Sex, Sexuality and Gender

A key component of the DFY: Take Charge! curriculum is to help youth understand the importance of understanding the difference between Sex, Sexuality and Gender.
Please use the clickable links below to find out more about these useful concepts.

Additional Resources are provided to the right on related topics.

We are all sexual. We are sexual from the day we are born until the day we die. Our sexuality affects who we are and how we express ourselves as sexual beings.

OUR SEXUALITY INCLUDES
• our bodies, including our sexual and reproductive anatomy
• our biological sex — male, female, or intersex
• our gender — being a girl, boy, woman, man, or transgender
• our gender identities — our comfort with and feelings about our gender
• our sexual orientations — straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual
• our sex drives
• our sexual identity — the way we feel about our sex, gender, and sexual orientation

THE WAYS WE EXPERIENCE AND EXPRESS OUR SEXUALITY INCLUDE
• our body image — how we feel about our bodies
• our desires, thoughts, fantasies, sexual pleasure, sexual preferences, and sexual dysfunction
• our values, attitudes, beliefs, and ideals about life, love, and sexual relationships
• our sexual behaviors — the ways we have sex including masturbation

OUR SEXUALITY AND THE WAYS WE EXPERIENCE AND EXPRESS IT ARE INFLUENCED BY
• our biology
• our emotional lives
• our family lives
• our culture and our status in our culture
• our ethical, religious, and spiritual upbringing and experience