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Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation


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

Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

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