Bigender (being a man & woman simultaneously)

What does it mean to be bigender?

When we talk about bigender we are referring to one of the components of a person’s sexuality, which is gender identity or sexual identity.

We are not talking, therefore, about biological sex, or sexual orientation, or gender expression, but we are talking about what and how a person feels that their identity is in relation to gender.

To explain it in a simple way, we will start with the binary sexual system.

Many people identify only as women or as men (what we could call monogender), but other people identify with more than one gender.

In this sense, we could say that a bigender person feels that he is both a man and a woman, and this can be in different magnitudes, which can also change over time.

The previous definition falls short when we look at reality, so we must introduce the non-binary sexual system to accommodate people with two gender identities that can be binary (man/woman) and non-binary, for example, gender ( they do not identify with any gender), fluid gender (at one moment it identifies with one gender and at other times it identifies with another.), or any other identity. 

The same is applicable for Trigender people, who identify with three gender identities, whatever they may be.

We must bear in mind that we are talking about a subjective perception, of how we feel our own gender, and not how that gender is expressed.

In this sense, when we meet someone, we could not say without fear of being mistaken, that it is a bigender, trigender, agender, transgender, fluid gender, pangender, aporagender, demiagender etc.

And we must also remember that words such as bigender, are categories created to be able to talk about what happens and not the opposite.

In the United States, it is already legal for people of the same sex to marry. Because there are people who are born like this.

That is not natural or unnatural, in fact, it is not even important to find out (it is also unnatural to wear glasses and nobody says anything … well, when they were invented, yes). 

It is also not important to find out if it is a disease or not (according to the DSM it is not, because a disease should be something that in some way undermines the well-being of an individual, and feeling attracted to men or women does not).

To assimilate to what extent all these considerations are only cultural and sterile, it is worth reading the science fiction novel The endless war, by Joe Haldeman. It will amaze you.

Homosexuality is one more manifestation of human sexuality (and also of animal, in some cases).

It is rare and not oriented to the reproduction, but that is not bad either, as it is not to be born sterile or without the ambition to procreate (we are not precisely in a world where we need more people with reproductive capacity, as priests well know , who have also decided not to procreate).

Transsexuality is also another manifestation of human sexuality.

Or bigender, that is, people who periodically alternate states of male and female sexual identity.

People who decide to stay neutral in terms of gender identity are said to have Neutrosis identity.

Bigender studies

One of the most detailed studies on the bigender identity was carried out in 2012 by neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran.

According to their study, bigender is a subcategory of the transgender condition.

He analyzed 32 bigender people (11 anatomically female and 21 anatomically male). As Pere Estupinyà explains in his book S = EX2:

Regarding the frequency of the changes, twenty-three of the thirty-two individuals alternated male and female identity several times a week, fourteen of them daily, six at least once a month, and three a few times a year.

Most defined these changes as involuntary, but ten of them decided that they were predictable. (…) A curious fact was that sexual orientation sometimes changed with alternation of identity, but others did not.

Everything seems to indicate that the bigender identity has a biological cause, which has led Ramachandran to coin the neuropsychiatric condition called alternating gender incongruity or AGI.

With the growing tendency to avoid creating more mental disorders that pathologize the diversity of our behaviour, it does not seem that the AGI will prosper, but surely the concept that like sexual orientation and gonadal sex will not continue they are watertight, the gender identity itself could also be more ambiguous than we have been imagining.

In any case, we should distinguish between the sex of a person (being biologically male (XY) or female (XX)) and gender, which is the role in which the person identifies (male, or female).

Gender identity 

For the delimitation within the same identity of two distinct components‚ related to consciousness biological and social qualities, there were proposed two terms: 

  • sex to define biological qualities what marks the differences between men and women and 
  • gender, which indicates socio-cultural traits.

The term “gender” in the current sense was first used by the British psychologist Robert Stoller11 in 1968‚ being taken over by the theorists of the feminist movement for defining socio-cultural differences between masculinity and femininity.

Thus, a detachment from the traditional term sex was achieved. Later some authors attributed socio-biological affiliation to the term.

The theme of the research was problem-oriented identification and formation of the concept of self under the root

gender identity, historical and spatial, cultural and ethnic influences, but, especially, 

towards that of gender relations.

In this context, fueled by the feminist movement worldwide, the issue of gender differences has become increasingly important in research and currently appears to be one of the most discussed subjects.

