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This entry examines the complex nature of gender. Rather than a rigid, binary concept grounded in biology, it presents a model for understanding gender that incorporates a spectrum of characteristics, including an individual’s sex, gender expression, and gender identity. In the process, a more nuanced understanding of this core aspect of self emerges, accounting for each person’s unique gender experiences.

Beyond Biology

When someone has a baby, the question most frequently asked is “Is it a boy or a girl?” This seemingly innocent query reinforces the ubiquitous notion of the binary gender system, which rests on two deeply held, but nonetheless flawed assumptions: that gender is binary, and that this core aspect of self is biologically determined. Rarely challenged, this notion has a significant and costly ...

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