Let’s talk about sex and gender! These two terms that tend to be used interchangeably but mean completely different things.
5 things to know about sex and gender:
- Sex is the biological categorization that tends to be based on our external genitalia. We, as humans, like to categorize things in boxes, such as male and female. But it is possible that we have different sex chromosomes, hormones, or different genitalia.
- Did you know there are more than 2 biological sexes? Intersex refers to individuals that are born with sex characteristics that are neither male or female. There are an estimated 30 types of intersex characteristics that come in variations of sex chromosome patterns, reproductive organs, genitalia, and/or hormones.
- Gender is a collection of traits, behaviours, and roles that are culturally associated with maleness or femaleness. An example would be girls play with dolls, wear dresses, and are usually associated with the colour pink.
- Gender is a social and cultural construct that is supported by our societal culture and is usually enforced by our language, the media, and policies.
- Gender identity is not determined by how a person was raised. You can be raised as one gender and identify with another gender, or no gender at all. Transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or gender queer individuals have existed throughout history and in many cultures!
Did you know?
Our friends at Venus Envy have helped us compile a list of books on gender and sex:
1. My New Gender Workbook
2. Gender & Sexuality for Beginners
3. How to Understand Your Gender: A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are
4. Gender Outlaw
5. Decolonizing Trans/Gender 101
6. Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality