More sex/gender symbols

A follow-up to my posting on sex/gender symbols, taking up some further cases in which the borders between male and female are erased, and how these situations have been represented graphically.

Case 1: intersex. From Wikipedia:

Intersex, in humans, is a variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, and/or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female. Such variation may involve genital ambiguity, and combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female.

Graphically, Venus and Mars have been combined to make an intersex symbol in many ways: #1, #4, and #6 in the earlier posting (and, I assume, #5 as well, though I don’t have the evidence for this), plus this symbol, the infinity sign ∞ with Venus’s mirror and Mars’s spear attached (seen here in red):


(There’s a clear relationship here to #1 in the earlier posting.)

Case 2: genderqueer. From Wikipedia:

Genderqueer (GQ; alternatively non-binary) is a catch-all category for gender identities other than man and woman, thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity. People who identify as genderqueer may think of themselves as one or more of the following:

— having an overlap of, or blurred lines between, gender identity and sexual and romantic orientation.

— both man and woman (bigender, trigender, pangender);

— neither man nor woman (nongendered, genderless, agender);

— moving between genders (genderfluid);

— third gender or other-gendered; includes those who do not place a name to their gender.

And a symbol:


An explanation, from this source:

my intention was to create a symbol for those who fall outside the lines of cis and trans male and female; for the genderqueer and genderfluid; third gender and agender; etc.

it obviously relies on the mars and venus male and female gender symbols, and is a combination of them in the x: the + of the venus symbol rotated and the > of the male symbol, but the x also denounces them. x has become a symbol of the non-binary, in pronouns and titles; it seemed fitting here. its position on the circle deviates from the positions of the male, female, and trans symbols, because it is not them, but is not meant to be above them.

this symbol is for anyone who identifies beyond male and female.

Now to move from gender identity to sexual object preference, and we get two more cases:

Case 3: bisexuality. Again from Wikipedia:

Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior toward [both] males and females. The term is mainly used in the context of human attraction to denote romantic or sexual feelings toward [both] men and women.

The obvious symbols would show Venus or Mars linked with both Venus and Mars. Here’s a symbol for female bisexuality, Venus (in the middle, and in purple) linked with both Venus and Mars:


(The corresponding symbol for male bisexuality would have Mars in the middle, linked with both Venus and Mars.)

Case 4: triples, two on one. In the previous case, we had Venus or Mars linked to both Venus and Mars. Now to Venus linked to two Marses, or (as in the graphic below) Mars linked to two Venuses:


Polyamory. In the last two cases we had one person linked by desire or sexual relations to two others, in such a way that the trio involved at least one person of each sex. There are also three-way same-sex relationships, of course (for those involving men, some links are here). When sexual relations rather than just desire is at issue, all these cases can involve simultaneous three-ways, or merely (typically sequential) polyamorous relationships. On polyamory, from Wikipedia:

Polyamory … is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is distinct from both swinging (which emphasizes sex with others as merely recreational) and polysexuality (which is attraction towards multiple genders and/or sexes).

(And of course more than three people can be involved.)

And a symbol has been devised for this situation, the polyamory heart (once again incorporating the infinity sign, indicating ‘no boundaries’):


The ways of the human heart, mind, and body are various.

One Response to “More sex/gender symbols”

  1. Symbols at ease | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Earlier on this blog (on 4/13/13), the mirror of Venus and spear of Mars as sex/gender symbols: “Sex/gender symbols” and “More sex/gender symbols”. […]

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