Sexuality and Identity

1.) We know that identity is somehow tied up with sexuality. We were known as sexed before we were even named (“It’s a boy!”).

2.) But to tie identity to sexuality only bundles one mystery to another. Our most dependable account of traits (the Big-5) are “first impression” traits, and they only gained wide acceptance in the early ’90’s. No one claims they capture the depths of identity, to say nothing of the many ways individuals and their behaviors are diverse or non-typical. Our grasp of sex differences is even fainter and more controversial.

3.) There is the additional problem that spirit is not a definite structure but a unity proportioned solely to the diversity of things. Sense organs and the whole of the central nervous system give a definite cast to exterior stimuli and also come with inherent responses to it – natures – but reason is not a nature in this sense. This is the basis of what downstream becomes the “nature-nurture” controversy, now seen as largely unsatisfactory.

4.) If we only accept science as authoritative and the science of identity and sexuality is so rudimentary and primitive, our own sense of identity will be incoherent and bewildered, and more so the more urgently we strive to understand identity. These are the only universal characteristics one can discern in discussions of transsexuality, irrespective of what one’s judgments of it are. I honestly have no idea what my opinions on it are supposed to be. Am I supposed to believe that nature generates n-number of genders or sexes, or that gender or sex is inherently a matter of decision? In either case, what is the account of “sex” that specifies the palate of options? Can we even agree it is binary?

5.) But have we ever had clear notions of identity? Isn’t this the familiar bewilderment about whether genius or criminality or character is born or made? Only a pure spirit could be entirely the result of its decision, only an animal has entirely innate behaviors.

6.) There is an Apollonian-Dionysian aporia to the yoking of identity and sexuality. Identity is  stable, substantive, narrative-based, underlying and solitary while sexuality points to an operation that is ecstatic, frenzied, communal, etc. “Sexual identity” is inherently bewildering on this axis of description.

 

 

 

 

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