Gender Expression In J'naii: A Cross-Discipline Study
ARTS & SCIENCES
pro scientia atque sapientia
2398, Vol. 102, No. 4
Translation & summarization of results by Ensign Kivik, Starfleet.
For centuries, medical and cultural consensus on J’naii has been that gender expression in members of our species is the result of mental illness and that J’naii who experience a gendered identity are deviants who require treatment. The prescribed course for such individuals is psychotectic treatment - a form of neurological stimulation widely accepted as a cure that removes deviant thoughts while retaining the subject’s memories and personality. This viewpoint is also widely supported throughout J’naii politics and laws; Individuals who are considered deviants may be subjected to investigation, arrest, trial, and mandatory treatment.
Interactions with our galactic neighbours, including the United Federation of Planets, have recently brought to light that gender expression is common among many humanoid species. Furthermore, the evidence of a potential shared ancestry among humanoids has raised the question: to what degree does gender fit into the healthy J’naii’s experience. Current science on the matter is sparse, often referring back to culturally-enforced beliefs about the inferiority of gendered individuals and the flawed notion that genderlessness is the natural conclusive peak of J’naii evolution.
Building on the neurological work of Reftun Elos-Firik et. al and the psychological studies of Hollis Jahalis-Ryn & Kryte Neir-Y’jal, we conducted a thorough interdisciplinary study on gender expression in J’naii which incorporates genetic, physiological, neurological, and psychological research and examines the effects of psychotectic treatment. The aim of this study was to determine to what degree the aforementioned beliefs about gender in J’naii are grounded in scientific fact or in cultural biases, how effective and humane treatments are, and considerations for policymakers regarding the future treatment of gendered J’naii.
Our results indicate that many of our preconceived ideas surrounding gender are ill-founded and based on poor science (perhaps due to conflicts of interest or interference). Our data indicate that a significant portion of gendered J’naii are as healthy as their genderless counterparts. Not only are neurological and biological differences between the two groups negligible, but there appear to be no serious psychological risks or harms associated with gender expression - except, perhaps, for an increase in depression and anxiety (which are comparable to those found in other stigmatized populations and likely accounted for by societal pressures). Finally, our research suggests that psychotectic treatment is an ineffective response to gender expression that does more harm than good. Our recommendations to policymakers and the public follow.
2,113 individuals were sampled across all metrics. We first divided participants into two primary groupings: a genderless control group (C), and gendered J’naii - who were then subdivided according to their identified gender: non-binary (NB), male (M), female (F). The identities of all participants have been concealed for their safety.
TABLE 1.0 - Breakdown of Research Participants
|Description||Code||Participants||% of Total|
Three-dimensional diamolecular cranial imaging scans were compared across our C, M, and F participant groups. Among all populations, we further subdivided into individuals who had undergone psychotectic treatment and those who had not. Scans were compared to examine brain structure, bioelectrical activity levels, stimuli response variables, and neurobiological health (i.e. examining for signs of brain damage or confounding illnesses).
Participants were also assessed using standardized tests established by Elos-Firik et. al to develop neurological profiles on brain region functionality among participants.
Genetic sampling was conducted to determine if gender expression in J’naii has any genetic component. Where possible, sample data was also collected from family members of the primary subject group, including ancestral family members, to determine if there is an inherited genetic property linked to gender expression. Results were compared with publicly-available J’naii genomic sequencing reference libraries, using artificial intelligence algorithms to identify anomalies.
Additionally, physical examinations were conducted for the majority of participants and basic biometric results were compared as well. Primary considerations were:
- If there were any gender-specific physical traits;
- If/how physiological differences correlated with psychological differences;
- If any negative physical health impacts correlated with gendered identity;
- If any pre-existing physical conditions might account for gender.
Thorough psychological examinations were conducted on all test groups using a standardized psychometric process, designed by Jahalis-Ryn & Neir-Y’jal. The testing examines participants’ mental faculties, problem-solving abilities, and decision-making capability. Exams were run in a single-blind scenario to avoid biases on the researchers’ parts during testing.
Additionally, mental health examinations were performed using a standardized questionnaire of our own design. The questionnaire relies on self-reporting via Likert scale answer keys. Questions were chosen to provide a ‘snapshot’ of patients’ current mental health using key indicators. Question sets were balanced in order to account for response bias (all indicators identified using both ‘yes’ and ‘no attributes).
Diamolecular imaging of genderless and gendered J’naii brains reveal remarkably consistent structures among all healthy individuals. The primary differences between these groups seem to be intergroup variances in bioelectrical activity across various neuroendocrine pathways. This means that, while healthy J’naii brains develop consistent structures, different individuals react differently to varying stimuli - specifically, gender identity and sexual preferences share some correlation - though it is not as strong as earlier studies may have suggested. Further study into the relationship between gender and attraction is recommended.
