The Distinction Between The Terms ' Sex ' And ' Gender '

1632 WordsAug 29, 20147 Pages
In this essay, I will firstly seek to define and address the distinction between the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. Then I will explain how, basing on this understanding, will we be able to explore how societies used to function on more traditional approaches of gender association with sexes and the impacts that arose as a result of this framework. Lastly, I will attempt to show how, with greater researches and understandings of sex and gender is achieved, societies have evolved and the engendered implications. ‘‘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.
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