Healthline: Medical information and health advice you can trust. (2023)

Healthline: Medical information and health advice you can trust. (1)

Maybe you just caught the latest episode of “I Am Cait” or “Pose.” Maybe you had a friend or family member come out as trans or nonbinary. Or maybe you’re questioning your own gender.

Whatever the reason, if you’re here it’s because you’ve got questions like: What does it mean to be cisgender? What does it mean to be transgender? And how is gender different from sex?

Ahead, your answers to these questions and more.

What’s the short answer?

Good old Merriam Webster defines someone cisgender as a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth. And that’s spot on, according to Jesse Kahn, LCSW, CST, director and sex therapist at The Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center in New York City.

But to really understand what that definition is saying, you need to understand what gender identity is, as well as what sex assigned at birth is. So, let’s get into it.

What does sex refer to?

Before reading an article like this one, most people think that the terms sex and gender are synonymous — but sex is different from gender.

Sex — often demarcated as male or female — is a category that is designed to name the cluster of characters (like hormones, chromosomes, and genitals) a person has.

We typically associate males with things like having a penis, XY chromosomes, and testosterone as their primary sex hormone. We tend to think of females as having a vagina, XX chromosomes, and estrogen as their primary sex hormone.

When an infant is first born, doctors eye their genitals and then figure out whether or not to demarcate “male” or “female” on the birth certificate. After this initial sex assessment, if a baby has a penis, they’ll put M, and if a baby has a vulva and vagina, they’ll put an F.

The sex put on the birth certificate is also known as a person’s natal sex or sex assigned at birth.

Understanding sex as a spectrum

Many people think there are only two sexes — male and female — but this isn’t true.

Intersex people have genitals, chromosomes, or variations in sex hormones that don’t neatly line up with popular ideas about male or female categories.

(Video) Supplements 101: Do I Need a Vitamin D Supplement? | Healthline

About 2 percent of the global population is born with intersex traits.

What does gender refer to?

While a person’s sex is primarily based on external, visible markers, gender is based on the internal understanding one has of themselves. Gender is solely about how you identify yourself, independent of your physical body.

“Gender can be a tool to better understand yourself, your behaviors, your feelings, your thoughts, and your desires,” saysZachary Zane, sex expert, journalist, and BoySlut founder.

“But if you’re feeling limited by it — say you identify as a cis man and because of that, don’t feel comfortable embracing your femininity — then screw gender,” says Zane. “Be who you want to be without feeling obliged to define your gender.”

Understanding gender as a spectrum

Although this is slowly starting to change, most people are taught that there are only two genders: man and woman.

But there are way more than two genders!

There’s a long and rich history of cultures where people have identified as something other than men or women. Examples include Two Spirit people in Indigenous North American cultures, Hijras in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, and the sworn virgins of the Balkans.

Several terms have become popular as ways to describe identifying outside the man-woman binary. To name just a few:

  • nonbinary
  • agender
  • bigender
  • genderqueer
  • gender nonconforming

How do you know if you’re cisgender?

Let’s get really clear on the cisgender definition. Ready? A person is cisgender if the sex they’re assigned at birth aligns with their gender.

“Someone is cisgender if they were assigned male at birth (AMAB) and now identity as a man, or if they were assigned female at birth (AFAB) and now identify as a woman,” explains Stephen Quaderer, CEO of ThotExperiment and creator of hookup app Headero.

So, if you’re wondering if you’re cisgender you need to know your sex assigned at birth and your gender.

To start, take a peek at the sex listed on your passport, birth certificate, or driver’s license.

(Video) Healthcare 2.0: How Virtual Care Is Changing Everything

Then, begin to explore your own gender through some or all of the following:

  1. Read memoirs written by people all across the gender spectrum.
  2. Learn more about the different gender terms out there.
  3. Experiment with different types of gender presentations.
  4. Interrogate how different gendered or non-gendered words, pronouns, and labels make you feel.
  5. Work with a gender-affirming and/or trans-inclusive therapist.
  6. Unpack when you first learned about gender and gender roles.

Can your gender change over time?


Your gender can change over time. Sometimes this is because your gender itself has evolved, and sometimes this is because you learn new words or word-combos that more accurately describe your lived experience.

Where do pronouns fit into all of this?

Good question!

Linguistically speaking, pronouns are short-hand stand-ins for someone’s name.

For instance, instead of saying “Emily got the pen” you might say, “she got the pen.” In this example, “she” is the pronoun.

