Until a decade or so ago it was widely assumed there were two sexes and two genders. Now it is held by many that the sexes are not two but a spectrum and there are an indefinite number of genders. Hot debate has ensued. But there is a danger that we are confusing a deep philosophical puzzle about the relation of language to the world with the character of reality. It is often supposed that words refer to things in reality. But many argue language provides the framework through which we see the world rather than describes how it is in itself. The number of sexes is not, therefore, going to be found in a lab, or defined, but is a product of how we chose to use the word 'sex'.
Should we recognise that there is no right answer to the number of sexes or genders? Should we see the number of sexes and genders as a political and practical choice about the outcome we desire rather than a factual description of the world? Or is there a simple fact of the matter and a single answer?