sciencebasedmedicine.org
Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: It's Complicated
When a baby is born, the obstetrician or midwife announces "It's a boy" or "It's a girl." As toddlers, children learn to classify everyone as either boy or girl. When our firstborn was very young, we overheard her talking to herself as she grappled with the concept: Let's see… I'm a girl, and Kimberly is a girl, and Mommy's a girl… but Daddy's not a girl… He's a boy. Cause he doesn't know any better! As with most things in science, the concept of boy versus girl is more complicated than it appears at first glance. It's not a simple dichotomy. We humans like to classify everything into neat pigeonholes, but Nature's inventiveness outsmarts us at every step. Etymology and meaning of the word gender Gender originally meant "kind." The English word was derived from the Latin word "genus" via Old French. In common use, it came to denote masculinity and femininity. Its main application was in grammar, where words were classified as having masculine, feminine, or neuter gender. In 1926,