There are a number of pronoun options. For example:

  • she/her
  • he/him
  • it/its
  • they/their
  • zie/zir

Sometimes pronouns are called gender pronouns because they can be used to signal someone’s gender. For instance, someone who is a man could use the “male” pronoun he/him, while someone who is a woman could use the “female” pronoun she/her.

As such, using the correct pronouns for someone is a great way to affirm their identity (and also just show basic human respect).

That said, it’s also important to recognize that someone’s pronouns do not always indicate a person’s gender. Certain pronouns are not reserved for certain identities.

In summary: If you know the pronouns someone uses for themselves, use them. If you don’t, ask. And once you do know? Don’t make assumptions about what their pronouns mean about their gender.

How does being cisgender relate to other gender identities?

Great question! Let’s compare and contrast what cisgender means to a few other gender identities.

Cisgender and transgender

The prefix ‘cis’ means on the same side. So, someone who is cisgender has a gender that is on the same side as the sex they were assigned at birth.

The prefix ‘trans’ means on the other side. So, someone who is transgender has a gender that is on a different side from the sex they were assigned at birth.

(Video) Therapist Reacts to Couples' Thoughts on Cheating

Or as Kahn explains, “While a cisgender person is someone whose gender identity is the same as their gender assumed at birth, a transgender person is someone whose gender identity or expression differs from their gender assigned/assumed at birth.”

Typically, cisgender and transgender are considered binary categories. There’s often an assumption that someone must be either one or the other. But not all people feel affirmed by either term.

Cisgender and nonbinary

“A nonbinary person is someone whose gender doesn’t fit within the binary of ‘man’ and ‘woman’,” says Kahn.

Some nonbinary people see their gender as existing between the two binary genders, while other nonbinary people see their gender as existing totally outside of the binary genders.

Most people who are nonbinary, however, do not identify with the term “cisgender.”But that doesn’t necessarily mean nonbinary people are transgender.

“Some people who are nonbinary are also trans, and some people who are trans are nonbinary, but some people who are nonbinary don’t use the word transgender, and so on,” Kahn says.

Cisgender and agender

Someone who is agender doesn’t identify with being a man or woman, says Quaderer. Someone who is agender also isn’t nonbinary or any other gender.

An agender person has no gender.

Some agender people feel affirmed by other labels like transgender or nonbinary, and some do not.To know how an agender individual relates to the cisgender-transgender binary, you’d have to ask!

Is being cisgender the same thing as being straight?

No.Cisgender is word that describes gender. Straight is a word that describes sexual orientation.

Said differently: Cisgender names who you are, while straight names who you might be attracted to.

That said, someone could be cisgender and straight! For instance, a person who was assigned female and is a girl (cisgender) and is attracted to men (straight) is both!

What does it mean to have ‘cisgender privilege’?

People who are cisgender typically have rights, advantages, and access to resources and opportunities that aren’t granted to people who aren’t cisgender.

There are many situations in which cisgender people are privileged over transgender, nonbinary, and other gender nonconforming people, a few of which include:

(Video) Signs You're Dating a Narcissist

Healthcare access

Many insurance companies don’t cover things considered “transgender healthcare.” For instance: Hormone replacement therapy and medically necessary surgeries that cisgender people can have covered.

Further, many healthcare professionals aren’t knowledgeable about providing services to people who aren’t cisgender — worse, some providers are downright transphobic.

Discrimination in employment and housing

Prepare yourself for some disturbing statistics.

More than 25 percent of trans people have lost a job due to gender discrimination, and more than 75 percent have experienced some form of workplace discrimination.

(And no, at this time, there are no federal laws in place to protect people who are transgender against discrimination).

Additionally, 20 percent of trans people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.


People who are transgender, nonbinary, or otherwise gender nonconforming also experience small, everyday actions that can be hurtful or make people feel like they’re being treated differently because of their identity.

These are known as microaggressions.

A few examples include being:

  • misgendered or treated like they belong to a gender that they don’t
  • told how well they do or don’t meet the societal standards of their gender
  • harassed or mistreated when someone figures out that they’re not cisgender
  • asked invasive questions about their bodies and their medical history
  • stared at or having people avoid eye contact with them

Remember that privilege is complex, and we have privilege based on numerous different identity categories. For example, while a white transgender man may experience discrimination and microaggressions for being transgender, he still has certain advantages over people of color and women because he’s both white and a man.

How can cisgender people support folks of other genders?

There are a number of things people who are cisgender can do to support the non-cis people in their lives.

