The concept of the third gender is one that I find fascinating, both in the field of anthropology, and as a biologist.  History is filled with depictions and mentions of the third gender, and practically every culture around the globe has -- or at one time had -- a gender that was seen as being neither fully male nor fully female.  The Philippines is no exception in this regard.

The blurring of the terms 'third gender' and 'third sex' can be confusing, however, as well as inaccurate.  The two are not the same and should not be used synonymously.  This is something we will take a look at here.  There is also a table at the bottom of the article reviewing several of the many cultures that openly recognize a third gender.