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A Christian, intra-religious translating dictionary

Gender identity terms & concepts

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About gender identity:

The vast majority of people:

bulletIdentify themselves as either male or female.
bulletHave genitalia that is clearly either male or female.
bulletHave either a XX chromosome or a XY chromosome in every cell of their body indicating maleness or femaleness.

Further, the vast majority of people are cisgendered:

bulletThe gender that they identify themselves as matches their genitalia and chromosomes. Some feel themselves to be a female, do have female internal and external sex organs, and do have XX chromosomes in cells throughout their body. Others feel themselves to be a male, do have male external sex organs, and do have XY chromosomes in cells throughout they body.

However, in rare circumstances, people will identify themselves as being of one gender, while their genitalia and chromosomes point to the other gender. They are often referred to as transgender or transsexual. Their condition is often referred to as gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder.

Some will describe having a permanent feeling of being a woman trapped in a man's body, or vice versa. This is sometimes described as having a male brain in a female body, or vice-versa. They can become profoundly depressed. Their death rate was once estimated at 50% by the age of 30 -- usually by suicide. However, sexual reassignment surgery and/or hormone treatments have made many transsexuals closer in appearance to the gender with which they identify. The success of these treatmenets appear to have drastically reduced the suicide rate -- at least for persons who have the finances to afford the treatments.

It appears that therapy, counseling, and/or prayer have a zero success rate at resolving their internal conflict.

Common evangelical usage of term and concepts Usage by others * Comments
"Gender confusion" "Gender identity disorder" "Confusion" implies uncertainty; "identity" implies certainty..
Gender is determined at birth, by the person's DNA and genitalia. Gender is normally determined at birth. However, for transsexuals, gender is determined later in life. The difference generates a great deal of confusion, and makes dialogue difficult.
Gender is immutable Gender can change. Ditto.
Gender is determined by objective criteria: genitalia and chromosomes Gender is determined by subjective criteria -- the person's gender identity. Ditto.
A male is a person with male genitalia and XY chromosomes A male is a person who identifies themselves to be male. Ditto.
A female is a person with female genitalia and XX chromosomes A female is a person who identifies themselves to be female. Ditto.
Resolution is by changing gender identity to bring it into harmony with genetic gender via prayer and therapy Resolution is by changing physical appearance to bring it into line with gender identity via hormones and, optionally, surgery. There is essentially no room for compromise between these two concepts.
A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female remains a male A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female is a female and is referred to as a female. The two practices depend upon whether gender is defined genetically or by gender identity.
A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male remains a female A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male is a male and is referred to as a male. Ditto
A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male and is sexually attracted to women is a lesbian -- a person with a homosexual orientation. A transsexual who was identified as female at the time of birth and who transitions to male and is sexually attracted to women is a heterosexual. This is where things get a bit confusing.
A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female and is sexually attracted to men is gay -- with a homosexual orientation. A transsexual who was identified as male at the time of birth and who transitions to female and is sexually attracted to women is a lesbian. Ditto

Things really get confusing when one considers which marriages involving a transsexual are same-sex marriages and which are opposite-sex marriages.

* "Others" include most mental health professionals, transgender persons, transsexuals, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, religious liberals, etc.

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 Home page > Religious info > Evangelical dictionary > here

or Home > "Hot" religious topics > Abortion > Evangelical dictionary > here

 Home > Comparison of religions > Evangelical dictionary > here

 Home>"Hot" topics>Homosexuality>Basic info>Evangelical dictionary>here

 Home > Sex > here

 Home > "Hot" topics > Sex > here

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Home > Christianity > History, practices... > Christian practices > Sex > here

Home > Religious Information > Basic data > Sex > here

Copyright © 2009 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2009-JAN-15
Latest update and review: 2011-APR-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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