Until recently, gender and sexuality were terms that were used interchangeably. But now we understand that they actually have very specific meaning. For the past 3 months, via our Cause A Chatter track - Gender Talks, we have been trying to raise awareness around gender and sensitize our community and people beyond. We ran a survey on how well you understand gender and sexuality and the results are in! While it has given us some great insights and we know that we're moving in the right direction, we also have our work cut out for us.
36% people still think gender and sex is about being male or female
While majority people know that gender can change over time and is a social construct, there are still people who think it is about male or female. Same with sex. Though 64% understand that sex is the physical attributes you have, there are people for whom there are still grey areas.
If you're looking for a resource to understand gender and sex better, check this.
It was heartening to know that while there were grey areas in gender and sex, 93% people understood that when it comes to sexuality, it is an expression of sex and gender - that sex and gender intersect to give you one's sexuality.
98.8% understand pronouns
Thanks to the advent of the practice of adding she/her, he/him and they/them in bios on social media, our community is way ahead of the curve in their understanding of what pronouns are and why they're essential. We were happy to note that almost everyone got the question that they/them are persons who do not identify as male/female and are gender non-binary right.
If you're looking for a resource to understand pronouns and gender non-binary better, check this.
93% agree that understanding gender is important
Before we began collating our resources for Gender Talks and discussing internally what we were going to focus on, we wanted to understand why we, as team, wanted to champion the cause of gender. This was included in the survey questions and 93% agreed with how we had answered this question. We believe that understand gender is important:
- As it helps us understand who we are
- So we can create a safer and inclusive society
- So we can break free from stereotypes and express who we are freely, without bias or threat
Gender includes entire diaspora
Now that we know gender is not only about being male or female, it was important for us to find out what community thought the umbrella of Gender Talks meant. Was it only about women and their challenges? 94% agreed that Gender Talks means talking about the entire diaspora of gender, irrespective of how they identify themselves, and to create a more inclusive society.
To know more about how you can talk about gender, listen to this podcast.
Stereotypes hurt/restrict how you express yourself
We asked the community what stereotypes they wished they could change and though there were many that were mentioned, there were 2 that were mentioned repeatedly:
- Boys don't cry, or cannot be sensitive
- Household chores are a woman's domain
It is such stereotypes that can harm a person and restrict their expression of themselves. It is thus important to educate ourselves on gender so we do not come from a place of ignorance but a place of empathy. We would also like to mention 2 more points that were raised and they were around the need to improve education on gender spectrum and transgender rights.
It is fitting that we're publishing our survey results a day after International Transgender Day of Visibility. Do read this post to understand their history. And if you'd like to add your voice to the cause of gender, you can read this post.