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Understanding Gender

What are the differences between sex, gender, and gender identity?

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What’s assigned sex (aka “biological sex”)?

For instance, some men are born with two or three X chromosomes, just as some women are born with a Y chromosome.

In some cases, a child is born with a mix between female and male genitalia. They are sometimes termed intersex, and the parents may decide which gender to assign to the child. Intersex individuals account for around 1 in 1, births. Some people believe that sex should be considered a continuum rather than two mutually exclusive categories.

Gender tends to denote the social and cultural role of each sex within a given society. Rather than being purely assigned by genetics, as sex differences generally are, people often develop their gender roles in response to their environment, including family interactions, the media, peers, and education. It varies from society to society and can be changed.

The degree of decision-making and financial responsibility expected of each gender and the time that women or men are expected to spend on homemaking and rearing children varies between cultures. Within the wider culture, families too have their norms.

In many societies, men are increasingly taking on roles traditionally seen as belonging to women, and women are playing the parts previously assigned mostly to men. For instance, high-heeled shoes, now considered feminine throughout much of the world, were initially designed for upper-class men to use when hunting on horseback.

As women began wearing high heels, male heels slowly became shorter and fatter as female heels grew taller and thinner. Over time, the perception of the high heel gradually became seen as feminine. There is nothing intrinsically feminine about the high heel. Social norms have made it so. In many countries, pink is seen as a suitable color for a girl to wear, while boys ar dressed in blue. However, infants were dressed in white until colored garments for babies were introduced in the middle of the 19th century.

The following quote comes from a trade publication called Earnshaw's Infants' Department , published in The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl. For transgender people, their own internal gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.

Most people have a gender identity of man or woman or boy or girl. For some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into one of those two choices. Society identifies these cues as masculine and feminine, although what is considered masculine and feminine changes over time and varies by culture.

To conclude, in general terms, "sex" refers to biological characteristics and "gender" refers to the individual's and society's perceptions of sexuality and the malleable concepts of masculinity and femininity. Is your heart female? New research suggests that the stem cells our organs are made of "know" whether they are "male" or "female," and that this gender bias could impact the development and behavior of organs.

Could gender differences in the symptoms of autism mask their prevalence in girls? A recent study into autistic friendships highlights some striking asymmetries. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Wed 7 February Visit our Public Health category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Public Health.

All references are available in the References tab. Gender, equity, and human rights. GLAAD media reference guide - transgender issues. How common is intersex? Why did men stop wearing high heels? A response to Anne Fausto-Sterling. Journal of Sex Research, 39 3 , What is the difference between sex and gender? What is the difference?.

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Gender is a term that refers to the psychological and cultural characteristics associated with biological sex. Gender dysphoria in children and suppression of debate This is the feeling that your emotional and psychological identity as male or female is opposite to your biological sex - you feel like a woman in a man's body and vice versa.

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Sex is annotated as different from gender in the Oxford English Dictionary, where it says sex "tends now to refer to biological differences". The World Health Organization (WHO) similarly states that "'sex' refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women" and that "'male' and 'female' are sex categories".

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Some people call the sex we’re assigned at birth “biological sex.” But this term doesn’t fully capture the complex biological, anatomical, and chromosomal variations that can occur. Having only two options (biological male or biological female) might not describe what’s going on inside a person’s body. the usage of these terms: Sex usually refers to the biological aspects of maleness or femaleness, whereas gender implies the psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female (i.e., masculinity or femininity.) Gender Assignment Gender Assignment.

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In biological terms, sex refers to xxxxxx physiological characteristics to define a man or a woman. For example, a woman goes through menstruation xxxxxx a man does not (World Health Organization ). In biology, sex may refer to the gender (i.e. male or female variety). It may also pertain to the means by which gametes may be introduced to combine and mix the genes with the genes of the partner.