Castration as Post-Gender Grinding
  • intrapostalintrapostal February 2013
    I would like to get the community's thoughts and advice on a rather hypothetical idea.

    I don't know what the perfect non-gendered genitals would look like, if they would be for waste and/xor play and all that (if anyone is familiar with Ian McDonald's 2004 novel River of Gods ([which] proposes a new sexual identity and subculture, neuters or "nutes," that evolve out of the hijracultin India, and whose members have their external sex organs surgically redesigned into a smooth androgynous form... [taken quote from hughes dvorsky 2008 essay on post genderism {short/good read}]) please let me know.) so I am all ears to ideas there, but the 'male' testicles are certainly less than useful at times.

    There are some effects besides just sitting down more comfortably and having a better defense against kicks. Some risks of this/that medical thing go up, some down. I am not worried that much on that front. The thing that makes it such a big leap for me is the effect on the endocrine system. Replacing the hormone producing glands within the body without the sperm factory seems difficult (would need to grow replacements or GMOify humans).

    The hormone thing in itself could often be a plus. Less gendered, lowered sex drive, less aggression. If you have already had puberty (which is the relevant demographic in my current thinking for now), bone/muscle/voice does not seem to be too great a change.

    What do you think biohack, practically as well as thematically/whatever.


    Relevant links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine_system#Testes
    http://ieet.org/archive/IEET-03-PostGender.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-genderism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castration#Medical_consequences


  • intrapostalintrapostal February 2013
    Obviously, this should not be done by an individual [with only thematic/political reasons] lightly, and I will, at least, sit on the question (get it?) for another 5 years or so.

    Also, what yall think about hormone therapy and such to compensate for this, or for other post-gendered activities?
  • AmmonRaAmmonRa February 2013
    I'm interested in this for a different reason, there is some evidence to show that castration increases life expectancy

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22298-eunuchs-provide-clues-to-longer-life.html

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/09/eunuchs-testosterone-longevity
  • intrapostalintrapostal February 2013
    'Female' humans often have longer life expectancies too, which could be related, but I no know if that is purely biological and all.

    Statistically increasing lifespan a bit does not really get me that excited, as an individual, though the more of the future I get to see the better, though ill be old. Oh well.

    If you don't mind me asking, what would it take for you to do it?
    (assuming you are able to me male-castrated)
  • IanIan February 2013
    I'm a post-genderist, myself, and I've been thinking about this for a while.  I've been trying to do some research on whether I could use a radio-controlled device connected to some of the spinal nerves to control sex drive without using the testes, but I've not found anything conclusive yet.

    @intrapostal, you asked what "perfect, non-gendered genitals" would look like.  It might interest you to know that male and female genitals are actually rather similar in structure.  Indeed, you can find pictures of intersex genitals (which can range anywhere from mostly male to mostly female, even including ones that are more-or-less hermaphroditic) on Google Image.  Not sure if those qualify as "perfect," but it's a start.
  • intrapostalintrapostal February 2013
    @ian, will start looking at non-binary genitals when on own computer over next few idea, good thinking, but I think most things will be somewhat hermaphroditic or for reproduction, and im thinking more agender than androgynous. of course, if no one has compatible genitals...well but first you gotta figure out what your using them for. I wonder what the perfect urine disposal system would be. Maybe poop it out like birds in viscus form (we save water then too, but biology might not be prime for that sort of thing).

    controlling nerves might not fix whole sex drive issue, and this would not either, even less so, but maybe a controlled device that pinches the blood-flow to the genitals, preventing erection unless you enter your password ('password') into your device/genitals.

    Good point on the human genitals being similar, will boot up google sketch up if i think of something and also i get my computer working.

    (once were robots, we wont need to go to the bathroom, and this will be much easier)




  • DirectorXDirectorX February 2013
    are we talking post-sex or post gender?

    If you are thinking about sculpting some nubbins, make them nubbins dentata.

    You can rout your urine through your anus no problem, but urinary tract infections are frequent since there isn't a sphincter normally to stop flow in and out of the tract. @Rubix discussed a method of turning urea into a gas to be exhaled. I'm not sure what is left in urine after the urea is gone. Water?

    I respect the post gender idea and understand the arguments for it. I'm for hypergenderism and hypersex myself. For once I'd like to take a lass home, look at her genitals, and say to myself "what the fuck do I do with this"? I'd worry all through the night if I had used it correctly. speculating in my mind that I was being judged for my incompetence. It would be like being 12 all over again.

    What do you guys think about humans having more than two sexes and more than two genders? Do you think 80 of each would be a solution to the social gender problems? Would you still opt for non-gender? This is out of complete curiosity, btw; no judgement here.
  • IanIan February 2013
    @DirectorX  Sex:  now an engineering problem.

