Gender and Sex: The Misunderstandings and Differences
By Rachel Ezeadichie
Volume 1 Issue 8
June 8, 2021
Image provided by Cosmopolitan
With Pride Month already here, and more and more people experimenting and discovering their gender identities, we should try to understand the differences between sex and gender. It is a common mistake to mix the two up, or not understand them, which is where their definitions come in and why they are separate.
Sex is something you are assigned at birth by a doctor. The assigning of your sex includes many factors like chromosomes, hormones and genitalia. Most people are assigned male or female, which is put on your birth certificate. Some others may be intersex, which means that their anatomy doesn’t fit on the male or female anatomy categories. Some may figure this out when they hit puberty, or they may never figure it out at all. This can happen when chromosomes aren’t XY (male chromosome) or XX (female chromosomes).
Gender is normally shown as male and female. This is not the case though, because it is a spectrum. There are male and female, but there is also non-binary. Non-binary is the term used for people who don’t generally agree with the male or female terms as the only two choices. There are other gender terms as well like bigender, which means that they identify with both man and woman at different points or agender which just means they don’t identify with any gender at all. People who don’t identify with the gender they were born with are transgender, while people who do are cis gender.
People can use pronouns that help them feel more comfortable with their gender. Pronouns like she/her or he/him are what many people use, but others exist too. The singular pronouns they/them are what most non-binary people like to use.
So, for this Pride Month, think about your gender and consider how you or others might feel about identifying terms. Gender is something that can be experimented with like trying different labels and seeing which feel comfortable for you, or asking others to try out different pronouns on you. Everyone can like and feel different things, so see what you are comfortable with. Happy Pride Month!