Recognizing your own gender biases and calling yourself in anytime you make assumptions, use gendered lingo, and assume someone’s pronouns are great places to start.

You should also:

  • Never make assumptions about a person’s identity. You can never know someone’s gender until they tell you.
  • Exchange pronouns with everyone. Just met someone? Introduce yourself with your name and your pronouns. (Yes, even if you think you know the other person’s gender!) This indicates to other people that you’re a safe person to reveal their pronouns to. As people can change their names and pronouns over time, be prepared for the possibility that the first answer you get might change.
  • Avoid using gendered language. Time to rid your vocab of gendered phrases like “ladies” or “guys,” or using “sir” or “ma’am.” Try using “folks” to refer to a group or “friend” to politely speak to an individual.
  • Recognize that you’re cisgender and that you have privilege because of that. Some people seem to think that “cisgender” is a bad word, but just know that it’s simply a way to describe someone that identifies as the gender they were labeled at birth.

Here’s the thing, real advocacy goes wayyy beyond the above. Real advocacy means using your privilege to fight for the rights of gender minorities, even when it means having difficult and challenging conversations with the cisgender people in your life.

(Video) Therapist Reacts to Couples Trying to Save Their Relationships

Some ways you can take action:

  • If you hear someone misgendering or otherwise discriminating against people who aren’t cisgender, step in and talk with them. Explain the language they should be using and why it’s hurtful to do otherwise.
  • If you have access to resources or opportunities, such as a job opening or stable housing situation, think of ways you can help people who aren’t cisgender get access to these things as well.
  • Donate time or money to transgender-led political organizations.
  • Offer to go with someone if they’re facing a situation that might lead to discrimination. Whether it’s going with them to get their name or gender marker changed on their IDs, or something as simple as going with them to the bathroom, having your support and knowing you’ll back them up if anything goes wrong can be a big help.

Where can you learn more?

To learn even more about gender, gender disparities, and gender advocacy, check out the following audio and written resources:

Healthline: Medical information and health advice you can trust. (2)


Is Healthline a reliable website? ›

Healthline Media's sites provide evidence-based articles with the highest standards of medical integrity that support the modern health consumer with a whole-person approach to health and wellness.

Is Healthline a government website? ›

Healthline Media, Inc. is an American website and provider of health information headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Type of sitePrivate
OwnerHealthline Media (Red Ventures)
ProductsHealth information services
Employees279 (2018)
3 more rows

What is best medical advice site? › is a website from the NIH National Library of Medicine that has dependable consumer health information on more than 1,000 health-related topics.

Who owns Healthline website? ›

More than 250 million people worldwide and 79 million people in the U.S. visit Healthline's sites each month, according to data from Google Analytics and Comscore, respectively. Healthline Media is owned by Red Ventures.

Which is better Healthline or WebMD? ›

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE), the flagship site of Healthline Media, has passed as the number one ranked health information site in the U.S. with 72.9 million unique monthly visitors as measured by Comscore in January.

Is Healthline better than WebMD? ›

At the end of the day, the reason Healthline overtook WebMD is manifold: a mix of better user intent understanding, user experience, and content quality. In the last years, SEO has become multidimensional and linear root causes for drops or increases are rare.

What is the ranking of Healthline website? › and are 2nd and 3rd on the list. In terms of user engagement, has an average visit duration of 00:02:37 minutes, an average pages per visit of 3.85, and a bounce rate of 44.66%. Similarly, mayoclinic.

What kind of company is Healthline? ›

Healthline Media is a media company that reaches more people on their road to well-being than any other health property. Through rigor in research, diversity of perspective, and compassion in action, we are relentless leaders in helping people find their best path forward.

Is WebMD a reliable source? ›

Awards and Recognition. WebMD offers credible and in-depth medical news, features, reference material, and online community programs.

What websites do medical professionals use? ›

Here are the top health web sites doctors and medical professionals can use to gather medical information:
  • PubMed. ...
  • UptoDate. ...
  • MedScape. ...
  • World Health Organization (WHO) ...
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) ...
  • American Medical Association (AMA) ...
  • ClinicalKey. ...
  • Epocrates.
May 5, 2022

What are seven sources of reliable health information? ›

The main sources of health statistics are surveys, administrative and medical records, claims data, vital records, surveillance, disease registries, and peer-reviewed literature.

What is better than WebMD? ›

Top 10 WebMD competitors
  • Ada Health.
  • Mediktor.
  • Remedy Health Media.
  • StoryMD.
  • KnoWEwell.
  • Sickweather.
  • Healthline Media.
  • Lumos.

