Fine Line Between Gender and Sex
The majority of people do not yet know the distinction between gender and sex. If you try to make them understand the fine line that exists between the two, all you will get are questioning eyes and a big, fat exclamation. But, in today's generation, things have evolved, machines have been invented, and independence has been gained, so why not the acceptance of gender identity be noticed?
The government of the UK gives these two terms a different definition. The anatomical constitution of the body means sex, while gender is how one perceives themselves to be. So, do not fear if you are a girl inside a guy's body! That is perfectly fine. Acceptance is something that people fear. If these concepts are understood widely, people will try to change their mindsets and broaden their vision. So, for these reasons, sex education is highly recommended.
Your hormones and genitals build up your sex. But, your thoughts build up your gender. Now, that doesn't mean that you will think of a short-haired woman as someone who has a unique concept about gender. She might just chop her hair off because it is comfortable. Looks never define gender identity. You need to have a deep conversation with a person to get to know him/ her in complicity. I recommend watching the comedy-drama series "Sex Education". It would provide one with a holistic concept of this issue.
Some concepts like Intersex and differences in sexual development are very rarely understood. These, too, need an explanation other than the 60 gender identities.
Difference In Sexual Development(DSD)
Intersex is a single word that can be related to varied conditions.
Differences in Sexual Development may be defined in several ways
Gender Expression and Projection: What Is It?
Now that we know what the difference between gender and sex is, learning is not over! You need to have an understanding of yet another fine concept. This is the concept of the expression or projection of gender. Both are different. This concept is understood in the behavioral and dressing patterns of people. If a girl dresses in the clothes of a guy and talks and walks like one, introduces herself as a guy, respect that. People often avoid sex surgeries even when they want to.
These surgeries often lead to different problems and infections. These surgeries are very costly too. It is not possible for a middle-class person who recognizes himself as some other gender to go through a surgery costing millions. So, people prefer to express themselves through the means of their clothing and behavior. But, there is also a fine line between gender expression and projection of gender. You may come across people who would project themselves as a particular gender with which they do not relate. A transgender woman may project herself as a male.
The people present will recognize her as a male when she is not so. These concepts become quite confusing when read in detail. But, gaining a little bit of knowledge about these concepts helps one to become diversified. This would lead to a better understanding of the world around us.
There are certain gender terms the concept which cross each other. They become pretty difficult to understand. But, let us get to know the clear 60 terms that would extend our knowledge with ease.
Now, let us get acquainted with the different terms that can be associated with gender. This comprehensive list will make your understanding clear. You will be able to educate others with these outlooks too!
Knowing Gender Terms
- Agender: Agender refers to the people who do not relate to the concept or experience of gender. They recognize themselves to be genderless. This is not the same as being asexual. Asexual is altogether a different concept. In simple terms, agender means not having any gender. This is more common when it comes to transgender people.
Many transgender prefers being agender. This term was initially used by a user in an anonymous chat room. He commented that god does not have a gender. He is agender and is not related to sexuality.
So, yes, there are people who do not want to restrict themselves within the boundary of gender identity. Even though this term is not widely used, one needs to know of it to expand the spectrum of one's understanding.
- AFAB: This is meant by Assigned Female at Birth. One is assigned a gender at birth which is AFAB if the gender assigned is female.
- AMAB: This is an acronym for Assigned Male at Birth. The concept is the same as AFAB.
- Androgyne: In general terms, Androgyne refers to identifying oneself as both male and female. One feels themselves to be a male as strongly as they consider themselves as a female. There is no line in the gender binary in these people.
An Androgyne person may recognize themselves as men, women, non-binary, gender-neutral, transgender, or cisgender. The concept of Androgyne includes the concept of Agender in it. This way, they overlap in some cases.
- Aporagender: Aporagender is yet another unique concept. Here, a person does not restrict himself/herself within the boundaries of the gender binary. This does not mean that the person is an agender. Even though the person may not relate to any binary specific gender, he/she has a very strong sense of gender in themselves. They may also be classified as grey gender. It is funny how MS Word is also unacquainted with these terms as they are so uncommon.
- Bigender: As the name specifies, in this type, someone might relate themselves to two specific genders. Now, this gender can be both male and female or any combination. It does not have any boundary as to which gender one should identify themselves with. Isn't that interesting?
- Body Dysphoria: First of all, this type is not to be confused with the well-known disorder, body dysmorphic disorder. This is entirely different. This could be taken as a sort of psychological illness. This flaw is not necessary to be a present one. It might be imagined as well.
This is not a natural condition that one is born with. One may develop this problem after they face body shaming or bullying. This involves disgust regarding one's body size, shape, chromosomes, or internal reproductive organs.
To get rid of this problem, one may undergo surgery or indulge in strenuous exercise. This is a mental illness more than gender identity. This needs psychological treatment.
- Binarism: This may also be referred to as genderism. This involves the assigning of gender to a person. This assignment of gender is done by social or cultural belief. This is the division of gender into two clear-cut forms-male and female.
