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One of the main issues in contemporary sociology is the problem of gender. What does it entail? Back in the days, it was believed that a child is either male or female and was brought up in that way. This is considered a binary system. However, recent research in the field seems to suggest that everything’s not as black&white as we once thought. More and more experts turn to the non-binary system to describe human gender, but what does that even mean? How is it that we transcended this traditional, binary system that has been around for centuries? Well, we’ll try to explain.
Sex vs. Gender
The first thing that you need to take into consideration is the difference between a person’s sex and gender. According to sociologists, sex is something you’re born with, while the gender is formed, both consciously and unconsciously, later on in life. This means that a child can be born with male genitalia, but develop a female sexual identity and opt for surgery later on. That is why, experts believe, parents shouldn’t impose upon their children any form of behavior just because they’re born with a specific set of reproductive organs. Once they get to the right age, they’ll be able to choose for themselves, unaffected by the environment.
Now, we’ve mentioned that people are born with a certain sex, but it’s not exactly true. In fact, according to a study done by some of the most influential sociologists in the world, 17 out of 1000 children are born in what can be called intersexuality. What does this mean? It means that these children are born with genitalia that doesn’t exactly correspond to either male or female sex or, in turn, corresponds to both. In the past, in these situations, physicians were advised to make the most surgically sensible choices and, therefore, determine the child’s gender themselves. After that, the child’s parents would be advised to bring up the child according to that gender. Nowadays, however, many physicians accept the concept of intersexuality as a reality and allow for non-binary gender options. How does this work in practice? For example, if a child is born as a hermaphrodite, physicians can choose not to do any irreparable damage with unnecessary surgery early on but, instead, wait for the child to reach the right age and choose which gender it would like. It may seem odd at first, but this concept is far less discriminatory and doesn’t go against the child’s will.
This leads us to the actual concept of non binary gender. According to the non binary definition, people shouldn’t be constrained to male and female genders. Whether it’s biological (for example a child whose genitalia have some anomaly or possesses both types) or psychological (despite being born female, the child feels like a man) non-binary gender allows for more freedom of expression and reduces the possibility of discrimination. In fact, some experts in the field believe that the matter of gender is not a binary thing, but more of a sliding scale with various degrees towards one or the other end. This form of thinking could potentially lead to more understanding in the society and less division in the world.
Now that you know everything about the non-binary gender, what do you think? Do you agree with the experts that it is a necessary step towards creating a global society or do you think that it is just a current trend, which will pass in a few years? If it does pass, what do you think will come next? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.