reproducing thing.”

Nye(3:25) “And like I said there are sex chromosome abnormalities in one in four hundred pregnancies.”

Armoured(10:40): “I am little confused why he even brought up the statistic here []

Nye(3:30): “I mean that is pretty frequent.”

What is gender?

Armoured(10:55): “Gender is more like you feel and act as opposed to your chromosomes.”

Nye:(3:49): “Gender is how you identify yourself and your experience.”

Let’s open up a scientific paper:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304815061_Traditional_Masculinity_and_Femininity_Validation_of_a_New_Scale_Assessing_Gender_Roles

Quote(page 2, left column) “ Gender is also one of the first social categories that children learn in today’s societies, and thus knowledge of gender stereotypes is evident from early childhood on (for a recent review, see Steffens and Viladot,2015) and into adulthood, with both adolescents and college students construing their self-concepts in line with the gender stereotypes they have internalized (e.g., Nosek et al., 2002;Steffens et al., 2010).”

It is not so much how you feel or act but about what role you are expected to fulfill in society.

APA:

Gender refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender-normative; behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non-conformity.

Gender refers to the attitudes, feelings and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender‐normative; behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non‐ conformity (APA, 2012).

Gender (n): the condition of being male, female, or neuter. In a human context, the distinction between gender and SEX reflects the usage of these terms: Sex usually refers to the biological aspects of maleness or femaleness, whereas gender implies the psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female (i.e., masculinity or femininity.)

Percentage again: gender vs sex

Armoured(11:00) “How you feel and act as opposed to your chromosomes. Bill forgets to tell us how rare this is, by the way, it is less than one-quarter of one percent that doesn’t identify with the gender they are born with.”

Apparently Armoured is under the impression that Gender identity has something to do with people having problems with their gender. However, this is not what Nye is talking about. He is pointing out that gender identity is a facet of a person’s makeup. Armoured, however, keeps going on about the small percentage that does have issues.

Quote from a scientific source:

“The development of gender identity is the result of a complex interaction between genetic,
prenatal, and postnatal endocrine influences and postnatal psychosocial and environmental
experiences. “

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1763208/pdf/v089p00847.pdf

Armoured : “In fact, if this figure was relevant for gender identity, how come that “An estimated 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual and an estimated 0.3% of adults are transgender.”

This amounts to 3.8 % which is far more than the quarter of a percent. Clearly, other factors than an abnormality in chromosomes are involved.

https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Gates-How-Many-People-LGBT-Apr-2011.pdf

Correlation between sex and gender

Armoured(11:20) “instead he just explains the spectrum as if there is no correlation between sex and gender.”

Nye:(3:05) “So my sex and gender are on the same side of the spectrum, but there are people who are not the same.”

Armoured(11:25) “he just shrugs and moves on.”

Nye:(3:10) goes to explain the first hypothesis then moves on.

While Armoured does have a point – the gender identity explanation ends abrupt – the claim ‘as if there is no correlation’ is simply not true. That correlation is not discussed, does not imply that Nye thinks there is no correlation. It is just not discussed.

Percentage again: sexual orientation

Armoured(11:50): “it is 3.8 percent of the people in the United states who identify as LGBTQ”

https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Gates-How-Many-People-LGBT-Apr-2011.pdf

Estimates of those who report any lifetime same-sex sexual behavior and any same-sex
sexual attraction is substantially higher than estimates of those who identify as LGBT.
An estimated 19 million Americans (8.2%) report that they have engaged in same-sex
sexual behavior and nearly 25.6 million Americans (11%) acknowledge at least some
same-sex sexual attraction.

Nye is talking about sexual orientation in general, Armoured talks about LGBTQ.

Gender and gender expression

Armoured(12:00) “what is the difference between gender and gender expression?”

Gender Expression: The presentation of an individual, including physical appearance, clothing choice and accessories, and behaviors that express aspects of gender identity or role.

Gender identity: A person’s deeply‐felt, inherent sense of being a boy, a man, or male; a girl, a woman, or female; or an alternative gender (e.g., genderqueer, gender nonconforming, gender neutral) that may or may not correspond to a person’s sex assigned at birth or to a person’s primary or secondary sex characteristics

https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/sexuality-definitions.pdf

Armoured(12:45) “there aren’t even any statistics or studies or psychological papers or polls or anything.[] It isn’t even quantifiable.”
Aren’t there?https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314206903_Prevalence_of_Adolescent_Gender_Experiences_and_Gender_Expression_in_Germany

‘Development and Validation of a Gender Expression Measure Among Sexual Minority Women.’
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0361684311413554

‘Gender expression, sexual orientation and pain sensitivity in women.’
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4028658/

‘Adolescents’ Acceptance of Same-Sex Peers Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression’
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-006-9111-0

Armoured fails to get the concept of Gender Expression as he has ill-defined the concept of Gender. Since to him gender also includes acting your gender, he has no room for gender expression, unlike the scientists do.

Spectrum

Armoured(13:48): “you can’t use the spectrum metaphor to demonstrate the exception.”

