Sex, Gender and Identity for Dummies This Pride Month

Pride Month is going on, and if you need help understanding sexuality, we’ve got you covered.

2 min read
What’s the difference between sex and gender? And how are those different to gender identity?

Pride Month is going on, and if you do not know what to feel about it and how to celebrate, we got you covered. By knowing the basic difference between Sex, Gender and Identity, you’ll be able to better understand the complexities of human sexuality, and maybe won’t say things like “Man up!” or maybe “Girls don’t shout in house” to anyone (and good if you already don’t!).

LGBTQ+ Flag “Rainbow”.
LGBTQ+ Flag “Rainbow”.
(Photo: IANS)

PS: We ain’t discussing sexuality in this article (maybe later) but for now, just trying to understand the basic difference between SEX, GENDER and GENDER IDENTITY.

Let’s Understand Sex (Often Misconstrued as Gender!)

Sex is biological identity of an individual based off the parts s/he possess.
Sex is biological identity of an individual based off the parts s/he possess.
(Photo: iStock)

Sex is biological identity that a person is born with. It is the biological reality one is born with. There are three sexes: MALE & FEMALE and INTERSEX!

Sex is determined by biological organs one is born with – the genitals, also known as “private parts”, and the chromosomes you have. Females have a vagina and XX chromosomes, while males have a penis and testicles, and XY chromosomes.

If someone’s genitals or chromosomes do not clearly match either of these, the person is called INTERSEX.

Now, Gender

Understanding Gender.
Understanding Gender.
(Picture Courtesy: John Paul Derrryberry)

Gender is a person’s social identity. It is what society labels you, based on things like appearance, clothing, and behaviour – where you’re assumed to be a girl or woman based on certain appearances and behaviours, and assumed to be a boy or man based on certain other (different) behaviours.

Lastly, Gender Identity

Understanding Gender Identity
Understanding Gender Identity
(Picture Courtesy: Wirral Safeguarding)

While gender is what society expects you to be, gender identity is what you want to be! Your clothing, behaviour and appearance may not ‘match’ the gender society assumes you are.

Some people choose to be masculine female, feminine male, gender fluid, queer gender and so on! All of which is perfectly fine and normal.

When someone’s sex, gender, and identity matches, s/he is called cis gender, which is the norm.

So to sum up:

1. Sex is female, male, and intersex.

2. Gender is girl or woman, and boy or man.

3. Gender identity is whatever you feel like. You, by yourself!

Hope this helps. :)

Happy Pride Month!

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!