Summary

SEXUAL AND GENDER IDENTITY: AN INTRODUCTION

RAAIJMAKERS, A.I.R. VAN DER MIESEN, J. DEWINTER, A.N.V. RUIGROK

In recent years, there has been an increased interest in sexual and gender identity in society, the media and in scientific publications. But what does gender identity mean? What is the difference between birth sex and gender? The difference between gender variance and sexual identity? What should care providers be alerted to in individuals with sexual or gender diversity? In this article, we will give a research-informed response to the questions above and provide an overview of the di‚ erent concepts and important aspects for care providers who are working with sexual or gender diverse individuals.

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De laatste jaren is er meer aandacht voor seksuele identiteit en genderidentiteit in de maatschappij, media en wetenschap. Maar waar staan gender en toegewezen sekse voor? Hoe ervaren mensen hun seksuele of genderdiversiteit? Daphne Raaijmakers c.s. bieden een overzicht van begrippen en huidige wetenschappelijke inzichten. ‘Wij pleiten voor een open houding ten aanzien van diversiteit op het vlak van seksualiteit en genderbeleving, maar het is belangrijk om zorgvuldig en methodisch te blijven handelen als professional.’

M/V/X/Y: Over biologie Laten we beginnen met de verschillen tussen sekse en gender. Sekse wordt gebruikt om verschillen in fysieke (bijvoorbeeld de geslachtsorganen) en genetische karakteristieken (zoals de geslachtschromosomen, XX voor een vrouw en XY voor een man) aan te geven. Geslachtschromosomen zorgen ervoor dat de ontwikkeling van de geslachtsorganen een bepaalde richting op gaan. Dit leidt tot sekseverschillen in de productie van verschillende geslachtshormonen. De prenatale sekseverschillen in niveaus van geslachtshormonen zijn verantwoordelijk voor de fysieke ontwikkelingen van de geslachtsorganen en na de geboorte ook voor de ontwikkeling van secundaire geslachtskenmerken. Gebaseerd op deze karakteristieken wordt bij de geboorte de toegewezen of toegekende sekse aangegeven: iemand is een meisje/vrouw of een jongen/man. De binaire verdeling die wordt gebruikt in de medische wereld, is niet altijd voldoende. Het is ook mogelijk om geboren te worden met geslachtsorganen waarbij het niet duidelijk is wat de toegewezen sekse zou zijn en waarbij sprake is van een intersekse-aandoening (ook wel DSD-aandoeningen genoemd naar…

Dit artikel is mede geschreven door leden van de werkgroep ‘Genderidentiteit en seksuele identiteit’, die onderdeel is van FANN (Female Autism Network of the Netherlands). FANN is een landelijk interdisciplinair netwerk voor professionals en ervaringsdeskundigen die zich inzetten voor de verbetering van diagnostiek en behandeling van meisjes en vrouwen met autisme.¨De auteurs willen alle deelnemers van FANN bedanken voor de inspiratie.

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