On the gender identities amongst young people

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“ There is a need to be thoughtful about the language we use, and to differentiate between gender, biological sex and sexuality. While biological sex development can be ascertained, an individual’s gender and sexuality cannot be assumed on the basis of this. In general, sex hormones can be said to be binary in terms of their actions. Male sex hormones masculinise the body whereas female sex hormones feminise the body. However it is not just the physical body that is so strongly associated with gender. There are many other attributes associated with being male or female, including behaviours, activity preferences and individual characteristics (…) Most often the gender assigned at birth, based on physical sex characteristics, turns out to be the gender we continue to identify with. But this is certainly not always the case. For gender-diverse young people, self-identified gender does not conform to expectations based on their external genitalia. While most trans young people identify with the opposite gender, other gender identities are emerging, including non-binary, gender-queer and gender fluid ”

Polly Carmichael, ‘A child without a gender challenges our preconceptions about sex’, The Guardian

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