Transgender Persons Cannot Change Sex, Says a Geneticist

July 27, 2023

There are obvious facts that it is stupefying to have to demonstrate. This is the exercise that Claudine Junien, Professor Emeritus of Medical Genetics and a corresponding member of the National Academy of Medicine has engaged in a book co-authored with Nicole Priollaud, It is your sex that makes the difference.

The geneticist, interviewed by Eugène Bastié from Le Figaro, is the author of an evocative work entitled Sauver la différence des sexes [Saving Differences of the Sexes], in the Tracts collection of the publisher Gallimard (n°46), 2023.

The academician begins by recalling an unavoidable fact: we must not confuse the term “gender,” which has only “recently appeared” with the term “sex,” which is very old. And she notes with dismay, “The great confusion between these two terms is such that for some, changing sex seems to be comparable to changing gender.”

Thus, “Gender is originally a socio-cultural data at the antipodes of sex, which is a strictly biological data.” Indeed, “chromosomes, which appear from conception, are present in each of our thousands of billions of cells, and make us a ‘woman’ with the XX sex chromosome pair or, a ‘man’ with the XY pair from head to toe.”

The scientist points out the origin of this error: In the minds of the greatest number of people, the differences related to sex (DRS) result from social and historical constructions that only need to be deconstructed (the great myth about stereotypes). This belief in the major and almost exclusive role of environmental factors depends on the nature of the training - scientific or not.”

So there is a profound ignorance of genetics and biology at the root of this confusion. But Ms. Junien goes further and points out an ideology. She even gives a reference: “It is perhaps necessary to go back to the time of Trofim Lyssenko (1898-1976), the Soviet muse and his deplorable habit of indiscriminately mixing Science and Politics when talking about plant biology.”

It is a reference that is really not to the glory of the current ideology… Moreover, to put the nail in the coffin, the geneticist concludes this point with this pungent trait: “Let’s leave it to sociology and history, or even French obscurantism, to seek other reasons for this delay.”

The scientist concedes that “since gender is a socio-cultural and historical dimension, it is possible to change it, with the consent of the environment, society, and the administration.” She  adds: “On the other hand, we cannot change sex, an inalienable biological data [linked to the sex chromosomes] present in all our cells since conception and throughout life.”

And she deplores the fact that hormones and/or surgery are then used to remedy “gender incongruence.” This ignores the differences due to the effects of sex chromosome genes that allow us to express in a different way 1/3 of all our genes by sex.” This leads to significant differences between men and women.

One notable example is muscle mass. As an illustration, in 2014, in the United States, a transgender man opposing a woman in an MMA fight, at the end of the first round, left her with a concussion, an orbital bone fracture, and seven staples.

The scientist continues with various examples about brain tissue: sex deeply determines the very structure of the brain. Some studies suggest that the treatment of depression should use different drugs for men and women.

She concludes the interview by saying that wanting to give “neutral” or “non-gender” toys to children has very little impact. “Socialization seems to have only a modulating effect on these sexual behavioral differences rooted in our biological heritage. “It can amplify or mitigate them, but in no case it can reverse, create, or destroy them.”