How does Healthline Media make money? ›

Healthline Media is funded through the sale of advertising that appears on its properties, which include websites, apps, social media, and partner publications.

Who bought Healthline medical? ›

CHARLOTTE, NC – Red Ventures, a portfolio of digital companies headquartered in Charlotte, NC, has acquired Healthline Media (“Healthline”), a publisher of two of the four largest consumer health and wellness information sites in the world, from Summit Partners for an undisclosed amount.

What is the turnover of Healthline? ›

What is the Operating Revenue of HEALTHLINE PRIVATE LIMITED.? The operating revenue of HEALTHLINE PRIVATE LIMITED. is in the range of INR 1 cr - 100 cr for the financial year ending on 31 March, 2022.

What is the most trusted health organization? ›

The 10 most-trusted health care brands
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine.
  • UNC Health.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
  • Nebraska Medicine.
  • Baptist Health South Florida.
  • Stanford Healthcare.
  • Mayo Clinic.
Nov 8, 2021

What are HealthLINE alternatives? ›

Healthline's competitors and similar companies include WebMD, YYOGA, AlterG and Mountainside Fitness.

Is WebMD considered peer reviewed? ›

It contains the latest information from reliable sources including the most important peer-reviewed medical journals, announcements from federal health agencies, and analyses on the latest health trends.

How much can you trust WebMD? ›

All in all, is WebMD trustworthy? It depends on which page you land on and what you're looking for. The site may be an okay starting point for information, like Wikipedia. But the information isn't always reliable, and unlike Wikipedia, the site's business model relies on the same industry it reports on.

Is WebMD reliable Wikipedia? ›

URAC, the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission, has accredited WebMD's operations continuously since 2001 regarding everything from proper disclosures and health content to security and privacy.

How does WebMD make money? ›

Like many other free-to-use websites on the Internet, WebMD makes money by selling advertising space to interested companies. You can usually identify them by them having the word “Advertisement” near them somewhere.

Who is Healthline target audience? ›

Audience interests reveal key details on the browsing interests of's visitors.'s audience is interested in Science and Education > Universities and Colleges & news.

Who is behind medical news today? ›

All posted content is available online (>250,000 articles as of January 2014), and the earliest available article dates from May 2003. The website was founded in 2003 by Alastair Hazell and Christian Nordqvist. It was acquired by Healthline Media in April 2016.

Is MedlinePlus reliable? ›

MedlinePlus is a website with high-quality health information that is easy to understand. It includes links from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and other U.S. federal government agencies.

How much does Healthline pay writers? ›

Healthline Media Salaries
Job TitleSalary
SEO Specialist salaries - 2 salaries reported$34/hr
Content Writer salaries - 2 salaries reported$26/hr
Freelancer salaries - 1 salaries reported$34/hr
Community Manager salaries - 1 salaries reported$29/hr
10 more rows
Apr 9, 2023

Who is the editor of Healthline? ›

Chelsea Logan - Senior Editor - Healthline Media | LinkedIn.

Who is the CEO of Healthline? ›

David Kopp serves as the CEO / President of Healthline Media.

Has WebMD been sued? ›

A recent class action lawsuit claims that the WebMD website violates California privacy law by recording their visitors. Plaintiff Mary Narvaez says that she visited the WebMD website several times, most recently in July 2020. Unbeknownst to her, the website allegedly recorded her activity through Mouseflow software.

Is Mayo Clinic a scholarly source? ›

Mayo Clinic Proceedings

One of the premier online only peer-reviewed clinical journals in general and internal medicine, it's among the most widely read and highly cited scientific publications for physicians.

Where does WebMD get their information? ›

WebMD's about page states they get their information from, “the latest medical findings published in peer-reviewed medical journals, such as The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Pediatrics, Diabetes Care, Circulation, and many others.”

What is the largest online healthcare? ›

Telemedicine, or telehealth, companies allow individuals to see medical professionals remotely via telephone, video call, and computer. Founded in 2002, Teladoc Health is the largest telemedicine company by revenue.

What search engines do doctors use? ›

Medical search engines include several medical databases, such as EMBASE, MEDLINE, and MedlinePlus.
5 Best Medical Search Engines
  • Pubmed. ...
  • ScienceDirect. ...
  • OpenMD. ...
  • Cochrane Library. ...
  • Google Scholar.

What are the 4 types of medical resources? ›

The healthcare system offers four broad types of services: health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and rehabilitation.

