An Introduction to Definitions and Concepts
Gender identity is one’s concept of self as male, female, or a blend of both, or neither. It is how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth. To further unpack the concept of gender identity, lets look at sex versus gender.
Sex is a medical term designating a certain combination of one’s biology (gonads, chromosomes, external organs, hormonal balances; etc.). We commonly use terms like ‘male,’ ‘female,’ and ‘intersex.’
Gender is a social construct that attributes qualities of masculinity and femininity to people. The concept and idea of gender is different amongst people individually, and cultures globally.
Gender Non-Conforming/Gender Diverse/Genderqueer/Gender Fluid are terms used when one's gender, and/or their expression of their gender, is outside that of cultural norms and expectations.
Cisgender refers to someone who's gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Additionally, they conform to gender expectations and fall into the binary male of female identity and role expectations.
One thing to remember is that we all have a gender identity, and not all identities fit neatly into a box.
The content of this course was written and developed by André Wade, MPH.
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