Difference Between Gender and SexBefore reviewing the most used types of gender identity, we must first clarify the difference between sex and gender. Sex is a series of physical, biological, genetic, and hormonal traits that characterize a person. Gender is how these are identified from the psychological level and how they express it externally. A person can psychologically identify away from the male/female divide. A person’s physical or biological traits may differ (as with intersex). It is also pertinent to clarify the difference between gender identity and gender expression. In the first case, reference is made to the personal perception that one has regarding one’s gender. In the second case, how it manifests itself in society. It is important to note that gender identity types are unrelated to sexual orientation. This last term describes the physical or emotional attraction towards members of the same or different genders (heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, and others).
Types of gender identityThe gender identity label was coined by the American psychiatrist Robert Stoller in 1964. This idea has mutated throughout history to the point that gender dysphoria was even referred to as a synonym, defined as the anguish caused by the discrepancy between assigned gender and gender identity. In any case, both terms are only used in the medical literature, so members of the LGBT+ community prefer the term gender identity. Since there are prejudices about the types, partly developed by ignorance, we present the most accepted and well-known.
1. CisgenderCisgender is a term used to describe those whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Another definition of this label is the correspondence that exists between gender identity concerning sexual phenotype. The term was created by the German psychiatrist Volkmar Sigusch. As we have explained, gender identity is not related to sexual orientation. Therefore, a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person can be cisgender to the extent that their identity matches the sex assigned at birth. They identify as a man or a woman regardless of their sexual or romantic preferences.
2. TransgenderTransgender is a concept opposite to the previous one. Cis is a Latin prefix corresponding to this site or from here. Trans translates as ‘from the other side’ or ‘beyond.’ Therefore, a transgender person does not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth. In other words, their identity does not correspond to their sexual phenotype. A transgender can be heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, or asexual, and even dispense with these labels. Like the previous case, it is not related to sexual orientation. Those who have transitioned into the sex corresponding to their gender are often referred to as transsexuals. Many community members reject this term.
3. IntersexApart from controversy, an intersex is a person whose physical, biological, hormonal, or genetic characteristics prevent them from being classified as a man or a woman. It is very common for the word intersex to be confused with transgender and vice versa. Some do not consider intersex as part of gender identity types, although others do. Intersex people may have ambiguous genitalia or maintain a discrepancy between genitalia and internal organs. It is not a single condition but rather groups dozens of manifestations with some characteristics in common. For example, true gonadal intersex. This is characterized by individuals who have ovarian and testicular tissue from birth.
4. QueerQueer is a neologism that brings together all those people who do not feel identified with society’s ideas regarding gender and sexuality. Its definition has changed throughout history since, in its beginnings, it was used in a derogatory way to describe homosexuals. According to the book Glossary of sexual diversity, gender, and sexual characteristics, Queer people can manifest more than static identities, expressions, and experiences that:
- They move, alternately, between one genre and another.
- They are produced by the articulation of the two hegemonic genders.
- They formulate new identity alternatives, so there would be no transition that seeks the opposite pole, as in the case of the transgender.