What are at least 4 reliable sources you can use to get health information? ›

A few trustworthy websites to get you started
  • MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine.
  • Healthfinder, US Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Mayo Clinic.
  • WebMD.
  • National Council on Aging.
  • National Spinal Cord Injury Association.

What are 5 reliable sources of information? ›

Source provides an overview or summary of other sources.
  • textbooks.
  • fact books.
  • almanacs.
  • dictionaries.
  • encyclopaedias.
Feb 14, 2023

Why is WebMD not a scholarly source? ›

The study WebMD is discussing is a scholarly source, but the WebMD article itself is not. It is a secondary source - one that summarizes original research. The article includes some publishing information about the original study that will help you find the research article.

How much does it cost to use WebMD? ›

WebMD's programming caters to all health-related interests, ranging from disease and condition information to healthy lifestyle-related content. We do not charge any usage, membership or download fees for access to our public portals or mobile applications.

What company owns WebMD? ›

Image of What company owns WebMD?
Internet Brands is a digital media and software company based in El Segundo, California, United States, that operates online media, community, e-commerce, and SaaS businesses in vertical markets.

How much does Healthline pay copy editor? ›

Healthline Media Salaries
Job TitleSalary
Copy Editor salaries - 3 salaries reported$58,548/yr
Marketing salaries - 3 salaries reported$75,843/yr
Freelance Writer salaries - 3 salaries reported$59,547/yr
Graphic Designer salaries - 3 salaries reported$59,981/yr
16 more rows

How many employees does Healthline have? ›

View Employees

Healthline has 300 employees. View the comprehensive list of Healthline employees, their locations, business contact details and key personnel.

Who bought Healthgrades? ›

An affiliate of Vestar Capital Partners, a private equity firm, acquired Healthgrades in 2010. Healthgrades merged with CPM Marketing Group, a Madison, Wisconsin based company that provides customer relationship management solutions to hospitals.

Does Healthline have a newspaper? ›

California Healthline is the California Health Care Foundation's free daily digest of health care policy news and opinion for the nation's largest state. Subscribers may register for daily, weekly, and breaking news email alerts.

When was the Healthline website created? ›

Launched in 2006, is the fourth largest health information source. It has 22 million monthly US-based users and 40 million monthly global visitors.

How do I contact HealthLINE Media? ›

(917) 720-4400.

Is HealthLINE a publisher? ›

Healthline Media is the 2nd largest and fastest growing consumer health publisher in the world, reaching 85 million people a month.

Is HealthLINE a blog? ›

The HealthLINE blog serves as a means to facilitate communication to HealthLINE members beyond the capabilities of the HealthLINE listserv and provides information about HealthLINE meetings, CE classes, news, website suggestions, and more. It was originally launched in March 2004.

What are Healthline alternatives? ›

Healthline's competitors and similar companies include WebMD, YYOGA, AlterG and Mountainside Fitness.

Where does Healthline get their information? ›

Healthline receives funding from advertisements, sponsored content, and other partnerships, such as affiliate programs. The reality is that funding from our advertisers allows us to cover more conditions and provide more powerful experiences, including video, animations, and input from a range of experts.

Does Healthline own medical news today? ›

Medical News Today is a web-based outlet for medical information and news, targeted at both the general public and physicians.
Medical News Today.
ParentHealthline Media (Red Ventures)
3 more rows

What is HealthLINE app? ›

HealthLine is a medical inventory solution designed to help professionals manage supplies, stocks, and patient revenue across hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare systems.

Does HealthLINE have a newspaper? ›

California Healthline is the California Health Care Foundation's free daily digest of health care policy news and opinion for the nation's largest state. Subscribers may register for daily, weekly, and breaking news email alerts.


1. 3 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar | Healthline
2. 5 Remedies to Get Rid of Headaches Naturally | Healthline
3. Healthline presents TRANSFORM: Future of Health: Top Innovations in Health and Wellness
4. How to Peel Garlic | Healthline
5. How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day | Healthline
6. 6 Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders | Healthline


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Emmett Berge

Last Updated: 12/10/2023

Views: 5330

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Emmett Berge

Birthday: 1993-06-17

Address: 787 Elvis Divide, Port Brice, OH 24507-6802

Phone: +9779049645255

Job: Senior Healthcare Specialist

Hobby: Cycling, Model building, Kitesurfing, Origami, Lapidary, Dance, Basketball

Introduction: My name is Sen. Emmett Berge, I am a funny, vast, charming, courageous, enthusiastic, jolly, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.