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What does cisnormative mean?

There are many terms that come up when discussing gender and you may hear words that begin with “cis”.

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Cisnormative is one such word and its meaning is simply the typical or expected behaviour from a particular gender role: at its simplest the binary of Man and Woman.

So as an example, if you’re born male, grow up and are treated as a male, it might be considered cisnormative for him to play with toy soldiers, like football or have his bedroom colour blue.

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In the same way, it would be considered cisnormative for a girl to grow up liking and dressing in pink and playing with dolls.

A person living a cisnormative life is a cisgender person who dresses and acts in a way which might be described as typical for their gender and biological sex.

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Many of these choices are actually impacts from parental decisions rather than a child’s actual wishes. This was proven in a recent BBC two documentary called Gender Free.

 

You can add your comments below if you’d like us to update the meaning we’ve used here.

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