Introduction to GBA+

Summary

Both sex and gender can influence an individual’s experience of federal government policies, programs and initiatives.

Remember that sex refers to biological and physiological characteristics and a person’s sex is often assigned at birth. Gender identity refers to internal and deeply felt sense of being a man or woman, both or neither. A person’s gender identity may or may not align with the gender typically associated with their sex. Gender refers to the roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society may construct or consider appropriate for men and women. It can result in stereotyping and limited expectations about what cisgender women and men can and cannot do. Transgender and non-binary people are often overlooked in societal conceptions of gender.

Looking at sex- and gender identity- disaggregated data is a first step to determining whether sex and gender identity are important factors to consider. The next step is to analyze the social context, including social norms we may take for granted which create a person’s experience.

In general, the differential impacts of an initiative will be more about gender identity (in relation to gender--socially constructed roles and relationships) than sex (biological).