Framework and Resources
Gender Spectrum
Sex or legal sex

is determined by the universally acknowledged primary/ external biological characteristics (genitalia); physiological differences and reproductive functions at birth leading to classification of the new born as female or male. A person’s legal sex may be changed as part of gender reassignment.


is a socio-cultural construct that assigns an identity of being a woman or man, girl or boy, to individuals usually categorized as female or male at birth. Behavioural norms, role expectations and relationships are learned through socialization processes and vary across societies, cultures and time. Gendered expectations and role play are context specific and changeable. These influence responsibilities, activities, share and control of resources, participation in decision-making, hierarchical structures and power equations in all personal and work spheres. These impact the economic, political and cultural opportunities. Gendered roles intersect with other identity attributes such as age, class, caste, religion, ethnicity, ability, et cetera.

Gender Binary

is a social system whereby people are thought to have either one of two genders: man or woman. The traditional social belief is that genders will correspond to the sex assigned at birth, that is female or male. It is expected that all individuals will align with the traditional concepts of masculine and feminine identity, roles, expression, and sexual preferences. The gender binary system of natal sex labels is rigid and restrictive. It excludes several other gender identities. It does not take cognizance that gender attributes lie on a continuum of gender spectrum.

Gender Spectrum

goes beyond the gender binary of woman and man arising from the sexual identity at birth as female and male. A person’s sex can be female, male, or intersex manifested as multitude of biological combinations. Gender is a personal identity that is socially constructed. Multiple gender identities exist along the continuum between the binary of being distinctly male or female, man or woman. Gender spectrum refers to biological, mental and emotional traits that define an individual’s gender identity on the continuum. A nonbinary gender identity transcends the normative categorization as male/female or man/woman. It allows for inclusion of nonbinary gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientation/preference.


is an umbrella term for sexual and gender diversity that stands along the continuum of gender spectrum. The acronym expands to gender include categories such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (or Questioning) and Intersex. The + sign indicates that there is further gender and sexual diversity. For instance, it may include P for Pansexual; 2S for two-spirit and/or A for Androgynous. Amongst other gender categories that are not always linked to the LGBTQI are Asexual communities.


refers to individuals whose gender identity and expression does not conform to traditional social norms and expectations associated with the sex of male or female assigned to them at birth. Transgenders may self‑identify in diverse ways as transgender, female, male, transwoman or transman, transsexual, hijra or eunuch etc. They express their identity on the continuum of gender spectrum in a variety of masculine, feminine and/or androgynous ways.

Transgender contrasts with Cisgender, term that refers to the Gender Binary where those born and male/female self-identify themselves as man/woman with masculine/feminine gender identity. It was introduced in academic writing in early 1990s and in the Oxford Dictionary in 2015.


is a term that describes not identifying with any gender or the feeling of having no gender.


is a person whose biological sex is not readily apparent, whether intentionally or unintentionally.


is a person whose identity is between the two traditional genders, someone who reflects an appearance that is both masculine and feminine, or who appears to be neither or both a male and a female.


describes having little or no romantic, emotional and/or sexual attraction toward other persons. Asexuality could be described as being as non-sexual, but is different from celibacy, which is a choice to not engage in sexual behaviour with another person.

Assigned Sex

is the legal sex that is determined at physical sex birth based on the appearance of primary sex characteristics or what is reassigned by medical practitioners after sex reassignment procedures at a later stage in life.


is a term used to describe romantic, sexual, or/and emotional attraction toward people of all sexes. A person who identifies as bisexual is understood to have attraction to male and female identified persons. However, it can also mean female attraction and non-binary, or other identifiers. It is not restricted to only CIS identifiers.


is a term that refers to the Gender Binary where those born and male/female self-identify themselves as man/woman with masculine/feminine gender identity. It was introduced in academic writing in early 1990s and in the Oxford Dictionary in 2015.


refers to belief and behaviour based on the assumption that transgender identities and sex embodiments are less legitimate than cis-gender ones.

Drag Queen / King |

A man or woman dressed as the opposite gender, usually for the purpose of performance or entertainment. Many times, overdone or outrageous and may present a “stereotyped image.”


is a belief system and the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.


is a person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Usually the word is reserved for males attracted to other males.

Gender Bender or Gender Bending

is a way of behaving that questions the traditional feminine or masculine qualities and breaks the stereotype. It could also be a way of dressing using articles of clothing, jewlery or adopting mannerisms or participating in activities that are contrary to gender-based expectations

Gender Dysphoria or Gender Identity Disorder

is a medical condition that characterizes clinical distress experienced by a person whose assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which the individual identifies.

Gender Expression

is the external manifestations of gender as expressed through a person's name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behaviour, voice, and body characteristics.

Gender Fluid

describes an individual who does not identify with a single fixed gender; whose behaviour expresses a fluid or variable gender identity.

GATI (Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions) - Framework Development for Advancing Gender Equity in Science, Technology and Higher Education in India
Sanctioned to GATI PI based at NAAC via Government of India, Ministry of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology, Order dated 30 August 2020