Genderless in the wild

People have lost their minds.

Meet the first gender neutral penguin at aquarium Sea Life London.

Staff have decided not to describe the Gentoo penguin as male or female because they say gender is more of a human construct. Expert Aquarists say it would be normal for it to grow up as genderless in the wild as male and female penguins look almost the same until they mature and reach adulthood.

Not almost the same, just plain the same. Lots of birds are not visibly dimorphic at all and nobody knows what sex they are. That’s nothing to do with “gender neutral” though, it just means the sex is unknown. Animals don’t have “genders.” Of course gender is a human construct, but that’s not a reason to call animals “gender neutral.” If you don’t know the sex you don’t know the sex, and gender doesn’t come into it.

Graham McGrath, General Manager at Sea Life London, said: ‘While the decision may ruffle a few feathers, gender neutrality in humans has only recently become a widespread topic of conversation, however, it is completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities as they grow into mature adults.’

They don’t develop “genderless identities”! They don’t develop any kind of identities. They get older. If they mate, they mate. Some males mate and leave, others stay and help rear the young. None of that is a matter of “gender,” much less animals that are “gender neutral.” They don’t argue over who gets to wear the high heels tonight, either.

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