Though the epistemological means through which one's gender identity is often erroneously directed solely at transgender persons, I think --- as a cisgender person --- that it can uniformly apply to me and other cis persons.

A common critique of transgenderism is that is metaphysically untenable as it predicated on a highly subjective and thus dangerous predicate: that is, it is often believed that the only way whereby one can ever know of what gender identity one is part is by listening, so to speak, to one's emotions, to one's feelings, by assessing one's own private, subjectively-known psyche-psychology which is inaccessible to persons external to oneself.

If, some trans critics assert, the masses were to accept what the transgender community at large, in some people's estimation, espouses with regard to the framework by which one discovers the gender identity of which oneself is part, no one would be able to know anything with regard to external selves' gender identity. The gender identity of external selves would literally be unknowable. The only framework with which one would have to work with regard to the discovery of the gender identity of external selves is, essentially, guesswork, the process of elimination, or by asking the agent themself with what gender identity they identify and as what and in what way they wish to be addressed when one refers to them.

Because of the reasons mentioned, some trans critics say that the most reliable and great form of epistemology with regard to a person's gender identity is the very body into which they are born, the body in which they are embodied. It is the body which one possesses which defines everything about oneself: with whom one ought to have sex; the gender-based activities in which one ought to partake; the clothes which one ought to wear and the like.

For one to say that one "feels like X in Y's body" is poor epistemology and, most probably, a sign of a very serious mental health and or existential issue according to the trans critic. It seems to, in their estimation, promote a very solipsistic mode of knowing or discovering things --- by 'solipsistic' I mean that it is only one's own gender identity of which one can be absolutely sure --- or at least more sure in comparison to that of others --- sort of like how the solipsist insists that the only thing of which they can be totally sure is that it is they and their mind who exist.

So, my question to you is through what --- to use the trans critic's word --- (objective) epistemological means can one discover the gender identity of oneself and other selves? Does one need to undergo a brain scan to see if one has the sexed brain (if such a thing is believed to exist) of the gender with which one identifies? Does one just need to accept that one is bodied in the way that one is and the problems which one has with regard to what is believed to be one's brain-body or mind-body or soul-body --- it differs because each person, of course, believes that one is the way one is because all people subscribe to different axioms --- mismatch needs to be overcome in non-surgical, non-hormone-taking, therapeutic ways which leads to one's accepting one's body wholly or predominantly? If one's mind and or soul and or spirit is believed to be separate from one's person, how is one's gender identity objectively discoverable?

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    The problem with your question is in presuming that gender identity is "discovered", as if it was some natural property, like biological sex, see sex and gender distinction. Like national, religious, cultural, etc., identities gender is a social construct, albeit developed under social and natural pressures over a period of time. In the end, like them, it is chosen, not "discovered", although it may take time for a person to realize what the most appropriate choice is for them. Often it matches the biological sex, but not always. – Conifold Mar 9 '19 at 19:24
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    I think if you.could start by deciding what it means to be male or female, without referencing biological traits, you'd be a step forward. But I suppose from the perspective of cognitive function, a simple binary definition may not suffice. – Richard Mar 9 '19 at 19:25
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    Are you reading some text that motivates the question of gender identity being objectively discoverable? – Frank Hubeny Mar 9 '19 at 20:57
  • When you say that 'gender' is a social construction, I assume you mean gender roles rather than gender identities, no? When you say that one's gender --- again, I assume you mean gender identity --- is 'chosen', I assume you mean that one makes a conscious decision to adopt membership to a member of one of the many genders? – English Learner Mar 9 '19 at 23:50
  • No, I am not necessarily reading a text that speaks about how gender identity is objectively discoverable. I am one who is very interested in metaphysics; therefore, I want to know how one --- cisgender or transgender --- comes to know oneself as the gender one is. Some say it is determined by one's biologically-given neurological makeup. Others say that one chooses the gender(s) with which one identifies. – English Learner Mar 9 '19 at 23:54

I believe the answer to this question differs based on whether one accepts the soundness of the concept of gender identity.

Those who accept gender identity as a sound concept would argue that the single epistemological method of determining an external being's gender identity is by asking the person in question. This stems from the fact that the only determining factor of gender identity is self-identification. It is by definition not influenced by any source other than the individual in question (douglas groothuis, for example, agrees).

Those who do not accept the soundness of gender identity would, of course, argue that no epistemological inquiry will ever reveal gender identity, similar to how no such inquiry would ever reveal a square circle.

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