Sex and Gender

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Category: Philosophy and Psychology

Date Submitted: 11/27/2012 05:43 PM

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A Deeper Look into SEX and GENDER


Sex is a biological term used to talk about chromosomes, sex organs- both internal and external, and hormones. Sex is defined by hormones in ones body – ideally classified as either male or female. Aspects of sex do not vary substantially between different cultures or societies.

The word gender refers to behavioral, cultural, and psychological traits associated with a particular sex. Gender ideally is thought of to describe the characteristics that are thought to be either masculine or feminine. Gender is a social construct, specifying social and culturally designated roles that men and women are ‘expected’ to follow.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Now, we will take a look at a list of characteristics, representing both sex and gender. This will help show that aspects of sex do not vary, while gender aspects can vary across different cultures and societies.

Starting with sex, some examples of characteristics include the ‘fact’ that women menstruate while men do not and the ‘fact’ that men usually have more massive bones than women. Another trait example that we can classify as a sex trait would be that men have testicles, while women do not.

Examples of gender characteristics may include that (in some countries) woman earn less money than men for same jobs, in most of the world- woman do more housework than men, in Saudi Arabia- men are allowed to drive cars, while woman are not.


Gender stereotypes and biases are hugely influenced and promoted through mass media. Gender roles have forced society to form stereotypes of what the ‘perfect man’ or ‘perfect woman’ should be. People base this ‘perfect image’ off of what they see in magazines, on television, through advertisements, and even what they hear in music. One specific example that represents how mass media promotes gender stereotypes dates back to the newspaper in the mid-1990s. During this time, men received three-fourths of the...