It has long been debated whether there is a difference between sex and gender, and if so, what that difference is. In recent years it has been suggested that sex is a purely biological term, and gender is socially constructed, or defined and enforced by society. Sex is assigned at birth based on the genitalia, and usually, gender is determined by the
Sex and gender play a big part in american society today and are often misconstrued. These two topics have become progressive as people are starting to express their gender and sexuality in ways other than what is and has been considered the norm. Many people believe that sexuality and gender are synonymous with one another. Gender is socially constructed while sex is biologically determined. In society’s past, Americans often strayed away from discussing controversial topics, but with the rise of different ways of addressing people, it is deemed more important to understand. Along with the blurred lines of gender and sex comes sexuality, who someone is attracted to sexually. When people stray from society’s heteronormative mindset, they are often faced with many more challenges than the average hetero man or woman. People often have the preconceived notion that if something does not concern them, then they should not be involved in it. A person who could be your neighbor, co worker, or even child, may have to deal with the troubles of people confusing their gender identity with their sex. While also facing challenges that deal with the sex of the person they choose to love. Learning the difference between gender and sexuality will open the eyes of many people and see how the two are different but relate to one another very much.
I never really put much thought into the difference between gender and sex. I, like most people, would have assumed that they were the same thing. After reading Multiple Choice: Gender, Orientation, and Sexual identity by Heather Corina, it made me think about my perception of these two words. I also now believe that they are in fact different. This article put sex and gender in a different perspective to me. Gender is characteristic of a person that they choose to identify as. This may or may not be different then their actual sex, which is the anatomical characteristic of people that we were born with (Corina, 2007). The broader aspect of this article challenged my way of thinking rather than just one small aspect of it.
‘‘Sex’ is a biological term; ‘gender’ a psychological and cultural one’ (Oakley 1972, p.158). To further expound on Oakley, ‘sex’ refers to the biological framework a person is born with while ‘gender’, an identity that we acquire as a result of social and cultural influence. Sex is naturally constant throughout an individual’s life whereas gender is a variable. Via gender socialisation, men and women constantly learn to adapt to society’s expectations associated with their biological form as society changes. This very concept clearly elucidates the dichotomy between sex and gender. Therefore, coming from such a perspective, it is true to say that we are born as human beings (males, females or intersex) who formulate socially accepted gender identities as a product of social and cultural implications (Abbott, Wallace & Tyler 2005). Conventionally, societies associate the male and female sexes with their definitions of masculinity and femininity respectively.
The development of our gender identity is influenced by both the biological nature of a person and society, but the biology is the foundation of our gender identity. In the following paragraphs I will be discussing the interaction between hormones and behavior, and how these interactions affect the determination of gender identity, the roles of biological factors nature and environmental influences, nurture on sexual differentiation and gender identity and which has the greater influence on gender identity: nature or nurture.
A persons 'sex ' is a biological trait. A human being will contain this trait form birth. Society uses 'sex ' to categorize people. A human being will either belong in the 'female ' or the 'male ' categories; a decision that will be made based on chromosomes, genitalia or some other physical ascription.
