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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…
By making these assumptions, we begin to build a phenomenon of gender, or a gender norm. Based on the gender norm enforced and regulated by a heterosexual hegemonic society, we begin to reproduce the norm by learning how to become a certain gender, or as Garfinkel suggests, achieve being a certain gender (68).
The next question that comes to mind then, is what does Garfinkel mean by “to achieve becoming a natural gender?” We become by doing a certain act or practice a certain act in a repetitive manner. Agnes’ behavior in public, in her intimate relationship with her boyfriend, her walk, and her talk, we can be seen as gendered acts or practices. In a way she is becoming a certain gender by practicing or performing acts that conform to that gender. What I mean by this is that the word “becoming” can be translated as a process where the gender doer performs gendered acts in order to satisfy and reproduce the imposed identity, simultaneously constructing his/her identity. The expected identity is sometimes conflicted with the produced, new identity that is structured by the gender doer. For example, as we also mentioned above, the cultural environment we live categorizes people as male or female strictly by their biological feature, and based on the sex we also begin to make assumptions, which are known as gender norms. Ideally, men are seen as
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