For other uses, see genderism (disambiguation).

Genderism, or gender binarism, is the social system or cultural belief that gender is a binary: that is, that there are, or should be, only two gendersmasculine and feminine — with the aspects of one's gender inherently linked to one's genetic sex, or sex assigned at birth.

These aspects may include expectations of dressing, behavior, sexual orientation, names or pronouns, preferred restroom, or other qualities.[1] These expectations may reinforce negative attitudes, bias, and discrimination towards people who display expressions of gender variance or nonconformity or whose gender identity is incongruent with their birth sex.[2]

Genderism is of particular relevance to individuals who fall within the transgender spectrum, and is an ideology underlying transphobia and trans bashing.[3] Much like how transphobia is parallel to homophobia, genderism is parallel to heterosexism,[4][5][6][7] or the belief that heterosexuality is the superior or more desirable sexual orientation in comparison to homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, etc. Another related concept is heteronormativity, the notion that the male and female genders as well as heterosexual orientation are the social norm.

In the LGBT community

Within the LGBT community, genderism may create institutionalized structures of power, and individuals who identify outside of traditional gender binaries may experience discrimination and harassment within the LGBT community.[8] Most of this discrimination stems from societal expectations of gender that are expressed in the LGBT community. But many LGBT people[8] and many youth activist groups advocate against genderism within the LGBT community.[9]

See also


  1. "Beyond the Binary: Gender Identity Activism in Your School" (PDF). GSA Network. GSA Network. Summer 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  2. McGeeney, Ester; Harvey, Laura (2015). The Palgrave Handbook of the Psychology of Sexuality and Gender. Palgrave Handbooks. pp. 149–162.
  3. Transgender and Transsexual Identities: The Next Strange Fruit—Hate Crimes, Violence and Genocide Against the Global TransCommunities, Jeremy D. Kidd & Tarynn M. Witten, Journal of Hate Studies [Vol.6:31. June 2008] 31-63.
  4. Shirley R. Steinberg (1 April 2009). Diversity and Multiculturalism: A Reader. Peter Lang. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-1-4331-0345-2. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  5. Genny Beemyn; Susan R. Rankin (1 November 2011). The Lives of Transgender People. Columbia University Press. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-0-231-51261-9. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  6. Derald Wing Sue (26 July 2010). Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact. John Wiley & Sons. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-470-49139-3. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  7. The Psychology Of Prejudice And Discrimination. ABC-CLIO. 2004. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-275-98234-8. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  8. 1 2 Farmer, Laura Boyd; Byrd, Rebekah (2015-10-02). "Genderism in the LGBTQQIA Community: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis". Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling. 9 (4): 288–310. doi:10.1080/15538605.2015.1103679. ISSN 1553-8605.
  9. Schindel, Jennifer E. (2008). "Gender 101— beyond the binary: Gay-straight alliances and gender activism". Sexuality Research and Social Policy. 5 (2): 56–70. doi:10.1525/srsp.2008.5.2.56.
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