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Gender, Gender, Sexual Orientation - What's The Difference? Mini Dictionary - Research, Self-development
Gender, Gender, Sexual Orientation - What's The Difference? Mini Dictionary - Research, Self-development

Video: Gender, Gender, Sexual Orientation - What's The Difference? Mini Dictionary - Research, Self-development

Video: Gender, Gender, Sexual Orientation - What's The Difference? Mini Dictionary - Research, Self-development
Video: Sexual orientation and gender identity 2023, June

It is difficult to imagine that in the 90s “Pavel Zalutsky” could have appeared on the stage and said to the whole country from the screen: “I am openly gay”. Well, maybe he could. But once. Social norms in Russia have undergone a huge number of changes over the past 20 years. Time to separate facts from fears and calmly see who is who in the "gender, gender, sexual orientation" company.

The word "gender" is like a grain, if you start to deal with gender, the problem of gender equality will inevitably arise in front of you. A catalyst word that opens the eyes to toxic social attitudes. You will have to make your choice: accept or try to change something.

What is gender?

Originally, gender in English grammar meant feminine or masculine gender. Sexologist John Money has an unusual patient - the child's biological sex and inner sense of his gender diverged. In 1955, Mani used the term gender identity to describe the inner state of a person in terms of feeling like a man or a woman.

It would be a big mistake to treat gender as gender. When we talk about gender, we draw a line separating the biological from the psychological. Biological sex is genitals, hormones, DNA … Gender is an inner feeling of sex, positioning oneself in society in a certain way. Gender researchers suggest removing biological grounds from the term “gender” altogether, considering that all the difference in behavior, aggression, skills, spheres of activity is a product of the inner self-determination of the individual and social expectations associated with one or another sex.

Let me give you an example. Remember the revelations of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre about the loss of the love of his life?

“If a person had a single lamb, which is dear to him, like a native child, who ate and drank with him from the same dish and slept on his chest, and he killed her by some accident, then he could not mourn his more criminal oversight than me."

These are the gender attitudes of the wealthy social stratum of England in the mid-19th century: a woman is defenseless, she is a charming pet, her life is completely in the hands of a man. Let's go down to the kitchen, and we will see women brought up for hard, productive physical labor. If the cook's daughter began to behave like an adorable pet, the mother would quickly and intelligibly explain to her the seriousness of the mistake.

Society is one and the same, gender is one (female); social strata are different, gender stereotypes are different.

Biological sex - contrasting generative characteristics of individuals of the same species or morphofunctional characteristics of an organism, generalizing all its specifically reproductive characteristics (Ilyin).

Gender is the social sex of a person, a dynamic construct that is realized in interaction and exists outside of biological determinism (Mokhov).


Gender is a person's social sex (as opposed to biological), a dynamic construct (it can change depending on the experience of the individual, the characteristics of society, the historical period), which is realized in interaction (reflected in gender performance, manifested in behavior) and exists outside of biological determinism (biology doesn't matter).

And gender also helps to look at the relations of power in society in a new way.

How does gender manifest?

Gender personality traits:

  • Femininity is a set of behavioral and mental traits, properties and characteristics that are objectively inherent in women, as opposed to men (Klecina).
  • Masculinity is a set of behavioral and mental traits, properties and characteristics that are objectively inherent in men, as opposed to women (Kon).
  • Androgyny is a combination of masculine and feminine traits in an individual (Krasov). Modern adequate gender education is oriented towards androgyny.

    One example: boys can cry ("men don't cry" is a toxic attitude), girls can dominate and insist on their own ("a woman should be soft, give in" - a toxic attitude).

Gender role is understood as “the normative prescriptions and expectations that the respective culture places on the“correct”male or female behavior and which serve as a criterion for assessing the masculinity or femininity of a child or an adult” (Cohn).

Gender performance is the manifestation of gender roles in interaction with other people through the presentation by the individual of his image as a man or woman or a being without gender, through gestures, manner of speech, clothing (related concepts: “ doing gender ”, “ gender display ” (Kon).

Gender stratification of the sexes - considering the two sexes as unequal (“ gender asymmetry ”), placing them in the center, considering as positive and dominant what is defined as male. Whereas the feminine is labeled as peripheral (Ryabov). Gender stratification draws attention to the fact that everything that is done by men, everything masculine, is valued more than what is done by women, feminine.

Gender stereotypes are stable ideas about the normative behavior of a man or a woman; they ensure the reproduction of gender roles and contribute to the consolidation of gender inequality.

Gender identity is “the degree to which each individual identifies as a man, a woman, or some combination of both” (Cohn).

Genderqueer is a designation of gender identity that differs from the traditional bi -variant. May represent: combination of female and male gender identity; or changing gender identity over time; or “absence” of gender identity, that is, an identity not generally associated with any of the genders.

See also: Who are you: yang, yin or androgyne? Determine your psychological gender

And what does sexual orientation have to do with it?

Let's be honest. Our time is a bad time to create any definitive classifications in the field of sexual orientation. Due to the relative availability of sex reassignment surgery and the growing reflection on sexual preferences, we are seeing a huge number of gender positioning options and ongoing research into this.

According to some sources, there are 54 options, of which 24 begin with the word "trans", and the 30 remaining options are clearly not enough for self-determination, therefore the classification also includes such definitions as "neither" and "other" (neither one nor the other).

We cannot (and should not) draw a line on the issue of sexual orientation, but we can consider the most common options today.

Heterosexuality is the orientation of sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex.

Homosexuality is the orientation of sexual attraction to persons of the same sex. Options: homosexual man - "gay"; or a homosexual woman is a "lesbian". The concepts themselves can describe orientation, identity, or behavior.

Bisexuality - the orientation of sexual attraction to both persons of the opposite sex and persons of the same sex.

Asexuality - lack of sexual desire and lack of need for sexual relations.

Demisexuality - sexual attraction arises only with a strong emotional connection with the object, the sex of the object to which the attraction is directed depends on the personality characteristics of the demisexual. Sexual attraction can only arise from emotional attachment. They are considered close to the asexual community, since sexual attraction can be quite rare (one or more people in a lifetime).

Pansexuality - the orientation of sexual desire is associated with sympathy for the individual, does not depend on the gender of the partner. In this case, the personality of a person is important for the emergence of sexual desire, and not his gender. Samantha Jones, one of the cheeky four of Sex and the City, said: "It doesn't matter if you sleep with a man or a woman - you sleep with a personality!"

So let's try to summarize

Biological sex is the physical characteristics of a person that ensure the continuation of the genus.

Gender identity is an internal sense of gender: the assignment of oneself to the sex or their combination, or the rejection of gender.

Sexual orientation is a vector of search for a sexual partner or a justification for the absence of the need for such a search.

The variability of gender identities and sexual orientations contributes to the effective social adaptation of the individual. Much of what was acceptable today was previously almost unthinkable. Fortunately, the social norms of the time are flexible. The positiveness of these changes is undeniable. We can only observe with curiosity what awaits us tomorrow.


  1. Kon I. S. “Gender and gender. Notes on terms "// Andrology and Genital Surgery, No. 1-2, 2004.
  2. Ryabov, O. V. "Mother Rus": Experience in Gender Analysis of the Search for Russia's National Identity in Russian and Western Historiosophy / O. V. Ryabov. - M.: Ladomir, 2001.
  3. Krasova, E. Yu. Dictionary of gender terms / E. Yu. Krasov; ed. A. A. Denisova. - M.: Regional public organization "East-West: Women's Innovation Projects": Information XXI century, 2002.
  4. Ilyin, E. P. Gender and gender / E. P. Ilyin. - SPb.: Peter, 2010.
  5. Kletsin, I. S. Integration of gender issues into the system of psychological knowledge / I. S. Klecina // Gender and gender in the sciences of man and society; ed. V. Uspenskaya. - Tver: Feminist Press, 2005.

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