Third gender or third sex is a concept in which individuals are categorized, either by themselves or by society, as neither man nor woman.It is also a social category present in societies that recognize three or more genders.The concept is most likely to be embraced in the modern LGBT or queer subcultures, or in ethnic minority cultures that exist within larger Western communities such as the North American Indigenous cultures that have roles for Two Spirit people.
This is seen as a mediation between the spirit and mundane worlds.
It is seen as a positive and is almost revered in most Eastern cultures, whereas in Western cultures, people who don’t conform to heteronormative ideals are often seen as sick, disordered, or insufficiently formed.
while sociological research in Australia, a country with a third 'X' sex classification, shows that 19% of people born with atypical sex characteristics selected an "X" or "other" option, while 52% are women, 23% men and 6% unsure.
The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions states that the legal recognition of intersex people is firstly about access to the same rights as other men and women, when assigned male or female; secondly it is about access to administrative corrections to legal documents when an original sex assignment is not appropriate; and thirdly it is not about the creation of a third sex or gender classification for intersex people as a population but it is, instead, about self-determination.
In Africa, a woman can be recognized as a “female husband” who enjoys all of the privileges of men and is recognized as such, but whose femaleness, while not openly acknowledged, is not forgotten either.
The hijras, of India, are one of the most recognized and socially accepted groups of third genders.
The capacity to mediate between men and women was a common skill, and third genders were oftentimes thought to possess an unusually wide perspective and the ability to understand both sides.
In recent years, some Western societies have begun to recognize genderqueer or non-binary identities.
Gender may be organized differently in different cultures.
In some non-Western cultures, gender is not binary and one can cross freely between male and female.
Intersex people are born with sex characteristics, such as chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies".