Preface Recently, I discovered a list of unfinished research projects, which I had made fifteen years ago at the end of graduate school. These pioneers laid the intellectual foundations for this project, and were often kind enough to teach me and encourage my gender interests. Ann Tickner, and others. And, fortunately, I did get tenure.
Yes because these two terms are often used interchangeably by people at large. No because thinking of the terms as meaning the same thing is an error. There is a subtle difference between the two as stated by psychologists and anthropologists across the globe.
Today, let us explore how they are different.
If we go further back, sex means the number six in Latin. On the other hand, the word gender is derived from Middle English which in turn is derived from Old French which is ultimately derived from the Latin word genus.
This will become clearer by way of examples. Sex and gender have different characteristics. Some features related to sex are — while males have testicles, females have ovaries; while males have penis; females have vagina, females get pregnant while males do not; females can breastfeed their babies, males cannot; at the time of birth, males tend to weigh more than their female counterparts; generally, males have deeper voices than females.
Some features related to gender are — women have long hair and men short; women contribute more to household chores than men do ; some cultures expect their women to cover their heads when they step out of the house while there is no such injunction for men; up till the twentieth century women were not allowed to vote in a number of countries UK granted female franchise in ; some professions, like teaching and nursing, are considered to be more suitable for women while others like, climbing the corporate ladders, are more appropriate for men women are now breaking these barriers ; men are regarded as bread earners and protectors of women in the majority of cultures.
This means while sex is a natural or biological feature, gender means a cultural or learned feature — the set of characteristics that a society or culture defines as masculine or feminine.
We can extend this to mean that one is not born a man but becomes one, too. While a person is born with a sex, gender is dictated by socio-cultural norms in which he or she finds himself or herself.
Gender is not about being born with a penis or vagina but how we feel about ourselves, or identify with a particular group, men or women. Some people are transgender which means their gender identity is not aligned with their biological sex.
Sexual identity is about our attraction to people of a particular sex. While it is largely true that opposite sexes attract, people of the same sex also experience attraction and hence terms like gay, lesbian, bisexual.
Needless to say, cultural norms vary and so do the gender roles. For example in India, it is normal for Sikh men to have long locks while in some matriarchal societies in Africa, women are supposed to provide for the family while men take care of the kids and household.
Similarly, the sexual differences among people cannot be categorized into two binary opposites.
While females have XX sex chromosomes, men have XY chromosomes. They are intersex which may have sex organs that appear to be somewhat female or male or both. A lot of times surgeries are performed on such babies right after their births so as to assign a particular sex to them.
However, psychologists advise that such surgeries should be postponed till the babies grow up and can decide for themselves which sex they identify with more, male or female, and accordingly go for sex change procedures. Otherwise, they may experience an identity crisis which may lead to depression or even suicides.Gender identity One's innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves.
One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth. Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the two sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics beyond the differences in their sexual organs.
The condition occurs in many animals and some plants. Differences may include secondary sex characteristics, size,weight, color, markings, and may also include behavioral caninariojana.com differences may be subtle or exaggerated, and may. Recent work in gender economics has identified trade as a potential determinant of female labor force participation (FLFP).
It is usually suggested that FLFP rises whenever trade expands those sectors which use female labor intensively. 4 The term ‘sex’ is defined in the Dictionary of Social Sciences as the biological differences between male and female.
Gender identity haunts every aspect of our lives, dictating the outcomes of our conversations, our workplaces, our relationships – even our bath products. Before most infants are named, they are assigned a sex based on the appearance of their external genitalia by a third party.
These decisions are dolled out in a typically binary fashion, with no expectations for ambiguity. The sex and gender distinction is not universal. In ordinary speech, The term sex difference could then be re-defined as between-sex differences that are manifestations of a sexually dimorphic adaptation (which is how many scientists use the term).