If you had to guess, would you say that this baby is a boy or a girl?
Given the dolls and all the pink, many of you may have thought, "that's a girl!"
But, why would so many people think that?
While we don't know for sure that this infant's biological SEX is female, there are social signifiers that would lead people to assume she is a girl. The simple color associations made with the colors pink and blue are just one example of a large and complex system of social affects and rules that we refer to as "GENDER".
You just said sex. Isn't that the same thing as gender?
NO. They describe two entirely separate things. Let's go back the delivery room and I'll walk you through it.
It's a boy, It's a girl.
This is what most people would understand as a description of a person's SEX.
Sometimes a baby's SEX is not that easy to visually identity/assess. When genitalia cannot be clearly distinguished as "male" or "female", a child is sometimes assigned the label of "intersex." This is a term used to describe someone born on the anatomical sweep between male and female. (Psst. An old term for this is "hermaphrodite", but this term is considered offensive and pejorative. Don't use it! Ever!)
But, wait, who decides what makes genitalia "female" or "male"? Well, the American Medical Association is what is used in the U.S., and has a number of criteria used to assess sex. This is socially constructed, meaning, what we consider sex to be is determined by the social world.
So, moving forward, we will refer to the concept of "sex" as the GENDER ASSIGNMENT of an individual.
Let's be clear, Gender is made up of way more than just SEX. Gender is comprised of MANY different things. Let's Explore!
There are six main components of gender: -Gender Assigment -Gender Identity -Gender Presentation -Gender Expression -Gender Role -Legal Sex
Don't stress. We will go through each one of these concepts!