Introduction to GBA Plus

Defining sex and gender

We begin with definitions of sex and gender because they are often – incorrectly – used interchangeably. The distinction must be clear since biomedical considerations, and sociocultural factors may impact how government policies, programs, tools and initiatives are developed, delivered, and evaluated.

The British Columbia Law Institute reminds us that the correct use of commonly understood language is essential. It assists us in framing issues properly, keeps the discussion respectful, and helps identify areas where improper use of terms and concepts is impacting policy rationales and choices.