Myths vs Facts

How much do you really know about gender and sexual identity?

Put your knowledge to the test

Myths vs Facts

Bisexual people are attracted to everyone.

Myth

Bisexual people are attracted to everyone.

People who are bisexual can experience romantic and/or sexual attraction to people of more than one sex and/or gender. But this doesn’t mean they find everyone attractive. Emotional and romantic preferences come into play just like they do for people who are gay or straight.

Learn more about bisexuality.

Not many people are bisexual.

Myth

Not many people are bisexual.

The Williams Institute estimates that 1.8% of the adult population in the US identify as bisexual—that’s roughly 4.5 million people. There’s a good chance that someone you know is bisexual.

Learn more about bisexuality.

Bisexuality is just a phase. Everyone is either gay or straight.

Myth

Bisexuality is just a phase. Everyone is either gay or straight.

Bisexuality is a unique sexual orientation, distinct from gay or straight. 


Learn more about bisexuality.

A person's biological sex is defined by their visible body parts.

Myth

A person's biological sex is defined by their visible body parts.

There is more to biological sex than meets the eye. It's actually a combination of internal and external genitalia, hormones, chromosomes and other characteristics like breasts or body hair.
 
Learn more about biological sex.

Everyone is born distinctly male or female.

Myth

Everyone is born distinctly male or female.

In reality not everyone is born male or female. Some people are born intersex ---- they have physical characteristics that don’t fit easily into either category. 

Learn more about what it means to be intersex.

Australia was the first country to offer legal protection to those born intersex.

Fact

Australia was the first country to offer legal protection to those born intersex.

Australia was the first country to “fully and authentically” recognize people who are intersex in anti-discrimination legislation. However, even with this protection intersex people still face challenges.

Learn more about living as a person who is intersex.

Some people are gay due to social influences.

Myth

Some people are gay due to social influences.

Studies have shown that neither society nor parenting can change a person's sexual orientation. Upbringing can play a role in how a person expresses their identity.

Learn more about the science of sexual orientation.

The odds of being gay increase when a child has multiple older brothers.

Fact

The odds of being gay increase when a child has multiple older brothers.

Many studies have shown that the odds of a man being gay increase when he has one or more older brothers.  If a man has four older brothers --- instead of having no older brothers --- the likelihood of being gay increases by 4%.

Learn more about the science of sexual orientation.

People who are gay have children who are gay.

Myth

People who are gay have children who are gay.

Studies show that just because a parent is lesbian, gay, or bisexual doesn't mean that they will give birth to someone who is gay.

Learn more about the origins of sexual orientation.

All transgender people are either gay or lesbian.

Myth

All transgender people are either gay or lesbian.

Transgender people have the same range of sexual orientations that other people have. Transgender people can be straight, gay, bisexual or some other sexual identity.

Learn more about people who are transgender. 

All transgender people undergo surgery to change their body.

Myth

All transgender people undergo surgery to change their body.

According to experts each transgender person has a personal and unique journey. A transgender person’s identity does not depend on whether they have had surgery or if they are taking hormones.

Learn more about transitioning.

There is biological evidence to support transgender identities.

Fact

There is biological evidence to support transgender identities.

Research into the science of transgender identity is relatively new but current studies point to a biological basis. Neuroscientists are exploring the brain structures and functions.

Learn more about the science of transgender identity.

Sexual orientation is the same as sexual attraction.

Myth

Sexual orientation is the same as sexual attraction.

A person’s sexual orientation is defined by many factors, including their sexual and romantic attractions, their behavior and their personal identity.

Learn more about sexual orientation.

Men make up the majority of the LGB population.

Myth

Men make up the majority of the LGB population.

Population studies estimate more women identify as Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual. As many as 4.8% of women and 3.4% of men between the ages of 18 and 44 identify as LGB.

Learn more about sexual orientation.

Sexual orientations are easily categorized. You’re either gay or straight.

Myth

Sexual orientations are easily categorized. You’re either gay or straight.

Studies going back more than sixty years show that sexual orientation occurs along a continuum and many people have sexual orientations other than gay or straight.  

Learn more about the variety of sexual orientations.

Sexual identity and gender identity are basically the same thing.

Myth

Sexual identity and gender identity are basically the same thing.

Your gender identity does not determine who you’re emotionally or sexually attracted to.

Learn more about gender identity.

Many cultures recognize 3, 4 or 5 different genders — or even more.

Fact

Many cultures recognize 3, 4 or 5 different genders — or even more.

The variety of genders around the world is almost limitless. Myanmar recognizes a third gender that consists of males who dress and act like women. And it’s not limited to far-flung nations. A tradition In Hawaii brings this conversation closer to home.

Learn more about gender around the world. 

The concept of multiple genders ---- beyond just man and woman --- is a new phenomenon.

Myth

The concept of multiple genders ---- beyond just man and woman --- is a new phenomenon.

People who claim a gender other than man or woman have existed throughout history. It’s only recently that a vocabulary has been created for these many identities.

Learn more about gender identities.

Everyone is either masculine or feminine.

Myth

Everyone is either masculine or feminine.

Some people identify as something other than masculine or feminine.  Other identities include agender, bigender, or genderfluid.  

Learn more about the full spectrum of gender identities.  

Some people do not experience any form of sexual attraction towards others.

Fact

Some people do not experience any form of sexual attraction towards others.

Persons who are asexual do not experience any form of sexual attraction toward others. People who identify as asexual may or may not experience emotional, physical, or romantic attraction.

Learn more about those who identify as LGBTQ+

It is possible to be attracted to people of all genders and identities.

Fact

It is possible to be attracted to people of all genders and identities.

A person who is pansexual or omnisexual has the potential to experience emotional, romantic, physical and/or spiritual attraction to people of all gender identities and gender expressions.

Learn more about what it means to be pansexual and other LGBTQ+ identities.