by Malen Pijoan Molina and Martín Piana.

Gender identity

The equality, unity and persistence of one's individuality as male, female or ambivalent. As experienced in self-awareness and behavior. Feeling that the person has of himself as a man or as a woman.

Gender role

Everything a person does and says to indicate to others or to indicate to himself the degree to which one is male, female, or ambivalent includes (but is not limited to) sexual arousal and response. In other words, everything that expresses the feeling of yourself as a man or as a woman (includes everything you think, say and indicate to yourself and others that you are male or female).

Sexual orientation refers to the attraction that an individual feels for another of the same sex (homosexual) or another sex (heterosexual).

Both homosexuality and heterosexuality do not imply only sexual contact between people, but also encompasses erotic attraction, sexual behavior, emotional attachment and even identity itself in its most global sense.

In addition to homosexuality and heterosexuality, there is another category within sexual orientation that is relatively new, it is the term known as bisexuality that refers to the attraction for both an individual of the same sex as the other.

The term sexual identity refers to well-differentiated concepts: first, relative to identity and sexuality ; second, more in relation to the internal experience of belonging to a sex .

In the first case, they focus on sexual identity as the self-concept of each person as they relate to sex, gender, sexual orientation. In the second case, it is the sum of the biological and consciousness dimensions of an individual that allow him to recognize belonging to one sex or another, that is, being male or female (being male or female) regardless of gender identity ( feel like male or female) or your sexual preference (sexual orientation or inclination). This concept is closely related to gender identity, to the point that they are often used as synonyms.

At the end of the 80s, what is known as "Queer Theory" emerged, this theory is going to challenge the established order, affirming that the sexual orientation and sexual or gender identity of people are the result of a social construction and that, for therfore, there are no biologically established sexual roles in human nature, but rather socially variable ways of playing one or more roles, rejecting the classification of individuals into universal categories such as "homosexual", "heterosexual", "male" or "female" .

Theories about sexual orientation

Although various theories have attempted to explain the origins of sexual orientation and especially homosexuality, there are still no conclusive scientific answers. These are theories that try to give an explanation and etiology to sexual orientation such as 1) Psychosocial theories that find explanations from the psychosocial and psychoanalytic aspects. 2) Biological theories: that explain sexual orientation from a hormonal perspective, from anatomical differences and / or from a genetic point of view.


Sexual orientation is almost always classified according to sex or the people desired in relation to the subject:

  • Straight (towards the opposite sex)
  • Homosexual (towards the same sex)
  • Bisexual (towards both sexes)
  • Asexual (lack of sexual orientation)
  • Pansexual (towards all or all, including inclination towards people with sexual ambiguity, transsexuals - intersex states such as hermaphroditism and pseudohermaphroditism)


It is a sexual orientation that is characterized by sexual attraction or love or sexual desire towards people of different sex. In addition to referring to a sexual orientation, the term heterosexuality also refers to sexual behavior between individuals of the opposite sex.


At the end of the 19th century, the medical clinical category of "homosexuality" emerged, although this concept was already known, it was at the end of this century, where it gained the dimension that related it to categories belonging to health and disease.

It is defined as the sexual, affective, emotional and sentimental interaction or attraction towards individuals of the same sex. Etymologically, the word homosexual is a hybrid of the Greek homós (which actually means "equal" and not, as you might think, derived from the Latin noun homo, "hombre") and the latin adjective sexualis, which suggests a sentimental and sexual relationship between people of the same sex, including lesbianism. Despite the fact that the term gay (which in old-fashioned English means "gay or rogue") is often used to refer to gay men and the term lesbian to refer to gay women, gay is an adjective or noun that identifies gay people regardless of gender.

Since then, homosexuality has become the subject of intense debate and study. Initially, it was classified as a disease, pathology or disorder that had to be cured, but today it is understood as an integral part necessary to understand the biology, genetics, history, politics, psychology and cultural variations of sexual identities and practices.


It is the lack of sexual orientation and desire. Asexual people have no sexual attraction to any other person and no desire for sexual pleasure; so they do not fit within any defined sexual orientation and it is unusual for them to fall in love or have a partner. Many of them are socially very active and cultivate a large group of friends who know how to understand and support them. Asexual people tend to create an emotional bond towards their partner (if they have one), even if it does not imply the sex involved.


The pan - sexuality, polysexuality or trisexualidad is a human sexual orientation characterized by aesthetic, romantic or sexual attraction to other people regardless of sex and gender of them. Therefore, pansexuals may be attracted to males, females and also to those who are not identified with the male / female or male / female dichotomy, thus including, for example, intersex and transsexuals.


Few subjects cause as much confusion and controversy as transsexuality. It is defined as a person who feels inside a wrong body. He has a male body but his mind tells him "I am a woman" and the opposite, he has a female body but his mind says "I am a male". This inconsistency is called gender dysphoria and causes unhappiness and chronic restlessness. Transsexuals have the conviction of belonging to the opposite gender to which they were born, without suffering serious psychiatric disorders that distort their perception of reality. They have dissatisfaction and / or rejection for their primary (genital) and secondary sexual characteristics (shape of the breasts, hips, tone of voice, hair implantation, etc.). From this deep rejection they want to change them medically and surgically. These people usually have a mismatch between their biological sex and what the mind tells them. Their children's games are going to be typical of the opposite genre and the clothes they want to wear are also those of the other genre.

It is spoken of transsexual from Woman to Man (M to V) when the person is born biologically as a woman and feels or has the conviction of being a man and transsexual from Man to Woman (V to M) when he is biologically born as a man and feels or have the conviction of being a woman

Intersex: (hermaphroditism and pseudohermaphroditism):

They are people who present a disagreement between their genetic, gonadal and genital sex. These people at birth have ambiguous external genitalia / or with a different conformation than usual. In this case, there is demonstrable biological alteration, something that does not happen in transsexuality.

They are classified into:

  • True hermaphroditism: people who have both ovarian and testicular tissue.
  • Pseudohermaphroditism: people with a male-like ovary and genitalia, or a female-like testis and genitalia.


On the one hand there is biological sex, on the other the sexual identity with which we identify ourselves and another thing is sexual orientation, that is, our sexual "choice". With biological sex we refer to our femininity or biological masculinity.

There are two aspects of biological sex: genetic sex: that is determined by our chromosomes and anatomical sex that includes the primary and secondary differences between men and women (genital and extragenital).

Gender is a concept that encompasses different specific psychosocial meanings added to femininity or biological masculinity. While gender identity is the subjective perception of each person of whether they are male or female, although sometimes this is not consistent with the biological sex of each one.