Most of us have been raised with pretty simplistic ideas about sex and gender. Namely, that there are two sexes, male and female, and that they align with two genders, man and woman. But with the increased visibility of transgender, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary folks, many people are beginning to understand that the categories of sex and gender are far more complicated. Society typically tells us that there are two sexes: male and female. You may also be familiar with the fact that some people are intersex , or have a difference of sexual development DSD. With some research reporting that as many as 1 in people are born with a DSD, more biologists are acknowledging that sex may be far more complex than what the traditional male-female binary accounts for. For example, a transgender man — a person who was assigned female at birth and identifies as a man — may have a vagina but still identify as male.
Invention of genders
The distinction between sex and gender differentiates a person's biological sex the anatomy of an individual's reproductive system , and secondary sex characteristics from that person's gender , which can refer to either social roles based on the sex of the person gender role or personal identification of one's own gender based on an internal awareness gender identity. In ordinary speech, sex and gender are often used interchangeably. Some languages, such as German or Finnish, have no separate words for sex and gender, and the distinction has to be made through context. Among scientists, the term sex differences as compared to gender differences is typically applied to sexually dimorphic traits that are hypothesized to be evolved consequences of sexual selection. Anisogamy , or the size differences of gametes sex cells , is the defining feature of the two sexes.
These individuals might refer to themselves as transgender, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming. The differences between male and female sexes are anatomical and physiological. For instance, male and female genitalia, both internal and external are different. Similarly, the levels and types of hormones present in male and female bodies are different. Genetic factors define the sex of an individual.