Difference Between Sex And Gender

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Is there a difference between sex and gender? Or do these words mean the same thing? People commonly use the word gender to define what sex they are biologically, but in fact this word means a lot more than just the anatomy that one has. Is the way people act truly down to what genitals they possess? When we look at how gender is accomplished and also the outcome of social constraints that play a part in gender we get a complex understanding of what it means to be gendered. Many factors go into what it means to be gendered, how we measure and maintain it and also what can disrupt it.

Gendering is something that no one can escape. The moment a child enters the world and even before, we treat the girls differently from the boys (Holmes 2013,
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When you wake up you start your day of trying to fit into society’s norms of what it means to be a male or female. Men go about lifting weights, playing rough sports and wearing certain clothing to fit the model of being masculine. While women are perceived as being delicate and nurturing. The drive to stick to these masculine and feminine roles is an ongoing thing throughout life. When a boy gets toys they will always be trucks, superhero equipment and guns etc. While a girl is given dolls and small kitchen sets. These toys sort of mirror what is expected of each gender as they grow up. The number of males in law enforcement and the military far outweigh those that are female. While women are considered to be nurturing and kind so you most often see them in childcare workplaces (www.boundless.com). Lucal (2004) explains in her study about the struggles of being a masculine looking female. Everywhere she goes she is referred to as ‘sir’ or ‘Mr’ just because of her appearance. She even goes to the extent of not going to public restrooms as women often look in horror. And even when shopping, instead of trying on the clothes she wishes to buy she tries them on at home instead, in fear that people will judge her. “I am somewhat of a failure in social terms with respect to gender” – (Lucal 2004). This to me personally is quite a powerful quote, it brings up the idea that if you don’t fit …show more content…
Some people may decide to identify as the opposite sex and go through a sex change, known as a transsexual. Transsexuals feel that something is wrong with the body they are in and wish to reconstruct it. By undergoing sex reassignment they can match their physical sex with their psychological gender. This then suggests that their gender comes before sex in terms of what matters most to them. (Kessler & McKenna, 1978 as cited in www.hawaii.edu). To me personally I believe that this is quite true. People are constantly being put into categories of how they believe they should behave, but no one truly knows what sex anyone is unless they look at their genitals. Who you are is reflected in how you behave and conform to social norms and should not be predetermined by your sex. Being a bisexual or homosexual also disrupts this synthesis as there is a certain way in which someone is expected to behave. So being bisexual or homosexual you are acting out of the social norms put in place as there is a belief that people should only be attracted to the opposite sex

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