Sex and gender distinction

The distinction between sex and gender differentiates a person's biological sex (the anatomy of an individual's reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics) from that person's gender, which can refer to either social roles based on the sex of the person (gender role) or personal identification of one's own gender based on an internal awareness (gender identity).[1][2] In this model, the idea of a "biological gender" is an oxymoron: the biological aspects are not gender-related, and the gender-related aspects are not biological. In some circumstances, an individual's assigned sex and gender do not align, and the person may be transgender.[1] In other cases, an individual may have biological sex characteristics that complicate sex assignment, and the person may be intersex.

The sex and gender distinction is not universal. In ordinary speech, sex and gender are often used interchangeably.[3][4] Some dictionaries and academic disciplines give them different definitions while others do not. Some languages, such as German or Finnish, have no separate words for sex and gender, and the distinction has to be made through context. On occasion, using the English word gender is appropriate.[5][6]

Among scientists, the term sex differences (as compared to gender differences) is typically applied to sexually dimorphic traits that are hypothesized to be evolved consequences of sexual selection.[7][8]


Anisogamy, or the size differences of gametes (sex cells), is the defining feature of the two sexes. By definition, males have small, mobile gametes (sperm); females have large and generally immobile gametes (ova or eggs).[9] In humans, typical male or female sexual differentiation includes the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, the type of gonads (ovary or testes), the balance of sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen), the internal reproductive anatomy (e.g. uterus or prostate gland), and the external genitalia (e.g. penis or vulva).[10] People with mixed sex factors are intersex. People whose internal psychological experience differs from their assigned sex are transgender, transsexual, or non-binary.

The consensus among scientists is that all behaviors are phenotypes—complex interactions of both biology and environment—and thus nature vs. nurture is a misleading categorization.[11][12] The term sex differences is typically applied to sexually dimorphic traits that are hypothesized to be evolved consequences of sexual selection. For example, the human "sex difference" in height is a consequence of sexual selection, while the "gender difference" typically seen in head hair length (women with longer hair) is not.[7][8] Scientific research shows an individual's sex influences his or her behavior.[13][14][15][16][17]

Sex is annotated as different from gender in the Oxford English Dictionary, where it says sex "tends now to refer to biological differences".[18] 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".[19]

The American Heritage Dictionary (5th ed.), however, lists sex as both "Either of the two divisions, designated female and male, by which most organisms are classified on the basis of their reproductive organs and functions" and "One's identity as either female or male," among other definitions.[20]


Historian Thomas W. Laqueur suggests that from the Renaissance to the 18th century, there was a prevailing inclination among doctors towards the existence of only one biological sex (the one-sex theory, that women and men had the same fundamental reproductive structure).[21] In some discourses, this view persisted into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.[22][23] Laqueur asserts that even at its peak, the one-sex model was supported among highly educated Europeans but is not known to have been a popular view nor one entirely agreed upon by doctors who treated the general population.[24] Sex and gender took center stage in America in the time of wars, when women had to work and men were at war.[25]


In the Oxford English Dictionary, gender is defined as, "[i]n mod[ern] (esp[ecially] feminist) use, a euphemism for the sex of a human being, often intended to emphasize the social and cultural, as opposed to the biological, distinctions between the sexes.", with the earliest example cited being from 1963.[26] The American Heritage Dictionary (5th edition), in addition to defining gender the same way that it defines biological sex, also states that gender may be defined by identity as "neither entirely female nor entirely male"; its Usage Note adds:

Some people maintain that the word sex should be reserved for reference to the biological aspects of being male or female or to sexual activity, and that the word gender should be used only to refer to sociocultural roles. ... In some situations this distinction avoids ambiguity, as in gender research, which is clear in a way that sex research is not. The distinction can be problematic, however. Linguistically, there isn't any real difference between gender bias and sex bias, and it may seem contrived to insist that sex is incorrect in this instance.[20]

