Let trans people self-identify their gender, Corbyn urges May
The Differences between Sex and Gender
One thing that has been continuously and wrongly interlinked is the concept that gender, sexuality and sex are interlinked. However, these are all mutually exclusive entities. Thus, I thought it would be interesting to write a brief introduction to the differences between sex and gender.
Sex isn’t exclusively female and male; but it does not have the same type of spectrum that gender does. The basis of sex is male (XY chromosomes) and female (XX chromosomes), but there are variations of this, for example:
- Turner’s syndrome: When a woman has one X chromosome instead of two
- Klinefelter syndrome: When a man is born with an extra X chromosome
- XYY Syndrome: When a male has an extra Y chromosome
- XXXY Syndrome: When a male has 2 extra X chromosomes.
Some of these syndromes are not noticeable but are more common than you may think, with some occurring in 1 in 500 people and others 1 in 20,000 people, thus showing broadly that people can be categorised into denominations of male and female, excluding manifestations such as Intersex.
Intersex people are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies and may be used as an umbrella terminology, but also these physical characteristics in some intersex individuals may be described as being androgynous or hermaphrodite, where the general reproductive organs of a male and female occur within one individual.
Gender is a social construct
The difference between sex and gender is that gender is a social construct, and someone’s gender is seen (in our society) to be purely based on, or related to, their sex, which is fundamentally wrong, whereas sex is, and will be, biologically correct. There is no binary choice between being male and female in terms of gender, as it is a spectrum. But what is being constructed is not only the aspect of gender being seen as interlinked with sex in our society, but it has branched out so much further into the field of interests, including hyper-masculinity and hyper-femininity which are being channeled through heteronormativity.
This construction takes the form of gendered products, such as for boys: the colour blue, guns, racing cars, “Boys don’t cry” and football. These stereotypes are getting increasingly more oppressive and dangerous for boys, girls and those who don’t identify as either, as this social construction consequently leads to a traditionalist mindset of a binary choice of gender which decreases a child’s ability to be expressive in terms of gender, as it will manifest the 3 dimensional gender sphere into two options (male and female) thus proving gender is still a social construct, but the social construction which is being created has the ability to manifest and further be detrimental, forming different effects on different socio-economic groups over a period of many generations.
The term ‘gender’ itself has been constructed and almost to an extent capitalised on using the misinformation of society to buy products dependant on the sex of a child and not their gender, thus indoctrinating their own children and, subsequently further generations, but not understanding gender theory, leading to a diminishing cycle of gender being intertwined with sex, thus forming a binary choice.
But without gender as a concept itself, or if gender had a very weak relationship with sex, it would decrease or annihilate the social construction which gender is constantly creating, thus destroying its capitalisation and liberalising people’s gender identity within a modern society.
Gender is a spectrum
As the pure concept of gender being binary still exists, the LGBT+ community increasingly becomes alienated due to traditional, fundamentalist people having a lack of understanding of the mutually exclusive events which are gender and sex; as they see “new genders” are seen to be created, but these genders have always existed due to the inherent ability for gender to be a spectrum.
In terms of visualisation, gender isn’t the transition from masculinity to femininity 2 dimensionally; it is indeed the progression of social attributes which can be visualised in the spectrum of no gender to multiple genders, hence why in real terms it is very difficult to represent gender, as conceptually it can be visualised as a 3-d spherical object (if objectification is necessary), where gender can be applied positionally (this is the same concept with sexuality).
Gender and language
This is where the problem of identification comes in. As many languages provide only non-inclusive gender terminology, which I believe systemically stemmed from the fact that social attributes and attitudes were being tailored towards only male and female in the beginnings of language formation, in addition to a lack of recognition of the gender, sex & sexuality separation; which in turn leads to the lack of exclusiveness (in terms of exploration into gendered and non gendered language).
However, linguistically in terms of grammatical gender theory, nouns in many countries are in relation to a certain “gender” from 2 to 20 to neutral, the effect these gendered nouns have being applied to an animate object is then subsequently applied to inanimate words, thus creating a language which is gendered; things become more linguistically and socially constricted as these nouns only apply to 1 or few genders constricting the spectrum which is gender itself.
Gender needs no label and neither do the sub-denominations within it.
Get in touch:
LGBT+ Officer: Charlie Hyams, Twitter (@Chrlhyms),
LGBT+ Helpline: 0300 330 063
A Message from our LGBTQ+ Officer
As your local LGBT+ Officer my role is to ensure that there is an increased awareness of the community at a local community and wider level, ensuring community cohesion and acceptance, but I am also a safe space for those people who feel discriminated and need advice with their sexuality, gender or are genuinely curious about the plight and misconceptions of the LGBT+ community, If this applies please contact my twitter @chrlhyms or the Labour enquires email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Hyams LGBTQ+ Officer