Similarly, the overall health and functioning of J’naii brains appears to be unaffected by gendered thoughts. This result is in contention with the findings of several published works. Despite common rhetoric, gendered J’naii brains are as healthy and functional as those of genderless J’naii. We found no consistent evidence of impaired brain function, reasoning, or neural reward pathing (aka brain chemical addictions) in any of the individuals studied.
(Author’s Note - Potential Trigger: Conversion Therapies)
One area where significant reduction in brain function and major structural changes were found is in those individuals who had undergone psycotectic ‘treatment’ following a conviction under ‘social fabric’ legislation (those deemed ‘harmful deviants’ by the courts). Individuals who have undergone psychotectic treatment show a significant reduction in overall brain function and experience a notably-reduced bioelectrical response to nearly all stimuli. The pathways of the brain are often inflamed, permanently damaged, or destroyed entirely resulting in an overall drop in overall brain health, stimuli response, and reasoning skills.
This is a clear indication of the harmful and lasting effects that psychotectic procedures have on otherwise-healthy brains. The treatment is touted as a method to ‘reorganise’ the brain’s neural pathways and biochemistry in order to restore ‘balance,’ but the truth is far more grim. Psychotectic procedures destroy healthy brain cells and neural linkages in order to create more placid and maleable J’naii who suffer significant reductions in their mental capacities.
Genomic sequencing of over 2,000 J’naii were compared against each other as well as against standardized genetic reference libraries using a custom Artificial Intelligence algorithm to search for anomalies and statistically-significant differences between groups. Initial results were remarkably conclusive: there is no significant genetic difference between C, M, or F identifying J’naii. This suggests that the genetic component of gender expression is either minimal or non-existent - meaning that there is no increased odds that even a binary (M and F) pair of J’naii would result in gendered offspring, nor that genderless couplings will only result in gendered offspring due to mutation.
While some differences were found among the smallest, most-gender-diverse group, these differences were primarily epigenetic (occurring after birth) and may be confounded by a number of other factors, including genetic engineering during gestation and/or gene therapies as adults. Due to the inconsistent nature of these results, no strong conclusions could be drawn from them regarding a genetic component to non-binary gender identities. This is an area we recommend for further study in the future.
Physical exams were conducted by trained physicians under single-blind conditions on nearly 2,000 J’naii. The attending physicians were unaware which subjects identified as genderless or gendered in order to avoid bias in their reporting of results.
The first factor we studied was whether or not there was a physiological component to gender in J’naii - differences in the physical functions, mechanisms, or layout of the bodies of J’naii who identify as gendered versus genderless. The majority of results seem to indicate no correlation between physical functions and gender identity - with a few key exceptions:
Hormone levels in gendered J’naii show some variance from the general (genderless) population and between different gender identity groups: M J’naii tend to have higher levels of systemic exosterone and F J’naii had higher levels of systemic endostrogen. It should be noted that these differences were not consistent enough to account for gender identity - and there were exceptions to these rules as well, particularly among NB J’naii.
Approximately 50% of gendered J’naii show subtle physical differences reflective of ancestral sexually-dimorphic physiology - though specific variances are far less consistent between individuals. These differences may be the result of minor hormonal differences during key developmental stages. Some M J’naii exhibit traits such as: increased basal-metabolic rate, larger trachea and bronchi, higher green blood cell count, and larger hearts. Some F J’naii exhibit traits such as: increased antibody generation, wider pelvises, higher granulocyte and lymphocyte levels, and higher ratios of brain grey matter volume. Interestingly, a small number of NB J’naii exhibit physical features that correlate with ancestral binary and some do not. This suggests that while these features may result from gendered epigenetic expression, they cannot be used as an accurate predictor of J’naii gender identity.
There appear to be no negative physical health impacts for J’naii exhibiting a gender. All participant divisions had net-similar medical histories and rates of hospitalisation. There also appear to be no pre-existing conditions which accurately predict gender expression, which suggests there is no illness-based cause or explanation for gender in J’naii, despite what some prior research has suggested (Gelak-Pryte, et al.). While gestational hormone levels in fetuses may play some role in the development of gender, this will require further study to confirm.
(Author’s Note - Potential Triggers: Mental Health, Abuse/Trauma)
Gendered J’naii are disproportionately impacted by mental health difficulties and associated risk factors - though further research will need to be conducted to determine the differences between groups (NB, M, F). We examined differences in self-reported mental health and related psychosocial variables and compared the results between gendered and genderless J’naii across all variables.
Among gendered J’naii, we found increased rates of depression, anxiety, suicidality, violence, and substance use. These negative experiences were particularly heightened among gendered J’naii youth. Gendered J’naii often experience co-occuring mental health symptoms, with depression and anxiety being the most common. Often, these symptoms are not severe enough to warrant hospitalisation or medicinal treatments - though this is somewhat confounded by reduced reporting to physicians by gendered J’naii.