A working definition in use by the World Health Organization for its work is that "'[g]ender' refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women" and that "'masculine' and 'feminine' are gender categories."[19] The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used to use gender instead of sex when referring to physiological differences between male and female organisms.[27] In 2011, they reversed their position on this and began using sex as the biological classification and gender as "a person's self representation as male or female, or how that person is responded to by social institutions based on the individual's gender presentation."[28] Gender is also now commonly used even to refer to the physiology of non-human animals, without any implication of social gender roles.[4]

GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) makes a distinction between sex and gender in their most recent Media Reference Guide: Sex is "the classification of people as male or female" at birth, based on bodily characteristics such as chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, and genitalia. Gender identity is "one's internal, personal sense of being a man or woman (or a boy or a girl)".[29]

Some feminist philosophers maintain that gender is totally undetermined by sex. See, for example, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution, a widely influential feminist text.[30]

The case of David Reimer, who was, according to studies published by John Money, raised as a girl after a botched circumcision, was described in the book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. Reimer was in fact not comfortable as a girl and later changed gender identity back to male when discovered the truth of his surgery. He eventually committed suicide.[31]


Gender in the sense of social and behavioral distinctions, according to archaeological evidence, arose "at least by some 30,000 years ago".[32] More evidence was found as of "26,000 years ago",[33] at least at the archeological site Dolní Věstonice I and others, in what is now the Czech Republic.[34] This is during the Upper Paleolithic time period.[35]

The historic meaning of gender, ultimately derived from Latin genus, was of "kind" or "variety". By the 20th century, this meaning was obsolete, and the only formal use of gender was in grammar.[3] This changed in the early 1970s when the work of John Money, particularly the popular college textbook Man & Woman, Boy & Girl, was embraced by feminist theory. This meaning of gender is now prevalent in the social sciences, although in many other contexts, gender includes sex or replaces it.[4] Gender was first only used in languages to describe the feminine and masculine words, up until around the 1960s.[36]

Distinction in linguistics

Since the social sciences now distinguish between biologically defined sex and socially constructed gender, the term gender is now also sometimes used by linguists to refer to social gender as well as grammatical gender. Traditionally, however, a distinction has been made by linguists between sex and gender, where sex refers primarily to the attributes of real-world entities – the relevant extralinguistic attributes being, for instance, male, female, non-personal, and indeterminate sex – and grammatical gender refers to a category, such as masculine, feminine, and neuter (often based on sex, but not exclusively so in all languages), that determines the agreement between nouns of different genders and associated words, such as articles and adjectives.[37][38]

A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, for instance, states

By GENDER is meant a grammatical classification of nouns, pronouns, or other words in the noun phrase according to certain meaning-related distinctions, especially a distinction related to the sex of the referent.[39]

Thus German, for instance, has three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Nouns referring to people and animals of known sex are generally referred to by nouns with the equivalent gender. Thus Mann (meaning man) is masculine and is associated with a masculine definite article to give der Mann, while Frau (meaning woman) is feminine and is associated with a feminine definite article to give die Frau. However the words for inanimate objects are commonly masculine (e.g. der Tisch, the table) or feminine (die Armbanduhr, the watch), and grammatical gender can diverge from biological sex; for instance the feminine noun [die] Person refers to a person of either sex, and the neuter noun [das] Mädchen means "the girl".

