Know Your Body
This content was shared by the American Sexual Health Association.
Sexual anatomy refers to both the external sexual organs, like the vulva and penis, and the internal organs involved in reproduction, such as the uterus and seminal vesicle. We categorize anatomy as either female or male, but not the person. A person's anatomy doesn't determine their gender. Based on sexual anatomy, a person is assigned a sex at birth—female or male. This is the case even if a person's sexual anatomy does not present as male or female—which is called intersex. Again, this doesn't determine a person's gender.
Gender is shaped by social and cultural norms and expected behaviors. A person's gender identity—the way they see themselves—as female, male, both, or neither—does not always match their biological sex. A person expresses their gender in many ways, such as their name, pronouns, dress, hairstyle, and more.When we talk about sexual anatomy, we talk about it in a binary way—male and female. But this refers to biological sex, not gender identity or expression.
For information about reproductive health visit: Reproductive Health | CDC