Amab is an acronym that refers to the term “assigned male at birth.” 

What is amab?

Amab is an acronym meaning ‘assigned male at birth’. It describes an individual’s biologically assigned gender identity, which does not necessarily coincide with their own experienced gender identity. 

In this sense, amab refers to the sex of a person who is defined as male based on certain characteristics of their body at birth, typically their external genitalia.

What does it mean?

The term Amab is used to describe a person who was given the male gender at the time of birth. This is usually designated by a medical professional. For some, it is a nonbinary identifier that simply means “male”. Others prefer not to use the term due to its association with assigning gender based on biological characteristics, which they view as restrictive and limiting. 

Amab individuals may be cisgender or transgender, according to their own preferred gender identity. However, sometimes an individual’s identity does not match their assigned gender. The term amab is then used to describe a person born with male genitalia, but it does not necessarily mean that the person identifies as a man or a boy.

How does amab play a role in language inclusivity?

When a baby is born with a penis, that baby is considered to be male and it is typically how the baby will be perceived by society. It also categorizes the child at birth, even though this gender label may not hold true later in life.

Terms like amab and afab (assigned female at birth) distinguish between a person’s biological, assigned sex, and their expressed gender identity, which does not always align with the sex that person has been assigned. 

People who prefer not to use this term argue that gender identity should be self-determined. Using terms like “Amab” reinforces the binary gender system and ignores the complexities of gender diversity. 

Terms that do not match a person’s true experienced identity can be hurtful and discriminating. Identifiers like transgender, queer, nonbinary and gender nonconforming contribute to convey gender identities that validate the fact that gender exists on a spectrum beyond the traditional binary of male and female.

Addressing nonbinary inclusion in the workplace

Here are some examples on how to promote an inclusive nonbinary workplace:

Examine policies and procedures to eliminate biased language: Organizations should examine and update policies that use gender-specific language and replace it with inclusive language that encompasses a diverse range of gender identities. This involves reviewing and revising documents, such as employee handbooks, job descriptions, and HR policies.

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