Sex and Gender

1775 WordsDec 1, 20128 Pages
Sex and Gender Sex and gender make up one of the most basic functions in our society. Gender helps delineate tasks and how we refer to people, and is reinforced for us throughout our lives (Lorber 2006). Gender interacts with sex in varying ways (Disch 2006). Those who are not strictly heterosexual male or female are not readily accepted and face adversity as they bend gender and defy sex. 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…show more content…
These children are taunted, abused, hated, and ostracized simply because they have penises but feel female, or have vaginas but feel male (Goldberg 2007). They experience gender fluidity because they are not one definite sex, just as often happens with children born with oversized clitorises or small penises. In procedures that echo the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) condemned by most of the Western world, large clitorises are cut to a “proper” size, and small penises are often inverted into a makeshift vagina, as “it’s easier to poke a hole than build a pole” (Coventry 2006: 210). The effects of these procedures can be devastating. Sexual sensation may be deadened or lost; confusion about why the procedure was done may ensue; and if the wrong sexual organ is created, the child can suffer from internal and external sexual misalignment. Often, the child is not even forewarned, and nothing is explained afterward (Coventry 2006). This is but the beginning of a long list of issues suffered by those who do not conform to heterosexual, average ideals. Those who are poor and transgender are more at risk than bisexual individuals for many social issues, including suicide, STDs, HIV/AIDS, and abuse. There are not many doctors and clinics to help them, so they are forced to have black market procedures (for breast augmentation and other serious surgeries) that can end up harming them more than they help (Wright 2006).

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