Essay about Relationship Between Sex And Gender

1514 Words Apr 7th, 2015 7 Pages
In everyday life, individuals make distinctions between sex and gender. Sex refers to “a determination made through the application of agreed upon biological criteria for classifying persons as females or males” (West & Zimmerman, 1987: 127). Gender describes the acquisition of masculinity and femininity (West & Zimmerman, 1987). Thus, sex is assumed to be natural, pre-given and located in the body (genitals, chromosomes, etc.), in which we can be categorised as either ‘male’ or ‘female’ (Zeyallos, 2013). However, in The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir’s argues that men and women are made not born, in the sense that their awareness of manliness and womanliness is a product culture rather nature, and thus, one becomes masculine or feminine (De Beauvoir, 1949/2010). According to de Beauvoir (1949/2010) the relation of gender- which is social and ideological, to sex- which is biological, natural and pre-given, is an arbitrary one in which individuals have no infinity with, and can thus be altered.

Similarly, sociologist Jeffery Weeks (1986) argue that sexuality is too a social construction and produced only within social relations. Sexuality, which refers to sexual practice, sexual desire and sexual orientation, is an important interrelated aspect of gender (McLennan, Manus & Spoonley, 2010). Candice West and Don H. Zimmerman’s (1987) concept of “doing” gender is the idea that gender is imbedded in everyday interaction, in which individuals are socialised to perform gendered…

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