Gender and Sex: Terms and Concepts
"The Gender Elephant" is a graphic tool by The Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexuality Diversity.
Assigned Sex at Birth: The sex given to a person at birth based on an observation of external features.
Biological Sex: The combination of chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external genitalia that allow assignment as male, female, or intersex.
Intersex: Having a biological sex that is not exclusively male or female due to variation in hormone levels, chromosomes, genitals, or other factors. Around 1% of people are in some way intersex.
Gender Identity: A person’s internal concept of being male, female, a different point along the spectrum, or something else. Independent of sexual orientation.
Gender Expression: An individual’s presentations of appearance, behavior, and clothing in the role of expressing their gender.
Cisgender: Having a gender identity that aligns with your gender assigned at birth.
Transgender: Having a gender identity that does not align with your gender assigned at birth. May be viewed as opposite, may not.
Non-binary: Having a gender identity that is not exclusively aligned with either male or female.
Agender: Having no sense of gender whatsoever.
Genderfluid: Having a gender identity that shifts over time.
Gender Non-Conforming: An individual whose behavior and/or expression does not conform to traditional expectations of their gender.
Gender Dysphoria: Physical, social, and/or psychological distress caused by a mismatch between gender identity and gender assigned at birth. Recognized in the DSM-V as a diagnosable condition.
Transition: A social and/or medical process to bring one’s social presentation and/or body in line with their gender identity. Specific elements of transition are undertaken to relieve dysphoria. This is dependent on each person’s experience, circumstances, and needs.