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What is bigender?

Катя Шапошникова

An increasing number of studies conclude that gender and sexuality are fluid. That is, they are capable of changing over time under the influence of various factors. Our identity also depends on external and internal changes, which results in individuals who do not necessarily feel entirely male or female. Pure explains what bigender is, and how to know if this is applicable to you.

Definition of bigender

Bigender literally translates to "double gender." From the Latin "bis," double, and the English "gender." It is important to differentiate from physiologically pronounced gender differences. Bigender is a defined social identity that has nothing to do with hermaphroditism. Nor is it a multiple personality disorder or a disease. Bigenderism does not entail that one has the same diagnosis as the infamous Billy Milligan, who had 24 separate identities living within him. It is merely a non-binary gender identity where you can feel male and female, agender or non-binary at the same time.

Bigenderism and bisexuality are different things

By no means should bigenderism be confused with the concept of bisexuality. A bigender can have any type of sexuality, just like any other person. For example, a bigender woman can be completely heterosexual, bisexual, or have fluid sexuality. A bigender man can be either gay, heterosexual, or bisexual. No limits on sexual orientation are implied by bigenderism. The only limitation is the identification between the two sexes. Therefore, unlike gender fluidity, bigender cannot experience the entire gender spectrum, which includes more than 50 different identities.

What is bigenderism in science?

We don't have a clear answer yet, but it most likely has to do with the switching speed of the cerebral hemispheres. The higher the switching speed, the more ambiguous the self-identity will be. There is also a version by scientists Laura K. Case and Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, according to which bigenderism occurs because of shifts in brain-brain connectivity and hormone release. So far, these are only versions, but in any case, this type of gender self-perception is the absolute norm, and the number of bigender is quite high. Unlike transgender dysphoria, where a person cannot find balance with their own body, bigenderism is holistic and is not accompanied by psychological problems, split personalities, or any discomfort in self-perception. Moreover, the movement between the two sexes can depend on one's social circle, social environment, the cultural context in which one finds oneself, and simply one's mood. That is, the main sign of bigenderism is a comfortable sense of one's own bisexuality that does not interfere with social, professional, intimate, or other activities.

On a related note:

  • there is also the "trigenderism" and "polygenderism";
  • bigender people have their own Pride flag and symbol;
  • according to a 2012 study, most bigender people are ambidextrous;
  • the same study confirmed the presence of a so-called "phantom erection" in bigender women and a "phantom limb" in bigender men.
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