The difference between sex and gender

Question one

The topic of sex and gender has always been a mere regard for me. My assumptions about the topic were rather awkward. I never gave the topic a serious thought. Mostly, I viewed the topic as not really worth much debate. Perhaps my thinking about the topic was caused by the social locations I found myself in. I have always regarded sex and gender to mean one and same thing. Nevertheless, my thinking took a sudden turn after obtaining first hand information about differences between the two. The difference I have obtained about the two topics was caused by the knowledge I acquired from class. For instance, some of the most important readings in class that led to the change in the thinking include “Lifelines, male violence and personal safety andCreative politics” and “Women Criminalization”. Similarly, some major presentations and points were responsible for my increased understanding about the topic. These include “The body politic” by Abra Fortune and “The feminist theory: the body and the disabled figure”. Through the different experiences from people and all the systems of inequality apparent in the society, I have effectively understood about sex and gender have been at the forefront in causing the scenario. The knowledge that I have obtained will help in analyzing the situations apparent in the society. Nevertheless, I would want to explore on two more areas about the topic.  These include the causes between the sex and gender as well as the implications of the differences in the society (Chernik, 2008).

Question two

My understanding about the two issues has been particularly influenced by the experiences I have had about the topic from class readings and presentations. To start with, I have come to understand the differences in meaning of the two subjects effectively. The importance of comprehending the differences between sex and gender has enabled me to gain a deeper comprehension of the social theory, feminist theory, values as well as the norms associated with sex.  Prior to my understanding about the importance of the various aspects of the differences between sex and gender, I used the two words incorrectly. In most cases, I used the two words interchangeably. I did not think that the two had different implications. As a result of the readings and presentations that I have acquired in class, I have completely acquired a deep insight into the issues associated with sex and gender (Jacobson, 2009).

The term sex and gender have almost a similar relationship. However, the terms do not have the same meaning. Sex basically refers to the aspect of being male and female. On the other hand, gender concerns the roles and responsibilities that have been socially created to determine the workings of males and females in the society (Chernik, 2008). Gender is associated with different aspects of the daily life such as behaviors, activities, roles as well as the attributes thought to be at play in the determination of the undertakings of males and females. In the society, roles are divided along gender lines (Thompson, 1997).

Sex is determined through traits such as genitalia, the stature of the body and composition as well as the presence or absence of hair in the face. The major difference that exists between sex and gender is the fact that sex has nothing to do with culture for its determination. At the same time, the relevance of culture in the determination of the gender continuity and dominance of one of the gender over the other is massive. In absence of a culture, the meaning of the gender is also non-existence (Hall, 2004). As a result of the dependence of the interpretation of gender on culture, there are various interpretations that exists between different cultures abut the gender roles as well as the responsibilities. Nevertheless, sex is universal. It touches on all the major aspects of the being male of female.






















Chernik, A.F. The Body Politic, Independence, KY: Cengage Learning, 2008.

Hall, M., Lifelines: Women, Male Violence, and Personal Safety, 61-6670-71, Binghamton, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Jacobson, C. Creative Politics and Women’s Criminalization, Prentice: Prentice-Hall, 2009.

Thompson, R., Garland Feminist Theory, the Body and the Disabled Figure, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.




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