Our research suggests that protective factors, such as a strong support network, stable family relationships, and socioeconomic stability all bolster gendered J’naiis’ mental health outcomes. This supports a hypothesis that many of these negative mental health experiences are the result of intense social stigma, fear of persecution, and traumatic abuse - rather than acting as predictors or causal factors in the development of gendered identity. Further research on this matter will be required.
Discussion & Recommendations
The results of this study resolutely call into question a number of deeply-embedded J’naii cultural norms and beliefs. For centuries, our society has demonized individuals identifying as male/masculine, female/feminine, or otherwise - those deemed ‘deviants’ from the acceptable genderless norm. This prejudice has grown in intensity over time, despite the accepted fact that, at one point, all J’naii developed from a binary-gendered common ancestor and the commonality of binary-gendered species on the planet. In part, the conception of this baseless prejudice stems from a fundamental misunderstanding (and intentional mischaracterization) of the evolutionary process which many J’naii ascribe to. However, there is no scientific basis for a belief that genderless J’naii are ‘more natural,’ healthier, or superior to gendered J’naii.
Our results, while warranting further study and confirmation, strongly indicate that the differences between gendered and genderless J’naii are nearly imperceptible and/or entirely benign. Furthermore, the persecution and mistreatment of gendered J’naii contribute far more to negative health outcomes than gender expression itself. Not only are many gendered J’naii subjected to anxiety and depression-inducing traumas, but our judicial system regularly inflicts harmful procedures upon those deemed ‘deviants.’
Based on these outcomes, we recommend an intensive review of global governmental and legal policies surrounding gender expression in J’naii, the commissioning of more in-depth evaluative studies, and the immediate cessation of psychotectic treatments and other ‘gender-erasing’ procedures. If we are to hold ourselves to a standard of sociocultural enlightenment, then we cannot do so upon the shoulders of our fellow J’naii. We must seek to understand and uplift those who have been unfairly victimized by social precepts and change ourselves in the light of discovery.
Limitations and Future Directions
Given the sociopolitical context throughout J’naii, it is challenging to find participants willing to identify themselves as gendered. This difficulty has been faced by prior researchers as well and may be a contributing factor to the lack of available research. This study was made possible through collaboration with a third party (that will not be identified in this paper) that securely encoded individuals’ results without recording personally-identifying factors.
The sampled population and the divisions made by the researchers do not reflect actual population statistics for J’naii. Rather, participants were selected in order to provide as much comparable data as possible between and among groups. At this time, accurate population data related to gendered/genderless identification are not available.
Gender and Sexuality
Many of our results were unprecedented and surprising. Where appropriate, we have made recommendations for further study on topics which yielded inconclusive or particularly unexpected results. In particular, one area which we believe requires significant work, is in providing a more comprehensive classification of gender identities and sexual preferences within the greater J’naii population.
While it is generally accepted that J’naii, like many other creatures on this planet, evolved from a biologically sexually binary common ancestor, our contact with UFOP and other space-faring civilizations suggests that among sentient species, many find gender identification to exist in something more akin to a ‘spectrum’ than a binary. This contradicts prior research on the topic, which was largely based on conjecture. To this end, we have attempted to classify gendered participants more specifically than male or female identifying - though we believe there is far more nuance to be uncovered here through more rigorous study of these populations.
Similarly, our study of sexual preferences and attraction revealed far more fluidity than we anticipated. Based on our limited contact with gendered species, it was predicted that M J’naii would only be attracted to F J’naii, however this did not prove true. In fact, many J’naii are attracted across defined gender boundaries, even among the genderless control group. We believe this is another area which requires far more rigorous study in the future.
- These conceptions of evolution are fallacious. As physiological evolution is a constant iterative process, reacting to selective pressures in an environment over generations, it is categorically false to think of evolution as having a predestined or ultimate endpoint.
- Author’s Note - This presentation of gender is somewhat oversimplified and represents a lack of information regarding gender diversity on J’naii. Originally designed based on limited contact with gendered Humans from Earth, further exploration of UFOP cultures has revealed that gender exists on a spectrum within most cultures. I have opted to leave this flawed presentation to highlight commonly-held misinformation on J’naii and draw attention to the need for additional research.
- While the NB group also took part, the data was too limited to yield conclusive results. As such, these data were excluded from our neurological results, but have been preserved for future research.
- One potential avenue for follow up would be to expand on this testing using one-on-one examination with a mental health professional - however, resources were a limiting factor for our psychological study.
- However, this publication would like to remind readers that other studies on this matter have all expressed potential conflicts of interest due to their government funding.
- Though we suspect that additional research with a larger contingent of non-binary gendered J’naii would yield similar results to our study.
- There was a notable reduction in regular health maintenance activities (i.e. visiting a physician for regular check ups) among gendered J’naii, but we believe this variable is the result of apprehension surrounding fear of discovery and persecution.