Cisnormativity is a dominant ideology and worldview, which is itself built on a foundation of endosexnormativity. Cisnormativity involves a series of assumptions, including:
- The assumption that sex is a binary – that all bodies will fit neatly into the categories of male/female.
- The assumption that gender is a binary – that all people will identify as a man or woman, and where these gender categories are mobilized as though they are ahistoric and acultural.
- The assumption that these binary sex and genders will, or ought to, align in predictable ways according to dominant sociocultural values such that “alignment” between sex and gender is taken as the default – as natural and normal.
Challenging cisnormativity involves acknowledging and addressing the colonial, racist, sexist and heterosexist constructions of gender binaries and meaningfully attending to the lives of trans, non-binary and other non-cisgender people in research and elsewhere.
Endosexnormativity is a dominant ideology and worldview. Endosexnormativity involves a series of assumptions, including:
- The assumption that sex is an immutable, purely biological reality i.e., that knowing whether someone was assigned female or male tells you something unchanging, knowable, and fundamentally important about the person’s biology. This assumption fails to acknowledge that sex involves both chromosomal and phenotypical characters, not all of which are binary.
- The assumption that humans are naturally sexually dimorphic, i.e., that all human bodies will or ought to fit neatly into the categories of male or female.
- The assumption that bodies that are not clearly categorizable as male or female are “disordered” and devalued.
Challenging endosexnormativity involves acknowledging and addressing the colonial, racist, sexist and heterosexist constructions of sex binaries and meaningfully attending to the reality of intersex lives in research and elsewhere.