Sex and Gender Essay

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Sex and Gender The terms employed most frequently to describe the differences between
men and women are 'sex' and 'gender'. Sex refers to the differing
physical attributes of women and men (Lee, Shaw). The categories of
sex are male and female. In every society sex differences are given
social meanings. Social identity, which is confessed on the basis of
assumed sexual differences, is called "gender" (Lee, Shaw). People are
born female or male, but learn to be girls and boys, who grow into men
and women. Males are supposed to be masculine, strong, and macho,
while females are attributed to be feminine, fragile
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Gender differences, in spite of being
constructed in complex ways, are not unchangeable. In reality
masculinity and femininity are not fixed categories acquired in
childhood but are constantly being tested, challenged and reworked. To
this, one could add that most aspects related to gender differences
over time vary and have changed across cultures.

The pressure of gender conformity can be very strongly felt by both
girls and boys. In the case of girls, the pressures on some in
relation to body image lead to anorexia and death. In addition, girls
are faced with a maze of decisions about whether to be like a girl in
this situation, or like a boy in that situation-and are often damned
in either. In the case of boys, the key aspects of dominant
masculinity are clearly in evidence in any classroom in which there
are boys. It is based on being strong and rough, on learning to take
it, on being first or the best, on disassociating from girls or boys
whose identity does not 'pass the test' of macho maleness, on not
showing affection, and on defying authority, especially female
authority. All these things serve to prove acceptable masculinity.
Boys create and preserve this masculinity through fear of whatever
might be constructed as female, since whatever…