Sex vs. Gender
What is Difference between Sex and Gender? It is currently common to see the terms “gender” and “sex” used interchangeably; however, what many people do not know is that these two concepts refer to different things. If what you have just read surprised you, read on; because this time we focus on establishing the difference between sex and gender, something that is very important that you know.
Difference between Sex and Gender
This term is used to refer to what is anatomically and biologically a person. How this person was born (with what sexual characteristics, both internal and external).
Sex has to do with the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. With current technology, you can determine the sex of a creature when it is conceived. The terms “male” and “female” are sometimes used to distinguish sex from boys. But there is another category and it is intersexuality; which is nothing more than a person born with a sexual or reproductive anatomy that does not seem to fit in the two particular categories previously mentioned.
The term ‘sex’ is composed of all the factors that scientifically differentiate men and women, for example; being able to get pregnant, have breasts, uterus, XX or XY chromosomes, have bigger bones (as in the case of men) … All these factors are taken into account to differentiate a man from a woman or saying another way, to determine the sex of a person.
Gender is the role, role or differentiation created by society. Roles are social constructs that establish the behaviors, activities and attributes that each society considers that a person should have depending on their sex.
Gender varies depending on the country, region, culture and religion. It is classified into two types: male and female. Transgender is sometimes thought to be another category within the concept of gender.
The term ‘gender’ refers to those customs learned culturally by people of each sex and is not something with which they are born. I include all the rules that establish a society in order to separate what is male from what is female. For example, women are expected to learn how to cook and raise children, while men are expected to work.
There are certain things that women cannot do socially, such as drinking, swearing, spitting on the street … Likewise, there are things that in a man are socially barely seen; such as: dressing in pink, crossing legs, wearing makeup, decorating certain things.
While sex is something that a person cannot change (although externally he does, not internally), gender and gender roles change in each society. In the old days, a woman was not allowed to go to work and it was very badly seen that a man wore earrings or piercings; but these roles are currently changing in many countries. Religion plays an important role when it comes to dictate gender roles.
Key Differences between Sex and Gender
- Sex has to do with the biological characteristics that distinguish males from females, while gender has to do with the roles and behaviors that each society inculcates people depending on their sex.
- Sex cannot be completely changed, while social roles do.
- Gender is a social construction, while sex is given by nature.