Most people think of
gender as either male or female but it is not that simple. Gender is what lies between our ears and is complex; it involves sex, genetics, gender identity, gender expression and gender role.
Sex is what lies between our legs and is determined at birth. However not all babies are born with genitals that are easy to classify. Female appearing infants can have testicles instead of ovaries. Likewise some apparent boys will have ovaries instead of testicles. Others are born with genitals that have both male and female features. While these infants are eventually assigned exclusively to either male or female sex by a multidisciplinary medical team they are truly “between sexes” or intersex. The current medical term for intersex is disorder of sex development (DSD) but it is offensive to many intersex adults. The word hermaphrodite comes from Greek mythology and is considered stigmatizing when applied to humans.
be used to identify gender. While genitals and genetics usually match they sometimes do not. Males usually have XY chromosomes and females usually have XX but sometimes they are switched. Others have different chromosome combinations such as XO, XXY and XYY. Variations such as these show that even on a genetic level gender is not black and white.
Gender identity is how a person feels on the inside regardless of their body’s appearance. Most children know their gender by 3 years of age. People do not choose their gender identity.