- Boi: Yes, we are very much familiar with this term. It is used by so many people on social media handles. But, do they know what this means in actuality? Let us get to know its right meaning. Boi does not have a specific boundary. This expression is meant for all. Generally, people use it as an alternative for boys. But, it can also be used to refer to any other gender or even a thing! Presently, this term is widely used and is accepted in the wider LGBTQ sphere.
- Butch: Precisely, one can consider a female with excessive masculine traits as a butch. This does not refer to tomboys. It goes beyond it. It does not even mean a female who identifies herself as a male. It falls in between.
There cannot be a clear-cut definition for this. Butch does not only relate to male clothing but also the occupation that the male counterpart indulges in. So, this is yet another exciting term you can swoon over!
- Cisgender: Firstly, what does cis mean? It means being "on the same side as". Once a person is assigned a gender at birth, that is called cisgender. Assigned male at birth(AMAB) and Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB) are terms that are related to cisgender. If someone is assigned female gender at birth, she is a cisgender female.
- Cisnormativity: As the name professes. This is the normalizing of the concept of cisgender. In this way, both the terms are interconnected. If someone is assigned to be a male at birth, he needs to accept it as a norm. This means one cannot be diverted from this assigned idea of being male.
- Cishet: This term is a combination of cisgender and heterosexual. We can understand by the name it has. So, someone is a combination of both can be identified with this term.
- Cissexism: Now, after we know what is cisgender and Cisnormativity. It is necessary to know the oppression that one faces if he/she fails to identify themselves according to these assigned norms. Cis is a part of the word cisgender which means identifying with the assigned sex at birth.
Sexism is meant as a sort of discrimination. This usually states that men are above their women counterparts. Therefore, this concept of cissexism has come into use.
This is meant by discrimination against anyone who does not identify with the assigned male or female binary provided at birth. Anyone who is nonbinary and transgender is at a higher risk of facing this type of issue.
- Demi boy: No, this is not related in any form to a demigod. This is a confusing term as well. In simple terms, a Demi boy is someone who identifies with the male gender as well as agender. There are aspects of masculinity that a Demi boy relates with. But, this is not a complete form of acceptance of being a male. He can recognize himself to be an agender too. This means not relating to any sort of gender. The term is an "in-between" thing.
- Demigirl: Demigirl is just a concept like Demiboy. It is just that it applies to women. A person who partially relates to the female sex is provided such a name. This does not convey any information about what sort of gender they were given at birth. Such a person could be a transgender or a cisgender.
- Demigender: The terms, Demigirl and Demiboy fall under this umbrella term of Demigender. So, these are some terms that overlap with one another. In general terms, this word means recognizing oneself with a particular gender. But, this recognition is pretty partial. 2 other terms fall under this concept. Demi by and demitrans.
- Dyadic: Dyadic is yet another interesting term to know about! Unlike its name, the concept for this word is very simple. In a simple statement, dyadic means a person who has sex chromosomes, either of a male or a female. But, they can identify themselves as any gender as gender is not equivalent to sex.
- Feminine-Presenting: As the name suggests, this relates to the presentation of gender. This has nothing to do with the internal build of someone. If someone presents themselves as feminine on the outside through the means of clothing, lifestyle, and habits, then the person is feminine presenting.
- Feminine-Of-Center: This is a queer identity. This relates to people who present themselves in terms of femininity. But, this does not mean they will identify themselves as women too. This is a confusing term too.
But, having an understanding of these queer gender terms helps us gain a wide range of understanding of gender identity. It helps us break away from the set binary norms of male and female.
- Femme: We come across this word so many times in different places. But, do we know the exact meaning of it? Let me tell you what it is. This is yet another term that overlaps with feminine-presenting and feminine-of-center. This term is relevant for someone who is inclined towards femininity. Now, that does not relate to the sex or gender assigned at the birth of the person. Anyone can identify them to be femme.
- Female-To-Male(FTM): This term applies to those trans males who were assigned female gender at birth.
- Gender Apathetic: As the name indicates, these are people who are apathetic towards the concept of gender. They do not identify themselves with any gender. Some people are apathetic towards the gender that is provided to them at birth. For example, trans apathetic and cis apathetic.
- Gender Binary: There is a simple way to put this term. The gender binary is the system that classifies two different categories of gender. These two different categories are male and female binary.
- Gender Dysphoria: One could use it as a medical term as well. This term is used for a person who is distressed with his/her gender. Here, one does not feel affirming of one's body features. In medical terms, it refers to a clash between the assigned gender and one's sense of gender.
- Gender-Expression: Simply, the term means the expression of one's gender through the means of outward appearance. These may include expressing oneself through behavior, clothing, hairstyle, mannerisms, etc. This may change according to the set norms of society. If your society is liberal enough, you may make use of this term in practicality.
- Gender-Identity: This means the internal sense of gender. How one feels about their gender is gender identity. If someone feels to be a girl who is a boy, then his gender identity is that of a girl.
- Gender-Neutral Pronouns: Gender-neutral pronouns do not express gender. These pronouns can be classified into they/ theirs/them or xe/xyrs/xem. These terms are used widely by transgenders and cisgenders.
- Gender Normative: Gender normative is used to describe a gender that is accepted by social expectations. Thus, the term conforms to the social norms of a particular place.
