LIFFE’s FAQ

FAQ’s for Nigeria’s LGBTIQ Community.

What is sex and what do gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and sexuality mean?

Sex is the biological difference between male and female or intersex.

Gender is a social construct of being a male or female especially in reference to social or cultural difference rather than biological ones. This is the feeling, behavior, conduct of either male or female as constructed by the society or cultural beliefs. Gender imprints in us which social role we should perform.

Gender Identity is a personal experience of one's own gender. Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth, or can differ from it. This is how a person sees themselves as man or woman, sometimes in between.

Gender Expression is the way a person shows, acts, behaves, performs or expresses himself/herself/their selves.

Sexual Orientation is an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to either sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category. This refers basically to the sex of those whom one is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to.

Sexuality is the total expression of who we are as human beings which covers a broad spectrum, and is also deeply personal. Human sexualityis the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. Due to the fact that sexuality is a broad term, which has varied over time, it lacks a precise definition. The biological and physical aspects of sexuality largely concern the human reproductive functions, including the human sexual response cycle. Someone's sexual orientation can influence that person's sexual interest and attraction for another person. Physical and emotional aspects of sexuality include bonds between individuals that is expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of love, trust, and care. Social aspects of sexuality deal with the effects of human society on one's sexuality.