Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

What Is Gender, Part I

on August 18, 2012

What is gender and why do I care?  Most people in society go about their business and never give their gender a second thought; however, I have a light to shine on this subject so we can all have a deeper understanding of who we are and why this is important.  Every day we interact with any number of individuals and with repeat interactions we can say we know a person.  The level of interaction will vary in importance and significance to us.  This aspect of our being called ‘gender’ is actually an important function of how we react to others and how they treat us.

Of course gender is just one aspect of our nature, we have many others including but not limited to, personality, demeanor, attitude, physical sex, physical attractiveness, body habitus, sexual orientation, intelligence, common sense, and self-actualization.  When we meet someone new a few of the first things we notice are the persons size, gender, attractiveness, and how comfortable they are with themselves.  The package you present is a total summation of your nature and nurture.  So some aspects are a gift from birth and others are learned along the way.  The innate ones such as size, gender, sexual orientation, common sense, and physical attractiveness (for the most part) we must do our best to live with.  This means personality, demeanor, attitude, physical sex, body habitus, intelligence, and self-actualization are learned.  These are attributes of our nature that we have somewhat of control over.  Gender falls in the attributes that are innate meaning we are born with our gender and we cannot change this.

If we look a bit closer we see that there are different aspects of gender that are important to our understanding, such as gender identity, gender expression, gender role, and physical sex.  One of the challenges we have today is the popular confusion of gender and sex which are often used interchangeably.  If nothing else I would like you to come away from this blog with an understanding of the differences of these two words.  Sex is a word which has many usages and thus the confusion creeps in.  In Dictionary.com thirteen different definitions come up with this simple 3 letter word, so I will not get into every definition here.  When we are born the first thing the parents want to know is, “is the child a boy or a girl” and in this case we are talking about physical sex not gender identity or even gender role.  Our physical sex is determined by the physical body parts we are given at birth, but with today’s new surgical techniques this can be changed if need be.  Is a woman who has had a complete hysterectomy still a woman?  Is this person still female?  What factor is it that makes a person male or female?  What makes a person man or woman?  Where does gender fit in?

More next time as we explore gender identity and what it means to each of us.

🙂  Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity     FREE eBooks! Click Here

 

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