Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Sex and Gender

Sex vs Gender

It is very important to understand the difference between gender and sex because it helps explain issues regarding sexual norms, values, and other theories better. Unfortunately, many have embraced these two terms as one and the same. But in its original sense, this shouldn’t be the case.

Foremost, sex is a term that’s determined by biological description and physical anatomy. With this, one can think about the differences in the genitals, the presence of excessive body or facial hair, body composition, and also the physical structure itself. As a biologically determined factor, sex is not influenced by the culture. On the contrary, gender is something that is determined by one’s learned behaviors, social factors, and even cultural affiliation. As such, gender can be understood by observing one’s social exchanges (i.e. the way he or she talks to others), family values, and peer influences that shape gender affiliation and gender identity.

“Gender” seems to be the most superficial term as opposed to “sex.” It is because one can readily challenge their original sexual orientation by how he or she is gender identified. This means that if a male individual thinks of himself as a female being, he can have similar sexual desires like ordinary women. He may even come to a point wherein he wants to undergo a sex change procedure. This clearly shows that the two terms “gender” and “sex” are completely disparate from each other. However, even if the physical makeup of the body can be changed today, sex is still considered as a static attribute. So when you were born to be a man, then you are a man until you die. This shows that sex can’t be nurtured unlike gender.

Gender is also ordinarily prescribed by one’s culture. For example, in most cultures worldwide, boys are expected to play with their toy robots while girls are to play with their lovely Barbie dolls. This is practically stereotypical and even contradicting to feminists but still embraced to be true in most cases.

Summary:

1.Sex is biologically defined. You are either a boy or a girl (man or woman).
2.Sex is determined by virtue of one’s physical anatomy. It is determined by your hormonal characteristics, chromosomes, and sexual organs.
3.Gender is socially determined like being masculine or feminine.
4.Gender is influenced by one’s culture. It can vary across different societies unlike sex which is true to all societies.


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1 Comment

  1. Why don’t you address hermaphrodites (known by the more modern term “intersex”) humans?

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