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What is gender?

Gender refers to how a person understands and describes their inner self and their experience and role within their social and cultural context.  

Although gender is a vast spectrum, we are often assigned a binary gender of boy or girl at birth based on our sex characteristics, but not everyone’s gender is the same as that which was assumed at birth.

Gender diversity in Aotearoa

Illustration showing Girl Boy and lots of variety in between

The Growing Up in NZ study found that when asked about their gender identity:  

  • 46.2% of young people selected ‘Boy’. 
  • 37.8% of young people selected 'Girl'. 
  • 15% selected ‘Mostly a boy’, ‘Somewhere in the middle’, or ‘Mostly a girl’. 
  • Just over 1.1% of the sample said ‘I don’t know’. 

The Youth ’19 report found approximately one out of every 100 respondents identified with a minority gender (e.g. trans, non-binary).  

Prior to colonisation, gender fluidity was widely recognised and valued in te ao Māori. 

Learn more about gender diversity in te ao Māori.  

Hear from young people

 


Hear from rainbow tamariki and whānau at primary and intermediate schools in Aotearoa.

 

Key contacts 

Contact these organisations for additional support.

Organisational inclusivity 

Improve your organisational policies, procedures and strategy. 

Practice inclusivity

Improve your practices when working with diverse groups of participants. 

Community Stories

Add to the Hub

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a complex space and we are determined to continually evolve the Hub so the content remains up-to-date, relevant and useful. If you would like to submit an addition to the Hub for consideration, please let us know

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us at info@sportnz.org.nz and we will be happy to assist.

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