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Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation


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Worcester State Summer I. HE 210 AL: Women’s Health. Professor Buglione.

Worcester State Summer I. HE 210 AL: Women’s Health. Professor Buglione.

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  • 1. Chapter 9: Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation
    Katelyn Hartnett
    June 6, 2011
  • 2. Important Quotes
    “Our attractions and identities are powerful and intimate parts of who we are.”
    “Our race, class, geographical, physical, and sexual identities affect and shape our gender, and it may change over time; some people maintain that gender is not necessarily an identity that remains the same from birth to death.”
    “We all hope that others respect our identities.”
  • 3. Sex & Gender
    Sex= biological features (vagina, uterus, penis, testicles)
    Gender=refer to behavioral characteristics (masculine, feminine) or refer to identity (man, woman)
    Sex & Gender: different concepts but connected
    Common idea: Gender identity is tied to our biological sex
    Idea of gender and sex being separate allows people to express themselves outside the stereotypes of how society thinks they should act
  • 4. Transgender
    Definition: people whose gender identity and/or presentation do not fit traditional norms
    Abbreviation= “trans”
    Raised as woman but conduct self like man
    Buy male clothes, Cut hair short
    Grow facial hair, Bind breasts, Take male hormones
    Raised as man but conduct self like woman
    Take estrogen, Get breast implants, Wear wigs
  • 5. Transsexual
    Definition: Person who lives as opposite gender
    “We feel we were born in a body that doesn’t match who we are inside”
    Changing can involve:
    Names, Use of pronouns, Clothes, Taking hormones
    Sex Reassignment Surgery
    Vaginoplasty=creating vagina out of male genitals
    Phalloplasty=creating penis + scrotum out of female genitals and skin grafts
    In addition to “He”, “She” or “Him”, “Her” can refer to transsexual as “Ze” and “Hir”
  • 6. Sexual Orientation
    Refers to whom we find attractive
    Straight/Heterosexual=Women who are sexually attracted to men and men sexually attracted to women
    Gay/Homosexual=Women who are sexually attracted to women and men who are sexually attracted to men
    Lesbians=Women who are sexually attracted to women
    Bisexual=People who are sexually attracted to men and women
    Queer= Describes an open, fluid sexual orientation
    Asexual= Someone who is not experiencing or is not acting on sexual attraction at a given time
    Pansexual= Someone who is attracted to people across the range of genders
  • 7. Coming Out…
    To Ourselves..
    Accepting + Affirming our sexual orientation to ourselves and deciding how to open up about it
    Often a gradual process
    Can occur at any age in our life
    To Family, Friends, & the World…
    Challenging + life-changing experience
    Risk losing family, friends, jobs but also liberating to be open about who truly are
    Additional challenges
    Being from traditional religious/conservative communities
    People with disabilities, weight issues, or from different racial groups already face discrimination
  • 8. Homophobia, Heterosexism, & Transphobia
    Culture teaches us to discriminate + hate transgender and homosexuality
    Hurts everyone
    Deprives us of relationships against family and friends
    Prevents us from publicly acknowledging friends/partners
    Homophobia=fear + hatred of homosexuality or gay, lesbian, or bisexual people
    Risk of violence, rejection, harassment, + self-hatred due to internalizing
    Heterosexism=assumption that heterosexuality is the only normal orientation
    Denied legal (filing joint tax returns), religious (marriage), and social (stereotypes, job discrimination) privileges
    Transphobia=fear + hatred of transgender or transsexual people
    Difficulty to hold jobs, go to school, and go into sex segregated places (like public restrooms) without rejection, harassment, or arrest
  • 9. Questions..
    What makes a man a man and a woman a woman?
    Where does gender come from? Why do people assume gender and sex are the same concept?
    Should people be able to choose their own gender?
    How can stereotyping, discrimination, harassment, and violence toward transsexual and transgender be minimized?