adj or noun – A term used to describe a woman attracted mostly or exclusively to other women, or someone who identifies as a member of the lesbian community.


adj – Someone who was assigned male at birth but identifies as a woman or a feminine non-binary person


noun –  refers to the biological distinctions that exist between male, female, and intersex people with respect to reproductive anatomy, sex chromosomes, and/or specific genes.1 Based on these biological distinctions, most infants are assigned a sex at birth according to the binary-framework of male or female.2

Sex is often described using the words:

  • Femaleadj or noun
  • Intersexadj
  • Maleadj or noun


  1. Short, S. E., Yang, Y. C., & Jenkins, T. M. (2013). Sex, gender, genetics, and health. American journal of public health103 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), S93–S101.
  2. Lehman, J.R., Diaz, K., Ng, H., Petty, E.M., Thatikunta, M., Eckstrand, K. The Equal Curriculum. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland. 2020.


noun – the socially-constructed set of ways that people understand and express themselves along the continuum of masculinity, femininity, both, or neither. Gender is distinct from sex (also referred to as someone’s natal sex or sex-assigned-at-birth).

People generally describe their gender using any of the following terms:


Short SE, Yang YC, Jenkins TM. Sex, gender, genetics, and health. Am J Public Health. 2013;103 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S93-S101. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301229


 – adj – A term used to describe someone whose current gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth. In other words, someone who is not agender or transgender.


adj – someone who was assigned female at birth but identifies as a man or a masculine non-binary person


The acronym LGBTQ+ collectively refers to lesbiangaybisexualtransgender, and queer people—a broad coalition of groups that are diverse with respect to gender and sexual orientation.1 In a research context, LGBTQ+ people are also often referred to as sexual and gender minority, or SGM, people.2

  1. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities. The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 1, Introduction. Available from:
  2. National Institutes of Health Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Sexual & Gender Minority. Accessed March 6, 2021.


noun – A term used to describe someone who self-identifies as a man or as masculine based on what is important to them as an individual—including gender roles, behavior, expression, identity, and/or physiology.