Difference Between Sex and Gender

1127 Words Jan 22nd, 2012 5 Pages
Amongst the many popular misconceptions in today’s society, the in depth differences between sex and gender has grown to be one that is discussed extensively by psychologists and sociologists too. Sex in itself is a more scientific term that explains the innate physical attributes of an individual. On the other hand gender carries a more social tone. Meaning, that it refers to the different clothing, activities, career choices, and positions people hold in society. This essay aims to highlight some of the key differential aspects between these two concepts; while the term sex has been well defined over the years, we learn how the topic of gender managed to rake up an in-depth study as well as gain its own significance in society.

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Over the years these gender roles are strengthened by different channels, the most immediate channel being family. From the toys that are bought for a boy (cars) to that bought for a girl (dolls), this all but reinforces the link of masculinity for males and femininity for females.
The children are also expected to follow predefined ‘gender appropriate behaviour’ types. If the children do not behave according to their set behaviour forms, they may be scolded or punished. For example, if boys are playing high contact games amongst each other, this may be overlooked by parents and other adults. The same game would be frowned upon and prevented from happening if it were to be played between boys and girls; with the latter being associated with lighter contact games as otherwise they might end up getting hurt and crying.

As an individual grows older he/she is also exposed to gender stereotypes that are enforced more strongly. The socially determined notions and practices which outline what roles and activities are considered appropriate for women and men, is categorized under the term ‘ gender division of labor ‘ .
The gender division of labor may seem natural, but it is in fact, socially constructed. In the past, females were usually expected to fall under the category of child-bearing and home-rearing whilst males were associated with doing tasks that
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