Welcome to the first post of my new blog about gender and sexuality!
This blog will explore the dark and mysterious comedy of assumptions, judgment, questions, and inaccuracies concerning gender identity and the analysis of self-expression. So many people hold false beliefs about what it means to be a man or a woman; straight, gay, or anything in between. There are a whole boatload of myths floating around disguised as norms, and these need to be busted out of their box.
Before we can go ANY further though, I need to clarify the difference between “gender” and “sex.”
Sex refers to the genitalia with which a person is born. Born with a penis = male. Born with a vagina = female. So often we get caught up in that big question: “is it a boy or a girl?!” What we really should be asking is, “is it male or female?” Boy and girl, just like man and woman, are terms of gender identity which do not necessarily correlate with the physical sex organs.
Gender refers to the social, psychological, and behavioral aspects of a person’s identity. In simplest terms, masculinity and femininity. (And no, I don’t mean testosterone and estrogen. Those are more closely related to sex than they are to gender because they are physiological/chemical rather than mental.) Gender has to do with the mental and emotional identity of a person, and it falls on societal roles and stereotypes because it is something that society created. And contrary to popular understanding, one is not born with a gender identity, because one cannot identify with certain societal roles and stereotypes until one is made aware of them.
As a recap: sex is on the body, gender is in the brain. And they are causally unrelated, although they do often conveniently cooperate. Here is an excellent summary of this concept and more from Hank Green!
Stay tuned for more definitions, clarifications, anecdotes, observations, interviews, quotes, videos, photos, conversations, and interesting links in the upcoming days, weeks, and months.
Stay strong and stay informed! 🙂