The point is that spectrum is used to point out that there is a wide varied of experiences. It has nothing to do with a number of people. It has to do with the available options.

Sex redefined
http://www.nature.com/news/sex-redefined-1.16943#/spectrum

Neuroscience Proves What We’ve Known All Along: Gender Exists on a Spectrum
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ravishly/neuroscience-proves-what-_b_6494820.html

http://cluster.meduniwien.ac.at/mnc/news/single-view/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1647&cHash=9ab5947c979e9e872ad93231a45f4aaf

Summary

I do not like to get down on someone like Armoured Skeptic, but when he makes a claim that another person(Bill Nye) is unscientific and after some research it is obvious that he himself does not understand the underlying science, I feel it should be mentioned. Especially when he has a sizeable following.  Armoured is not dumb, but he might make mistakes and sometimes he gets carried away.

This does not mean he is wrong, or dumb or anything else. He is just misinformed. The lesson here is this: even if Armoured Skeptic claims something, you still need to check.

And that goes for me too.

Sources:

Armoured Skeptic’s review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCdk9fDE8zA

Bill Nye saves the world can be watched on Netflix, at the moment.

Exploring gender and sexuality in a virtual world: composing your avatar.

waiting-for-prey copy
Waiting for prey..

 

I was reading this post made by Marilyn Roxie.

I somehow felt compelled to add some of my experiences to this post and this is the post I am trying to do it. This is not an attempt for me to be smarter then Marilyn, but as long time citizen of SL and also as someone who wanted to explore precisely my gender and sexuality I thought it might be a nice way to add to her post my vision. Not because I deem it to be better, but mostly be cause I feel a certain way. I had originally wanted to be short and to the point, but because I felt I need to cover more I expanded

The post by Marilyn Roxie is about exploring gender and sexuality in a virtual world. She specifically talks about second life, which is a great place to go and precisely do such a thing.  It is not only people who are gender queer who can experiment, but it offers this possibility to many who describe themselves as transgender, femboy, sissyboy,s shemale or  gay (and any other descriptions I did not name).  During my almost five years in Second Life I met a lot of people who found Second Life a safe way or even the only way to explore gender, sexuality and even identity.. The latter being one of my interest( see my movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II4tv1nRFAo)

The challenge with Second Life is that you need to find a community to belong to because if you do not .. you’ll be a loner.. and if you are fine with that there is no problem.. but if you want to a community to belong to you will have to search hard.

The first time spend in  Second Life is often decisive. I think that a lot of people spend maybe a few weeks or months and then leave. Then there is a smaller group of long time avatars.. Some as old Second Life itself. My idea is that almost all these older people have a specific goal to be here.This could be because they want to make art, make items, run roleplay game or want to live a way they cannot in real life.   Other are probably here more for socializing or ‘hanging out’ or because they are ‘bored’. The latter reasons seems for me the least enduring because SL is a limited place for that and because there are so many other places that offer the same thing and probably better.

Regardless of anything I think that unless you have a kind of drive  for something specific then I think that SL is not an easy world to find a place to belong simply, because it is not easy to find that place. I spend my time  at Empathic Eccentricia, which is a kind of builders art place run by Veleda Lorakeet, to make things. EE has now moved to OS grid, although I maintain a kind of Second Life presence.  It took me two years to actually find such a home. I think I am not alone in this and that most eventually find one or, give up on SL.

Where not to go…

How hard it is to find a place can be shown by the below picture of the search box.

Type in freebies and below is the result I got. As you see the second and third hit are not special freebie places, the second is an porn place and the third is an escort place. I have visited both places and indeed they do have a meager set of freebies, but they are obvious there to draw people to their places by offering a small sample of common cheap freebies.  What this shows is that based on the search you will probably not find what you want to find.

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A more refined search gave me strange results. I ticked out moderate and adult and this was the result.

Screenshot - 1_13_2014 , 11_43_06 PM

See the G in the right hand top corner? But the wet kitty is a moderate place(see the big M near location.). Apparently the search is a bit shaky. I find the wet kitty a strange place to show up at all.  But the wet kitty might define itself as M but…

Screenshot - 1_15_2014 , 1_37_57 PM

Maybe I am  old fashioned but are naked events not adult?

You might say.. well do not moan.. these events are only held as special events and otherwise… But even that is not true.. the guests are naked at various times regardless of what events are held.
Not that I bothered by it. I am perfectly happy they have clubs  where people can be like what they want to be. My concern is more that  if you do not stick to some rules, someone  might stick the rules to you. If you say you are moderate but hold adult events.. then there is a danger another place might do the same.. and eventually Linden has to crack down and close down sites simply because someone might sue them for not upholding their own rules.  So if you want to organize adult events.. turn the place in an adult place just so you can keep on doing it?

What I do find a pity is that I was unable to find any freebies at that place. It clearly says they have freebies, but the landing zone is a shopping area and there is no mention of where to get freebies. This is their teleporter..