In modern English, there is no true grammatical gender in this sense,[37] though the differentiation, for instance, between the pronouns "he" and "she", which in English refers to a difference in sex (or social gender), is sometimes referred to as a gender distinction. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, for instance, refers to the semantically based "covert" gender (e.g. male and female, not masculine and feminine) of English nouns, as opposed to the "overt" gender of some English pronouns; this yields nine gender classes: male, female, dual, common, collective, higher male animal, higher female animal, lower animal, and inanimate, and these semantic gender classes affect the possible choices of pronoun for coreference to the real-life entity, e.g. who and he for brother but which and it or she for cow.[39]

West and Zimmerman's "Doing gender"

Used primarily in sociology and gender studies, "doing gender" is the socially constructed performance which takes place during routine human interactions, rather than as a set of essentialized qualities based on one's biological sex.[40] The term first appeared in Candace West and Don Zimmerman’s article “Doing Gender”, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Gender and Society.[41] Originally written in 1977 but not published until 1987,[42] Doing Gender is the most cited article published in Gender and Society.[41]

West and Zimmerman state that to understand gender as activity, it is important to differentiate between sex, sex category, and gender.[40]:127 They say that sex refers to the socially agreed upon specifications that establish one as male or female; sex is most often based on an individual's genitalia, or even their chromosomal typing before birth.[40] They consider sex categories to be dichotomous, and that the person is placed in a sex category by exhibiting qualities exclusive to one category or the other. During most interactions, others situate a person's sex by identifying their sex category; however, they believe that a person's sex need not align with their sex category.[40] West and Zimmerman maintain that the sex category is "established and sustained by the socially required identificatory displays that proclaim one’s membership in one or the other category".[40]:127 Gender is the performance of attitudes and actions that are considered socially acceptable for one's sex category.[40]:127

West and Zimmerman suggested that the interactional process of doing gender, combined with socially agreed upon gender expectations, holds individuals accountable for their gender performances.[40] They also believe that while "doing gender" appropriately strengthens and promotes social structures based on the gender dichotomy, it inappropriately does not call into question these same social structures; only the individual actor is questioned.[40] The concept of "doing gender" recognizes that gender both structures human interactions and is created through them.[40]

Criticism of the "sex difference" versus "gender difference" distinction

The current distinction between the terms sex difference versus gender difference has been criticized as misleading and counterproductive. These terms suggest that the behavior of an individual can be partitioned into separate biological and cultural factors. (However, behavioral differences between individuals can be statistically partitioned, as studied by behavioral genetics.) Instead, all behaviors are phenotypes—a complex interweaving of both nature and nurture.[43]

Diane Halpern, in her book Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, argued problems with sex vs. gender terminology: "I cannot argue (in this book) that nature and nurture are inseparable and then... use different terms to refer to each class of variables. The ...biological manifestations of sex are confounded with psychosocial variables.... The use of different terms to label these two types of contributions to human existence seemed inappropriate in light of the biopsychosocial position I have taken." She quotes Steven Pinker's summary of the problems with the terms sex and gender: "Part of it is a new prissiness -- many people today are as squeamish about sexual dimorphism as the Victorians were about sex. But part of it is a limitation of the English language. The word 'sex' refers ambiguously to copulation and to sexual dimorphism..."[44] Richard Lippa writes in Gender, Nature and Nurture that "Some researchers have argued that the word sex should be used to refer to (biological differences), whereas the word gender should be used to refer to (cultural differences). However, it is not at all clear the degree to which the differences between males and females are due to biological factors versus learned and cultural factors. Furthermore, indiscriminate use of the word gender tends to obscure the distinction between two different topics: (a) differences between males and females, and (b) individual differences in maleness and femaleness that occur within each sex."[45]

It has been suggested that more useful distinctions to make would be whether a behavioral difference between the sexes is first due to an evolved adaptation, then, if so, whether the adaptation is sexually dimorphic (different) or sexually monomorphic (the same in both sexes). The term sex difference could then be re-defined as between-sex differences that are manifestations of a sexually dimorphic adaptation (which is how many scientists use the term),[46][47] while the term gender difference could be re-defined as due to differential socialization between the sexes of a monomorphic adaptation or byproduct. For example, greater male propensity toward physical aggression and risk taking would be termed a "sex difference;" the generally longer head hair length of females would be termed a "gender difference."[48]

Transgender and genderqueer

Transgender people experience a mismatch between their gender identity or gender expression, and their assigned sex.[49][50][51] Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another.

Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (e.g. people who are genderqueer, non-binary, bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender).[50][52][53] Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or conceptualize transgender people as a third gender.[54][55] Infrequently, the term transgender is defined very broadly to include cross-dressers.[56]



Many feminists consider sex to only be a matter of biology and something that is not about social or cultural construction. For example, Lynda Birke, a feminist biologist, states that "'biology' is not seen as something which might change."[57] However, the sex/gender distinction, also known as the Standard Model of Sex/Gender, is criticized by feminists who believe that there is undue emphasis placed on sex being a biological aspect, something that is fixed, natural, unchanging, and consisting of a male/female dichotomy. They believe the distinction fails to recognize anything outside the strictly male/female dichotomy and that it creates a barrier between those that fit as 'usual' and those that are 'unusual'. In order to prove that sex is not only limited to two categories Anne Fausto-Sterling's Sexing the Body addresses the birth of children who are intersex. In this case, the standard model (sex/gender distinction) is seen as incorrect with regard to its notion that there are only two sexes, male and female. This is because "complete maleness and complete femaleness represent the extreme ends of a spectrum of possible body types."[58] In other words, Fausto-Sterling argues that there are multitudes of sexes in between the two extremes of male and female.

Rather than viewing sex as a biological construct, there are feminists who accept both sex and gender as a social construct. According to the Intersex Society of North America, "nature doesn't decide where the category of 'male' ends and the category of 'intersex' begins, or where the category of 'intersex' ends and the category of 'female' begins. Humans decide. Humans (today, typically doctors) decide how small a penis has to be, or how unusual a combination of parts has to be, before it counts as intersex."[59] Fausto-Sterling believes that sex is socially constructed because nature does not decide on who is seen as a male or female physically. Rather, doctors decide what seems to be a "natural" sex for the inhabitants of society. In addition, the gender, behavior, actions, and appearance of males/females is also seen as socially constructed because codes of femininity and masculinity are chosen and deemed fit by society for societal usage.


Some feminists go further and argue that neither sex nor gender are strictly binary concepts. Judith Lorber, for instance, has stated that many conventional indicators of sex are not sufficient to demarcate male from female. For example, not all women lactate, while some men do.[60] Similarly, Suzanne Kessler, in a 1990 survey of medical specialists in pediatric intersexuality, found out that when a child was born with XY chromosomes but ambiguous genitalia, its sex was often determined according to the size of its penis.[61] Thus, even if the sex/gender distinction holds, Lorber and Kessler suggest that the dichotomies of female/male and masculine/feminine are not themselves exhaustive. Lorber writes, "My perspective goes beyond accepted feminist views that gender is a cultural overlay that modifies physiological sex differences [...] I am arguing that bodies differ in many ways physiologically, but they are completely transformed by social practices to fit into the salient categories of a society, the most pervasive of which are 'female' and 'male' and 'women' and 'men.'"[60]

Moreover, Lorber has alleged that there exists more diversity within the individual categories of sex and gender—female/male and feminine/masculine, respectively—than between them.[60] Hence, her fundamental claim is that both sex and gender are social constructions, rather than natural kinds.

A comparable view has been advanced by Linda Zerilli, who writes regarding Monique Wittig, that she is "critical of the sex/gender dichotomy in much feminist theory because such a dichotomy leaves unquestioned the belief that there is a 'core of nature which resists examination, a relationship excluded from the social in the analysis—a relationship whose characteristic is ineluctability in culture, as well as in nature, and which is the heterosexual relationship.'"[62] Judith Butler also criticizes the sex/gender distinction. Discussing sex as biological fact causes sex to appear natural and politically neutral. However, she argues that "the ostensibly natural facts of sex [are] discursively produced in the service of other political and social interests." Butler concludes, "If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps this construct called 'sex' is as culturally constructed as gender; indeed, perhaps it was always already gender, with the consequence that the distinction between sex and gender turns out to be no distinction at all."[63]