Various concepts and guidelines can be mentioned, which reveal the presence or absence of differences significant differences between genders, using as a point of reference to the various parameters: 

  • Biological – genetic 
  • Somatic – the physical feeling
  • Psychological – at the level of reasons, interests, skills; 
  • social – the impact of cultural-normative influences, stating by the socialization of distinct identities, etc. 

The theme of differences and similarities between genders is not just an object of scientific investigation.

Currently, when there is a considerable change in content and distribution of social roles, this aspect is of great concern to those who face it in daily practice with the disturbances produced by those changes.

According to genetic studies ‚the initial mechanism of gender differentiation consists of the interrelation of the triad: hormone, brain, behaviour. Until recently, it was asserted that there is only the relationship between hormones and behaviour, the former having a decisive role.

But according to recent research, it has been shown that there may be a

inverse relationship, i.e. external factors can influence into some extent appropriate hormonal secretions differentiation mechanism. 

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It turns out that hormones regulate development processes, but also depend on the environment’s external information.

At the same time, the brain performs the behaviour programming function both according to the male and female model, which depends,

ultimately, the conditions of individual development.

Ultimately, hormones determine the differentiation of the nerve channels of some

sections of the brain that regulate sexual differentiation and, consequently, behaviour.

Sexual identity 

Awareness of sexual identity takes place in early ontogenesis: at 2-3 years the child distinguishes girls from boys and realizes his sexual affiliation.

But only at 4-5 years, the child possesses the ability to correctly determine other people’s sex. 

But as experimental research has shown‚ even at this age children still think that sex can be changed, if this is desired thing, since until 6-7 years they do not perceive the constancy in ambience‚ considering that everything can be changed.

Cognitive development and integration of social knowledge lead to the assertion of sexual identity.

Perception of differences and self-awareness sexual affiliations are presented as an important activity in gender identification, but incomplete, because gender identity is more complex than sexual identity or ‘better said’ includes the latter and adapts to social demands. 

If speaking of sexual affiliation, we refer to the two sexes – women and men, gender identity presents these two entities known and constituted based on the general stereotype accepted, but also a distinct category – that of androgens.

Androgynous identity (Greek: Andros – male and gine – woman), summing up features attributed by tradition femininity or masculinity‚ does not present itself as a

deficient gender identity, but on the contrary, bimodal.

To cope with the current social situation and not face disapproval, people who are not in accordance with the traditional prescriptions of the gender role they resort to strategic patterns of behaviour. 

Although the new social situation no longer allows for inequality, in dealing with gender, social competition is manifested still strong. 

Conclusions

When we talk about bigender we are referring to one of the components of a person’s sexuality, which is gender identity or sexual identity.

We are not talking, therefore, about biological sex, or sexual orientation, or gender expression, but we are talking about what and how a person feels that their identity is in relation to gender.

FAQ about bigender

What does it mean to be Bigender?

When we talk about bigender we are referring to one of the components of a person’s sexuality, which is gender identity or sexual identity.

We are not talking, therefore, about biological sex, or sexual orientation, or gender expression, but we are talking about what and how a person feels that their identity is in relation to gender.

What are Bigender pronouns?

Some bigender people do not believe in binary gender and prefer not to use pronouns associated with men (he) or women (she); instead, they prefer that people simply use their names or that they use genderless pronouns like “their” or “they.”

Is Bigender non binary?

Yes, bigender is under the non-binary umbrella term. A bigender person feels that he is both a man and a woman, and this can be in different magnitudes, which can also change over time.

What does Intergender mean?

Intergender is a type of sexual identity, which essentially describes a person who identifies somewhere between the female and male genders, or even with both genders in some cases.

What is an intersex person?

Intersex is a term that is generally used for a variety of body situations, in which a person is born with sexual characteristics (genitalia, gonads, hormone levels, chromosomal patterns) that does not seem to fit the typical definitions of male or female.

Further reading

Exploring the Dimensions of Human Sexuality, by  Jerrold S. Greenberg

Diversity in Couple and Family Therapy: Ethnicities, Sexualities, and Socioeconomics, by Shalonda Kelly

Identities and Inequalities: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Class, Gender, & Sexuality (B&b Sociology) by David Newman 

Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type, by Paul D. Tieger 

What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues

Relationship counselling

  • If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.

LGBTQ issues

If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.

References

The endless war, by Joe Haldeman

S=EX²: The Science of Sex, by Pere Estupinyá

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