Gender and social media sites

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Social media sites began in the early 2000s and have evolved much since then. Many of them collect information on users' genders, and changes in the options available can reflect - or even cause - changes in society.

Gender and Facebook[edit | edit source]

Facebook, founded in February 2004, is one of the oldest and largest social media sites. In its early days, it did not require users to provide their gender, and if a user did not specify a gender then they would be referred to by the neutral pronoun "they" rather than "he" or "she". At some point, Facebook began to require users to select "male" or "female" when registering, though it was possible to maintain a neutral status by editing the registration page to create a third option. In February 2014, Facebook added a "custom" option for gender for English-speaking users, which would allow a user to type their gender and be prompted with various options. Users could also specify which pronouns they preferred from a choice of "he", "she", and "they".[1] Facebook did not publish a list of the prompts, but it appears to have been between 50 and 60.[2] The list was expanded later that year.[3] The current list, as best as it is known, is as follows:

Male and masculine genders: female to male trans man, female to male transgender man, female to male transsexual man, F2M, intersex man, man, T* man, cis male, cis man, cisgender male, cisgender man, female to male, FTM, trans male, trans man, trans* male, trans* man, transsexual male, transsexual man, transgender male, transgender man, transmasculine.
Female and feminine genders: male to female trans woman, male to female transgender woman, male to female transsexual woman, M2F, intersex woman, T* woman, woman, cis female, cis woman, cisgender female, cisgender woman, male to female, MTF, trans female, trans* female, trans woman, transsexual female, transsexual woman, trans* woman, transgender female, transgender woman, transfeminine.
Neutral and third genders and sexes: gender neutral, hermaphrodite, intersex person, polygender, two* person, two-spirit person, agender, androgyne, androgynes, androgynous, bigender, genderfluid, gender nonconforming, gender variant, genderqueer, intersex, neither, neutrois, nonbinary, other, pangender, two-spirit.
Terms which are not genders: asexual, cis, cisgender, trans, trans person, trans* person, gender questioning.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "When you come to Facebook to connect...", Facebook Diversity. February 13th, 2014. Accessed April 10th, 2017.
  2. "Facebook custom gender options: Here are all 56 custom options.", Slate. February 13th, 2014. Accessed April 10th, 2017.
  3. "Facebook's 71 gender options come to UK users, The Telegraph. June 27th, 2014. Accessed April 10th, 2017.

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