What is gender? Part 2: Gender as determined sex

Catholic Trans*

This post is the second in a series on What is gender? Click here to read the first post.


The conversation on “gender as determined sex.”


Our experience of gender begins, whether we’re conscious of it or not, at birth. When the doctor pulls us from the womb, she looks at our genitals and makes an evaluation – does the child look male or female? This evaluation isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. When the doctor looks between the child’s legs, the only thing she sees is the apparent genital morphology. She can’t see the child’s chromosomes, test the child’s gonadal tissue, or perfectly predict the child’s hormonal trajectory. All she sees is whether the child’s genitals look phallic or yonic, and from that she makes a broad biological assumption. This assumption is the child’s assigned sex.

For intersex persons with ambiguous genitalia, this process of assigning a…

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