What Are the 4 Genders?

Reviewed on 1/19/2021

What are the four genders?

The four genders are masculine, feminine, neuter and common.
The four genders are masculine, feminine, neuter and common.

There are four different types of genders that apply to living and nonliving objects.

Masculine gender:

  • It is used to denote a male subtype.
  • Examples are king, man, boy, father, cock, bull, fox, etc.

Feminine gender: 

  • It is used to denote the female subtype.
  • Examples may include queen, woman, girl, mother, hen, cow, vixen, etc.

Neuter gender:

  • It is used to denote nonliving and lifeless things. Neuter means neither, which is neither male nor female.
  • For example, table, hair, city, etc.

Common gender:

  • It denotes either a male or female sex. 
  • For example, teacher, student, cousin, parent, etc.

What do you mean by gender identity and expression?

Gender is a concept that can be broken down into three categories: gender identity, gender expression and physical sex. Gender is not fixed and can change over time.

  • Gender identity is how a person sees themselves. It is their internal sense and personal experience of gender. Some people whose biological sex does not match their gender identity may make physical and social changes to express their identified gender. It may also involve medical changes, such as taking hormones or getting gender-affirming surgery. This process is called transition.
  • Gender expression includes all the ways a person communicates their gender based on societal factors, such as gender norms and perceptions. Some people have the same gender expression all the time whereas others may change their expression over time or based on circumstances. Some play with gender expression for theatrical purposes or “drag” (a Victorian-era theatre slang). People can choose to express their gender identity in different ways at different times. It can be psychologically distressing for some people who do not feel safe or comfortable expressing their gender identity.
  • Physical sex is the development and changes of a person’s body over their lifespan. It depends on various factors, such as sex chromosomes, reproductive organs, hormones and secondary sex characteristics and related medical care.

What do you mean by sexual orientation?

Sexual orientation refers to a person’s emotional and sexual attraction to a particular sex (male or female). Sexual orientation is typically divided into four categories:

  • Heterosexuality: They are attracted to the opposite sex.
  • Homosexuality: They may be attracted to the same sex.
  • Bisexuality: They may be attracted to either of the sexes.
  • Asexuality: They are not attracted to any sex.

What is gender dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria is when a child feels distressed because their gender identity differs from their sex. This distress might affect their school or home life. Not all gender diverse children have gender dysphoria. Some children are comfortable identifying as a gender that is different from what they were assigned at birth. Being gender diverse or experimenting with gender expression isn’t a problem unless the child seems upset or distressed about their gender. However, some children do experience gender dysphoria, especially if they experience bullying, stigma or discrimination at school or other places.

There are many different words and labels that people use to describe their sex or gender characteristics and identities. Here are some of the most common ones

  • Cisgender: A word used to describe people whose gender agrees with their body sex or assigned sex.
  • Trans and gender diverse: A general word for people whose gender is different from their physical sex, including transgender people.
  • Transgender: A person whose gender identity or gender expression does not conform to that typically associated with their sex assigned at birth.
  • Genderqueer/non-binary: Any gender identity that sits within, outside of, across or between the spectrum of the male and female is binary. A non-binary person might identify as gender-fluid, transmasculine, transfeminine, agender, bigender, etc.
  • Intersex: A person born with reproductive organs, hormone levels and/or sex chromosomes that isn’t exclusively male or female. There are many different states of being intersex. They are not always obvious on the outside or even diagnosed.


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