Assigned Female at Birth

Updated: AUGUST 10, 2020

Assigned female at birth (AFAB) is a term used to describe someone classified as a female at birth. This typically occurs because the attending doctor feels that the baby's genitals appear more feminine than masculine.

The term encompasses people who are biologically female as well as intersex individuals who were female-assigned. It is most commonly used in trans, non-binary, and genderqueer communities.

Assigned female at birth may also be referred to as female assigned at birth (FAAB) or designated female at birth (DFAB).

More About Assigned Female at Birth

People who are female assigned at birth are denoted as female on their birth certificate and subsequent legal documents. People who are biologically female typically feel comfortable with being female assigned at birth. It is more common for intersex and transgender individuals to reject the term because some do not identify with the gender they were assigned.

In some cases, a person who was female-assigned at birth may transition to become a male. This process aims to resolve an individual's conception of gender with that assigned to them. However, even if a person does not transition, she may still view her body as male.

People who feel such a disparity may prefer the term coercively assigned female at birth, or CAFAB, because this stresses that an external party chose their gender. However, some members of the intersex community reject the use of this term by transgender people born female arguing that it should be reserved for intersex people whose genitals were surgically altered to appear more female. It's also important to remember that there's no way for a medical practitioner to know whether a baby that appears as a girl will become straight, gay, or transgender.


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