Once upon a time scientists thought the world was flat.
Then they discovered chromosomes .
(these two events have nothing to do with each other, I'm simply using them of references to establish a time line)
Scientists discovered the (X) Chromosome and (Y) chromosome. The pattern in which these chromosomes occur decides whether someone is born (male) or (female).
All eggs start out with with (XX), female. Then once fertilized a surge of hormones in the uterus decide whether a fetus stays female or becomes male.
This path to maleness or femaleness originates at the moment of meiosis, when a cell divides to produce gametes, or sex cells having half the normal number of chromosomes. During meiosis the male XY sex-chromosome pair separates and passes on an X or a Y to separate gametes; the result is that one-half of the gametes (sperm) that are formed contains the X chromosome and the other half contains the Y chromosome. The female has two X chromosomes, and all female egg cells normally carry a single X. The eggs fertilized by X-bearing sperm become females (XX), whereas those fertilized by Y-bearing sperm become males (XY).
That was a lot of science talk, I'm sorry. But are you with me so far? Good.
So... time skip...
Due to ADVANCES IN SCIENCE (dun dun dun... oh no! that means somethings going to change!) scientists have now discovered that this isn't always the case! They have found that their are MORE THEN TWO POSSIBLE CHROMOSOME PATTERNS! (le gasp!). So what does this mean?
(get ready for some more SCIENCE!)
Some genetic men possess an extra X chromosome (XXY) or more rarely, two or three extra Xs (XXXY, XXXXY); they typically produce low levels of testosterone, leading to less-developed masculine sexual characteristics and more-developed feminine characteristics than other men. In contrast, some men receive an extra Y chromosome (XYY) in the genetic lottery (and while they have been referred to as "supermales" that is more sensationalism than science).
Some genetic women have only one X chromosome; they often display less-developed female sexual characteristics than other women. And people with a genetic mosaic possess XX chromosomes in some cells and XY in others.
Even if you get the "right" combination of sex chromosomes, it's no guarantee that you'll fit into the little boxes society has defined as of male and female.
For example, genetic women (XX) with congenital adrenal hyperplasia produced unusually high levels of virilizing hormones in utero and develop stereo typically masculine sexual characteristics, including masculinized genitals.
Similarly, genetic men (XY) with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome don't respond to male hormones and fail to develop masculine sexual characteristics. Most live their lives as women.
So what does this mean for society?
Some people with penises are more feminine and some people without penises are masculine.
The way we characterize this difference is called GENDER.
(I know it's scary, but please, stay with me!)
Sex refers to what sexual organs you have. There are two kids of sexual organs, MALE and FEMALE. And there fore four possible combonations
but! We're not done.
Gender refers to your mind, behavior and thought patterns; wither someone displays more 'masculine qualities' or 'feminine qualities' , which is in part determined by you chromosomal patters (which we have now learned has MANY MANY options) and how you were raised/ influenced throughout your life (nature vs nurture debate is on going).
Since the discovery of these chromosomal patters that differentiate from (XX) and (XY) scientists realized that not only does your sexual organs not always match your personality qualities but that their is a
(wait for it..... )
SPECTRUM OF POSSIBILITIES!
Now referred to as Gender Spectrum.
This is Science (biology, sociology and psychology)
So since there are more then two options we need more then two classifications, but unlimited possible patters mean way too many classifications for people to keep straight.
Non-Binary is a good start. it's an umbrella term for anyone who doesn't fit into either the 'masculine' or feminine' box.
But mostly what it means is;
Once scientists thought the world was flat.
Once scientists thought that the earth is the center of the Universe and that all other objects move around it.
Once scientists believed illnesses could be cured by bloodletting.
Once scientists believed the Earth was constantly growing and shrinking in size.
Once scientists thought frogs and toads could give you warts.
Once scientists thought lightening never struck the same place twice.
Once scientists thought there were only two genders.
Science changes, people. Get with the times. Educate yourselves.
This has been A Science Lesson with Professor Lee.
Thanks and Have a nice day