Essay on Multiple Genders
Number of words: 759
The language around gender and sexuality is continuously evolving. Gender terms and their definitions are changing or becoming redefined. People’s understanding of the complex gender and sexuality constructs is continuously evolving. In adopting this resolution, understanding their different meanings and learning which terms or phrases are most accurate, useful, and respectful is important (Perry et al., 2019). Although the definition of multiple gender may undergo significant change in the future, articulating the current scholarly explanations of multiple gender terms is helpful to everyone who confuses their distinct meaning.
Ideally, gender refers to the feelings, attitudes, and behaviors that are associated with one’s biological sex in a certain culture. Behaviors that are compatible with cultural expectations are referred to as gender-normative. Behaviors that are perceived to be compatible with such expectations constitute gender conformity. On the other hand, gender expression refers to how individuals represent themselves with respect to dressing code, physical appearance, and accessories with aim of communicating different aspects of gender or gender role. Occasionally, gender expression may not conform with an individual’s gender identity.
Gender identity refers to an individual’s deep feeling or inherent sense of a male or a female. Although rarely, gender identity may also refer to an alternative gender, such as gender nonconforming and gender queer. The deep feeling or inherent sense of being a male or female may or may not conform with an individual’s natural sex. Also, it may or may not correspond with an individual’s basic or secondary sex characteristics. An individual’s gender identity is not easily noticeable because gender identity is internal. The concept on gender identity is closely associated with the concept of gender role. In particular, gender role refers to the outward display of personality that reflects the gender identity. Gender identity is often self-identified since it is a combination of inherent and extrinsic or environmental factors. Gender role is often manifested in the society by observable factors such as appearance and behavior. For example, an individual who considers herself as a female and is comfortable referring to her personal gender in feminine terms, hence her gender identity is female. Conversely, her gender role is female only if she demonstrates her female characteristics through her dress code, behaviors, and mannerism. Notably, gender role is closely related with gender expression in the sense that gender expression is also used to explain how people presents or expresses their gender in terms of their behavior and outward appearance like hair, make-up and dressing code.
The extent with which an individual gender identity and role varies with the cultural norms associated with people of a certain sex is commonly referred to as gender diversity. In particular, gender diversity is often used to refer to gender identities that portray numerous kinds of depression above the normal binary gender framework of male and female (Jenkins, 2016). The people who are gender find the concept of binary gender constraining as they are usually forced to express themselves as male or female. In essence, most gender diverse people prefers the freedom to keep on changing their gender identity or to maintain a particular gender identity at all. In the recent history, gender diversity term has become increasingly popular in describing people who have no reference to a cultural norm since it is less stigmatizing and more affirming than gender nonconformity.
Furthermore, gender and sex are distinct (Ho & Mussap, 2019). While sex refers to the psychological and biological characteristics of men and women, gender refers to the socially constructed behaviors, roles, and attributes that are given to males and females in any society. On the other hand, scholars hold that gender and sexuality are intimately related in the sense that sexuality is influenced by gender norms. In most societies, gender tends to influence how women and men behave. Such expectations are often based on the assumption that there are two categories of human, men and women, who behave differently depending on their biological sex. The huge variation in the expectations and gendered norms relates to sexuality.
Ho, F., & Mussap, A. J. (2019). The Gender Identity Scale: Adapting the Gender Unicorn to measure gender identity. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 6(2), 217.
Jenkins, K. (2016). Amelioration and inclusion: Gender identity and the concept of woman. Ethics, 126(2), 394-421.
Perry, D. G., Pauletti, R. E., & Cooper, P. J. (2019). Gender identity in childhood: A review of the literature. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 43(4), 289-304.