For clarity, consideration, or to help non-native English speakers, here are some terms you may encounter around here. I will add to each section as the terms are covered in videos. Feel free to add your own terms below or please contact me if you have an updated/more concise definition. I’ve organized terms into the following sections, which you can click to visit.
Social Awareness Terms
Sections in progress: sexual violence, lifestyles, safe sex/std terms, human development
Gender: Gender is born through our social/cultural interactions and is expressed in our varying degrees of femininity and masculinity. Contrary to popular belief, there are many genders, and they do not necessarily reflect the sex of the individual.
Sex: Sex is biological and is reflective of the genitals one has. Sex can be male (XY), female (XX), or intersex (XXY or XXYY).
Intersex: Having some combination of both genitals (i.e. women born with enlarged clitoris, lacks vaginal opening, scrotum divided and looks more like a labia, etc). “Hermaphrodite” is an outdated and generally offensive term for this condition.
>>What’s the difference between gender and sex?
“Gender is between your ears, sex is between your legs.” Gender occurs according to your socialization/culture, but sex is biological and occurs regardless of culture. Thus, gender is more fluid than sex.
Gender Identity: How somebody identifies their own gender.
Transgender: Transgendered individuals may not identify with a gender or may identify with a gender that does not match their assumed sex pairing. (I.e. a female-bodied person who identifies as a man.)
Transsexual: A transsexual is an individual who has taken steps to make their outward expression match their gender identity. These steps might include clothing, make up, hair styles, hormones, and surgery.
Transwoman: A transperson who identifies as a woman.
Transman: A transperson who identifies as a man.
Transfolk: Those who identify as trans, often in reference to the trans community.
MTF/FTM: An outdated term for transwoman/transman. Is also used to specify the nature of an individual’s transition (male to female transsexual, female to male transsexual).
>>What’s a “tranny”?
“Tranny” is a slang term for a transsexual. It is disagreed upon within the trans community as to whether “tranny” is an offensive term.
Sexual Orientation: Refers to which genders and sexes a person is attracted.
Bisexual: A sexual orientation wherein the individual is attracted to men and women.
Heterosexual: Aka straight. A sexual orientation wherein the individual is attracted to the opposite sex.
Homosexual: Aka gay or lesbian. A sexual orientation wherein the individual is attracted to the same sex – lesbian refers exclusively to women.
Pansexual: A sexual orientation wherein the individual loves indiscriminate of gender identity or sex.
Asexual: Refers to the absence of sexual attraction, and in some cases, the absence of sexual orientation.
Queer: An umbrella term which serves to reunite all orientations to a single state of fluid humanity; it is an assertion that as humans, we are all different, quirky, or “queer”. Anybody can identify as queer. “Queer” used to be a derogatory term for homosexuals, but is being reclaimed by people across gender and sexual orientations.
Ally: Someone who is willing to stand up and support another across differences.
Homophobia: Irrational and negative behaviors or attitudes toward lesbians and gays. Provokes homosexual discrimination.
Transphobia: Irrational and negative behaviors or attitudes toward transfolk. Provokes trans discrimination.
Xenophobia: The fear of other cultures.
Heterosexism: Attitudes or biases which glorify heterosexual relationships above all others; may also refer to heterosexuality as a “default” sexuality.
Sexism: The belief that one sex is superior to another.
Genderism: The belief that there are and should be only two genders and that gender is not removable from sex.
Patriarchy: A social system which places men at the center of all organization.
Racism: The belief that one race is inherently superior to another/all others.
Weightism: Discriminatory behavior against others based on their weight.
Singlelism: Discriminatory behavior against those who are not married, whether or not by choice. Provoked by marriage as a “default” relationship format.
Ageism: Discriminatory behavior or attitudes against a particular age group. The belief in a superior age group.
Minorities: Groups based on shared characteristics; a minority is relative to its sociological context. In majority rule systems, minorities are vulnerable to the oppression of the largest or most powerful group. In the social sciences (what we do here!) “minorities” refers to those with less social power per body.
Oppression: To keep someone subordinated or in hardship, especially in unjust and cruel ways.
Subordinate: To unjustly treat as inferior.
Socialization: The internalization (it becomes unconscious to you) of social/cultural norms and expectations through social conditioning (being around people).
Privilege: A social or economic advantage not enjoyed by all that one did not have to work to gain.
Politically Correct: Language, behaviors, or legislation that seek to minimize the targeting of specific subordinated groups.
Monogamy: A relationship style in which you only have one sexual partner at a time. Reflected in the institution of marriage.
Polygamy: Means “many marriages”. Refers to being married to multiple persons at one time.
Polyamory: Means “many loves”. To have multiple consensual, loving relationships with others at the same time. Does not necessarily indicate desire for polygamy.
Open-Relationship: Typically refers to an emotionally monogamous but sexually open relationship. Various couples may adopt different levels of emotional or sexual commitment to each other.
Swingers: Those in a monogamous relationship who collaboratively choose to swap partners with other couples.
Rape: Forced, unwanted contact with or penetration of the genitals.
Sexual Harassment: Intimidation, bullying, or unwanted advances of a sexual nature.
Stalking: Unwanted and obsessive attention given to an individual against their will and/or knowledge.
Abuse: Using emotional, physical, financial, or psychological means to assert power and control over another individual.
Roofies: Refers to date rape drugs (heavy sedative) in general, but originally referred only to Rohypnol.