How many genders are there according to science?
Gender is a hot topic that is frequently discussed in today’s culture, particularly among the younger generations. There is not one sex, anyone can guess there is more than one gender but how many distinct genders do scientists believe exist?
The idea that there are only two genders—male and female—is widely held. However, science shows that there’s more to it. Gender, unlike sex, is not binary. As a result of its fluidity and constant change, there are countless potential outcomes.
To understand how many genders are there according to science we are going to take a look at a few topics on defining gender.
First of all, what is gender identity?
Gender definition is more complicated than you might imagine. The World Health Organization asserts that the socially constructed characteristics of women and men are referenced in the scientific concept of gender. This comprises the expectations for a woman or a man in terms of roles, inter-personal interactions, behaviors, and standards. The social construct of gender varies by civilization and is subject to evolution over time.
It is not about having body hair or facial hair or about person’s sex or being a trans woman or men or falling in love with the opposite sex or how people identify societal expectations or sex hormones or being sexually attracted to a different gender or how your gender role is defined or what sexual activities you do for sexual reproduction.
It’s likely that most people categorize themselves as either exclusively male or exclusively female sex. But not everyone will experience that. By way of illustration, some people express their gender as being more masculine while others identify as being more feminine. Some people don’t conform to the socially imposed male or gender norms.
Second of all, we are going to take a look at Gender vs Sex
Sex and Gender
Although the phrases “gender” and “sex” are sometimes used similarly, they don’t mean the same thing.
As was previously said, gender is a term used to describe the roles and behaviors that are socially imposed on individuals. The biological traits of a human, such as their chromosomes, hormones, and sex organs, are referred to as sex.
It is safe to claim that male, female, and intersex are the three sexes recognized by science. Gender, however, does not come in binary forms. It’s a broad spectrum instead.
To understand it better we should take a look at its history.
History of Gender identity
Despite being a popular issue in recent years, gender identity is not a brand-new idea.
Robert J. Stoller originally used the term “gender identity” in 1964, and John Money publicized it. Nevertheless, psychologists and philosophers have debated the essence of gender identity since the late twentieth century.
Social constructivism completely rejects the essentialist view that biological elements determine a person’s gender identity at birth/biological sex. They contend that social and cultural factors affect how gender is portrayed and perceived.
It is accurate to say that there are various genders because science has identified many of them. Now let’s take a look at some of the identified gender identities.
Gender spectrum and personal identity
Native Americans have historically used the phrase “two-spirit” to refer to those who have both a male and a feminine spirit.
Contrary to cisgender persons, transgender people do not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth. A transgender person, for instance, can have been born with a female body but identify as male.
Although some transgender persons choose to transform their bodies through hormones and surgery, not all do so.
Polygender or Pangender
People who experience many genders are referred to as pangender or polygender. This can refer to feeling like a combination of genders or to feeling like each gender at once.
People who experience several genders are referred to as omnigenders. Omnigender people simultaneously experience all genders, as opposed to genderfluid people who switch between them from day to day or week to week.
What does the term “nonbinary” mean? In a nutshell, anyone who does not exclusively identify as male or female falls under the non-binary spectrum. This can be the case because they identify as both genders, neither gender, or something in between.
The terms genderqueer, genderfluid, and gender non-conforming are frequently used interchangeably with this one.
People who don’t identify as either male or female are referred to as genderqueer. This can be the case if they believe they are neither gender nor either gender, or both.
In addition, some genderqueer people might want to use pronouns other than he or she, such they or them.
People who don’t regularly identify as male or female are referred to as genderfluid. They might transition between genders or feel like they fall somewhere in the middle.
People who reject gender assumptions and norms are said to be gender expansive. While some gender-expansive individuals identify as neither gender, others do.
Although they can exist as any gender and use any pronouns, gender-expansive people occasionally utilize gender-neutral pronouns. They may or may not be satisfied with their bodies as they are, regardless of how they represent their gender.
Cisgender refers to those whose gender identity corresponds to the sex they were assigned at birth. The Latin prefix “cis,” which means “on this side of,” is where the word “cisgender” originates. “Cisgender” thus means “on this side of gender” in literal terms.
People who identify as both genders are also known as bigenders. This might be felt both together and independently. Those who identify as bigender may alternate between the traits of the two genders.
Agender literally translates to “without gender.” Genderless, gender-free, or ungendered are other terms used to describe people who identify as agender/asexual individuals. Agender people don’t follow gender norms, in contrast to many other gender identities. As a result, they frequently lack a defined set of pronouns.