Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and want to have relationships with. Sexual orientations include gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual.
Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually. It’s different than gender identity. Gender identity isn’t about who you’re attracted to, but about who you ARE — male, female, genderqueer, etc.
It’s common for people to confuse sex, gender, and gender identity. But they’re actually all different things.
Sex is a label — male or female — that you’re assigned by a doctor at birth based on the genitals you’re born with and the chromosomes you have. It goes on your birth certificate.
Gender is much more complex: It’s a social and legal status, and set of expectations from society, about behaviors, characteristics, and thoughts. Each culture has standards about the way that people should behave based on their gender. This is also generally male or female. But instead of being about body parts, it’s more about how you’re expected to act, because of your sex.
Gender identity is how you feel inside and how you express your gender through clothing, behavior, and personal appearance. It’s a feeling that begins very early in life.
Assigned sex is a label that you’re given at birth based on medical factors, including your hormones, chromosomes, and genitals. Most people are assigned male or female, and this is what’s put on their birth certificates.
When someone’s sexual and reproductive anatomy doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male, they may be described as intersex.
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