A friend of mine recently said to me that he would support me in expressing myself in any way except changing my physical body (hormones, surgery, etc.) “Gender is a social construct,” he said, “but the body isn’t.” On the spot I didn’t really have an argument against that statement.
Having had some time to think about it, I realize that it isn’t that simple. For example, when I was born, I was circumcised. I grew up being fed food with massive amounts of preservatives, which have definitely impacted the way my body formed. There are also the social pressures that led my parents to marry and have kids, without which this physical body would not even be here.
There’s also the study of epigenetics to consider. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090412081315.htm & http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/38/16/genes/ Apparently, environmental factors can be inherited. Not only our bodies, but the bodies of our descendants can be affected by social choices (i.e. the environment you are raised in is the result of social choices.)