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Cisgender (sometimes cissexual, often abbreviated to simply cis) is a term for people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. Cisgender_sentence_0

For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth is a cisgender woman. Cisgender_sentence_1

The term cisgender is the opposite of the word transgender. Cisgender_sentence_2

Related terms include cissexism and . Cisgender_sentence_3

Etymology and terminology Cisgender_section_0

German sexologist Volkmar Sigusch used the neologism cissexual (zissexuell in German) in a peer-reviewed publication. Cisgender_sentence_4

In his 1998 essay "The Neosexual Revolution", he cites his two-part 1991 article "Die Transsexuellen und unser nosomorpher Blick" ("Transsexuals and our nosomorphic view") as the origin of the term. Cisgender_sentence_5

Cisgender has its origin in the Latin-derived prefix , meaning "on this side of", which is the opposite of , meaning "across from" or "on the other side of". Cisgender_sentence_6

This usage can be seen in the cis–trans distinction in chemistry, the cis and trans sides of the Golgi apparatus in cellular biology, the cis–trans or complementation test in genetics, in Ciscaucasia (from the Russian perspective), in the ancient Roman term Cisalpine Gaul (i.e., "Gaul on this side of the Alps"), Ciskei and Transkei (separated by the Kei River), and more recently, Cisjordan, as distinguished from Transjordan. Cisgender_sentence_7

In the case of gender, cis- describes the alignment of gender identity with assigned sex. Cisgender_sentence_8

Sociologists Kristen Schilt and Laurel Westbrook define cisgender as a label for "individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity". Cisgender_sentence_9

A number of derivatives of the terms cisgender and cissexual include cis male for "male assigned male at birth", cis female for "female assigned female at birth", analogously cis man and cis woman, and cissexism and cissexual assumption. Cisgender_sentence_10

In addition, one study published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society used the term cisnormativity, akin to sexual diversity studies' heteronormativity. Cisgender_sentence_11

A related adjective is gender-normative because, as Eli R. Green writes, "'cisgendered' is used [instead of the more popular 'gender normative'] to refer to people who do not identify with a gender diverse experience, without enforcing existence of a normative gender expression". Cisgender_sentence_12

In this way, cisgender is preferable because, unlike the term gender-normative, it does not imply that transgender identities are abnormal. Cisgender_sentence_13

Julia Serano has defined cissexual as "people who are not transsexual and who have only ever experienced their mental and physical sexes as being aligned", while cisgender is a slightly narrower term for those who do not identify as transgender (a larger cultural category than the more clinical transsexual). Cisgender_sentence_14

For Jessica Cadwallader, cissexual is "a way of drawing attention to the unmarked norm, against which trans is identified, in which a person feels that their gender identity matches their body/sex". Cisgender_sentence_15

The terms cisgender and cissexual were used in a 2006 article in the Journal of Lesbian Studies and Serano's 2007 book Whipping Girl, after which the term gained some popularity among English-speaking activists and scholars. Cisgender_sentence_16

Jillana Enteen wrote in 2009 that cissexual is "meant to show that there are embedded assumptions encoded in expecting this seamless conformity". Cisgender_sentence_17

Serano also uses the related term cissexism, "which is the belief that transsexuals' identified genders are inferior to, or less authentic than, those of cissexuals". Cisgender_sentence_18

In 2010, the term cisgender privilege appeared in academic literature, defined as the "set of unearned advantages that individuals who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth accrue solely due to having a cisgender identity". Cisgender_sentence_19

While some believe that the term cisgender is merely politically correct, medical academics use the term and have recognized its importance in transgender studies since the 1990s. Cisgender_sentence_20

In February 2014, Facebook began offering "custom" gender options, allowing users to identify with one or more gender-related terms from a selected list, including cis, cisgender, and others. Cisgender_sentence_21

Cisgender was also added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, defined as "designating a person whose sense of personal identity corresponds to the sex and gender assigned to him or her at birth (in contrast with transgender)". Cisgender_sentence_22

Perspectives on History has stated that since this inclusion, the term cisgender has increasingly become common usage. Cisgender_sentence_23

Critiques Cisgender_section_1

From feminism and gender studies Cisgender_section_2

Krista Scott-Dixon wrote in 2009: "I prefer the term non-trans to other options such as cissexual/cisgendered." Cisgender_sentence_24

She holds this view because she believes the term "non-trans" is clearer to average people and will help normalize transgender individuals. Cisgender_sentence_25

Women's and Gender Studies scholar Mimi Marinucci writes that some consider the "cisgender–transgender" binary to be just as dangerous or self-defeating as the masculine–feminine gender binary, because it lumps together people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) arbitrarily and over-simplistically with a heteronormative class of people as opposed to with transgender people. Cisgender_sentence_26

Characterizing LGB individuals together with heterosexual, non-trans people may problematically suggest that LGB individuals, unlike transgender individuals, "experience no mismatch between their own gender identity and gender expression and cultural expectations regarding gender identity and expression". Cisgender_sentence_27

From intersex organizations Cisgender_section_3

See also: Intersex Cisgender_sentence_28

Intersex people are born with atypical physical sex characteristics that can complicate initial sex assignment and lead to involuntary or coerced medical treatment. Cisgender_sentence_29

The term cisgender "can get confusing" in relation to people with intersex conditions though some intersex people use the term, according to the Interact Advocates for Intersex Youth Inter/Act project. Cisgender_sentence_30

Hida Viloria of Intersex Campaign for Equality notes that, as a person born with an intersex body who has a non-binary sense of gender identity that "matches" her body, she is both cisgender and gender non-conforming, presumably opposites according to cisgender's definition, and that this evidences the term's basis on a binary sex model that does not account for intersex people's existence. Cisgender_sentence_31

Viloria also critiques the fact that the term "sex assigned at birth" is used in one of cisgender's definitions without noting that babies are assigned male or female regardless of intersex status in most of the world, stating that doing so obfuscates the birth of intersex babies and frames gender identity within a binary male/female sex model that fails to account for both the existence of natally congruent gender non-conforming gender identities, and gender-based discrimination against intersex people based on natal sex characteristics rather than on gender identity or expression, such as "normalizing" infant genital surgeries. Cisgender_sentence_32

See also Cisgender_section_4


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