Gender Binaries? Nope. Spectrums rule!

We are all taught through school, socialization, media, family and other sources that there are two genders right? Nope. Maybe three? Nope. A continuum or spectrum? You got it!

Despite what is show to us every day through advertisements, media and the like there are many variations on gender that change from person to person. Not only that, but this variation along a spectrum applies to more than just gender. As well we can look at gender expression, gender identity, biological sex, and sexual orientation.

Terminology! This might be better explained through info graphics courtesy of Sam Killermann from Its Pronounced Metro

Infographics can explain everything!

I invite you to read all of Sam’s post on the inaccuracy of gender binary’s here:

So the point in general is that not only does physical gender exist in a spectrum but all the other variables do as well. As well they are independent of each other, that is your sexual orientation does not determine how you express you gender or what gender you identify with.  They are however interrelated or connected. Confused? Read Sam’s post, hes much better at explaining this.

In contrast take a look at this gem of a website to see how media can reinforce very narrow definitions of gender. Its called Brobible, find it here:

Just looking at the home page can tell you a lot about the definition of male that is being pushed on us. Among the options on the page are:

  • articles about sports fandom
  • slideshows of attractive women
  • the bromunity where you can post about “hook up story” or share party pics
  • the best colleges to go to for partying

So men, you need to: like sports, hot girls (defined very narrowly), partying and casual sex. Got it?

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1 Response to Gender Binaries? Nope. Spectrums rule!

  1. Just saw this post — thanks for sharing the Genderbread Person! That is both alarmingly cute and also satisfyingly complex. Pursuant to our recent conversation over tea, since we as creatures with two hands tend to put things in a binary, left/right black/white context, it makes me wonder what sorts of gender identity issues would face an octopus.

    On a more serious note, though, I’m pleased by the growing number of people who champion the gender/personality/identity/creativity/ability/many other aspects of the human condition spectra, recognizing and respecting and celebrating the complexity of these bodies and minds that we inhabit.

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