The term sexual identity is used by psychologists and some recent writers in the general area of sexology to describe the sex with which a person identifies, or is identified.

Scientists such as John Money, Milton Diamond, and Anne Fausto-Sterling have sought to discover and describe the biological processes involved in the formation of sexual identities.

Criticism of "sexual identity" as based on sexual characteristicsEdit

It is unclear how this concept is different from gender identity, or how it relates to it. The usage of gender instead of sex when speaking about social or psychological characteristics dates back to 1955 when John Money first used the term gender role:

"The term gender role is used to signify all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or woman, respectively. It includes, but is not restricted to, sexuality in the sense of eroticism." (Hermaphroditism, gender and precocity in hyperadrenocorticism: Psychologic findings (Money, 1955))

From there, gender identity was coined analogously.


  • Anne Fausto-Sterling; Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and The Construction of Sexuality; Basic Books; ISBN 0-465-07713
  • Haig, D. (2004). "The inexorable rise of gender and the decline of sex: social change in academic titles, 1945-2001." Archives of Sexual Behavior 33: 87-96. PDF document

See alsoEdit

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