Classic gender roles
Gender roles are ingrained in our society. We think, for example, that it is mainly women who clean and cook, and we are more likely to ask a man to move a heavy cabinet. The same applies to study choices. Subconsciously, we pass on these gender roles and thus continue the classic division of roles. But the traditional distinction between man and woman is insufficient to describe the complex reality.
Gender identity versus sex
Sex refers to your biological sex, to the biological differences between people. It is determined at birth. In most people, the sexual characteristics are exclusively male or exclusively female. In the group we call intersex, there is a variation from female or male sexual characteristics. This occurs in 1.7% of all births.
Not everyone born with male or female sex characteristics identifies as a man or as a woman. Gender identity refers to an inner feeling of either masculinity or femininity, of both or of neither. If the biological sex does not correspond to the gender identity, one speaks of transgender. Cisgender, on the other hand, means that one's biological sex does correspond to their gender identity. Gender identity is more about how someone feels. There are different gender identities: man, woman, queer, non-binary, bigender, gender fluid, agender, gender-neutral, pangender, third gender ... Transgender is the umbrella term for everyone who does not feel cisgender.
In our society, there is still a strong dualistic view on sex and gender: you are either a man or you are a woman. But many people do not recognise themselves in this division into two sexes or genders and/or feel uncomfortable with it.
LGBTQIA+ is an acronym for sexual diversity, gender and sexuality. It is an abbreviation of the following words:
- lesbian: women who are attracted to women
- gay: men who feel attracted to men
- bisexual: people who are attracted to both men and women
- transgender: umbrella term referring to the group of people who do not identify with their birth gender
- queer: umbrella term including several non-normative identities and sexuality experiences
- intersex: refers to people with a variation from female or male sexual characteristics
- asexual: refers to people who have little or no sexual desire
- +: refers to other gender identities, gender expressions and sexual preferences