Gender and sexual identities systematically structure and influence our everyday lived realities. Gender is a socially constructed cultural category that is ascribed to differences in sex. Sex (such as female, male, or intersex) is usually defined by biological determinants, such as reproductive organs and sex chromosomes. Gender refers to the values, beliefs, and behaviors associated with these differences in sex, or the socially and culturally constructed ideas of masculinity and femininity. Intertwined with but not the same as concepts of sex and gender, sexual orientation refers to socially constructed, historically contingent categories based on who a person is physically or emotionally attracted to, and their gender. The term “sexuality” is used here to broadly include ideas about sexual intimacy and behaviors, sex, gender, sexual orientation or preference, sexual expression, and relationships.
These individuals, groups, and organizations focus on issues of gender and sexuality, including LGBTQ rights and concerns, gender equality, feminism, sexual health and education, and the intersectionality of identities.