Gender and Sexuality: Fundamental Definitions

September 11, 2020

Welcome to the first of a series of blogs dealing with Gender and Sexuality! I see a lot of confusion surrounding terms, definitions and identities and I feel it’s as great a time as any other to try and navigate together the awesome world that is queerness!

I will be keeping it simple and easy for this first blog, starting with the definitions of what we will be talking about in the next few weeks. Let’s dig into it!

What is Gender Identity?

Gender identity is an individual's personal sense of having a particular gender. Gender is a term that defines the way we experience our inner, felt sense of who we are in the world as a man, woman, both or neither. It is important to remember that gender is socially constructed. 

Example: In my case, I identify as a woman and therefore this is my gender identity.

What is Sexual Orientation?

Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of attraction, behavior, and identity, related to one's erotic desires and drives and the inclination to develop intimate emotional and sexual relationships with other people. In short, the term sexual orientation describes who (if anyone) you are into romantically and sexually and how you then define yourself according to that attraction.

Example: In my case, since gender plays no role in my attraction to others, I consider myself pansexual.

What is Sex Identity?

Sex Identity refers instead to how one identifies their sex. Their bodily characteristics that pertain to sex. Physical gender is not always just a matter of XX or XY, girl or boy. In approximately 2 out of every 100 births, variations occur during the various stages of fetal sex differentiation, causing a baby's body to develop mixed or ambiguous external genitalia, internal genitalia, and/or hormone production levels.

Example: In my case, I was born and assigned female with no apparent variations. This is also how I identify my sex and therefore my sex identity is female.


Did you like my first blog? Leave a comment to let me know what you think and what you’d like me to talk about in my next blogs!

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