Cisgender

The term “cisgender” (often shortened to “cis”) is used to refer to a person whose gender identity is consistent with the sex they were assigned at birth. To fully understand the concept of gender identity, it is important to recognize the difference between sex and gender. Sex refers to a person’s biological and physical attributes,…

Gender Binary

The gender binary is a system that pairs together sex (which is based on an individual’s reproductive anatomy) and gender (which refers to the socially constructed ideas and expectations that a culture has for certain sex). More specifically, it classifies two distinguishable, distinct, and oftentimes contrasting genders: males who identify as men and females who…

Gender Dysphoria

Although traditionally, the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ have been used interchangeably, it is important to note that there is a significant difference between the meanings of the two. The term sex is used to describe a person’s biology. It can include gonads, sex chromosomes, sex hormones, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia.3 Gender refers to a society’s…

Gender Identity

Gender can be complicated! Many people experience gender in a way that is entirely unique to them. Learn more about the diversity of gender identities and pronouns so we can begin to break down the gender binary together!

Pansexuality

What is Pansexuality? Pansexuality is a sexual orientation describing a person who is attracted to all types of people, regardless of their sex or gender.1 The term “pansexuality,” sometimes referred to as omnisexuality, has its roots in the Greek prefix pan-, meaning “all” or “every” coming together as one.2 When combined with the suffix, –sexual, describing one’s…

Overview of Sexual Orientations

Sexual orientation is a term that describes a person’s sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction, as well as the gender(s) of the people they are attracted to.1, 2 Sexual orientation differs from gender identity in that gender identity describes a person’s psychological identification with a particular gender, rather than their attraction to people.  The Kinsey Scale—developed…

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The concepts of sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity are commonly confused, but there are important distinctions between these ideas that can be vital parts of a person’s identity. Sexual Identity vs. Sexual Orientation Sex Sex is a term used to describe the biological status of a person. Sex is determined by one’s anatomy,…

Genderqueer

The word “genderqueer” is a term used to describe one whose gender identity does not necessarily fit within the male/female gender binary. Gender identity is an inner sense and experience of one’s gender, whether male-identifying, female-identifying, trans*, or non-binary.1 Though many individuals identify with the male or female labels, others reject this strict gender binary. Some identify with specific labels on the spectrum of…

An Overview of Sex and Sexuality

The topic of sex and sexuality is incorporated into nearly every culture around the world; however, many people are unfamiliar with the appropriate words used to define sexual expression and interactions, often using these terms interchangeably. While sex is the act of engaging in sexual behaviors, sexuality describes how an individual chooses to express themselves as a sexual being….