Is gender fluid or fixed?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

You can’t go far today without having someone ask something about who you are. You may be asked to identify yourself or tick a box; boy, girl, man, woman, or school pupil, student, professional, or sport lover, social media user, the list is endless. Identity seem to be crucial in today’s culture. But don’t we also hear ‘be anything you want!’, be a girl, be a boy, why does it matter? What is all the controversy about?

If it’s all about freedom, allowing people to be who they think they are, and who they think they are is reality, then our thoughts, feelings and desires decide who we are.

But isn’t that all a bit uncertain, shifting from person to person? Isn’t there something more certain, solid, clear? An external truth? The Bible says right at the very beginning…

So God created man in his own image… …male and female he created them.

Genesis 1 :27

This seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? There are two genders, both made in the image of God but distinct, different, and individual, not transitional or changeable. This is so central to who we are, that Jesus himself quotes this passage in a debate with some Pharisee, when ‘He answered, “have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female…”’ (Matthew 19:4).

If what the Bible says is true, that gender is fixed and the same as your birth sex, then why are people ‘changing’ gender at all? The truth is you cannot change your gender through hormone replacement treatments, surgery, or even human desire to do so. Your DNA will always reveal your true gender, as someone wrote- ‘In a court of law you can convict a man of rape and murder just on the strength of a DNA test alone. But a DNA test is never permitted to determine male or female sex gender for transsexuals in court. Why is this? Because a DNA test would prove with absolute certainty that the transgender hormone therapy and surgery had failed to change a male to a female, or a female to a male’ [1]. It may be possible to change birth certificates and outward appearance but nothing, including a surgeon’s knife or human will, can change our fundamental genetic makeup.

Your DNA will always reveal your true gender…

Our thoughts, feelings and desires cannot determine who we are, but there are those who still struggle with gender identity. Is there any hope for those who struggle? Yes, there is, because all people are made in the image of God with eternal significance and worth. The Bible tells us that, God, our Maker created our inward parts [2], the very detail of who we are He formed in our mother’s womb. Therefore, from the very moment of conception who we are is deeply precious and valuable.

  1. Walt Heyer, 2011 ‘Paper Genders’, page 223- Kindle.
  2. Psalm 139:13 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”