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Cissexism (or cissexual assumption or cisnormativity) is the appeal to norms that enforce the gender binary and gender essentialism, and then used in the oppression of gender variant (non-binary) and trans identities.[1]


Cissexual privilege, a term coined by Julia Serano in Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, is "the double standard that promotes the idea that transsexual genders are distinct from, and less legitimate than, cissexual genders".[2] In 2010 the term "cisgender privilege" appeared in academic literature, defined as the "set of unearned advantages that individuals who identify with their biological sex accrue solely due to having a cisgender identity".[3] Cissexist ideas of what bodies must correspond to what gender presentations and identities is the root of transphobic and transmisogynistic violence.

"Genetic sex", in fact, cannot be determined by looking: we are unable to readily see people's sex chromosomes and, furthermore, "a person's genetic sex not matching their assigned sex occurs more often than most people would ever fathom."[2][4] The term "biological sex" is often used to refer to the matching up of particular gender presentations with particular genitalia, but this again is a cissexist assumption based on what is visually discernible.


The term is often considered to refer to a more subtle form of transphobia, that makes the assertion that being cisgender is the default and being transgender is abnormal or unnatural.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Berkeley: Seal Press. pp. 162–173]. ISBN 1580051545. 
  3. ^ Walls, N. E.; Costello, K. (2010). Explorations in diversity: Examining privilege and oppression in a multicultural society, 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. pp. 81−93. 
  4. ^