See also


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  62. ^ Zerilli, Linda M. G., The Trojan Horse of Universalism: Language As a 'War Machine' in the Writings of Monique Wittig, in Robbins, Bruce, ed., The Phantom Public Sphere (Minneapolis, Minn.: Univ. of Minn. Press, 1993 (ISBN 0-8166-2124-1)), pp. 153–154 (n. 35 (citing Wittig, Monique, The Straight Mind, in Feminist Issues, vol. 1, no. 1, Summer, 1980, p. 107) omitted) (author asst. prof., poli. sci. dep't, Rutgers Univ., & ed. teaches, Eng. dep't, Rutgers Univ., & coeditor, Social Text) (em-dash surrounded by half-spaces in original).
  63. ^ Butler, Judith (1999). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge. pp. 9–11.
Attraction to transgender people

Romantic and/or sexual attraction to transgender people can be toward trans men, trans women, non-binary people, or a combination of these. This attraction can be a person's occasional, or exclusive interest.

Like transgender people, individuals attracted to transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or with none of these categories; they may identify as transgender or cisgender.


Bigender, bi-gender or dual gender is a gender identity that includes any two gender identities and behaviors. Some bigender individuals express two distinct personas, which may be feminine, masculine, agender, androgyne, or other gender identities; others find that they identify as two genders simultaneously. A 1999 survey conducted by the San Francisco Department of Public Health observed that, among the transgender community, less than 3% of those who were assigned male at birth and less than 8% of those who were assigned female at birth identified as bigender.


Cisgender (sometimes cissexual, often abbreviated to simply cis) is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. Someone who identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth is, for example, a cisgender woman. The term cisgender is the opposite of the word transgender..

Related terms include cissexism and cisnormativity.

Dual-role transvestism

Dual-role transvestism is the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe people who wear clothes of the opposite sex to experience being the opposite sex temporarily, but don't have a sexual motive or want gender reassignment surgery. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) list three diagnostic criteria for "Dual-role transvestism" (F64.1).A person who is diagnosed with dual-role transvestism should not receive a diagnosis of transvestic fetishism (F65.1).


Fa'afafine are people who identify themselves as having a third-gender or non-binary role in Samoa, American Samoa and the Samoan diaspora. A recognized gender identity/gender role in traditional Samoan society, and an integral part of Samoan culture, fa'afafine are assigned male at birth, and explicitly embody both masculine and feminine gender traits in a way unique to Polynesia. Their behavior typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to conventionally masculine.A prominent Western theory, among the many anthropological theories about Samoans, was that if a family had more boys than girls or not enough girls to help with women's duties about the house, male children would be chosen to be raised as fa'afafine; although this theory has been refuted by studies.It has been estimated that 1-5% of Samoans identify as fa'afafine. Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand estimates that there are 500 fa’afafine in Samoa, and the same number in the Samoan diaspora in New Zealand; while according to SBS news, there are up to 3000 fa'afafine currently living in Samoa.

