Gendered terms, pronouns and more are among the many new definitions that are popping up in American public discourse, and they have some people worried.
The Associated Press reported that the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association all issued new guidelines this month to clarify what they consider “binary.”
It’s a move that’s likely to cause a lot of confusion among those who identify as genderqueer, transgender and gender-nonconforming, and some who are not.
A spokesperson for the APA told USA TODAY that it’s not their job to decide whether people who have biological gender are actually “bias.”
“It’s an individual choice that’s not based on a medical or psychological diagnosis,” Jennifer Nettles said.
“A person’s gender identity is not a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.”
Nettles told USA Today that it makes sense to look at what people have in common rather than what’s going on inside of them.
And even though the APACSA guidelines have been released, the APS is still waiting on a formal ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether it should classify people who self-identify as gender-variant as having a gender identity disorder.
So how does the APSA’s definition of gender fit into the larger debate over the gender binary?
The APSA defines gender identity as the set of internal, biological, biological and/or biological and behavioral markers a person uses to identify themselves.
It does not include gender expression, such as appearance or behavior, and gender role expression, including the way a person expresses their gender identity.
It also does not count sexual orientation.
The APS defines gender expression as the extent to which a person exhibits gender-related behaviors or attitudes, such it displays a range of body shapes and sizes, facial features, hair styles and body hair, clothing preferences and body odors.
Gender expression also includes the extent a person identifies as both male and female, including their expressions of masculinity and femininity.