Overarching Concepts of Sex, Gender, and Attraction
Attraction – noun: There are many different types of attraction, including:
- Sexual attraction: attraction that makes people desire sexual contact or shows sexual interest in another person(s).
- Romantic attraction: attraction that makes people desire romantic contact or interaction with another person or persons.
- Aesthetic attraction: occurs when someone appreciates the appearance or beauty of another person(s), disconnected from sexual or romantic attraction.
- Sensual attraction: the desire to interact with others in a tactile, non-sexual way, such as through hugging or cuddling.
- Emotional attraction: the desire to get to know someone, often as a result of their personality instead of their physicality. This type of attraction is present in most relationships from platonic friendships to romantic and sexual relationships.
- Intellectual attraction: the desire to engage with another in an intellectual manner, such as engaging in conversation with them, “picking their brain,” and it has more to do with what or how a person thinks instead of the person themselves.
gender expression – noun : the external display of one’s gender, through a combination of clothing, grooming, demeanor, social behavior, and other factors, generally attributed on scales of masculinity and femininity. Also referred to as “gender presentation.”
gender identity – noun : the internal perception of an one’s gender, and how they label themselves, based on how much they align or don’t align with what they understand their options for gender to be. Often conflated with biological sex, or sex assigned at birth.
sex assigned at birth (SAAB) – noun : a phrase used to intentionally recognize a person’s assigned sex (not gender identity). Sometimes called “designated sex at birth” (DSAB) or “sex coercively assigned at birth” (SCAB), or specifically used as “assigned male at birth” (AMAB) or “assigned female at birth” (AFAB): Jenny was assigned male at birth, but identifies as a woman.
sexual orientation – noun : the type of sexual attraction one has the capacity to feel for others, generally labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are attracted to.