A Harvard-educated state Democratic lawmaker in Texas stunned fellow lawmakers and others participating in a hearing to debate a transgender sport ban by claiming there are more than two sexes, according to science.
Rep. James Talarico, a former English teacher who earned a master’s in education policy from the Ivy League school, stated unequivocally during a Public Education Committee hearing that there are more sexes than just male and female.
“The bill seems to think there are two. The one thing I want us to all be aware of is that modern science obviously recognizes that there are many more than two biological sexes,” he said. “In fact, there are six, which, honestly…surprised me, too.”
Talarico made the comments during an exchange with Republican state Rep. Cole Hefner, one of the co-sponsors of a bill that bans transgender athletes from competing in a sport opposite of their biological gender at the K-12 level. During the hearing, Hefner remarked that there are only two sexes, which is factually correct.
If it wasn't recorded, you wouldn't believe us.
Texas representative @jamestalarico yesterday, "Modern science obviously recognizes that there are many more than 2 biological sexes, in fact, there are 6." @BethStelzer was quick to set the record straight. pic.twitter.com/IMwVSqaPaA
— Save Women's Sports (@SaveWomensSport) April 22, 2021
Nevertheless, the Democrat based his claim that there are “six really common biological sexes” on the distribution of X and Y chromosomes.
Females have XX chromosomes while males have the XY chromosomes, but Talarico said that there are also X, XXY, XYY, and XXXY combinations, which total six sexes.
“The point is that biologically speaking, scientifically speaking, sex is a spectrum, and oftentimes can be very ambiguous,” he said, the Daily Mail reported.
Scientists and biologists have said that there are a number of “gender identities,” but they also note there are only two actual genders, male and female.
Beth Seltzer, president of the group Save Women’s Sports, which is opposed to allowing biological boys who identify as girls to compete in all-female sporting events, testified at the hearing that what Talarico referenced were “disorders,” not variations in gender.
“They are dimorphic: XX, XY,” Seltzer, who favors the bill, told lawmakers. “The other ‘sexes’ mentioned are disorders of sexual development that are variants of XX or XY chromosomes. They are still disorders of male or female.”
She also testified that there is a distinct “male advantage” in sports, which allows them to most often dominate in competition with biological females.
Talarico did not cite any particular sources for his six-sexes claim. However, the same argument was made by financial asset manager Joshua Kennon in an online post in 2013 titled, “The 6 Most Common Biological Sexes in Humans,” The Washington Times reported.
Representatives have not yet voted on the House bill. The state Senate approved its version last week.
In 2017, Talarico’s alma mater released a guide through its Office of BGLTQ Student Life falsely claiming there were more than two sexes, the Times reported. Meanwhile, in 2018 Mashable published a story under the headline, “The Trump administration says there are two sexes. The science says they’re wrong.”
The Times noted further that Children’s Hospital Colorado says that “X&Y chromosome variations” happen “because of problems with the formation of a parent’s sperm or egg.” Children who are born with those alterations often have certain medical conditions as well as distinctly different physical attributes.
However, they are still only one of two genders.
“Males with an extra X chromosome usually have small testicles and show delayed or incomplete pubertal development due to low levels of testosterone,” the hospital’s website says. “Girls with Turner syndrome [one X chromosome] can have short stature, webbing of the neck, a broad chest and shorter fourth fingers.”
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