In chapter three, the author tackles the science.
Specifically, the science of sexual attraction. Here, the choice to use a casual tone throughout the book is helpful because people are so hung up on this subject that it’s embarrassing. It’s just sex people. I had a fellow student unable to say the word “kegel” in front of me because he’s a man and I’m a woman. Dude, it’s just a part of anatomy, get over the hang up.
One of the biggest problems of the science, as Dawson points out, is that most studies are done on gay men. Of course, most medical studies are done on men, usually white men. This has led to the deaths of minorities and women due to inaccurate dosage information for medication, among other preventable medical issues that could be eradicated simply by getting researchers to stop focusing only on white guys. But that is another blog post entirely.
There has been some headway, but, like all science, and unlike all feelings and religions, the evidence has to be tested and tested again before we can say for certain that there really is something there. Some of the recent science focuses, of course, on the genetics. As of right now, the science is leaning toward evidence that being LGBT+ is part of the genes of the person.
(Note: I looked up some transgender studies and found they were mostly done on white female transgender patients, also known as male-to-female. **roles eyes until they fall out of my head**)
Many of the off the wall ideas that people, including scientists, have come up with over the years are also mentioned here. I always like the length of finger one, where lesbians have some finger longer than straight women. If you have no fingers then…? Yes, scientists are as weird as everyone else in the world.
Dawson is consistently non-biologically deterministic, which is good for a book like this. Our society places too much emphasis on sex being something normal-but-abnormal. We say it’s fine, but then we act as if it is something we should never talk about. In a book trying to help people explore their feelings that they may have been forced to suppress for years due to fear of rejection of family and peers, determinism probably isn’t helpful.
The message of “you are ok like you are” continues throughout this chapter. And, really, in cases that aren’t related to the medical needs of trans folk, it’s just sex people. Legal and consensual and protected, that’s all you really need to know. We make this so much more complicated than it should be.