Essay on Distrinction between Sex, Gender, and Society

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What is the distinction between sex and gender? Is there even a distinction between the two? How are these concepts shaped? Are these two concepts constructed by the same source? The sex-gender distinction wasn’t popularized until the 1970s, when it became the foundation of Western feminist thought. A traditional feminist definition of sex and gender is included in Ann Oakley book, Sex, Gender, and Society, where sex is defined as a biological feature and gender as a “matter of culture: it refers to the social classification into masculine and feminine” (16). Using Oakley’s definition of “gender,” we begin to consider the difference between masculine and feminine attitudes and behaviors as distinct features of social order. The definition, …show more content…
What is the distinction between sex and gender? Is there even a distinction between the two? How are these concepts shaped? Are these two concepts constructed by the same source? The sex-gender distinction wasn’t popularized until the 1970s, when it became the foundation of Western feminist thought. A traditional feminist definition of sex and gender is included in Ann Oakley book, Sex, Gender, and Society, where sex is defined as a biological feature and gender as a “matter of culture: it refers to the social classification into masculine and feminine” (16). Using Oakley’s definition of “gender,” we begin to consider the difference between masculine and feminine attitudes and behaviors as distinct features of social order. The definition, however, is very limited in understanding the whole concept of gender. Is gender derived from sex? Does sex necessarily determine gender?
Harold Garfinkel, a sociologist, conducted a study on Agnes, who was originally born a man and went through a sex-change surgery in order to be made into a woman. In his article, “Passing and the Managed Achievements of Sex Status in an Intersexed Person,” Agnes claims that she had always felt and been like a girl (65). With this said, we cannot assume that sex (genitalia) is the only source that determine gender, because in Agnes we see a cognizance that seems to have contributed in the construction of her gender identity even before she was physically turned into a woman. This cognizance is further

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