    I think that postgendered people could definitely coexist with a world in which there are more than two sexes or genders.  Postgenderism could itself be a gender identity, much like people have gender identities now.  As for 80 genders being a solution to the gender stratification, I'm sure it would probably be a great improvement over what we have now.
  • AmmonRaAmmonRa February 2013
    @intrapostal 
    that's complex, simply, it would take the benefits out weighing the costs.
    I should first state that I don't really fit well into the standard gender/sex roles, I am MAAB, but would prefer to be feminine if only given the binary choice, if given full freedom, I would like to be able to change my gender and sex at will.

    things that I consider when thinking about "what it would take for me to do it:
    pro: one less risk of cancer
    pro/con: not needing to worry about birth control/not being able to have children.
    I never intend to have children, so this might not be a con, but I realise that I am still relatively young, and as I get older, biological imperatives may assert themselves.
    pro: less vulnerable to certain physical attacks
    pro: small possibility of increased life expectancy (maybe there is a direct biological cause or maybe less testosterone reduces risk taking behaviour)
    con: possibly make myself a target for hate crimes, especially in times of social unrest, but possible not, since people may no longer see me as a threat.
    con/pro: some/many woman may not be attracted to me, but maybe that's good? since I don't want woman who are not open minded. maybe this point is moot since no woman are attracted to me anyway.
    pro: more feminine/androgynous.
    con: monetary cost of having it done.
    con: risk of medical complications from procedure.
    pro: decreased sex drive

    btw, by it, I assume you mean physical castration, not chemical castration or nullification.
    some things that would make me do it:
    if I found out I was genetically predisposed to testicular cancer
    if it was proven that it would likely increase my life expectancy
  • Lucas_DimoveoLucas_Dimoveo February 2013
    I'm all for removing sexuality! My only concerns would be the hormonal effects down the line. Perhaps we can develop an implant that can be transdermally refilled with various hormones that would be missing should the testis be removed? 
  • RubixRubix March 2013
    From the eunuch paper:
    "When testosterone is lacking, the demand for amino acids to support cell proliferation and muscle-building is decreased, and it's thought that the body then shifts the use of these basic building blocks towards cellular defense and stress resistance," says Holly Brown-Borg

    IGF-1 stimulates growth, cell division, protein production, etc, and is associated with aging degeneration. Testosterone does basically the same thing and there is a lot of overlap between the endocrine effects of both. When IGF-1 is low, we switch from a "growth mode" to a "repair mode" where immunity, cellular repair, etc are prioritized.

    Eunuchs (low testosterone) also have a similar mortality profile to mice deficient in IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) which is marked by lowered cancer risk, later onset of metabolic syndrome, increased lifespan, etc. It has also been established that low IGF-1 is a mechanism of action behind the life-extension effects of either calorie restriction or aspirin.

    So it's possible, even likely, that low testosterone lengthens lifespan via the same signaling pathways as low IGF-1.

    Lukas: Supplementing hormones afterward would probably defeat the purpose. Presumably the health benefits are because of reduced testosterone.

  • DCWhattheDCWhatthe March 2013
    Sex drive - get outta here, as long as that doesn't affect other more important drives, making us mentally lazy or something like that.

    Sexual pleasure - You can stick around, as long as you behave yourself and don't interfere with other important values.

    The pleasure of Discovery, exploration, enhancement - Welcome.


  • @Rubix

    I'm not so concerned about the life extension aspect of it. I don't consider the last 15 years of my life to be "functional" as I would not be able to think or move in a way that makes life worth living (for me). The main selling point for castration is the removal of sexual urges wholesale. 
  • HypermolochHypermoloch August 2013
    I'd love to do the female equivalent, myself. Female hormones are vile. I hate the constant flux. Plus it would be nice to lose the cramping/hemorrhaging/passing out combo.
  • durandaldurandal August 2013
    This is a really interesting topic and I hadn't thought about it in the context of grinding/'transhumanism'. The benefits of removing some of the unwanted side effects of sex and gender would be fantastic but I think it also needs discussion to differentiate the intended goals. One thing I would like to see is more of a line in the sand drawn between sex and gender.

    As far as a post-gendered society goes, I think it is a fantastic idea but I would think that this is more of an issue that would be solved purely through a change in society, rather than technology. I would like to think that we, as people, should be free to publicly acknowledge the gender that we identify with. Be that opposite to our birth assigned sex, none, or any other. To make this achievable seems like purely cultural acceptance, rather than any 'fix' we can do to our bodies. Saying that, I don't want to speak for anyone else that disagrees with this! What do you think?

    Sex, on the other hand, is definitely something that we can tackle. While it is possible to re-assign one's birth sex to their gender, I am sure there is more to be done. I don't know, how available is the option to de-assign sex? And then on from that, assigning any number of 'personal' genders that one could fit to?

    Aside from (or combining!) both, I think that affecting change on the link between our physical sex and our minds (which is, after all, where our gender lives) seems like a worthwhile pursuit. Sex drive, as many people have already said here, can definitely be a burden that a lot of people would like to live without. But, what are there people who would still like to enjoy sexual activity but to stop the hormonal 'push' for it? Developing some sort of hormonal stop, or tap, could be great.

    Looking at something like the Contraceptive Implant (the small, three year devices that sits in the arm), this just slow releases progestin in order to cease fertility. Is it possible to hack these devices, or easliy make new ones, that release any other hormone? Perhaps to cut out sexual urges for three years while you need to focus on a particular project for example? From that, how easy would it be to build, essentially, an on/off switch? Imagine having a cluster of implants, each controlling a different hormone. Obtaining genuine control over aspects of how our body and mind interact.

    This might be a nice solution for controlling our bodies better while retaining any current function we might find desirable.

    If anyone takes issue with anything I said about gender or sex, I'd love to open discussion about it! These were purely my individual thoughts and I certainly don't claim to speak for more than that!