Many people attempt to undermine the material reality of sex by highlighting weird and wonderful examples of variation in the natural world.
“But clownfish change sex [therefore sex is not objectively defined]”
“But some animals don’t have X/Y chromosomes [therefore the human system is unreliable]”
“But some people have reproductive disorders [therefore sex doesn’t exist]”
Here is my response.
Clownfish. These fish, like many others, are sequential hermaphrodites. In the case of clownfish, a group contains one dominant female and if she is removed from the group, a male changes into a female to replace her. Sex change in clownfish occurs when the testicular tissue of the bipotential gonad is regressed and ovarian tissue promoted.
How to recognise a female clownfish: She’s usually big. Oh, and she makes large gametes.
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