The Difference Between Sex And Gender

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The Difference Between Sex and Gender

Haronamas Walton

In today's society sex and gender seem to have two separate connotative meanings. Sex is a more scientific term that explains physical traits and sexual preferences. Gender carries a more social tone. Meaning that it refers to the different clothing, activities, career choices, and positions people hold in society. A person's social status helps separate or classify the two sexes.

Sex is the total sum of physical characteristics that distinguish males and females from each other. The most distinctive difference in characteristics is that man and women have different reproductive organs. This is pretty obvious and so are other traits like facial hair, deep voices, and muscular builds. It is not often that you see a six foot five inch bearded lady who sounds like Barry White walking around. Women are smaller and feminine. They normally walk with a switch and speak with soft voices. These descriptions may not apply to all men and women but they are pretty good examples of what to look for if confused.

That brings me to my other definition of sex. Sex is also known as the preference of sexual partner or mate that one desires. A person's preference determines their sexual identity. There are three types of preferences. First there are heterosexual people who like people of the opposite sex. There are homosexual people who prefer partners of the same sex. And then there are bisexual people who like to have partners who are either male or female.

The environments that some people are raised in contribute to confusion about their sexual identity. Some people say that these preferences were present the day that they were born. I feel that it is one's own choice what preference they choose. No person is born straight or gay. Certain traits may get mixed up when dealing with people who like to cross dress. Those are people who like to dress like the opposite sex. Some people get sex change operations and become transsexuals. There are even people who are born with both a male organ and female organs. They are called hermaphrodites. I feel sorry for them because they didn't ask to be born with such a deformity.

Gender consists of social classifications that help determine sex. With the rapid changes in gender equality it is not as easy to separate sex by what a person does for a living. What position they hold in society or a household is not a good indication either. Years ago I could have said that if a person is a police officer, a soldier, a fireman, a politician, a lawyer, a doctor or any type of highly paid professional than that person must be a man. Back then this would have been a pretty good hypothesis. The father was the man of the house. The minister was always male and there was no such thing as women in sports.

I could have probably also said that if a person was a secretary, a grade school teacher, a receptionist, a nurse, a maid, or a homemaker then that person must be a woman. People in the female group or gender worked lower paying less demanding jobs because It was believed that a woman could not handle the pressures that a "man's job' required.

With the absence of the father figure in many American homes women have taken over as head of the house. They juggle home life and work to keep their families together so that they can properly raise their children.

Women have broken the gender barrier in almost every sport except for football and hockey. Some women's sports are pretty interesting to watch. I like to look at women's track, basketball, and boxing every now and then. Women have proven themselves as good athletes.

I notice that women have gained prominent positions in society. Women like Rosa Parks and Hilary Clinton are highly respected figures. There are women in almost every professional field. There are women politicians, lawyers, doctors, ministers, etc.

Gender is a tricky term to define. I think that gender should be left up to people to interpret for themselves. The term gender is a little sexist because it associates sex with social status. As for


Related Topics

Gender studies Gender Sex and gender distinction Transsexual Human sexual activity Sexual orientation Sexism Sociology of gender Cross-dressing Bisexuality Homosexuality Gender identity sex change operations deep voices soft voices connotative meanings reproductive organs distinctive difference six foot five career choices males and females bearded lady sex and gender physical traits sexual preferences sexual identity sexual partner difference between sex and gender barry white physical characteristics facial hair sexes

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