Sex and sexuality
Biological sex: sex is defined scientifically with regard to biological parameters of maleness or
Gender: it is a social construct. It is the psychological aspects of psycho sexual development. Differences
between men and women that are culturally, rather than biologically based.
Culturally variable, changes over time. It is very subjective.
Gender identity: basic sense of self as being a male or female, a boy or a girl. It is the largest sex
difference. Most biological males feel like boys or men and most biological females feel like girls or
women. It is not biological, it is what you see, what’s around you.
Develops at the age of 2-4 years, having a sense of gender identity.
Sexuality: refers to not only reproduction and the pursuit of sexual pleasure, but also our need for love
and personal fulfillment.
Sexuality is socially constructed trough the sex/gender system on both personal level of individual
consciousness and inter-personal relationships and the social structural level of social institutions
Reflects the need of given historical moment such that social construction of sexuality change in tandem
with changing social conditions.
It incorporates many biological, psychological and cultural factors.
It includes our awareness of and reaction to our maleness or femaleness.
Examples: feelings such as feminity, masculinity, desire, satisfaction, love, loss, intimacy…
Sexual orientation: not just who we have sex with but who we are attracted to (just sexual attraction).
Intersexed: a person who is born between (inter) sexes, having partially or fully developed pairs of
female and male sex organs. Intersexed is preferred over the word hermaphrodite.
Transgendered: an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (sense of themselves
as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. Broadly
speaking, anyone whose identity, appearance, or behavior falls outside of conventional gender norms
can be described as transgender.
Two-spirited: usually used to indicate a person whose body simultaneously houses a masculine spirit
and a feminine spirit. Two spirits might have relationships with people of either sex.