The term ‘transgender’ is defined as an individual who believes that their gender identity does align with the biological sex for which was assigned at birth. It is critical to note that one’s gender and biological sex are two very different things. Biological Sex is derived from one’s anatomy, which essentially includes: genitals, chromosomes, and hormones. The ‘gender’ is derived from social/cultural stated norms; gender is also completely subjective from an individual standpoint to be speculated and influenced by society. To aid in differentiating these concepts, bring oneself back to the 1900s, were in an article (The Social Construction of Sexuality) by Seidman, he reveals that: “Some scientist believed that the homosexual was a type
In today’s society, new terminology surrounding gender and sexuality are constantly be added or updated. Upon learning more about the varying types of individuals as well as society becoming more accepting of the alternate varieties of gender roles, it is important for all to be able to keep up with it. For starters, gender refers to the femininity or masculinity of an individual through the social, and cultural characteristics associated with the biological sex (Yarber, p. 125). Additionally, there is genetic sex and anatomical sex. In which, genetic sex refers to one’s chromosome and hormonal sex characteristics, such as chromosome XX or XY, or estrogen or testosterone. On the other hand, anatomical sex, pertains to physical sex
An eclectic use of both of these theories would enhance our understanding of gender development because it is important to understand that biology and socialization play a part in gender development. Hormones, sexual organs, culture, and society intertwine and make a child aware of his or her gender. A cognitive understanding does not suffice. For example, for parents who believe that culture, school, peers, and media influence their son or daughter to be transgender are incorrect. Both of these theories demonstrate that biologically their child was born with the awareness that they belong to a different sex; it is embedded in their chromosomes. Meanwhile, society simply enabled them to observe the gender roles and determine which gender they felt most comfortable in.
In class, we have learned and discussed how during the period of adolescence, it is known that this is the period of time where individuals are finding themselves and figuring out where they belong. It is during this time where individuals are the most sensitive and personal problems tend to arise more commonly during this stage. A major issue adolescents struggle during this stage is gender identity and sexuality. Adolescents are trying to figure out who they are attracted to and how they perceive themselves to be. While the norm is to identify oneself as their biological gender, there are those who develop gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a reoccurring feeling that one’s biological gender is the opposite of one’s sexual identity (Cole,
Gender is a complex socially constructed idea. Often people interchangeably use gender to refer to someone’s sex. This is not the case. Sex is the biological characteristics that makes someone a male, female or intersex. Gender however is made up of expression, identity, and sexual orientation. Gender identity is how one views themselves such as a woman, man or transgender. Gender identity does not correspond to the sex of that person. Gender expression is how one expresses their gender identity. This could be through a masculine , feminine or androgynous expression. In Western societies, although there has been a push for change in our gender system, the gender system as been a binary system. This binary system only believes that there are
Usually women have two X chromosomes while men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. There are some cases where babies do not have any of these arrangements mentioned above (Through the Wormhole video). As people study these kind of cases, they have realized that there might be more than two sexes. For example, I learned that some women can be born with “Swyer syndrome”, which makes them anatomically and physiologically a female but they never achieve female sexual maturity (The Gene: An Intimate History). When their cells were examined, they discovered that they had XY chromosomes in their cells. Basically, they were chromosomally male but anatomically, physiologically, and psychologically female (The Gene: An Intimate History). Goodfellow discovered the SRY gene. This gene was the determinant of maleness but it was flicked off on women with Swyer
n these past few years we have seen a great deal of change in the United States. From the legalization of gay marriage, and or the legalization of marijuana. These are things that people in the past would think are things that should not be legalized but times change. Lately, many people not in conform with their biological gender have been becoming the opposite sex, a transgender. Some of the most recent well known cases of becoming transgender have to be Bruce Jenner and Rodrigo Heng song of republican senator, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. All this talk brings up the question of whether sex is a psychological thing, or an anatomical thing. I believe that sex is an anatomical thing and I also believe that becoming transgender can bring negative effects
You are born with sexual attributes but gender qualities are developed after birth (Tovey and Share, 2003). The variations between the two sexes are an outcome of culture and society (Giddens, 2001). The best way to prove the difference between the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ is the situation of transsexuals. These people fit biologically into one sex but feel they belong to the other. Through surgery and hormone treatment they try to change their biological sex and by doing this they also have to learn how to act like the sex they have changed to. They also have to take on new masculine/feminine roles (Browne, 2005). One in every two thousand babies is born intersex which is a baby with mixed female and male characteristics.
The words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are commonly confused with each other in regular, everyday conversations when the two have very different meanings. The term ‘sex’ refers to the biological and physiological characteristics of a person, such as male or female; ‘gender’ is a social construction that refers to masculine or feminine roles in society ( Nordqvist). For