- Gender Questioning: A person who doubts their gender, questions their gender. This is the meaning of the term.
- Gender Roles: Gender roles vary according to culture. The mannerisms, interests, and roles that a culture or society confers upon the people of the place is the gender role of the people of that place.
- Gender Variant: Gender variant is a gender identity that defines people with a gender perspective that defies social norms.
- Gender Fluid: As the name suggests, this is the ability to change between genders. One can identify themselves as a boy for a few months and a girl for the rest. The period varies from person to person.
- Genderqueer: One can be genderqueer if he/she fails to identify themselves with the set lines of binary-male and female.
- Gendervoid: As the name suggests, this is someone without a gender identity. Agender people might like them to be identified as such.
- Graygender: This is a person who does not completely relate to a binary gender like male or female.
- Intergender: A gender that is between a man and woman.
- Intersex: This relates to the internal build of a person. If someone's chromosomes, hormones, and organs do not fall within the confines of a male or a female, the person may be intersex.
- Masculine-Of-Center: People who identify themselves with the masculine gender are termed so. They may or may not like themselves to be called a "man".
- Masculine-Presenting: This is the external presentation of someone who projects himself/herself to be masculine. This can be portrayed in terms of clothing, behavior, etc.
- Maverique: These people have a sense of gender. But, this sense is independent of the set categories like that of masculine or feminine, androgynous or neutral, etc.
- Misgender: referring to a person with a wrong gender pronoun is called Misgender.
- Male-To-Female: This has the same concept as a female-to-male expression of gender. These relate to the trans women who are assigned the masculine gender at birth. But, they do not recognize the assigned gender. So, this term is used for those who prefer to be called so.
- Multi-Gender: This is for people who relate to more than one gender. Now, these genders do not have boundaries. They can identify themselves with more than one gender of any kind.
- Neutrois: This is a term used for people who do not relate to the binary norms of man and woman.
- Nonbinary: One surprising fact is that this term is also called enby. This type is not male or female-specific. One can even experience a mixture of any two genders in this type.
- Omnigender: A unique sort of gender identity. This is when someone experiences multiple gender identities that change repeatedly. Things can get complicated at times!
- Polygender: This has a limit over the identities that one experiences. But, this does not put restrictions on the type of identities that one relates with.
- Social Dysphoria: This is a type of irritation that results from the social classification of gender in individuals. The way society perceives a person to be might be greatly discomforting to an individual. This might also lead to self-hate.
- Soft Butch: This is a term that relates to lesbians. These women do not completely fall in the category of male behavior as they have feminine traits as well!
- Stone Butch: A gay woman who is a bit more masculine than soft butch. The behavioral pattern of these women is related to traditional masculinity.
- Sex: Differentiation of people based on their biological status is called sex.
- Transfeminine: These people are assigned a male gender at birth. But, they start to relate to the feminine gender as they mature.
- Transmasculine: It has the same concept as transfeminine. These are people who are assigned a female gender at birth. But, they relate their gender as a masculine one.
- Transitioning: This is a phrase used when someone undergoes medical treatments to address the problem of gender dysphoria resulting from social dysphoria.
- Transgender: This is a very common term that we use in our day-to-day lives. These are people who do not have chromosomes that relate to the male-specific or female-specific group. But, their sense of gender perception also does not tend to match the one that was assigned during their birth.
- Transsexual: These people make use of surgeries to help them gain the gender identity that they associate with.
- Trigender: As the name proposes. These are people who relate to three different sorts of identities. This can relate to any gender identity. It is not restricted.
- Two-spirit: Now, this is something interesting to know about! As the name indicates, these people associate with both masculine and feminine spirits. This can also be termed spiritual identity.
- Third-Gender: These are the people who do not belong in the male or female gender spectrum. They can be termed as a combination of both or neither. This can be an alternative term for transgender. These people face a lot of arrogant treatment.
A Gender Close Up
After getting to know so many varied terms, we understand that gender is not a simple concept. One needs to have a great understanding of this subject. If one gains a proper understanding of these terms, one will be able to accept people in a better way. People who identify themselves with queer terms are not somebody unnatural. They face issues because people around them do not treat them as normal. So, let us start normalizing for a better tomorrow!
- Healthychildren.org, American Academy of Pediatrics - https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/genitourinary-tract/Pages/Explaining-Disorders-of-Sex-Development-Intersexuality.aspx
- Ferguson, S. (2021), What Does It Mean to Be Agender, healthline - https://www.healthline.com/health/agender#origin
- Senghor, Y. (2020), This Is What Butch Means to Me, Stonewall.org - https://www.stonewall.org.uk/about-us/news/it%E2%80%99s-butchappreciationday-and-what-butch-means-me
- Abrams, M. Ferguson, S. (2022), 68 Terms That Describe Gender Identity and Expression, Healthline - https://www.healthline.com/health/different-genders#what-gender-identity-is
- Calkins, I. (2021), Demiboy, Cosmopolitan - https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sexopedia/a35226974/demiboy/
- Sotska, J. (2021), Soft Butch-What Is It? What Does It Mean? - https://taimi.com/wiki/soft-butch-what-is-it-what-does-it-mea