Screenshot - 1_15_2014 , 11_37_13 AM

Now i start out with freebies because a newcomer that has no money or has not much to spend or does not want to will want to find free items.  The natural reaction is to type freebies in a search bar. The result you see above. Adult places want to draw people, even by offering freebies… but the places that are freebie places are not that great either.

This is one concern about popular freebie places:

waiting-for-prey copy
Waiting for prey

All these freebies places are haunts for those who prey on others. The most obvious and annoying are those who play a vampire game. Some of those in these distorted pictures. have very beautiful avatars, but that outward beauty hides a nasty inside as they still are there to take advantage of others for their own self gratification. They are preying on others.. and they know it and they accept and even revel in it.   But there are also less obvious vampires. Those who take advantage of others because the other feels alone, uncertain or is impressed by the other.

Interestingly enough I noticed that they leave me alone. Not sure why, but it suspect it has to do with the fact that I am obviously not a newcomer, but then again it might also be because I do not stay that long.

So where to go?

The only way I can help out is by pointing you to the freebie places or ways I think that offer a far better selection.  See for examples below!.

Fabulously Free in SL(http://fabfree.wordpress.com/)

The first place I mention is not even a place in SL.. it is a website. This website shows you on an almost daily basis which freebies are there to get, where and how they look. It is a great way to find the stuff you want to have instead of hoping you find something you like in SL.
List for under 30 days old offers:
http://fabfree.wordpress.com/fabfree-30-days-list/

The marketplace (https://marketplace.secondlife.com/)

Go over to the marketplace of sl.. it is a website. Log in with your avatar.. pick a category and (apparel for example) and select as price: 0 to 0. You get a load of freebries, gifts and, alas also demo’s. You just order them and they are delivered to you in sl. Often you can get more freebies or gifts by going to the shops location.

Hunts

Hunts are organized  so shops and places can promote their goods. The places give your something for free so you go to their place. Their hope is you will buy something and other just like to give away things for free.. Hunts can be found via websites:
http://huntsl.com/tag/second-life-hunts/
http://slhunts.wordpress.com/
http://huntingsl.com/

Teleport Hub(http://www.teleporthub.com/)

A general site for freebies, gifts and hunts.


Normal shops in sl
A few of the bigger shops give away items.  Examples of these shops are the following. Usually it requires to become part of their group. Which is often free to join.

Clothes
Gizza — high fashion-haute culture kind of place has gifts in front of the store.
Vero Modero – high fashion. Lots of gifts inside the store.
Sassy – sexy clothes both on lucky chairs and for grabs. (Sassy has a whole sim which also host other places including 1 Hundred. This shop has a lot of links to freebie groups, hunts)
ADN Designs (has freebies and a lot of lucky chairs in which you can get an item when the first letter of your avatars name shows up and you sit down. Has also a few other shops on the sim currently that offer more lucky chair items)
BlakOpal – Steampunk and victorian clothes. A few freebies.. Not much but nice to start out with.

Hair, Eyes
Amacci – Hair, Eyes, jewelry.
Lala Moon –  Hair

Skins
Good free skins are not easy to get, but for female skin this is relative easy compared to male skins. The market place is one source, fab free another. And of course hunts. Good free male skins are extremely hard to get.  The best way is to pick one up at a freebie place and then wait for a hunt or a website like fab free to give you an idea where to get a better one.
A good place for quality freebie skins is Mother Goose’s. The skins you have to get via  a board of letters and when the letter of you name appears you can click on it and take it. However she has like 50 of these boards and they swap every few minutes so it is easy to get a decent skin in a short while.
Now Mother Goose’s is hard to find. In fact you can not find it in a search.. the only way to find it is to look up the owner Milok Hermit and find in her picks where Mother Goose’s currently is located(shops travel around in sl)(currently it is here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Turpentine/225/141/21). She has her own blog.. only it is korean(i think) http://tamako4.blog.me/

Examples follow below.

Freebie places
The free dove. As small place offers usually better freebies. Many of the freebies give you links to places where you can get more.
This is the only freebie place I know where the staff will actively remove pests like vampires. Also nakedness is forbidden so you won’t be confronted by dudes showing their enlarged manhood to the public. You can also join various hunts and groups that are posted on their boards.

The Oxbridge university of Caledon(see below)

Newcommer help places.

Any newcomer that like help with find their way in sl is advised to go to a new resident place.
Basically there are three:
-NCI.. NCI has various locations around SL.

Screenshot - 1_13_2014 , 11_42_26 PM

– White Tiger(see in the picture above)
– Caledon Oxbridge university. Which also is a way to enter one of the oldest and most civil of communities in Second Life. Caledon is a steampunk place.

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Some examples

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Mother Goose’s
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Mother Goose’s
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Avatar made using skin, hair, clothes and ao from Tuty’s.Eyes are from Amacci. Only the shape is mine.
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Avatar made using skin found via Fab Free. Shape is from the inventory. Clothes and hair from the Free Dove.
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Avatar made using a gift skin and clothes found at Vero Modero and Gizza. Eyes are from a general freebie set.