Demystifying the Terminology

Understanding the basics

Historically, the terms “sex” and “gender” have been used interchangeably due to lack of understanding but their uses are becoming increasingly distinct, and it is important to understand the differences between these two and other related terms.

Sex: Label assigned to a person, male or female, at the time of birth

Intersex: Person both with a combination of male and female biological characteristics (organs and chromosomes) OR male/female person with different hormones released as they grow up (1 in 100 born in US)

Gender: Social and legal status (man, woman) Expectations of society about behaviors, characteristics and thoughts (man -> masculine, woman -> feminine)

Gender Identity: What one feels to be within despite the assigned label and status

Gender Expression: How one expresses oneself through clothing, behavior, haircut, voice etc

Cis-gender: person who feels comfortable with the gender identity assigned to them based on their sex assigned at birth.