Sex and gender distinction .January 13, 2021
The distinction between sex and gender differentiates a person’s sex (the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics) from that person’s gender, which can refer to either social roles based on the sex of the person (gender role) or personal identification of one’s own gender based on an internal awareness (gender identity) In some circumstances, an individual’s assigned sex and gender do not align, and the person may be transgender. In other cases, an individual may have biological sex characteristics that complicate sex assignment, and the person may be intersex.
Anisogamy, or the size differences of gametes (sex cells), is the defining feature of the two sexes. By definition, males have small, mobile gametes (sperm); females have large and generally immobile gametes (ova or eggs). In humans, typical male or female sexual differentiation includes the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, the type of gonads (ovary or testes), the balance of sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen), the internal reproductive anatomy (e.g. uterus or prostate gland), and the external genitalia (e.g. penis or vulva). People with mixed sex factors are intersex. People whose internal psychological experience differs from their assigned sex are transgender, transsexual, or non-binary.