Ep1: Gender, Sex & Sexuality

PURPOSE OF EPISODE: To introduce key concepts about gender, sex and sexuality.

Running Time: 15.08
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Episode Glossary

Binary icon


In sex, gender and sexuality terms, binary is the classification of sex and gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine / male and female / man and woman.

Bisexual icon

Bisexual (Bi)

Romantic or sexual attraction to people of either sex. Bisexual people may be predominantly attracted to men, predominantly attracted to women, or attracted to both, and this may change over time for some people.

Bullying icon


The use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. It is described as intentional acts of aggression that are intended to harm over a period of time where there is an imbalance of power between the person being bullied, and person or persons doing the bullying.

Cisgendered icon

Cisgendered (Cis)

A term used to describe a gender identity that matches an individual’s sex. So, if your birth certificate is marked ‘Female’ and when you grow up you identify as a woman, this means that you have a cisgender gender identity. Being cisgender is often thought of as having no gender identity – however that is a popular misconception – everyone has a gender identity, and no one gender identity is more natural than any other.

Diversity icon


The state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness: variety, multiformity; the inclusion of individuals representing more than one origin, race, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sex, gender and sexuality, etc.

Drag icon


Usually referring to the clothing associated with one gender role when worn by a person of another gender, often when performing or for entertainment.


Having traits, tastes, habits or self-expression that is considered feminine.

Empathy icon


The capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's shoes

Fa'afas/Fa'afafine icon

Fafas / Fa’afafine

Fa’afafine are Samoan male-assigned-at-birth people who behave in a range of feminine-gendered ways. Fa’afafine falls into a separate gender from man or woman. They have been an integrated part of Samoan communities for centuries.

Feminine icon


A set of attributes, behaviours, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Femininity is often perceived as a social construct, which is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors. This makes it distinct from the definition of the biological female sex, as any gender can exhibit feminine traits.

Gay icon


A term that is often used for males attracted to males, however it is also used as a general term for both males and females who are attracted to the same sex. There is no “typical” gay person – gay people are just as diverse as straight people!

Gender icon


The complex interrelationship between an individual’s sex, one’s internal sense of self as man, woman, both or neither (gender identity) as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviours (gender expression) related to that perception, including their gender role. Gender is about how we feel in our head and our heart.

Gender Expression icon

Gender Expression

Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behaviour, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation. Gender expression should not be viewed as an indication of sexual orientation.

Heterosexual icon


Romantic or sexual attraction towards persons of opposite sex or gender. It also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviours, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.

Homophobia icon


Homophobia involves a set of beliefs and actions which discriminate against homosexuality (or other sexual orientations).

Intersex icon


Intersex is an umbrella term that has been used for the last 60 years. It includes over 30 conditions where the sexual anatomy, hormones or the chromosomes are not the standard male or female. An intersex person may have the biological attributes of both sexes or lack some of the biological attributes considered necessary to be defined as one sex. Intersex is always congenital and can originate from genetic, chromosomal or hormonal variations.

Lesbian icon


Lesbian is used to describe sexual or romantic attraction between women. It is a broad term, and those who identify as lesbian may express their identity in lots of different ways.

LGBTI icon


An acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.

Masculine icon


A set of attributes, behaviours and roles generally associated with boys and men. Masculinity is often perceived as a social construct, which is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors. This makes it distinct from the definition of the biological male sex, as any gender can exhibit masculine traits.

Norms icon


Cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions), which represent individuals' basic knowledge of what others do and what others think they should do. Sociologists describe norms as informal understandings that govern individuals' behaviour in society.


Usually an umbrella term for those who do not prescribe to the separate definitions of man and woman (for example: gender variant, gender nonconforming, genderqueer) . A non-binary person can carry this as a gender identity, where they feel neither like a man or like a woman or both at any given time, or a political identity (or both) where they reject and critique the western binary models of what it is to be a man or woman.


Queer is a reclaimed word that serves as an umbrella term encompassing diverse sexualities and those who are not sure. This word is used by many people, but it may not be the preferred term for everybody.


Pansexuality is attraction towards people of any gender identity. It differs from bisexuality, which is attraction to males and females, in that pansexuals can be attracted to all gender identities, not a specific gender.

Prejudice icon


Prejudgment, or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case.


A pronoun is a part of speech that takes the place of other nouns. Some pronouns are: I, we, he, she, all, they, their. Gendered pronouns are those that indicate gender: he, she, him, her, hers, his, himself & herself. All others, like “one” and “they” are gender-neutral.

When we we use pronouns like “she” or “he” to identify a person, we might be making an assumption about that person’s gender that differs from their preferred gender identity. Some individuals may feel more comfortable using pronouns different from the one associated with their biological sex but is in-line with their gender identity. Others may be more comfortable with gender-neutral pronouns.

Sex icon


This is about our biology: our hormones, chromosomes, genitals (private parts) and how our bodies develop as we get older.

Sexuality icon


This is about who we are attracted to.

Stereotype icon


A thought that can be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.

Straight Ally icon

Straight Ally

A straight ally or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual and/or cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBTI causes, and challenges homophobia and transphobia.

Takatāpui icon


Takatāpui is a term that historically refers to a partner of the same sex. Today, it is also used by people who identify as both Māori and queer. It may include sexuality or gender, and can mean different things to different people. It’s a culturally specific term – which means it does not comply with western ideas of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Transgender icon

Transgender (Trans)

An umbrella term encapsulating gender identities where an individual’s self identification or gender identity does not match the one associated with their assigned sex at birth. A transgender individual may identify with any gender identity (not only male or female), and may or may not have undergone gender reassignment surgery or hormonal treatment.

Transitioning icon


The process of changing one’s gender presentation to accord with one’s internal sense of gender. This may involve medical interventions such as hormone replacement therapy and/or sex reassignment surgery. Some trans people might embark on a social transition which might include changing their name, pronouns and gender presentation to better reflect their gender identity.

Transphobia icon


An irrational negative response to transgender and intersex people, as well as other gender identities. Transphobia often carries the assumption that gender is natural, rather than learned and conditioned.

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