Steph's Place

Sex, Gender, Gender Expression and Orientation

The confusing language debunked.

Now to be clear here. I am not a particularly well educated human being, scraping two GCE’s at school and not ever being bright enough to go to university. And people who usually write on sex, gender etc. are uni graduates and doctors who have studied these subjects for years and have in-depth knowledge. Sometimes, however, they just over complicate the language. 

So here are my idiot's guides on Sex, Gender, Gender Expression and Orientation. 

People who do not believe in diversity believe sex & gender are pretty much the same. Sometimes these people are called ‘binary’, and they often are of a particular generation or hold religious beliefs. These people believe there are just men & women, that they are naturally attracted to each other and express themselves in line with the most common way of being a man (masculine) or a woman (feminine).

Gender binary people tend to believe; gender dysphoria is all a myth....(sigh). 

Younger and dare I say it…the more “switched on” people in society know differently. The belief for this group is expressed as  “Life isn’t Binary”.

So, let’s look at Sex first.

Sex is primarily marked by our genitals. While British birth certificates recognise just male & female, in reality, most people, and indeed many foreign governments, agree there are three sexes male, female and intersex.

Some people believe there are more than three sexes, but for now, I would settle for three because that represents a 50% improvement. 

I don’t agree with the phrase “the opposite sex” because we are not opposites at all. In fact, I believe "sex" is a spectrum because although I was not born with female genitalia, I do have female shoulders, neck, throat, legs, arms and even shoe size. I would claim, therefore that bits of me are both sexes. 

The human body for all sexes is pretty much the same all deriving from a female foetus, and even genitalia in very rough terms can be claimed to be nearly the same but one tucked in and one hanging out. When MTF surgery is undertaken very little gets cut off; it is much more about re-positioning.

In terms of chromosomes, the average male & female's share exactly the same ones except for the one "sex" chromosome (an X or Y) meaning in percentage terms the difference between the sexes is just 2.17%

Many trans people hate their genitals, often leading to SRS (sex reassignment surgery) but also known as GRS (genital reassignment surgery) or GCS (genital conforming surgery).  

I have sometimes seen sex explained in books and online by a simple horizontal line with a male at one end, female at the other and intersex in the middle. However, I am not sure this is a good representation of sex.

I see sex as the globe, with males at the north pole covering down to the equator, females at the south pole covering up to the equator and trans and intersex people covering between the two tropics.

This analogy shows us as one human being and not being opposites. 

Gender is your personal belief of your rightful sex. 

Gender is not a physicality that we can see - albeit that MRI scans can see patterns in our brains that identify male, female and intermediate brains. All these types of brains operate slightly differently. Trans peoples brain patterns often match the gender they claim or occasionally show as the midbrain.

It is therefore logical and indeed natural that if a human being has, for example, male genitalia but a female brain, the person concerned is likely to suffer distress. In essence, the brain and genitalia are at odds, often causing gender dysphoria. 

Gender dysphoria is, in my opinion, a disability. Not one that can be seen by the human eye, but that does not make it any less real.

Some people don't feel they have a gender at all and of course, that is perfectly fine...one recurring theme of this website is we are all different.

There is a sub-menu to gender…it is called "gender expression", and it means how you dress either in a masculine way (men's clothes) or feminine (women's clothes). Consequently, if you have a female brain, it is natural to be drawn to female or feminine clothes, jewellery etc. 

Sexual Orientation also comes from the brain. Some people are attracted to men, some to women, some to both. It is as simple as that. 

Around 8% of the population is "gay" or "bi" or "pansexual"...indeed there are various labels all trying to define what is natural to the most minute degree.

So when you add it all up, we are very diverse, and this is not unique to the human species.   

It is a fact, that no person on earth will have the same biological sex (chromosomes, hormones etc.), gender, gender expression or orientation as another person. ...we are, and I say it again, all different. 

One popular image describing all these facts is the genderbread man. I don't fully agree with the "sex line" on their images as I think a globe is better, but that is just me. Here is a link: https://www.genderbread.org/

Thanks for reading. You can follow me in Twitter @PlaceSteph

 

Updated 11/1/21


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