Gender polarization

Gender polarization is a concept in sociology by American psychologist Sandra Bem which states that societies tend to define femininity and masculinity as polar opposite genders, such that male-acceptable behaviors and attitudes are not seen as appropriate for women, and vice versa. The theory is an extension of the sex and gender distinction in sociology in which sex refers to the biological differences between men and women, while gender refers to the cultural differences between them, such that gender describes the "socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women". According to Bem, gender polarization begins when natural sex differences are exaggerated in culture; for example, women have less hair than men, and men have more muscles than women, but these physical differences are exaggerated culturally when women remove hair from their faces and legs and armpits, and when men engage in body building exercises to emphasize their muscle mass. She explained that gender polarization goes further, when cultures construct "differences from scratch to make the sexes even more different from one another than they would otherwise be", perhaps by dictating specific hair styles for men and women, which are noticeably distinct, or separate clothing styles for men and women. When genders become polarized, according to the theory, there is no overlap, no shared behaviors or attitudes between men and women; rather, they are distinctly opposite. She argued that these distinctions become so "all-encompassing" that they "pervade virtually every aspect of human existence", not just hairstyles and clothing but how men and women express emotion and experience sexual desire. She argued that male-female differences are "superimposed on so many aspects of the social world that a cultural connection is thereby forged between sex and virtually every other aspect of human experience".Bem saw gender polarization as an organizing principle upon which many of the basic institutions of a society are built. For example, rules based on gender polarization have been codified into law. In western society in the fairly recent past, such rules have prevented women from voting, holding political office, going to school, owning property, serving in the armed forces, entering certain professions, or playing specific sports. For example, the first modern Olympics was a male-only sporting event from which women were excluded, and this has been identified as a prime example of gender polarization. In addition, the term has been applied to literary criticism.According to Scott Coltrane and Michele Adams, gender polarization begins early in childhood when girls are encouraged to prefer pink over blue, and when boys are encouraged to prefer toy trucks over dolls, and the male-female distinction is communicated to children in countless ways. Children learn by observing others and by direct tutelage what they "can and cannot do in terms of gendered behavior", according to Elizabeth Lindsey and Walter Zakahi. Bem argued that gender polarization defines mutually exclusive scripts for being male and female. The scripts can have a powerful influence on how a person develops; for example, if a person is a male, then he will likely grow to develop specific ways of looking at the world, with certain behaviors seen as 'masculine', and learn to dress, walk, talk, and even think in a socially-approved way for men. Further, any deviation from these scripts was seen as problematic, possibly defined as "immoral acts" which flout religious customs, or seen as "psychologically pathological". Bem argued that because of past polarization, women were often restricted to family-oriented roles in the private sphere, while men were seen as professional representatives in the public sphere. Cultures vary substantially by what is considered to be appropriate for masculine and feminine roles, and by how emotions are expressed.


Khanith (also spelled Khaneeth or Xanith; Arabic: خنيث‎; khanīth) is a vernacular Arabic term used in Oman and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula and denotes the gender role ascribed to males who function sexually, and in some ways socially, as women. The word is closely related to the Arabic word mukhannath (مخنث "effeminate"), a Classical Arabic term referring to individuals with an effeminate nature.John Money summarizes material presented by Unni Wikan in an article titled Man becomes woman: Transsexualism in Oman as a key to gender roles. According to this account, the mukhannath is the "bottom" in a male same-sex relationship. Because of this, khanith are considered men by Omani standards and are often considered an "alternative gender role" – and sometimes considered as being transgender or transvestites – even though the khanith are still referred to by masculine names and are treated as male by the law. Because of this confusion in terminology, many people refer to the khanith as khanith alone.The khanith are considered a specific third gender category in the Arabian Peninsula. And although they behave like women and have same-sex relationships with other men, at some stage they may one day "become a man" and give up their lifestyle for marriage and children.

List of transgender-related topics

The term "transgender" is multi-faceted and complex, especially where consensual and precise definitions have not yet been reached. While often the best way to find out how people identify themselves is to ask them, not all persons who might be thought of as falling under the transgender 'umbrella' identify as such. Transgender can also be distinguished from intersex, a term for people born with physical sex characteristics "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies".Books and articles written about transgender people or culture are often outdated by the time they are published, if not already outdated at the time of composition, due to inappropriate and/or outdated questions or premises.Psychology, medicine, and social sciences research, aid, or otherwise interact with or study about transgender people. Each field starts from a different point of view, offers different perspectives, and uses different nomenclature. This difference is mirrored by the attitude of transgender people as regards transgender issues, which can be seen in the articles listed below.

List of transgender-rights organizations

Transgender organizations seek to promote understanding and acceptance, both legally and socially, of transgender persons.

