The view that humans comprise only two types of beings, women and men, a framework that is sometimes referred to as the "gender binary," played a profound role in shaping the history of psychological science. In recent years, serious challenges to the gender binary have arisen from both academic research and social activism. This review describes 5 sets of empirical findings, spanning multiple disciplines, that fundamentally undermine the gender binary. These sources of evidence include neuroscience findings that refute sexual dimorphism of the human brain; behavioral neuroendocrinology findings that challenge the notion of genetically fixed, nonoverlapping, sexually dimorphic hormonal systems; psychological findings that highlight the similarities between men and women; psychological research on transgender and nonbinary individuals' identities and experiences; and developmental research suggesting that the tendency to view gender/sex as a meaningful, binary category is culturally determined and malleable. Costs associated with reliance on the gender binary and recommendations for future research, as well as clinical practice, are outlined.
- Sex differences
- Social neuroendocrinology