However, the state of personally identifying as, or being identified by society as, a man, a woman, or other, is usually also defined by the individual's gender identity and gender role in the particular culture in which they live.

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.

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.

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.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.Nearly half of those interviewed were healers or in the medical profession.A majority of them, again like their Eastern counterparts, were artistic enough to make a living from their abilities.In March 2017, an Australian and Aotearoa/New Zealand community statement called for an end to legal classification of sex, stating that legal third classifications, like binary classifications, were based on structural violence and failed to respect diversity and a "right to self-determination".