List of transgender and transsexual fictional characters

Transgender and transsexual fictional characters organized alphabetically.


Pangender is a non-binary gender defined as being more than one gender. A pangender person may consider themselves a member of all genders. The prefix pan is Greek and means "all". Pangender is a kind of third gender, much like bigender, trigender, or genderqueer. Pangender individuals may identify with gender inclusive or gender neutral pronouns instead of gendered ones (such as she/he or her/him).


Postgenderism is a social, political and cultural movement which arose from the eroding of the cultural, biological, psychological and social role of gender, and an argument for why the erosion of binary gender will be liberatory.Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and

foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species

as a result of social and cultural evolution and through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnology and assistive reproductive technologies.Advocates of postgenderism argue that the presence of gender roles, social stratification, and cogno-physical disparities and differences are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Given the radical potential for advanced assistive reproductive options, postgenderists believe that sex for reproductive purposes will either become obsolete, or that all post-gendered humans will have the ability, if they so choose, to both carry a pregnancy to term and 'father' a child, which, postgenderists believe, would have the effect of eliminating the need for definite genders in such a society.

Sex reassignment surgery (male-to-female)

Sex reassignment surgery for male-to-female involves reshaping the male genitals into a form with the appearance of, and, as far as possible, the function of female genitalia. Before any surgery, patients usually undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and, depending on the age at which HRT begins, facial hair removal. There are associated surgeries patients may elect to, including facial feminization surgery, breast augmentation, and various other procedures.

Sexual characteristics

Sexual characteristics are physical or behavioral traits of an organism (typically of a sexually dimorphic organism) which are indicative of its biological sex. These can include sex organs used for reproduction and secondary sex characteristics which distinguish the sexes of a species, but which are not directly part of the reproductive system.


Tranny (or trannie) is a slang term for a transgender, transsexual, transvestite, or cross-dressing person, and often considered to be derogatory or offensive. During the early 2010s, there was confusion and debate over whether the term was a pejorative, or was still considered acceptable, or even a reappropriated term of unity and pride. By 2017, however, the word was banned by several major media stylebooks and considered hate speech by Facebook.

Transgender Europe

Transgender Europe (TGEU) is a network of different organizations of transgender, transsexual, gender variant and other like-minded people to combat discrimination and support trans people rights. It was founded in 2005 in Vienna during the 1st European Transgender Council as "European Transgender Network" and it is currently a registered NGO as "Transgender Europe".Since 2009, in collaboration with the online magazine "Liminalis", TGEU runs the project "Trans Murder Monitoring" (TMM) that records the many people who every year around the world are killed as result of transphobia.

Transgender disenfranchisement in the United States

Transgender disenfranchisement is the prevention by bureaucratic, institutional and social barriers, of transgender individuals from voting or participating in other aspects of civic life. Transgender people may be disenfranchised if the sex indicated on their identification documents (which some states require voters to provide) does not match their gender presentation, and they may be unable to update necessary identity documents because some governments require individuals to undergo sex reassignment surgery first, which many cannot afford, are not medical candidates for, or do not want.

Transgender pregnancy

Transgender pregnancy is the incubation of one or more embryos or fetuses by transgender people.

Male pregnancy is alien to mammals, but the "phenomenon is the universal reproductive mode of pipefishes, seahorses and sea dragons."

Transgender rights in Iran

Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the issue of trans identity in Iran had never been officially addressed by the government. Beginning in the mid-1980s, however, transgender individuals were officially recognized by the government and allowed to undergo sex reassignment surgery. As of 2008, Iran carries out more sex change operations than any other nation in the world except Thailand. The government provides up to half the cost for those needing financial assistance, and a sex change is recognised on the birth certificate. As of 2017, the government provided transgender persons financial assistance in the form of grants of up to 25 million tomans ($1,730 USD).

Gender and sexual identities
See also
Gender identities
Health care and medicine
Rights issues
Society and culture
Theory and concepts
By country

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