Demographic Forms Customarily Request The Gender Or Sex Of The Individual Completing The Form

867 Words Feb 14th, 2015 4 Pages
Demographic forms customarily request the gender or sex of the individual completing the form. Many of these demographic forms use the terms gender and sex interchangeably when referring to the categories of male and female. Michael Kimmel clarifies that “sex” refers to the biological male and female criteria of chromosomes, chemical organization, and genitalia while “gender” refers to the differences and expectations associated with each sex (Kimmel, 2013, p. 3). Differential socialization is the theory that attributes these gender differences to the social treatment of males and females. Kimmel suggests, “We acquire the traits, behaviors, and attitudes that our culture defines as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine.’ We are not necessarily born different: We become different through this process of socialization” (Kimmel, 2013, p. 4). West, Zimmerman, and McCaughey all write on the implications of gender as a social construct and likewise indicated the impact that gender expectations and stereotypes have had on society.
Much like Kimmel explained the differences between sex and gender, West and Zimmerman in their article “Doing Gender” offer similar explanations. Sex is described as the biological criteria such as genitalia, which classifies a person as male or female. While sex category is a placement in either the female or male category. An individual’s placement in a sex category is then “established and sustained by the socially required identificatory displays that proclaim…
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