Diversity Today - Sex and Gender Definitions
‘Sex’ and ‘gender’... Do you know the difference?
The terms ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ are often used interchangeably but they have very different meanings. Do you know the difference? Check out the descriptions below:
Sex: Refers to the biological and physiological characteristics whereby someone is assigned at birth on their birth certificate as legally female or male. This binary classification is increasingly recognised as limited and too narrow. For example, it assigns a 'sex' that fails to describe intersex people who have genitalia or other physical and physiological sexual characteristics that do not conform to the binary female/male classification. Intersex people are not necessarily transgender, since they may not disagree with their assigned sex
Gender: Is a social construct. It is often fluid and is not restricted to the binary female |male. People have choice about their gender/s and how they self-identify.
Binary gendered people self-identify as either male or female, including trans men and women
Non-binary gendered people define their gender identity as not male or female, including those who describe themselves as 'genderqueer', 'X' or 'other' describing their gender identity as different to the traditional female | male. Intersex and some trans-identifying people may also describe their their gender identity as a third sex'.
Cis-gendered people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth
Trans/ trans gender people describe their gender identify differently to that assigned at birth.
Gender fluid people prefer to remain flexible about their gender identity and may move between genders or express multiple genders at the same time.
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